If you’re like most people, you probably think that SEO is some kind of black magic – and that’s understandable. After all, it’s not exactly common knowledge.
A common question is, Is SEO free?
SEO is 100% free if you use a free blogging platform and apply SEO yourself. SEO is cheap if you pay for a self-hosted website and use free SEO tools to optimize your site. SEO is expensive if you hire an SEO expert or SEO company to perform monthly SEO on your website.
The fact is, SEO is easier (and more free) than you think. And it’s not even that hard to do.
Just follow the simple tips in this article and you’ll be on your way to getting better rankings in no time – completely for free.
Is SEO Really Free? (The Hard Truth)
If you want to get technical, SEO is free.
Well, sort of. See, SEO is the process of optimizing a website for Google’s search algorithm. And while there are plenty of factors that go into that optimization – keywording, backlinking, site structure, etc. – understanding and utilizing those techniques is free.
SEO is free if you:
- Use a free blogging platform (like WordPress.com, Medium, or Squarespace)
- Use free keyword search tools
- Use free SEO analyzers
- Use free SEO content writers
Of course, if you’re not particularly web-savvy, or if you don’t have the time to do your own optimization, you can always pay someone to do it for you.
But that is going to cost you.
However, with a little effort and elbow grease, anyone can learn the basics of SEO and get their website ranking in no time.
This is exactly what I learned to do over a few years’ time (with no one to teach me).
You have this article (and tons of other blog posts and videos online), so you’ll likely get it much faster than I did.
So, in conclusion: yes, SEO is free… but only if you’re willing to put in the work. Otherwise, you might as well just open up your wallet and pay someone to do it for you.
7 Types of SEO That Is Free
There are at least seven types of SEO that is 100% free.
1) Choosing a Domain Name
If you’re looking to start a blog but don’t want to spend any money, you’re in luck.
Choosing a domain name is free. That’s right, absolutely free. All you need to do is be creative and think of a short, broad, and niche-related name for your blog.
For example, if you’re a writer, you could use your name as your domain name. If you’re blogging about dogs, you could use the domain name “DogsRUs.com.”
Of course, if you want to maximize the branding and SEO benefits that come with having your own domain name, you can always purchase one for $5-20 per year.
But if you’re on a budget, choosing a free domain name can be a great way to get started.
2) Starting a Blog
Starting a blog is the starting place of SEO.
After all, you can’t optimize what doesn’t exist. And you can launch a website for free on many platforms but there are two that really stand out: Medium and Google Sites.
Both are 100% free to use, and both make it easy to get started blogging right away.
With Medium, all you need to do is set up an account and start writing. On Google Sites, you can build a simple website with a drag-and-drop builder, and then start publishing your content.
WordPress.com is another great free blogging platform for beginners.
Those are two hosting companies that I use and highly recommend. Simply pair them with WordPress.org (which is free).
3) Site Structure
Setting up your site structure for SEO is free (if you know how to do it).
Don’t worry, it is easier than it sounds. I use a simple theme or design, make sure that my navigation bar includes the major sections of my blog (beginner questions, recommend tools, writing tips), include a footer with the required pages (contact, disclaimer, etc), and include links so that Google and visitors can get to almost any blog post right from the homepage.
The key is to make navigating your site as easy and intuitive as possible.
A website (and Google crawler) should not need to click more than a few times to find what they need on your site.
If you make it easy for them, they will love you for it. Google will rank you higher in the search results, and visitors will be able to find the information they need without getting frustrated and leaving your site.
4) Keyword Research
You can do keyword research for SEO for free.
Finding high volume low competition keywords is powerful SEO that you can do 100% for free. You can also use free websites like DeapMarket or SearchResponse.io to find topics for your blog.
Autocomplete is a feature of Google search that suggests popular queries as you type.
And it turns out, it’s an invaluable tool for finding high volume, low competition keywords.
Here’s how it works:
- Go to Google.com and start typing in a seed keyword related to your niche. For example, if I’m in the pet niche, I might start with “why do cats”.
- As you type, Google will suggest popular queries that people are searching for. These are the keywords that you might want to target.
- The final step is to check the competition levels for these keywords. If no one else has written a good article on the topic, you should probably write one.
I call these low-competition, high-volume keywords, “Ghost Keywords.”
Ghost keywords are powerful because they allow you to rank highly in Google without having to put in hours of work optimizing your website.
5) Coming Up With the Title of an Article
Your article title is critical for SEO and coming up with it is totally free.
The title of your article is important for two reasons: it’s what people see when they’re deciding whether or not to click on your article, and it’s a major factor in SEO.
You want your title to be reflective of the subject of your post, and you also want to include the keyword or topic in your title.
It’s important to keep your title short- under 60 characters- so that people are more likely to click on it.
And, for better SEO, try to include numbers or terms like “ultimate guide” in your title. Just remember to keep your article URL clean by only including the keyword or topic in it; there’s no need to include numbers, years, or extra info.
Your URL should be similar to your title but it doesn’t need to be exactly the same.
- The title of this blog post is “Is SEO Free (Tested, Solved, and Explained)
- The URL is www.WritingBeginner.com/is-SEO-free
In summary, make sure your title is snappy, includes the keyword or topic, and is under 60 characters. Then just worry about making sure the URL reflects the keyword or topic.
6) Writing a Helpful Blog Post
Writing a helpful blog post is free SEO.
That’s right – by simply writing informative and helpful content, you can help your website rank higher in search engines.
I like to keep it simple.
I answer the question, solve the problem, and cover the topic comprehensively with as little fluff as possible.
Of course, you can pay writers, researchers, and editors to do everything for you, but that’s how you scale your website in the future. In the beginning, you can do it yourself for free.
7) Link Building
Link building is essential for SEO.
Links help search engines determine the authority and relevance of your website, and they can also drive traffic directly to your site.
However, links can be difficult to acquire, and many businesses resort to paying for links or using shady link-building tactics that can result in penalties from Google.
There is, however, a better way.
You can build high-quality links for free by creating great content, helpful resources that other people will want to link to, and by using HARO to get links from high-authority websites.
If you do it right, you can build the kind of links that will help your website rank higher in search results and reach more potential customers.
Is SEO Always Free?
You can blog forever without having to pay a dime for SEO. However, if you run into SEO trouble and don’t know how to fix it, then you’ll probably end up paying for SEO fixes.
If you plan to scale your blog (or run multiple websites), you’ll probably need an SEO team behind you to keep up with everything.
So, no, it’s probably not going to be 100% free always and forever.
But it can be mostly free. It can also be rather inexpensive for running an entire business (which is what a website is, a business). For a few hundred dollars a year, I bring in up to $70 or $80,000 dollars.
This year, I’m closer to six figures in gross annual income.
I don’t know any other full-time business with that much ROI for such a small cost. In conclusion: Yes, you can do SEO for free and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
Is SEO Free on Google?
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, optimizing your website or blog for Google is free.
You can pick a niche, choose a domain name, launch a blog, and make money with organic traffic, display ads, and affiliate marketing with 100% free SEO tactics.
However, if you’re not willing to put in the time and effort, you can pay someone to do it for you.
There’s no magic bullet when it comes to SEO, but if you’re willing to work at it, you can achieve great results without spending a dime.
Here is the SEO that is free on Google:
- Getting the name of your blog
- Starting a website
- Doing keyword research
- Analyzing your competition
- Checking your site speed
- Making your website run faster
- Making your website look better
- Making your website easier to navigate
- Getting backlinks
Is It Possible To Get SEO for Free?
Yes, it is very possible, as we’ve demonstrated over and over again in this blog post.
You can do all SEO for no monetary cost but it will cost you time and effort. You’ll have to learn what to do and then do it consistently for months and years.
What you probably can’t get for free is someone to do your SEO for you (unless you happen to be married to an SEO expert, that is).
If you’re looking for a freebie, keep reading our blog – we give away plenty of good tips and advice. But if you want someone to do your SEO for you, then you’ll need to start opening your wallet.
Sorry, there’s just no getting around that one!
The good news is that I do 99.99% of my SEO myself, so I’ve learned a few SEO shortcuts and free tools that can help you.
How Can I Do SEO on My Website for Free
Here is how to do SEO on your website for free:
- Learn the basics of SEO (this article is a good start)
- Use Google Autosuggest, People Also Ask, and People Also Search to do keyword research
- Use free SEO plugins and tools (see my recommendations in the next section)
- Use social media to share your content and build links back to your website.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices.
- Get listed in online directories and local business listings.
- Submit your site to search engines and directories.
- Monitor your SEO progress with Google Analytics.
- Watch SEO videos on YouTube by SEO experts (who also keep things simple – see the video below)
Here is one of the best videos ever on free SEO:
Best Free SEO Tools
Here is a chart of my favorite free SEO Tools and what they do:
|Best Free SEO Tool||What It Does|
|Google Sites||Blogging Platform|
|Google Autocomplete||Keyword Research|
|H-Supertools Keyword Search||Keyword Research|
|Page Speed Insights||Check Website Speed|
|RankMatch Plugin (Free version)||Complete SEO tool|
|YouTube||Embed blog videos|
|Canva (Free Version)||Create blog images|
|SEO Analyzer Website||SEO insights|
|H-Supertools AI Writer||Automatically generates content|
Is SEO Expensive?
It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.
You can definitely do it yourself for free, though it will take some time and effort on your part. Or you can hire an expert or specialized SEO team to do it for you, which will likely cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars per month on an ongoing basis.
So really, it all depends on your budget and what you’re willing to invest in terms of time and money.
But if you want the best results possible, then you’ll probably need to eventually shell out some cash for a professional SEO service.
Final Thoughts: Is SEO Free?
While SEO can be completely free, I highly suggest that you pay an expert to fix any SEO technical errors that hurt your site traffic or earnings.
I usually hire an expert from Fiverr and have never had a problem.