A search engine optimizer is only as effective as his or her tools. In order to keep up with this fast paced industry and still produce excellent results, you need to have a toolkit. A good construction worker always has a hammer by his side and other essential tools that he couldn’t do his job without. The same is true for the SEO.
Keep in mind there are dozens of great SEO tools but for brevity sake I only mention the ones that I have found most useful in my day-to-day SEO projects. Two tools I do not include in this list but should be required for SEOs are Google Analytics and Google Adwords. To help get your toolkit get started, below are five must-have tools.
1 SEOmoz Toolbar
This handy dandy plugin gives you a wealth of information to evaluate websites. The main toolbar shown in the picture below allows you to view the domain authority and page authority of any site you visit. It also gives other metrics to help you determine where they rank in Google, including moz rank and domain trust. Click on the icon on the top right side of your bookmarks bar to get an even deeper analysis of the site. You can check their page title, meta description, link data, IP Address and country of origin.
From the SEOmoz toolbar you can have direct access to other essential tools to aid your analysis of the website. The toolbar gives you the opportunity to quickly view certain types of links on a website. Click on the type of link you wish to find, such as do-follow or internal links, and the SEOmoz toolbar will highlight all links that correspond with your request. This section of the toolbar also allows you to type in a particular keyword you wish to see highlighted throughout the site.
2 Open Site Explorer
Enter a URL to see the domain’s full link analysis. Open Site Explorer is a great tool to view competitor backlinks and what anchor text they are using. Add multiple domains to compare page, root and subdomain metrics. View the website’s top pages determined through Facebook shares/likes, Tweets, Google +1, inbound links, and page authority. Afterwards, create a CSV with the unique filters you placed on the information making link analysis reports easy.
This relatively new tool created for ecommerce companies will crawl your website and provide actionable tips to help boost your search engine ranking. CrawlerFX is a great tool for starter SEOs and companies who are doing their own SEO. The tool gives you a website grade based on 15 ranking factors. In order to receive this free report put in the website you wish to have crawled and the keyword you want it to rank for in Google. CrawlerFX will email you the report card along with practical steps you can take to make your site more search engine friendly.
This free program shows a site’s basic information right under its listing in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The toolbar shows the domain’s age, rank, number of pages indexed, and various other factors important for SEO. SEOquake works best when using Firefox. Customize the toolbar to show just the information you want to know.
A big part of SEO is tracking results to make sure your tactics are increasing your client’s page rank. RankTrackr uses a unique algorithm to track various ranking factors of a website. You can even use the tool to track YouTube videos. RankTrackr allows local tracking for Google places to see how you rank based on location. For those who constantly want to know where they stand, RankTrackr has a mobile app.