For a while I've considered posting the tools I use for various pieces of SEO from a general overview to getting information in more detail to finding out just how search engines see our site and how often a site is crawled. But I've pretty much always wrote the post and deleted it because the tools an SEO uses are pretty much his trade and he holds them a guarded secret. (I apologise for relating to SEO's in a male term its just easier for me and not meant in any sexist manner). So I've always refrained from posting any of the tools I use in any post. - Though I am happy to share them face to face and over twitter most of the time it would appear. Anyway, today I want to share a number of tools I use or used to use for SEO. Most of these are of former use as I've found the tool within another tool or there is an easier or better tool available, but that doesn't take away from the nature of these being quite amazing SEO tools - it just means it may take you a little longer to realise various SEO factors. These tools are aimed at website owners in the main, however the tools can be used by anyone and are used within the Internet Marketing industry. Best bit of all is these are all free!
SEO Tools for Website Owners
Website Grader - 5 STAR This tool is constantly updated an includes various factors such as number of inbound links, number of indexed pages, date of last crawl, checks meta tags, image alt tags, heading tags, gives advice on various other factors and one of its best features it allows you to compare your site to others easily. - One of the biggest draws for website owners is there is no coding involved at all. - Website Grader then gives you a total score based on your site and external factors including related twitter accounts, a related blog (if your site isn't one) & your alexa ranking.
Google Webmaster Tools - 4 STAR GWT rates as 4 star and not the top of the pops because of one factor, you need to have some technical knowledge (you either add a line of code to your site or upload a file via ftp) so this tool maybe out of reach of some website owners. Once you've verified your domain by these means you can start to see various factors surrounding your site (if your site is new it can take a few weeks or months for anything to show up whilst data is collected) GWT lets you see where your ranking for keywords and phrases, shows your how important these terms on your site appear to google, your crawl rate & set the rate of crawl, your website targeting market (eg UK), number of links not just to your site but each page of the site, allows you to see http and crawl errors, submit sitemap(s), check for malware, check speed of your site and also allows you to fetch as googlebot (a nice tool). So although there is some messing around and waiting this bunch of tools is top notch. Also Google release articles on a regular basis about how search engine optimisation can work and what google are doing at the moment (and don't forget the youtube webmaster channel from google!).
IWebTools - 3 STAR This is a set of tools and is ranked in a lower manner as unless your paying you don't get them bunched together nor are you able to store the data. However tools such as pagerank checker, link popularity, pagerank predictions, multirank checking, speed testing and ping testing there are some nice tools here so IWebTools is really worth a look, right after you've seen the other stuff.
SEOChat Tools - 2STAR Much like IWebTools but a much larger list of them, my problem with this site is that its not 100% reliable in results it gives (indeed some can appear random) and they are not all strictly SEO factors so you can begin to waster your time here - by the time I suggest this site you should have used the 3 above and not need to see repeat information like this site can give (though its always nice to check things twice)- I advise you use this for double checking things only, thats SEOChat.
SeoMoz.Org - 1 STAR This is one of the most used SEO tools around the web, it is ranked very low in my working because of its you must pay &/or register before certain tools are available and even then they aren't the most intuitive of things. There are a series of free tools offers by SEOMoz but nothing we've not seen in the above, even the paid stuff isn't much different to the above - my advice is use the free stuff and search for a free version of the other things they ask you to pay for. Another great thing which i think is a better resource than these tools is the blog posts and the forum this site offers.
Have Your Say:
Let SEOAndy know what tools you use by commenting below
Also let us know what you'd like to see in our NEW SEO Book by tweeting with #seoandybook - helping us build a practical seo book.