7 Must-Have SEO Tools & Resources
SEO often requires tedious work -- checking backlinks, viewing traffic details, looking for keywords, etc. Many tools have been created to take out a lot of the data entry type work that makes doing SEO a big pain. Finding the right tools, however, can be difficult.
I get a lot of questions from people wanting to know where to get free SEO tools that also get the job done. This list is a great resource that you can have in order to find and use some of the best tools of the trade. Many of these tools are the same exact tools that many big name SEO rockstars use!
Absolutely none of these tools come at a cost -- they are all 100% free. It is important to note that many of these tools require the usage of Firefox instead of Internet Explorer as they are Firefox add-ons/plug-ins. That said, many people already use Firefox because of its ease of use and the huge number of plug-ins available.
Firefox isn't really an SEO tool per se but is extremely helpful in SEO. This is because a large number of SEO tools are actually just plug-ins for Firefox. Firefox is a free web browser that was one of the first to offer tabbed browsing.
More websites are compatible with Firefox than Internet Explorer as writing websites for Firefox is significantly easier than IE. Also, Firefox supports more features than Internet Explorer.
So, while Firefox is NOT an SEO tool, it's really something that you should be using anyway -- especially if you are multitasking (something that you'll do a lot of in SEO.) Want it? Download Firefox free!
NoDoFollow Firefox Plug-in
If you've ever heard of a do follow link or a no follow link, you'll understand the importance of the NoDoFollow Firefox plug-in. This tool is very important as it's a very quick and easy way to tell whether or not a particular link is no-follow or do-follow.
If you've never heard of dofollow links, it's important to know that they are one of the most important aspects of SEO. Getting backlinks is extremely important because they help a site rank higher in the search engines. If a backlink is no-follow, it will not help your site get ranked. Because of this, you will want to get only dofollow backlinks as they are the ones that give you link juice, helping your sites get ranked in search engines.
Without the NoDoFollow plug-in, you will have to manually look at the code for each and every website to see if it's a dofollow link. Who, in their right mind, wants to spend hundreds of hours doing that? Let this free plug-in do it for you! NoDoFollow does all the work for you by making all nofollow links red and all dofollow links blue.
To enable or disable the tool, just right click and go through the menu options. You don't even have to restart Firefox!
SEO for Firefox
If you're building a niche site or doing SEO for more than just a few keywords, SEO for Firefox will literally save you hundreds of hours of redundant, boring work.
One of my favorite features of this Firefox plug-in is that it allows me to check on the PageRank of competitors' websites. Many people use the PageRank tool on the Google toolbar to do this, which is great, but with SEO for Firefox, you don't have to open each website in a new tab. What the tool does is modify a Google SERP to show a TON of information for each result.
The tool shows how many backlinks a site has, its PageRank, its age, its last Google cache date, and more! Everything is listed right below each listing in the search engine so you can quickly see all the data you need.
This tool is especially helpful in researching competition and is also great for doing keyword research. When you are doing keyword research, just do a quick Google search of a potential keyword and take a peek at the competition to see if the keyword is something that you can possibly rank for!
Which SEO Tool is Your Fave?
If you like SEO for Firefox, you will love Rank Checker. Both SEO for Firefox and Rank Checker are free Firefox plug-ins developed by SEOBook, a company known for their SEO training.
It's important to know where your sites rank for keywords you are targeting. If you are just trying to rank one site for just a handful of keywords, you can simply Google those keywords and manually check where you rank. That seems simple enough, but when you have a number of websites, each with their own keywords, doing manual searches can quickly become tedious.
Rank Checker takes the tedium out of checking your sites' SERPs. All you have to do is enter your site's URL and the keyword you're targeting and it will tell you where your site ranks for each of those keywords. While this tool takes out a ton of the work, it's a good idea to save your keywords in a text file as Rank Checker does not save your keywords. This way, you won't have to manually enter your keywords each time -- just copy & paste and voila!
Website SEO Score Tool
The Website SEO Tool is a dream if you're fairly new to SEO. What it does is help you diagnose problems that your site has that may be affecting its ranking in search engines. It's not the end all and be all of SEO tools, but it's great because it's so incredibly easy to use and offers a quick snapshot of things you can improve on your website.
To use this tool, all you have to do is go to the Website SEO Tool website and enter your website URL. After you input your URL, the tool will take a minute or two to generate your report but will give you some funny sayings while you wait. Your website's report will show you some things you're doing correctly and where your site needs improvement.
This tool is especially helpful for those who are new to SEO as it teaches some of the different things that make a website "SEO friendly." If you've not yet been convinced to switch to Firefox, that's okay! This tool does not require you to download anything or install a plug-in, it's completely web-based.
All In One SEO Pack for WordPress
If you have niche sites, chances are you use WordPress. All in One SEO Pack is one of the most popular WordPress plug-ins because it takes care of all the on-page optimization which is an extremely important aspect of SEO regardless of whether or not you use WordPress.
All you have to do is install the plug-in and configure it by entering a bit of information about your site (title, keywords, etc) and you're good to go!
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Doing keyword research? The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is an absolute must! While the purpose of the tool is actually for businesses looking to advertise using Google AdSense, some of the tools in AdWords are amazing for SEO. To be able to use these tools, you must have an AdWords account (don't worry, you don't have to buy anything.) If you already have an account with Google or Gmail, signing up is a breeze.
The AdWords Keyword Tool allows you to find out approximately how many searches people make for particular keywords. This is important when selecting keywords because you don't want to select phrases that nobody ever searches for!
The tool also shows what the average cost per click is for each keyword. This information can be used to give you an idea of how much money can be earned if you are trying to make money with Google AdSense.
To use the tool, just enter some keywords you think you would like to rank for. The tool will show you information about the keywords you entered and will also offer you some similar keywords you might want to try. This aspect alone makes the AdWords Keyword Tool great for brainstorming.