SEO as an industry is very data driven, we need to know what is happening behind the scenes. What makes one website rank higher than an other? Why has one website been hit by a google update and not another? All of these questions can be answered with some good old data analysis. This can be very long and tedious process, luckily for us people have decided to develop a range of free and paid helpful SEO tools for us to use on our quest to internet domination.
In this article I would like to briefly explore a range of my favorite helpful SEO tools both free and paid for, if you want more details on each of the products click the relevant links.
SEO Tool Bars
There are two tool bars I have spent a considerable amount of tie using, both are more than worthy of mentions here, first off is the SEO Toolbar from the folks at SEO Book. This was the first SEO tool I ever used when I was just strating journey as an SEO and it literally changed the way I worked. The SEO Toolbar pulls up information on what ever webpage you are viewing, including pagerank (maybe not the best metric but still a solid indicator) and a tonne of information on the different backlinks backlinks. Not only is this great product entirely free it also comes with a tutorial emailed to you daily, for those SEO beginners this is a fantastic way to learn the basics.
On the other hand is the SEOmoz toolbar, the MOZbar is also free but holds back on some of it’s cooler features for their premium members. It still provides a host of valuable information for SEO’s to sink their teeth into but for the whole shebang you will need to upgrade to SEOmoz PRO, more on that later.
SEOmoz is a fantastic resource for anyone involved with SEO or online marketing. Their blog is updated regularly with helpful information, and their tools are some of the best available. This does come with a hefty price tag however, with the cheapest package at a whopping $99 this is not for the casual SEOer. As for what’s included, it’s pretty much the whole SEO package, with a campaign manager, keyword analysis tools, link analysis, on-page analysis, rank tracking, crawl tests, and social media tracking. One of my favorite features that SEOmoz offers is its open site explorer, this is one of my favorite tools ever. Whilst you can use it for free upto 3 times a day, as a pro member you have unlimited access to this information hub. All you need to do is enter the URL of a website and it will retrieve comprehensive data on inbound links, the top web pages, linking domains, anchor texts and more. Possibly the greatest tool for snooping on your competitions link profile or investigating what’s wrong with your own.
Similarly to SEOmoz raven tools provides everything an SEO should need in one useful place. At the same price it is well worth using the free trials given on both to see what your favorite is as each service has a different feel to it.
Raven Tools has some unique differences which separate it from Moz, one of these items is the site finder. The site finder takes a chosen keyword and scans the web looking for website that rank for that keyword, it then shows where these site get their backlinks. Sounds like a dream right? For me however the reality has been trawling through endless pages of spammy directory listings, whether this is my fault or a reflection of the ‘black hatted’ nature of many SEO’s I don’t know. With raven the more I use it the more I discover, it has excellent features for recording the links you gain, and the ability to import CSV files from Google’s webmaster tools makes keeping track of those all important back links even easier.
The last tools I want to include in this is the wonderful selection provided by SEO gadget. First thing you need to know is it’s free which is always a perk, secondly these tools are probably tailored towards the more seasoned seo’s out there. At first glance they can seem daunting at first glance but are ultimately fantastic time saving tools. With tools to help you with your keyword research, your anchor text and even your content strategy these really are worth your time.
Whilst this is only scratching the surface on what tools are available these are my favorites of the tools I have seen so far, if you have any others you feel make the cut be sure to let me know on Twitter or Google +.