Must-have tools for SEO professionals
We’ve already published a Top Ten on Firefox plugins and one on the best SEO plugins for WordPress, so this list won’t be featuring any of those previously mentioned plugins – giving you a broader range of tools to add to your SEO artillery.
There are a host more SEO tools and plugins which website marketers use on a daily basis, but the ten below are sure to enhance your SEO campaign.
1. Google Analytics
Nowadays, the majority of website owners in Australia have at least heard of Google Analytics with most having it installed on their websites. Acting on what it presents is a different story. Google Analytics is the most powerful free tool on the web as it gives invaluable insights into visitor behaviour; geographical, seasonal and other market trends, allowing website owners to not only refine the way they market themselves, but also improve their product offering to satisfy demand.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
It’s little surprise that the top three tools come from Google, who virtually own the ball in the world of internet marketing – in Australia, Google’s search share exceeds 90%. Webmaster Tools presents vital information on crawl errors, internal and external linking and common search queries.
3. Open Site Explorer
A much-used tool from seomoz.org, Open Site Explorer is great for checking and evaluating backlinks to a site. Although limited to three checks per day for non-subscribers, it’s still an excellent reference point for examining your link profile and identifying link opportunities by looking at your competitors. The only drawback is that it’s only updated periodically.
4. Google Keyword Tool
The Google Keyword Tool is another valuable freebie from Google which SEOs can benefit significantly from. Taking a lot of the guess work out of choosing keywords, the Keyword Tool presents data a host of variations on keywords, as well as competition metrics which should influence your keyword strategy.
5. Xenu Link Sleuth
This is a particularly useful tool for large sites as it performs a live check for broken links, which is a lot more convenient than relying on often outdated Google Webmaster Tools data.
6. Firefox Web Developer Extension
Packed with a host of valuable features for SEOs, the Firefox Web Developer extension allows you to do many things including disabling cascading styles, look at external links, determining image alt tag usage and checking the mobile version of your site amongst others.
7. SEOmoz Rank Tracker
Even non-Pro SEOmoz members can benefit from this tool, checking rankings on up to five keywords per day. The Rank Checker tool is great for SEOs with limited resources and even maintains an archive of the keywords you have checked. You need to sign up for a free account to access this.
8. XML Sitemap Generator
The XML Sitemap Generator is an easy-to-use tool for creating an XML Sitemap, which you can then submit to top search engines to ensure they crawl your site in greater depth. The sitemap generator also allows for creation of a HTML site map for human users. Sitemaps are generally only necessary for large sites or blogs.
9. Merge Words
Merge Words is a useful tool for online marketers looking to expand the scope of the SEO campaign quickly. Mergewords merges different variations of keywords to produce multiple combinations of key phrases you may not naturally think of – great for link building, SEO and AdWords.
10. Google Insights for Search
Probably a lesser known SEO tool, Insights for Search is a valuable tool for examining search patterns by geographical location and time of year. This is particularly useful if you are marketing seasonal products or targeting multiple countries/regions.