5 Online SEO Services Freelancers Cannot Live Without


Last Updated on April 8, 2016

This is my collection of online SEO tools that I personally cannot live without. While you can initially use these free of charge, some do require a form of membership so you can harness their full power. Hopefully this list can be useful to fellow freelancers who are trying to market their services online. Please note that I didn’t create a separate list for different types of freelancers I simply listed the top 5 tools that I use every day.

#1: Google’s Keyword Planner (formely Google’s Keyword Tool)

Why I Use It:

Something that I cannot live without is the Google Keyword Planner. If you’re not new to SEO than you ‘ll already know that you cannot start a proper campaign without knowing which keywords to target. In fact, you’ll end up not ranking for anything if you don’t target the right keywords.

What the Keyword Planner does is that it helps you uncover relevant search terms from your main keyword. On top of that, it lists the keyword’s statistics like its CPC (cost per click), rate of competition and its average monthly searches. While some may argue that it is not as accurate as it used to be, I still prefer using it. Why? Well, it’s free & I don’t really need an exact number; a close estimate will suffice.

How to Use It:

STEP 1: You can visit the Google Keyword Planner by visiting this link. You’ll see this page below. Click on “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”.

STEP 2: Start searching for a keyword. For instance, let’s search for keywords related to ‘butterflies’.

STEP 3: And here are the results below. Make sure you click on ‘Keyword Ideas’. The information you need here is the competition rate and monthly searches. As a rule, I go with keywords with at least a few hundred searches but with a medium to low competition rate.

#2: Open Site Explorer


Why I Use It:

I find this site particularly useful because it uncovers other statistics about a website such as its DA (domain authority) and its PA (page authority). On top of that, it can also uncover the number of social media stats in a single click. The functionality is quite impressive especially if you opt for the paid version. This allows you to peek at your competitor’s social shares and other statistics which is vital if you’re trying to overtake their ranking on the search engines.

How to Use It:

STEP 1: Visit Open Site Explorer by visiting http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/. You’ll see the page below. You can enter in your website or your competitor’s website on this field.

STEP 2: For this example I decided to search for “Google.com” for demonstration purposes. And here’s what the site gave me.

You can now see the domain authority, the page authority, total number of links and social media metrics in here.

#3: Ahrefs


Why I Use It:

I use this site mainly because I am not as content with Open Site Explorer’s link discovery feature. It only uncovers the latest links which is not what I’m after. Ahrefs is awesome because it uncovers the backlinks of my competitors. It also lists the links they’ve gained and lost over a period of time. I need this information so that I can get an overview on how they are promoting their sites so that I can come up with an effective link building plan for my own websites.

How to Use It:

Step 1: Go to https://ahrefs.com/. You’ll see the page below. As you can see, it is quite similar to Open Site Explorer. You just need to enter in your websites URL.

Step 2: For  demo purposes, I will still use Google.com. Once you click ‘Try it for Free’, you’ll see the page below.

But this is only the top portion. You’ll see the backlinks, social shares and you’ll also see some graphs below. But the stats are not that important for me. The only thing I am concerned about is the side part that contains all the external links. However, you may need to upgrade to the paid version in order to see all the backlinks.

#4: Copyscape


Why I Use It:

I honestly cannot call you a freelancer if you don’t know how to use Copyscape. Just about every freelancer knows about this tool and what it can do. It is a neat service that is able to uncover duplicate content on the Internet – you won’t be able to fool it even if you substitute words with synonyms or rearranged the paragraphs.

How to Use It:

STEP 1: Go to http://copyscape.com/.  You’ll use this if a website contains duplicate content.

STEP 2: To find out if a website has duplicate content, you have to enter it in. But since Google’s front page does not contain any content, let’s try something else. Let’s use one of my favorite websites: http://zenhabits.net/. I tried it and got this.

Hmm… it looks like it has been copied. But it looks more like it was syndicated because a link was still given to Zen Habits. This has something to do with the website’s policy that its content can be republished anywhere.

As you can see, Copyscape is a very useful tool for tracking not only if your content is copied, but also in tracking the people who have copied your content.

#5: Google Analytics


Why I Use It:

And lastly, there’s Google Analytics. I use this to peek inside my website or a client’s website so that I can get an idea of the rate of traffic and the actual keywords that gets traffic to the website. I also use it to track referral data so that I’ll know which websites has referred users.

How to Use It:

STEP 1: Make sure that you have installed Google Analytics on your website so that you can track it. Then, you should log in and you should be able to see your websites.

STEP 2: Once you clicked on a website, you’ll see this graph. This will give you an overview of the traffic of a particular website.

STEP 3: Look at the side menu. Click on “Acquisitions”, and then click “Keywords” and “Organic”

This will show you the keywords that are bringing in the most traffic for your website.


As you can see, each service is vital so that you can create a good SEO plan for your website. It helps not only in uncovering keywords but also in watching what your competition is doing. Each has its own specialty which is why they are the 5 tools that I cannot live without. What’s yours? Share your top SEO services in the comments below.

Tags: apps freelancing Online seo Tools

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