I came across a post at Search Engine Roundtable where a member at at High Rankings Forum inquired as to what the best tools are in performing SEO. Therefore I thought I’d list some of the tools we use here at SearchRank. While I firmly believe that you cannot automate the SEO process, there are some great tools available that make the job a lot easier. So with no further ado, here is a list of the tools you will find in our tool box.
- Keyword Discovery (along with common sense) – While this keyword research tool will provide useful data as to what people are searching for along with how often, common sense will help select words which will not only attract the right kind of visitor, but bring about the desired response from them as well.
Initial Site Analysis
- SearchStatus – A toolbar extension for Firefox and Mozilla that provides extensive search-related information about a site, all convenientlydisplayed in one discreet and compact location in the bottom of your browser.
- SEOmoz Page Strength Tool – Predicts the relative importance and visibility of a web page, the potential strength and ability of that page to rank in the search engines and provides data on popularity, links and mentions of the page across the Internet.
- SEO for Firefox – A Firefox extension that pulls in many useful marketing data points to make it easy get a holistic view of the competitive landscape of a market directly in the search results.
- ClickTracks – This is our analytic tool of choice. We run the Optimizer version of the software and specifically like the Site Overview, Search Summary and Keyword Ranking report features. However, this robust program offers many additional features as well.
Static Ranking Reports
- Ranking-Manager – While static ranking checkers are not the best metric to measure the success of an SEO campaign, there are projects in which we cannot access log files which are needed in order to run ClickTracks. We will then have to resort to rank checking software to get an idea of where we are positioned in the organic search results for keyword phrases we are targeting. Ranking Manager is our tool of choice. You can create multiple projects and select from a pretty extensive list of engines although the only ones we care about are Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask. The software also offers the ability to customize the look-and-feel of the reports and charts it generates.
Search Engine Saturation
- SearchStatus – We utilize the “Show Indexed Pages” function to get an idea of how many pages each site has indexed in the top four engines. This allows us to spot any trends where pages might not be getting indexed for some reason or another.
- Google Webmaster Central – While this resource provides many functions, one of the things I like best is the “Pages with Internal Links” function which will show you the number as well as which sites are linking to each one of your web pages that Google has in their index.
- SEO Administrator (Link Exchange Tool) – We utilize this tool to monitor inbound links whether those come from directories, paid links or even social media profiles. What I specifically like about this tool is the fact that it provides specific details about each page that is linking to your site including whether the link is present, the anchor text that is being used in the link, the PageRank of the page, whether the page is indexed in Google, whether they are using nofollow or not and whether the page is being excluded via the robots.txt file. You can create individual projects which then can be opened at your whim and run automatically.Note: The SEO Administrator includes many other tools besides this one but the Link Exchange tool is the only one we use (and not we do not use it to do link exchanges).
- Bzzster – A bookmarklet that provides quick access to the submit pages of social media sites such as Digg, Mixx, StumbleUpon, Delicious and others.
- SocialMarker – A free service designed to reduce the time and effort needed to socially bookmark a website. Includes all the popular social bookmarking and news sites (over 30 in all) and allows you to pick and choose which ones you want to submit to.
That summarizes the main tools we use on a daily basis. We may utilize other various tools for random tasks but these are the ones that are used most often to help us the process of SEO.