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Top 10 Free SEO Tools

By • Aug 14th, 2008 • Category: Resources, Search Engine Optimization Tools

Search Engine Optimisation | SEO

We are often asked which tools we would recommend for D-I-Y webmasters and site owners. Here are our Top 10 SEO tools available for FREE ………

1. Domain Tools: One of the first steps is choosing a Domain name – there are many tools to help. We like NameBoy (although it is somewhat prone to availability mistakes), and NameCheap for a keyword based search. There is great value in buying expiring/expired domain names – we use TDNAM. Ideally we want to find keyword relvant domains that have page rank and domain age! Always research potential domain names before committing to a purchase. For example, check that the Page Rank is not forged, there are lots of inbound links and it’s an old domain name – CheckPageRanking.com is very useful for this purpose.

2. Site Investigation / Search Results: If you do not use FireFox as your browser, then download it now! There are many excellent extensions for FireFox – two which we recommend are Seoquake / SEO for Firefox.  With Seoquake activated, visit any site you are interested in and the toolbar reveals all! The parameters displayed can be set in preferences – so you can see links from Google, Yahoo, etc. The Density info is really informative – click on the toolbar for full details (you can see at a glance 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 keyword phrases used on the site). SEO for FireFox – in the words of the authors “This tool was designed to add more data to Google and Yahoo! to make it easier to evaluate the value and competitive nature of a market. SEO for Firefox pulls in many useful marketing data points to make it easy get a more holistic view of the competitive landscape of a market right from the search results.” In addition, to seeing a better landscape in Search Results, we also like the how “nofollow” links can be highlighted immediately.

If you want to compare two sites for SEO parameters then this site comparison tool is useful.

3. Where is traffic coming from? What keywords? Google Analytics is an excellent anlaysis tool and we use it on all our websites. However, we also use Hittail.com to provide real time results – you can see at a glance where traffic is coming from and what keywords are driving traffic.  In addition, the tool also suggest keyword phrases you might want to develop content for!

4. Web 2.0 Tools: There is no doubt that Web 2.0 sites (Stumbleupon, Digg, del.icio.us, etc.) can drive traffic to your site. We hesitated in presenting this tool, Social Marker, as it needs to be used responsibly. The tool allows you to submit website pages to a large number of web 2.0 sites.  Do not SPAM using this tool – you will probably get banned. Yes, submit important pages to a number of the sites but limit your use sensibly.

5. Checking Link Partners – as your site becomes more popular, you will inevitably receive requests from webmasters and seo teams to exchange links. It is important to only exchange links with good neighborhood domains that are related to your theme. We like to check out sites using Checkpageranking.com Check that the Page Rank is not formed, how old is the domain, where are they getting their links from?

6. Seo Analyser: It is very important to analyse your home page (and other important internal keyword pages) / or the competition! We like the Search Engine Optimization Analysis Tool. This SEO Analysis Tool helps you to analyze and measure the ranking potential of your web pages.

Also use the classic html validator / ccs validator.

7. Google Tools: Google have a raft of useful tools – they seem to increase monthly. An account is essential which give you access to Google Mail (excellent mail account), Webmaster Central (one account for all your websites – tools, links in / out, XML submission, etc), Google Trends and Search Insight ( this is excellent for seeing trends in your market, what’s up & coming in terms of keywords being searched, etc.)

Google Keywords: if you are looking for keywords to bring you traffic – this tool will show you search volumes, competition, and great information for Google Adwords. We also use this tool to find potential “themes” for the site.

8. SEO Progress: how well is your SEO proceeding? You have optimised your site, developed links, submitted articles, etc. – now you want to check your progress. We use DigitalPoint’s Keyword Tracker; the tool allows you to submit keyword / url combinations.  Add as many as you like – the more you add, howver, the longer the tool takes to process your results. Each day you can see the progress of each keyword in Google (and other search engines).

9. Top 20 Google Results: In terms of traffic, you need to be on page 1or 2  of Google.com – ideally page 1! With Seodigger.com you can find out for which keywords your site ranks high enough to be in the Google Top 20. You can analyze your own sites as well as sites of your competition, using the information obtained for SEO analysis, finding out how well is a site optimized for this or that search request, and a lot more. Apart from a list of keyword results, wordtracker and overture daily search volumes results are also determined. We advise registering for a Free account as you will get more results! Update: Seodigger has been upgraded to SEMrush.com

10. LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing: Although this is a little technical, Google relies heavily on LSI in determing search engine rankings. To find out about more about LSI visit latentsemanticindexing.co.uk. One of the key elements of LSI is to determine semantic keywords that should appear on YOUR page(s).  The following site, Just Search Keyword Nortometer, is very useful. It is a bit rough around the edges but the results will help enormously.  We also use KwMap and Quintura.

is Howard Farmer - over 20 years of IT experience with IBM, Lotus, GE and Ameridata.
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