5 Free Search Engine Optimisation tools I’d be lost without!
There are many, many lists of “101 free SEO tools that you must try” but who wants to try 101 of them? I know I don’t have time to test 101 tools, however useful they may be to others. So, I’m giving you a list of the free tools I use every day to test the performance of web sites. I use these 5 every single day. Of course I have other paid tools that I use as well.
- Google Analytics
Without this excellent tool I know I can’t measure successes (or failures). If you don’t install Google Analytics on your website you’ve got no way of knowing how well your site is doing. How can you tell if that new page you added is bringing in the visitors? Or if your new contact form is user-friendly enough for your visitors? Well you check your analytics of course!
- Google Webmaster Tools
Google have fairly recently updated their webmaster tools and now they are even better than before. Webmaster Tools give you so much information about your site, like how they crawled it, if error pages came up, if they encounter any deadlinks etc. You can also submit an xml sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools, which is helpful in getting your site indexed, I recommend updating the xml sitemap every time you add a page to your site, then resubmitting it through Webmaster Tools. I would highly recommend this tool.
- XML Sitemap Generator
This leads me into the next free tool that we use every day here are Creare. The xml sitemap generator does exactly what it says on the tin. XML sitemaps are useful for the search engine spiders because it gives them the information they need to crawl the site effectively. We set the priority to “Automatic Priority” this gives the index page a higher priority than internal pages. Once you’ve generated your sitemap, upload it to your server and tell Google that it exists (see previous point above)
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool
We use this free tool to help us decide where to place keywords on a site. The search volume results tell us which keywords re more competitive and therefore need more effort in terms of both internal optimisation and external optimisation.
- Yahoo! Site Explorer
This tells us how many links our competitors have and the value of those links. This is extremely important for getting links because we can target sites where we know they give out links quickly and easily. Of course this isn’t the be all and end all of our link building campaigns, but it certainly helps us a great deal.
So, this is my top 5 free Search Engine Optimisation tools, every single one of these is incredibly useful and I can’t imagine doing my job without them.
What tools do you use to help with your search engine optimisation?
Have you tried all of these tools? If not, will you?