Low Cost SEO Tools: The 9 Best Cheap SEO Software Tools (2023)
If we had all of the budget in the world, we would be able to experiment with every single SEO tool and decide which one best suits us.
But the reality is that all of us (even agencies) have a limited budget when it comes to SEO tech.
This is why we need to be smart about what SEO tools we are working with, as well as what makes sense value-for-money.
In this article, we will provide you with our personal list of 9 best low-cost SEO tools that are either free or affordable for individuals and small teams.
We will also explain how you can best use these tools to move the needle in your SEO efforts.
Tool #1: LowFruits: Keyword Research ($21/mo)
Primarily used by niche site owners and affiliate marketers, LowFruits allows SEOs to find low-hanging keyword ideas by analyzing the SERPs of the keywords.
LowFruits then shows you which keywords have weak domains ranking on the 1st page of Google for that keyword, meaning that you can outrank them.
1. LowFruits Top Features
LowFruits’ top features include:
- Keyword Research – the tool helps you analyze keywords and their SERPs in bulk and has options to filter by search intent, parent topics, and questions.
- Competitor (Keyword) Analysis – identify what keywords your competitors are ranking for, extract competitor sitemaps, and the content that your competitors are writing about
- Domain Explorer – explore the winners in your niche (low DA, high traffic) and study them and what keywords they are going after
LowFruits’ features are ideal for niche site owners and affiliate marketers who are looking for easy and profitable keywords to go after.
2. LowFruits Pricing
LowFruits operates on a pay-as-you-go credit system but it also has monthly/annual subscriptions.
You can get started with LowFruits for free, as it has a generous freemium, which includes the Keyword Explorer (keyword volume and filtering included in the freemium).
But if you want to do competitor analysis and analyze the SERPs of the keywords, you’d need to purchase credits or be on the subscription plans.
With credits, you can purchase 2,000 credits (2,000 keywords to analyze) for $25 or be on the annual plan, which starts from $249/year (~$21/mo).
If you wish to pay for it on a monthly basis, the monthly plan starts at $30/month.
With the $21/month annual plan, you get access to all of the LowFruits’ advanced functionality.
3. How to best use LowFruits
You can do standard keyword research with LowFruits by inputting your seed keyword and filtering down to the keywords you’d like to analyze.
Only remember to filter down with the parent topics instead of analyzing thousands of keywords at once. Only analyze the keywords you are interested in.
You can also use the Domain Explorer to find the winner in your industry who has the best ratio of organic traffic and low DA and then extract the keywords that they are using.
Feel free to check out our article on how to do keyword research with LowFruits in the different niches (travel, pets, and air fryer).
Tool #2: Screaming Frog: Technical SEO (Free up to 500 URLs)
Screaming Frog is a technical SEO tool that can crawl and analyze your website for errors and opportunities.
It’s a tool that is mainly used by SEO agencies and Tech SEO experts, but it can be used on any website to find the underlying technical errors that are holding your website back.
It’s my go-to tool for Tech SEO as it far outshines Semrush’s and Ahrefs’ crawlers in terms of features, crawler customization, and integrations.
1. Screaming Frog Top Features
As a tool that specializes only in large-scale crawling and technical SEO, you can expect the following features:
- Large-Scale Technical Site Auditor – you can find all kinds of website errors, such as broken links, structured data (schema) issues, hreflang, etc. The tool provides you with both issues and areas of opportunities to improve your website
- Crawler Customization – you are offered advanced crawler customizations, such as the ability to crawl all sub-domains, ignore no-follow, the crawler rate, the kind of rendering, and dozens of other checks
- Integrations with other tools for bonus insights – you can integrate Screaming Frog with Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics to get more recommendations
Screaming Frog’s features are ideal for SEOs who have larger websites where technical SEO starts to matter (e.g., sites with over 200 pages).
2. Screaming Frog Pricing
Screaming Frog has a freemium that goes up to 500 URLs to be crawled, but in the freemium, you are not presented with the crawler customization, integrations, and other bonus features.
As for the paid plan, the license costs $259/year, which comes at around $22/month for a single user and includes all of the features of the tool.
3. How to best use Screaming Frog
Use Screaming Frog to crawl your website. Integrate with other tools, such as Google Search Console, to get an accurate evaluation of your website.
You can also schedule audits to run at chosen intervals and then auto-export them to keep up to date with your site’s issues when they appear.
Majestic is a backlink analysis tool that allows you to find out who links to your website and what strength the backlinks have.
The tool is using its metrics to determine the strength and quality of the backlinks, with what they call ”trust flow”.
Majestic is primarily used by link builders and in general SEOs who are working on the backlink strategy for their websites.
1. Majestic Top Features
Majestic’s top features for backlink analysis include:
- In-Depth Backlink Analysis – the tool provides detailed insights into a website’s link profile, new backlinks acquired, and lost backlinks
- Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics – the tool offers the ”trust flow” metric, which evaluates the quality of the backlinks based on how relevant they are, and ”citation flow” evaluates the quantity of the backlinks and how they measure up in total
- Competitor (Backlink) Analysis – you can compare your website’s link profile to your competitors and help you refine your link-building strategy
Majestic is best for SEO professionals who are either specializing in link-building or are engaging in link-building activities and need in-depth analysis.
2. Majestic Pricing
Majestic’s annual plan starts at ~$41/month for 1 user and allows you to tap into the majority of the features, which also include a keyword generator and some reporting features.
The tool also has a ”Pro” version which comes at ~$83/month and offers bonus functionality, such as backlink history, email alerts, and flow metric history.
3. How to best use Majestic
You can use Majestic to identify the strength of the trust flow of a website.
For example, if you are evaluating if you should be guest blogging in a certain website, you can check out their trust flow for your industry.
Or if you are buying backlinks (which you shouldn’t be doing), you can check out if it’s really worth it for the price.
And lastly, you can use the tool to spy on your competitors and see which backlinks you can look to acquire in the industry.
Tool #4: SpyFu: Competitor Analysis ($33/mo)
SpyFu is a competitor analysis tool that excels in spying on your competitors’ organic keywords and their search ads keywords.
The tool also has a regular keyword explorer that allows you to research keywords and a rank tracker in order to monitor your keyword rankings over time.
SpyFu is usually used by both SEOs and PPC specialists in order to research their competitors and find easy keywords to go after.
1. SpyFu Top Features
Here are SpyFu’s features that they are known for:
- In-Depth Competitor (Keyword) Analysis – you can uncover your competitors’ keywords that they are bidding on in Google Ads and also ranking for organically; the tool also has historical data and the ability to compare domains
- Keyword Research – the tool provides keyword data and has a keyword explorer with which you can analyze the SERPs of the keywords and also get access to filters and search volumes
- Rank Tracking – you can monitor the performance of your organic and paid keywords over time and produce reports
The tool is best for SEOs and PPC specialists who want to get a more detailed competitor overview of what keywords they are currently ranking for and what keywords they are bidding on.
2. SpyFu Pricing
The pricing of SpyFu starts at $33/month for the annual most basic plan where you still get the majority of the tool’s functionality.
With the pricier options, such as the Professional plan ($58/mo) you can simply track more keywords per month.
3. How to best use SpyFu
After you input your domain into SpyFu’s search bar, you can scroll down to the ”Top Keywords” section on the left, and then click through to view the full list of keywords.
The software will give you a list of the ”most valuable” keywords that you can expect the most clicks from the most competitive terms.
You can also use the tool to input your competitors’ domains and then see what keywords they are ranking and bidding on. If they are bidding on certain keywords, that means they must be profitable for them.
Tool #5: Raven: Complete SEO Solution ($39/mo)
Raven is an affordable complete SEO solution that offers functionality ranging from keyword research to competitor analysis, to technical audits.
It’s a tool that has less firepower than the best-in-class complete SEO solutions, but it’s still a tool that has arguably the best value-for-money SEO features.
It’s a tool that is used by in-house SEO teams who are looking for an affordable alternative to the industry-leading, but expensive, complete SEO tools.
1. Raven Top Features
As a complete SEO solution, Raven has the following features:
- Keyword Research – the tool has a keyword explorer that has filtering options and provides you with thousands of questions and long-tail keywords
- Competitor Analysis – you can research your competitors’ keyword rankings, and their backlink profiles and also conduct a page-by-page analysis of your competitor’s content
- Technical SEO Audits – you can crawl your website and identify errors and areas of opportunities
- SEO Reporting & Keyword Tracking – the tool enables you to track keyword rankings and produces customizable SEO reports
Raven is ideal for small SEO agencies and SEO freelancers who are looking for a cheap alternative to Semrush and Ahrefs, as they compete with them on the same features.
2. Raven Pricing
Raven’s pricing starts at $39/mo on the annual plan for 2 users, 2 domains, and 1,500 keyword position checks.
With this pricing tier, you get all of the features and functionality of the tool.
If you want to have more users, more domains, and more keywords to track, this is where the more expensive plans come in place, such as the Start plan ($79/mo) and Grow plan ($139/mo).
3. How to best use Raven
As a complete SEO solution, there are various ways of using Raven.
For starters, you can begin by running a technical audit on your website and identifying key errors and areas of opportunity.
After that, you can spy on your competitors’ rankings or conduct large-scale keyword research. You can also do some backlink analysis, for which Raven has good functionality similar to Majestic with their Trust flow.
And lastly, you can track the keywords that your website is ranking for and produce customized reports with their integrations.
Tool #6: Google’s SEO Tools (Free)
Google offers a variety of features for SEO professionals.
As an engine, they need to ensure that the people working to optimize their websites for their engine are equipped with the tools they need to do just that.
Google would almost be considered a complete SEO solution if they provided data on backlinks.
Google’s SEO tools are used by both niche site owners and agency-side SEO consultants.
Google’s Top SEO Tools & How to Best Use Them
Here are Google’s best SEO tools that you can use for free:
- Google Keyword Planner – research keywords for free and get rough volume estimates. If you also run PPC campaigns, you will get access to historical data on keywords
- Google Search Console – get a 360 overview of your website’s health – your current keyword positions, organic traffic, and even technical health (e.g., broken links they found or structured data problems)
- Google Analytics – you can use this tool for SEO by looking at the top organic pages and setting up goal tracking to evaluate how many conversions you are getting out of SEO
- Google PageSpeed Insights – get insights on how to improve your website’s loading speed by improving your code, optimizing your images, and optimizing 3rd party scripts
- Google Structured Data Testing – research, test, and validate the structured data implementation on your website or on a competitor in your industry – identify errors and test if it works properly on the engines
Google’s tools are best for everyone in SEO, not only because they are free, but because it’s data coming from Google – the search engine we are trying to optimize for.
Tool #7: GTMetrix: Core Web Vitals ($10/mo)
GTMetrix is a tool that helps you analyze your website’s speed and core web vitals (CWV) performance.
It’s a tool used by SEOs to improve their page speed and optimize the code in their website for performance.
1. GTMetrix Top Features
Here are GTMetrix’s best features:
- Website speed insights – you can research your website, and its location, for page-speed-related issues
- Recommendations on how to improve page speed – the tool provides you recommendations on how to fix these page-speed issues
- Waterfall reports – the tool provides you with advanced functionalities like the waterfall report, which shows you how the user journey looks like from a loading perspective (what action comes after what in the back-end of the website)
2. GTMetrix Pricing
The tool itself has a generous freemium (5 audits per day), although it has paid tiers where you can get bonus functionality, such as data retention, premium test locations, and hourly monitoring.
You can get this bonus functionality starting at $10/mo billed annually.
3. How to best use GTMetrix
You can get the most from GTMetrix by inputting your website and looking at the report.
If your website is localized (e.g., running in Italy) or has a CDN (e.g., in Italy), you can set the location of the tool to be in the specific locale.
You can then look at the advanced waterfall report, which is quite useful to see where the bottlenecks are in the loading of your pages.
Tool #8: AnswerThePublic: Keyword Research (Free)
AnswerThePublic is a keyword research tool that is used to identify parent topics and question-based keywords.
It’s mainly used by niche site owners and content SEOs who are looking for keyword ideas.
1. AnswerThePublic Top Features
AnswerThePublic specializes in keyword research exclusively.
The tool can generate hundreds of questions from a seed keyword and provides information about the search terms’ volumes, keyword difficulty, and CPC data.
AnswerThePublic can also be used to research keywords in YouTube and Bing, and not only for Google.
The tool is ideal for niche site owners who are looking to boost their traffic by targeting question-based keywords that have low difficulty.
2. AnswerThePublic Pricing
AnswerThePublic offers a generous freemium that allows you to search for up to 3 seed keywords per day, but you would not get data about keyword difficulty or volumes.
Their individual plan starts at $11/month or $120 for a lifetime for 1 user.
3. How to best use AnswerThePublic
Start by inputting your seed keyword and then scroll down to the long-tail keywords that are being generated.
Look specifically for your ideal parent keyword type (e.g., seasonal), and then look at the long-tail keywords that are being presented.
You can then prioritize which keywords to go after based on the keyword difficulty and volume.
Tool #9: Mangools: Keyword Research & Tracking ($21/mo)
Mangools is an affordable keyword research and tracking tool that boasts many keyword-related features.
The tool is used mainly by SEO agency owners as it’s a tool that has a good value-for-money ratio.
1. Mangools Top Features
Here are Mangools’ top features and main functionality:
- Keyword Research – the tool is known for its user-friendly keyword research that allows SEOs to filter by keyword difficulty, search volumes and also get SERP analysis (with bonus insights into competition)
- Backlink Analysis – you can assess your website and other competitors’ backlink profiles and look to improve your backlink strategy
- Rank Tracking – monitor your organic keyword rankings over time and produce reports every month
Mangools is best for small SEO agencies and in-house SEO teams who are looking for an almost complete SEO solution in regards to keyword research and analysis that has a good value-for-money ratio.
2. Mangools Pricing
Mangools’ cheapest ”Entry” plan starts at ~$21/month billed annually and scales up to ~$100/month.
The thing is, you get all of the tool’s functionality with the Entry plan, and with the more expensive plans you get access to more imports, more keywords to track, and more competitors to analyze.
3. How to best use Mangools
You can use Mangools to conduct large-scale keyword research and then analyze the SERPs for these keywords. You can also steal your competitor’s keywords’ rankings.
The tool can also be used to track your rankings and to find powerful backlink opportunities based on your competitors.
And finally, you can analyze your competitors’ domains to find out their trust flows, page authority, and backlink profiles.
Summary: The Best Low Cost SEO Tools
|Affordable SEO Tool||Top Features||Pricing|
|LowFruits||Keyword Research, SERP Analysis, Competitor Analysis, Domain Explorer.||Starts from $21/month.|
|Screaming Frog||Technical audits, crawler customization, integrations for bonus insights.||Freemium up to 500 URLs or $22/month.|
|Majestic||Backlink analysis, trust flow and citation flow metrics, competitor analysis.||Starts at $41/month.|
|SpyFu||Competitor keyword analysis, keyword research, rank tracking and ad history.||Starts at $33/month.|
|Raven||Keyword research, competitor analysis, technical audits, reporting & keyword tracking.||Starts at $39/month.|
|Google’s Tools||Keyword research, analytics, technical audits, site health overview, schema optimization.||Free.|
|GTMetrix||Website speed insights, recommendations on how to improve page speed, waterfall reports.||Freemium or $10/month.|
|AnswerThePublic||Keyword research and topic exploration with question-based long-tail keywords.||Freemium or $11/month.|
|Mangools||Keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink analysis and tracking tracking.||Starts at $21/month.|