Tools were invented to make things easier! So when you first start with SEO you might just have to do as the apes in the “2001” movie, keep trying until you find your first bone!
There are quite a few seo tools you can use to make your daily SEO tasks easier. The right tools can also give you new insights as how you can improve your website.
I herby present to you my list of SEO site tools!
Tools from the search engines
Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) – will give you all the facts about the health of your site, your keywords, rankings, site speed and much more. GWT will also send you emails if something bad should happen. You need a free Google account and a website, then go and add your site.
My opinion: Familiarize yourself with GWT. Learn all you can and set it up to get all messages from Google to your inbox.
Google Analytics (GA) – keep track of your visitors.
My opinion: A necessity if you want to keep track of your visitors. It has a steep learning curve, but there are many Google analytics tutorials out there.
My opinion: Research every piece of content you create. You will be surprised, what you think people search for is not always what you expected .
BING webmaster tools – new tools from BING.
My opinion: Still is quite buggy, but could (maybe) be quite useful in the future. Always get your data from more than one source.
SEOMOZ – Seomoz will crawl up to 5 of your sites, report keyword rankings (300 keywords), perform advanced link analysis with OpenSiteExplorer, and grade your on-page SEO. As a bonus you get access to a great community with Q & A forum, webinars and a great blog. 1 month free trial, then $99/month.
My opinion: I do like the SEOMOZ weekly reports. They are easy to understand and great to show your clients. Only disadvantage is the lack of a crawl button. You have to wait for the weekly crawl. The page limit of 10,000 pages per campaign could be a limiting factor (you have to pay more for more pages and keywords). A site with lots of duplicate content can reach the limit quite fast.
IIS SEO Toolkit from Microsoft is free and installs on Windows computer with IIS 7.
My opinion: I like this crawler because it gives you a lot of information about your website. It can also be very stressful (you can specify number of simultanious bots). If your site has any performance issues you will find out.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a little program that will crawl and analyze your website. This frog is free if your website has less than 500 urls. Installs on Win/Mac.
My opinion: Sorry, I haven’t tried this crawler yet, but I’ve heard many good things about it from SEO professionals.
WebSite Auditor from Link-Assistant.com will crawl and analyze your site. Free demo (saving disabled), price $99. Installs on Win/Mac.
My opinion: I like Website Auditor and it has saved me time mainly on locating duplicate content. Just be careful and make sure you set it to use proxy servers when querying the search engines (or make sure you disable all the offsite factors).
OpenSiteExplorer.org – who’s linking to who? OpenSiteExplorer gives you all the information about links to you (or the competition). OSE is included in the SEOMOZ tools ( $99/month) . You can use OSE for free (limited usage).
My opinion: Great tool to research websites link profiles. Fun to spy on the competition, easy to spot the sites buying links
Majestic SEO – check link profiles and much more. Free to check you own sites. Plans from 40 – 300 Euro per month.
My opinion: Same as OpenSiteExplorer, great tool!
SEO Spyglass – from Link-Assistant is another link tool. It installs on your computer (Win/Mac) and will analyze your site or your competition. It is free to try (saving disabled), price $99.
My opinion: I did try the demo, it works as expected, but I do prefer OpenSiteExplorer.
Xenu’s Link Sleuth – check for broken links. Installs on Windows. Free
My opinion: Works as expected as it did find all my broken links.
Keyword rank checking software
Rank Tracker – run daily reports from your computer. The software plots graphs with your websites visibility compared to your competition. Free to try, saving disabled. Installs on Win/Mac.
My opinion: Must have for any business who need track their keywords. Just a caution, make sure you use proxies when querying the search engines.
Webpagetest.org – (originally developed for AOL) can find your website’s bottlenecks. Choose location, bandwidth, browser to test with and you get a waterfall diagram and suggestions on how to improve your website.
My opinion: I has helped me improve website performance in many ways. Speedtest is very easy to use that every webmaster should test their website with this tool.
Pingdom – has a website speed test tool.
My opinion: Not as good as Webpagetest, but it’s always good to get a second opinion! Pingdom is really a service to check your servers uptime.
DNSQueries.com – has many free network tools, like check http headers, dns tools, ping, traceroute etc.
My opinion: Great to have all the network tools on one site. Everyone doing SEO will eventually have to check redirects, http status codes etc.
CopyScape.com – check for “scraped” content, meaning content that has been copied from your site and published elsewhere.
My opinion: With this tool I found a site that had copied all my pages (not this site!), it works!