Search engine optimization is key to expanding your church’s online reach. The great part is you don’t have to do it all on your own. With free SEO tools, you get expert help to boost your church’s website.
While you can pay for SEO services, there are numerous free tools available. Every tool works differently and offers different types of insights.
Ideally, pick several that work best for your church’s needs. After all, you don’t want to burn out trying to use them all. Pick the ones you like most and use them to improve your search rank.
Answer The Public
This is one of the more unique free SEO tools. Instead of just giving you a list of keywords, Answer The Public gives you a variety of questions people are asking around a specific keyword. It can be hit or miss, but is incredibly useful if you’re trying to target natural voice search terms.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is part of Google’s Webmaster tools. Quickly see how your site’s performing, which queries are bringing in the most traffic and even which pages aren’t ranking at all. It’s a good tool for seeing where you can improve and what you should focus on. It’s also good to use alongside Google Analytics.
Google Analytics isn’t exactly an SEO tool, but it does help show you where there may be SEO errors. For instance, broken links or pages that aren’t performing well are areas for improvement. You’ll also see where your traffic’s coming from to develop better church marketing strategies.
While most people think of Google first, Bing has some incredibly useful free SEO tools. In fact, Bing Webmaster is Bing’s version of Google Search Console. You’ll find a lot of helpful tips and advice on improving your site for search engines.
While the majority of people do use Google for search, Bing is still a popular search engine. Ensuring your site’s optimized for both Google and Bing is a good strategy.
Ubersuggest works like a premium tool, but it’s surprisingly free. You can search for keyword suggestions or even check out other websites. If you’re checking on competing websites, you’ll find data on their top keywords, which means these are keywords you should probably focus on too.
The tool comes from SEO expert Neil Patel. If you sign in through Google, you get more SEO guidance. If you use the Ubersuggest Chrome extension, you get keyword suggests as you use Google. All of this is also free.
Google Keyword Planner
While Google Keyword Planner is often used for Google ads, it’s also one of the most popular free SEO tools. Simply type in a keyword and get a variety of suggestions along with how popular each keyword currently is.
If your church uses Google Ad Grants, you’ll want to check out the Keyword Planner for help in optimizing your ads. Targeting the right keywords makes your ads even more useful.
Moz’s Free SEO Tools
Moz is usually known for their premium SEO tools, but the site does offer six free SEO tools. Functionality is limited, but it’s worth using them for basic SEO research. It’s also a great way to try out Moz’s tools before paying for premium. The free tools include:
- Keyword Explorer – keyword research
- Link Explorer – find link building opportunities
- Moz Bar – extension to see site details as you browse
- My Online Presence – explore how you rank locally
- Free Domain Analysis – see SEO details about a domain
- MozCast – a Google forecast based on recent algorithm changes
Simple SEO errors on your site can ruin your rank and all your other SEO efforts. That’s why you need Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Instead of giving you keywords or anything like that, it crawls your site looking for potential SEO errors.
Unlike most free SEO tools on this list, you’ll have to download this one. It’s compatible with Windows, MacOS and Ubuntu. You can crawl up to 500 URLs in the free version, which should be more than enough to fix your church website and even teach you some SEO strategies going forward.
Wish you knew what keywords your competitors were using? Wordtracker Scout helps you find out. It’s a free Chrome extension that shows you the keywords being used on a page.
Get a summary in the form of a keyword cloud or get more details by looking at individual keywords and insights. If you’re trying to find the right keywords to use, keeping an eye on the competition is always a good idea.
The name might not sound like an SEO tool, but it’s a lifesaver when it comes to finding and updating old content on your church’s site. Even when you’re adding new content, old content can still hurt your overall rank if it’s not optimized.
Animalz Revive integrates with Google Analytics to scan your site for the pages and content that need the most help. Based on age and performance metrics, you’ll get a list of content to update to help improve your SEO. This is a great free tool to use as part of an annual SEO review.
If you use Google often, you might have noticed a section called People Also Ask (PAA). AlsoAsked help you gain more insight into what people are searching for by using PAA.
When you enter a search term and region, you’ll get a list of results in the form of a tree. Different branches lead to different sets of questions. Depending on the term, searches can take up the three minutes at the time of writing. However, it’s a great tool to find out what people are searching for and can help generate content ideas.
WooRank SEO Analysis & Website Review
WooRank SEO Analysis & Website Review is a free extension for Chrome and Firefox. Whenever you visit a site, you can request an SEO report. You’ll have access to both on and off page SEO.
Not only will you see where a site currently ranks, but get suggestions on how the SEO can be improved. This is highly useful for your own church website or to check out similar sites to see how they could improve. You can use suggestions from other sites to improve your own SEO strategy.
BrightLocal’s Local Search Results Checker
While many free SEO tools focus on keywords, BrightLocal offers Local Search Results Checker to help you see exactly where you rank in any given location. Yes, you could search Google, but Google’s always going to give you slightly biased results based on your location at the time of search.
If you wanted to see how your church is appearing in a neighboring city, for instance, it’d be hard to know unless you searched Google in that city. This tool lets you choose the area and shows your actual rank from that area. It’s incredibly useful for boosting local SEO.
Moz Check Your Online Presence
Despite how useful it is, Moz actually doesn’t list Check Your Online Presence as part of their free SEO tools list. However, if you’re using online business listings/directories (which you should be), it’s important to ensure the information is consistent between all of them. Any discrepancies can hurt your rank.
This free tool checks your presence on nine different sites, including major sites like Facebook, Google Maps, Google Search, Foursquare and Bing. If anything’s different, the tool lets you know so you can correct and improve your local rank.
SEMrush is mainly known as a premium SEO tool, but if you’re only trying to improve SEO on a single church site, the free version may be enough. The free version is extremely limited, but it’s ideal as a budget-friendly way to improve your SEO.
You have daily and monthly limits. However, you’re probably not doing major campaigns as a church. Simple reports make a world of difference. To really understand what you can do with a free account, Distilled breaks down all the limitations and how to make the most of what you’ve got.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is a must for every website owner. Many people prefer using their phones to search versus a desktop computer. As a church, one of the easiest ways to better reach your audience is to have a mobile-friendly website.
Ensure your site’s optimized for mobile by running it through Google’s free tool. Not only will you see if you’re good to go, but you’ll get a preview of how your site might look along with possible page loading issues that can hurt your overall rank.
Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker
Backlinks are a great way to improve site visibility. With the right links leading back to your site, Google sees your site as more of an authority. However, it’s not always easy to find backlink opportunities.
Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker shows you the top 100 backlinks to a site for free, along with the site’s domain rating. Check your own site to see who’s linking to you, which could lead to guest post opportunities. Or, check out the competition to see who’s linking to them.
Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator Tool
In addition to backlinks, Ahrefs can help you with keywords. Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator Tool shows you a variety of keyword possibilities based off a single search term or phrase. You can see results based on Google, YouTube, Bing and Amazon.
In addition to just keywords and their popularity, you can also check out questions based on the keyword you search for. While results are limited in the free version, you’ll still have plenty to choose from.
Seobility is one of the best free SEO tools for finding SEO problems on your church website. It also offers a surprising amount of features for free. See daily Google rank numbers, perform site audits, check backlinks and much more.
While you do need to sign up for most of the tools, you can check a single page with no registration. This is a good way to try before signing up for an account, which is free.
SEOquake is another browser extension that gives you indepth SEO details on any site you visit, including your own. Quickly run on-page SEO audits. You can even compare domains to see how you stack up to the competition.
The best part is you can customize reports to only show the data you’re interested in. This is good for eliminating things that aren’t useful to you at the moment. The extension is available for Chrome, Edge, Opera and Firefox.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a traditional SEO tool, but it’s one of the top free SEO tools for improving local SEO. By claiming and keeping your listing up to date, you drastically increase your chances of appearing higher for local searches. It’s completely free to use and offers a way to expand your online presence.
We’ve even created a guide for using Google My Business and optimizing for your church.
If your church site is powered by WordPress, you have to have Yoast SEO. It’s a free WordPress plugin that helps you optimize website pages and blog posts as you create them. It can help you ensure you’re using keywords the right amount and making your content more engaging through a readability analysis.
While some features are only available in the premium version, you’ll still be able to optimize your content with the free version. If you like it, you can always upgrade later. And yes, we use Yoast on our own site to help optimize our content.
Keyword Surfer is a Chrome extension that provides keyword analysis and similar keywords based on any Google search query. You’ll also see search volumes and similarity percentages. It’s a great way to quickly test out keyword queries, see which keywords to optimize for and even generate content ideas.
While this is just a short list of free SEO tools, they’re some of the best available for optimizing your church website. If you don’t have a church site or your site needs a major upgrade, contact us today to find out how we can help.