5 Free SEO Tools For Web Developers And Marketing Professionals
By: Dustin Brewer | 2007-12-19
There are a lot of tools out there for web developers and marketers that do all kinds of different things. It is hard to know what is important and what isn't important when you are using some of the tools available.
When it comes down to it, the best way to get search traffic is to get more links to your site. But once you have those links coming in, you have to make sure that you have relevant content to ensure that the search robots (and your visitors!) know what your site is about and where the content is located. But don't over do it, keep it simple stupid applies to search marketing also.
I'm sure there are tools that I don't know about but I can share the ones that I find the most helpful in my day-to-day operations for the search engine optimization things that I do at work and for my personal projects.
Useful SEO tools for web developers and marketing professionals
#1 Search status
This tool is actually a Firefox extension, whatever browser you may use is up to you. But the browser of choice for web developers, designers and internet marketing professionals should be Firefox for its wide array of plugins. This handy little tool will tell you the pagerank/alexa/compete ranking for the current site you are on. Which is helpful information, but it also allows you to right click and bring up a menu which will let you search for backlinks (on yahoo, google, msn), indexed (on yahoo, google, msn) pages and keyword density.
#2 SEO for Firefox
This one is also a Firefox extension, it allows you to see information within search results about the various pages that are being displayed. This one is mostly handy to do research on competitors and reasons why they may be ranking better then a site you are optimizing. Some of the information is less important than stuff like backlinks or edu and gov links. But all in all you can get a pretty good idea about a site by just looking at that information.
#3 Webmaster Central
This is a Google provided service that will allow you to see some really great statistics about a site. You have to sign up for a Google account and verify that you have access to the domain, but once that is done there is a treasure chest of information available. You can see the most popular search results your site showed up for, you can see what the most popular search results you received a click for and all kinds of other helpful information. This can assist you in trying different methods of getting that user to click on your link in the search results.
By itself this isn't really a tool in the typical sense of the word, but the amount of tools that they offer for free is overwhelming. Not to mention the fantastic content that is available so you can better understand all of their tools and others to best rank better and create more conversions for your clients. One of the tools is a backlink anchor analysis, which can help you to discover what sites are linking in to your site in the anchor text. It also has a Page Strength tool that will give you some information about how your site is doing in various aspects and assign a calculated "Page Strength." They also have a premium membership that offers some more advanced tools for $49/month.
#5 SEO Chat
This is another web site that isn't by itself a tool but does provide a ton of fantastic tools that can add to your arsenal of optimization. There are a lot of Keyword related tools that can help in your keyword research tasks for your client. One of my favorites is using Site Link Analyzer that will give you a ton of fantastic information about the links in your web site. The site also offers some great articles and a forum to help you even more with your search marketing needs.
I know not all of these are what you were expecting, I'm sure you wanted to see this link or that link for helping you to build up your site in search engines. But honestly, this is what I use to help me. It is important that you optimize yourself with these five resources and not get distracted by some of the other junk that may be offered in other sites. Nearly everything you need will be found in these five search marketing resources. You don't need to spend a ton of time elsewhere that could be spent adding great content to your site. Really, that is the key to great search engine optimization.
About the Author: Dustin Brewer is a web designer located in Oklahoma City, OK specializing in aesthetics in design, web standards, accessibility and usability. He also enjoys helping others to discover CSS and web design best practices through his web site, dustin brewer, a web design news site.