SEMrush is considered as one of the most well-rounded solutions for SEO and digital marketing. It’s got just about every tool you’ll ever need. The list includes keyword research, keyword suggestion, thorough analytics, and live reports, to name a few.
The thing is, it’s not exactly the most affordable option. Its pricing is usually the biggest problem for startups and bloggers. In that case, what’s the next best thing? A SEMrush free alternative, of course.
Here we compare some of the best available, namely Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, and Searchmetrics. These are the ones that don’t skimp on features and performance just because they don’t cost a dime.
SEMrush Free Alternative Comparison Chart
|Google Keyword Planner
|Free with Premium Plans
|Free with Premium Plans
|All Features Free to Use
|No Account Required
Google Keyword Planner
From the big kahuna itself.
It isn’t a stretch to say that Google Keyword Planner is among the best SEO tools around. It’s from the creator of the search engine everyone’s trying to rank on, after all. And it’s free to boot.
You can either find new keywords or get search volume and forecasts on it. All you have to do to get cracking is type in a seed keyword, and you’ll get a ton of suggestions afterward. Metrics such as their average search volume and pay-per-click or PPC costs will be at your disposal then. You can even filter results by “Competition” and “Ad impression share,” to name a few.
However, it’s not that comprehensive. It provides only rough estimates of certain metrics, so there’s no concrete numbers here. That means you’ll only get a number range of a keyword’s traffic and labels like “Low,” “Medium,” and “High” under the Competition column. In other words, it doesn’t provide the specific numbers you need to make better plans moving forward.
One workaround is to research the keyword in Google Keyword Planner and use it on another tool. For example, you can use the keyword you got from it on Ubersuggest (also a free service, but more on that later) to get more accurate metrics. In short, Ubersuggest compensates for what Google Keyword Planner lacks on this front.
The best part is, you only need a Google account to start using it, which is also free of charge, for the record. Not to mention that just about anyone already has one nowadays for things like YouTube and Google Analytics.
Developed by one of the front-runners in the digital marketing world Neil Patel.
Ubersuggest is easily one of the go-to tools for bloggers and digital marketers on a budget. For starters, it’s packed with features and offers accurate key metrics comparable to paid SEO tools.
Now this is where it beats all the rest in this list: You don’t need an account to use it. Just go to Ubersuggest and enter your seed keyword and voilà, all the metrics you’re looking for ripe for the picking. These consist of the average search volume, SEO difficulty, and CPC or cost per click. In a word, it’s really simple to use, and the info it yields is easy to understand. You can even get an estimation of your chance for success with the keyword you’re searching.
The good stuff doesn’t end there either. It has two features that’ll help start the ball rolling called Content Ideas and Keyword Ideas. Their names are pretty straightforward already. Keyword Ideas will give you long-tail keywords to work with, while Content Ideas will give you topic ideas based on your seed keyword.
One thing it falls short on is keyword suggestions, which is, ironically, contrary to its name. It’s not necessarily bad at it, but it doesn’t offer that many. Again, to work around its shortcoming here, you’ll have to use it in tandem with another tool. In this case, Google Keyword Planner fits the bill because of its keyword research and suggestion capabilities—and the fact that it’s also free, of course.
One of the lesser-known but effective tools around.
As its name suggests, Searchmetrics can provide important metrics for success. It’s an analytics tool that’ll give you info on a domain’s SEO performance, be it yours or a competitor’s. For instance, you’ll know how a website is doing on desktop and mobile and find out its SEO and paid ranks. All of that is laid out on a simple one-page report to boot.
It even offers additional details important for SEO research, including backlinks and a domain’s performance by country.
Arguably, one of its setbacks is, it’s not completely free, per se. Some of its features are locked behind a paywall. However, staples such as Backlink Research are available to free users.
SEMrush Alternative Reddit
Here’s what Reddit has to say about these free alternatives.
Taking a look at Reddit, you’ll get an idea of how everyone’s doing their SEO research without the help of paid tools like SEMrush.
To begin with, this Reddit user points out the value of Google Keyword Planner:
Another echoes the sentiment we have about how simple Ubersuggest is to use:
On a thread about Ubersuggest, one user makes a general comment on how you should approach SEO tools, which is really the takeaway here:
Using one tool can’t really get close to replacing SEMrush, but using all three together can.
Best SEMrush alternative for keyword research and keyword suggestion
Best SEMrush alternative overall, especially for metrics
As mentioned earlier, using Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest together will not only get you the keywords you need but also more accurate metrics. Meanwhile, Searchmetrics is another useful tool to have to get a detailed report on a domain’s performance.
To boil things down, all three tools make for a viable free SEMrush alternative.