In previous posts, I have detailed many considerations and tips around search engine optimization and how to devise a strategy from content optimization to link building. To help in these efforts, I wanted to share a few tools that I use daily for SEO purposes.
- Google Adwords keyword tool
When you’re doing the initial research around which keywords to target, it’s a good idea to see what keywords are highly competitive, how many searches are executed for a particular search term (local market and globally) and what other keywords are in your same category. This tool is tailor made for keyword selection. It’s intent is to help those looking for keywords to be used as part of an AdSense strategy, but it’s just as relevant when not worried about advertising as well.
- Yahoo! Site Explorer
A critical component of any SEO strategy is to manage backlinks and increase them as much as possible. This is where the Yahoo! Site Explorer comes in. By typing in your address, you can see in a glance how many inbound links are coming to your site. You can also see how many pages are linked within your site or blog. This tool is also very helpful for figuring out how your total number of backlinks compares to your competition in the SERPs.
- Comment Hut
Comment Hut is a tool you have to pay for, but I have found it very useful when if blog commenting is a part of your backlinking strategy (which it should be). Using this tool, you can provide a keyword and it will search all of the blogging platforms for blogs that accept comments and are relevant to your keywords. You can also filter only on high page rank blogs.
If you don’t want to pay for a product, Google does have a blog search which will do the same thing. It’s just not in quite a nice format and environment.
- Google Analytics
Tracking analytics is essential to see how your site or blog is improving from a traffic perspective. After all, traffic is the ultimate goal of any search engine optimization effort. I prefer Google Analytics for measuring all aspects of any website I’m optimizing. From a direct SEO perspective, it will tell you which keywords were used to get to your blog. This information is important to expand the keywords that you’re targeting in your SEO effort. The more keywords your site ranks well for, the more traffic you get.
The example below is from a blog I run focusing on the niche market of martini recipes.
- SEO Elite
SEO Elite is another paid tool that there really is no good substitute for and by far the most useful tool in this group. Using this tool, you can perform a number of operations, but the most important feature is the ability to see where your site ranks for a particular keyword. It charts your progress and gives you the information you need to know where to spend your SEO time and budget. Their website looks a bit crude, salesy, and corny, but the product simply is superior to anything out there.
I hope these tools help you round out your search engine optimization strategy.