Are you a solopreneur, blogger, or small business?
If so you’re probably trying to make SEO work without spending thousands of dollars on an agency, consultant, or stack of tools.
And you probably know that without the right tools to guide our work, it can feel like an uphill battle.
So in this list, I’m going to share the DIY SEO software that's been the most helpful in my journey and could be just as helpful in yours.
What exactly is DIY SEO Software?
Firstly, DIY stands for “do it yourself”. Similar to a home improvement DIY job, but applied to marketing. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a landscaper to lay new grass you can watch a few tutorials, buy the rights tools, and do it yourself.
The same applies to SEO.
Not every website owner needs to spend thousands of dollars for an agency to handle their SEO. If you have the courage to learn and stay consistent, then you can absolutely make this work on your own. This is exactly what DIY SEO is all about, using the right tools to figure out how to grow your organic traffic without paid help.
18 DIY SEO software to help you grow organic traffic this year
1. SE Ranking
SE Ranking is a complete SEO tool that’s simple to use. It’s a perfect option for anyone who wants to take SEO seriously since its product suite is extensive. With over 700,000 users and almost perfect reviews, you can expect the very best service.
- Real-time ranking position updates.
- One of the few SEO tools with a mobile app.
- Includes a content editor and content marketing tool.
- The pricing model is customizable to your requirements.
- The suite contains a keyword grouper tool that can improve your content.
- The competitor research tools include historical data and volatility reports.
- The cheapest plan starts at $29.40/mo for ranking updates every week as opposed to daily or hourly.
- For an additional $29/mo you can add 15 content editor articles.
- There are various customization options, and discounts for quarterly, bi-yearly, and annual plans.
Semrush is a popular all-rounder SEO tool. It has a very extensive product suite which is particularly useful for small businesses or DIY SEOs that need more bang for their buck. I will note that even though the product suite is extensive, you will need to pay an additional subscription to access some of the “add-on” tools.
- Powerful keyword research tool.
- If you run a small business the Google review insights will help you manage brand perception.
- Unlike other SEO tools, Semrush also handles social media marketing.
- Easy-to-understand recommendations to help improve your site structure.
- A large variety of premium tools you can add to your subscription if you need them.
- The cheapest monthly plan starts at $119.95/mo for ranking updates every week (as opposed to daily or hourly).
- For an additional $29/mo you can add 15 content editor articles.
- There are discounts for quarterly, bi-yearly, and annual plans.
Considering site speed is a ranking factor (especially for mobile), you need to ensure your site is loading quickly. The PageSpeed Insights tool will give you key metrics including Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Time to First Byte (TTFB) which are the most important to monitor.
You want your site to produce results like this:
- Mobile & desktop user experience metrics.
- Performance metrics and issue diagnosing.
4. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is a tool that helps you write and optimize content based on AI and Google’s NLP. It is not a typical “SEO tool” as such but it is very necessary for anyone who wants to write content that ranks. I personally use it to manage two websites. It helps me optimize existing articles, especially ones that are performing poorly in the SERPs.
Related article: Best SERP tracking tools.
- The guidelines and recommendations are easy to understand.
- It’s possible that a DIY SEO could get by with just this one tool.
- Built-in keyword grouping tool to help optimize your content.
- Leverages Google NLP API to produce accurate recommendations.
- Connects with other tools such as Google Docs, Semrush, and WordPress.
- You can conduct keyword research within the app making it easy to plan your content.
- The basic plan is most suitable for DIY SEOs and costs $59/mo for 20 x page audits and 10 x new articles.
- Annual plans are 17% cheaper.
Google Search Console is critical for SEOs since they need an accurate indicator of performance at all times. I personally check Google Search Console at least 10 times a day (which is probably why I’m so stressed). It’s another one of Google’s free platforms that only track how much traffic your website receives from Google search queries. It also has a more technical section that breaks down performance.
- Very accurate SEO performance reporting.
- Indexing tools to help you stay on top of technical issues.
- Core web vitals data to help you improve your page experience.
If you’re not using Google Search Console, sign up here.
Subreddit Stats is another tool SEOs don’t often leverage (or know about!). Although it’s a goldmine, instead of giving you metrics from Google's search engine, it uses Reddit. Since Reddit has such a large user base, it’s a great way to stay on top of trends and get new keyword ideas.
Here’s an example of the most frequently used keywords in the r/copywriting subreddit:
- Graph of the growth of a Subreddit (helps validate a niche/idea).
- List of top submissions by period (i.e week, year, forever).
- An aggregate of top commenters and posters per subreddit.
- Suggests related subreddits.
Screaming Frog is an SEO agency that also owns one of the most powerful website crawlers in the market. If your website has a technical SEO issue, Screaming Frog will find it. It’s also the very first SEO tool I ever used. I distinctly remember my manager asking me to run a website audit using the tool. The user interface was intimidating and I had no idea what I was looking for. I can’t say the interface has changed much, but what I can say is that I understand why so many SEOs use this tool.
- Visualise site architecture.
- Generates XML sitemaps.
- You can schedule your audits ahead of time.
- You can discover duplicate content that might not be obvious.
- Integrates with Google Analytics, Search Console, and PageSpeed Insights APIs.
- The free plan has a limit of 500 URLs crawled.
- The premium plan is $259/yr with an unlimited crawl budget and additional features.
Growthbar is an AI writing tool designed specifically for bloggers. Most AI writing tools are capable of writing content for you, however, they are not optimized for SEO. Growthbar even provides keyword recommendations along the way (similar to Surfer SEO in a sense).
- Writes SEO-optimized blog posts in minutes.
- Can find internal linking suggestions within the editor.
- SEO chrome extension to help with your research.
- Keyword research tool built into the product suite.
- The standard plan is $48/mo for 25 AI content outlines/audits and 500 AI paragraph generations.
- The pro plan is $99/mo for 100 AI content outlines/audits and 2,000 AI paragraph generations (plus loads more).
- All memberships are heavily discounted if you buy a yearly plan.
SEOptimer is a reporting and optimization tool. It’s great for SEOs who prefer to visually review the performance of their sites. Whilst Screaming Frog has an outdated user interface, SEOptimer has a great UI/UX making it very easy to understand the recommendations. The tool is specifically designed for DIY SEOs so you can expect it to be less complicated than other technical SEO tools.
- Comprehensive website audit tools.
- Includes a keyword research and tracking tool.
- Includes a free browser extension.
- The DIY SEO plan costs $19/mo (or $177/yr) for unlimited website audits and access to the SEO toolbox.
Canva is an online design tool perfect for creating unique blog post images in minutes. Every single post I publish (including this one) will feature an image I’ve put together in Canva. You can access thousands of templates or graphics to give your articles their own unique style.
- Ready-made design templates.
- You can collaborate on designs in real time.
- Easy to download different formats and file types.
- Free access to most features, designs, and templates.
- $12.99/mo for Pro access which will include everything else you might need such as premium graphics, file formats, and resizing options.
MozBar is a free SEO browser extension with over 800,000 installs. I mostly use the chrome toolbar to give me instant metrics on websites that appear in the search engine results page (SERPs). The free version only displays the PA (page authority), DA (domain authority), and the number of links which I still find useful.
- Displays page authority.
- Displays domain authority.
- Displays the number of backlinks to a page.
- The premium plan includes keyword difficulty for each search query.
- Free for the basic version.
- Moz Pro starts at $99/mo or $79/mo if you purchase an annual subscription.
This is exactly what it sounds like, a free backlink checker. Whilst it has its limitations, it’s an easy way to get a quick insight into a website's backlink profile and domain rating (DR). You can also leverage it to find broken links on your site.
- Backlink checker
- Authority checker
- Broken link checker
Mangools is a well-rounded SEO tool built by a small team in Slovakia. The product range includes a keyword finder, SERP checker, SERP watcher, link miner, and site profiler. In other words, everything you need to find ideas, audit your competitors, and track your performance.
Related: Mangools Review: Six months of using this SEO tool for my own sites
- Beginner friendly.
- Great design and usability.
- The SERP watcher features the top gainers and top losers section for your rankings.
- The chrome extension saves a lot of time (you can even save keywords directly into your own list from the Google SERP).
- Mangools Basic is $49/mo for 100 keyword lookups in 24hrs and 200 keywords tracked daily (plus other limitations on feature usage).
- Mangools Premium is $69/mo for 500 keyword lookups in 24hrs and 700 keywords tracked daily. This tier has the most value since you’ll get unlimited competitor keyword searchers.
- All prices are 35% cheaper if paid annually.
15. Gummy Search
Gummy Search is a research tool that sits on top of Reddit. It analyses the platform to give real-time insights into which communities are popular, why, and how you can capitalize on them. I’ve used this many times to help me validate ideas, niches, and problem spaces.
- Keyword research and tracking functionality.
- “Conversation peaking” to help identify which problems your niche face.
- AI pattern recognition to give you deeper insights.
- Starter: $24/mo for advanced search, keyword tracking, and insights.
- Pro: $49/mo for everything in started plus AI pattern recognition, Slack/Discord integration, and content performance reports.
- You can save 17% on plans if you pay annually.
Ubber Suggest is owned by the popular marketer, Neil Patel. The tool is a standard SEO tool that resembles a mix of Mangools and Ahrefs. For beginners, it’s a great option. The interface is so simple that you won’t need to spend any time learning how to use it.
- Domain overview.
- Top pages a site is ranking for with key metrics.
- Find the top-performing content for any keywords.
- The entry-level plan is $29/mo for 1 website and 150 reports per day.
- Lifetime plans are 90% cheaper.
This is another one of Neil Patels SEO tools. It’s built on top of Google’s autocomplete functionality to provide new insights. You simply input a keyword or phrase and the tool will produce a map of all the related keywords and phrases from the autocomplete. It’s great for uncovering new content ideas.
- You can run searches in different languages.
- The output is comprehensive, and you’ll have hundreds of new ideas very quickly
- Alerts for new suggestions that are relevant to your keywords.
- The cheapest plan is $9/mo for 1 user and 100 searches per day.
- Lifetime pricing is also available.
Heap is a great alternative to Google Analytics and Search Console. If you’re not technical and you need to stay on top of your website's numbers then I suggest looking into Heap. Instead of spending weeks trying to piece together goals and conversion tracking in Google Analytics, Heap will give you all the insights you need (and quickly).
- Every user interaction with the website is automatically captured.
- Records user sessions so you can watch how they interact with your website.
- You can track all events without manually tagging them.
- Leverages data science to provide more helpful insights.
- Free up to 10,000 monthly sessions.
- Pricing is curated based on the site of your website, you will need to contact sales for an estimate.
Methodology for choosing the best DIY SEO software
Each DIY SEO tool in this list has been personally tested by me.
I’ve personally tested each SEO tool in this list. Whether I used the tool in a previous company, I still use it today or I recently signed up for it, I made sure that I tested the tool before including it to make sure it was suitable. There are many other tools I could have included that were not suitable, such as Similarweb or Hotjar – great tools but not for DIY SEOs.
Each tool was considered against the following criteria.
- Suitable for a beginner.
- Great value for money.
- Lives up to its promise.
- Provides accurate, helpful, or new insights.
- Using the software will help improve your website, workflow, or content.
Frequently asked questions
Can you do SEO yourself?
Yes, you can do SEO yourself, and in most cases, you should.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t have a huge budget, you want results quickly and you want your SEO efforts to be sustainable. Like any skill, there is a learning curve that is daunting, but over time you improve and see results.
If you get stuck, I highly encourage checking out SEO For Beginners by Ahrefs.
Why should I do SEO myself?
Outsourcing your content and SEO might sound like a good idea since it can free up your time. However, agencies won’t understand your brand as deeply as you do.
Unless you have a huge budget, it’s much more productive to learn SEO.
But there are more benefits, such as:
– Saving money.
– Learning exactly how SEO works.
– Learning about your niche more deeply since you need to write.
– It’s easier to spot business opportunities.
– You could become a real authority in your niche if you write the content yourself.
How do I find keywords to target?
You can find keywords to target by making a list of competitors and plugging their domain into tools like Mangools, SE Ranking, or Uber Suggest. These tools will generate a long list of keyword ideas.
More creative ways include leveraging Reddit, making a list of your customer's problems, looking at the searched queries on your website, and auditing Google Search Console.