SEO is one of the most popular buzzwords on the Internet today. The importance of optimizing your website so it can easily be found by people searching for your content cannot be understated. In addition to being a free form of advertising, SEO will send targeted keyword-specific searches to your website, which helps to brand your site as an authority in your niche.
While the concept of SEO may be easy to understand, implementation can be another story. Here are 10 of the top resources you can use to help improve optimize your site.
1. Google Webmaster Tools (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/)
When I’m looking to get detailed SEO reports on my website, the first place I go is Google’s Webmaster Tools. Webmaster Tools allows you to check the indexing status and optimize the visibility of your site. You can run reports that list any broken links to your site, show HTML errors (such as duplicate title tags or missing meta descriptions), as well as see what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs and the click through rates of such listings.
The service is completely free and can enhance your Google Analytics and Google Adwords accounts when linked together to share data.
2. Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics)
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and has the ability to measure conversions and sales. It can help you analyze how people are finding your site and what keywords they’re searching to get there. This invaluable information, combined with metrics on which keywords are converting the most users, can help you better create content for your site to optimize your results.
3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner (http://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner)
It may seem like I’m cheating by having Google products as the first three SEO tools, but they’re at the top of the list because they’re the most helpful. Keyword Planner is a free AdWords tool that helps you build Search Network campaigns by finding keyword ideas and estimating how they may perform. Simply put, there’s no better tool to help you begin analyzing keywords, their competition, and your ability to rank for them.
4. Feed the Bot (http://www.feedthebot.com/)
Does your site follow the Google webmaster guidelines? This fantastic tool, created by Patrick Sexton, will help you find the answer. The site offers many tools that answer the question – what condition is your website? The analysis also includes recommendations on how to fix any problems with your site.
5. Majestic SEO (http://www.majesticseo.com/)
Majestic SEO surveys and maps the Internet and has created the largest commercial Link Intelligence database in the world. This Internet map is used by SEOs, New Media Specialists, Affiliate Managers and online Marketing experts for a variety of uses surrounding online prominence including Link Building, Reputation Management, Website Traffic development, Competitor analysis and News Monitoring. As link data is also a component of search engine ranking, understanding the link profile of your own, as well as competitor websites can empower rational study of Search Engine positioning. Majestic SEO offers free and premium plans.
6. Xenu’s Link Sleuth (http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html)
Xenu’s Link Sleuth (TM) checks Web sites for broken links. Link verification is done on “normal” links, images, frames, plug-ins, backgrounds, local image maps, style sheets, scripts and java applets. It displays a continuously updated list of URLs which you can sort by different criteria. A detailed report is generated with each analysis that allows you to quickly find and fix any problems on your website.
7. Screaming Frog (http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/)
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a small desktop program you can install locally on your PC, Mac or Linux machine which spiders websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps from an SEO perspective. It fetches key onsite elements for SEO, presents them in tabs by type and allows you to filter for common SEO issues, or slice and dice the data how you see fit by exporting into Excel. You can view, analyse and filter the crawl data as it’s gathered and updated continuously in the program’s user interface.
8. SEO Optimization Tool (http://seobin.org/)
This free SEO tool will help you optimize title tags and tweak meta description tags. You can also analyze the competition for a specific keyword and find recommendations for keywords to optimize your site for.
9. GTmetrix (http://gtmetrix.com/)
Page speed has become an increasingly more important factor in Google’s page rank algorithm. Studies show that users leave a site if it hasn’t loaded in 4 seconds. GTmetrix uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to grade your site’s performance and provides actionable recommendations to fix these issues. GTmetrix offers free and premium services.
10. Google Trends (http://www.google.com/trends/)
Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. This is especially important because things change over time. What may have been a relevant keyword or search phrase one year ago may not be as relevant today. By studying Google Trends, you can stay up-to-date with the latest information and optimize your site for the latest in search trends!
It would be easy to list more than 10 tools, but this list includes only the tools that we use on a regular basis. Which tools do you use to help implement your SEO strategy? Tell us in the comments below.