seo toolzThere are a ton of SEO Tools available for us to use.  We will attempt to help you understand the ones we know that can help you better optimize your website for search engines.

The first and most important SEO Tool in our opinion is the Keyword Tool offered by Google.  Without this, I think most SEO’s would basically suffocate.  You can find it by doing a search on a number of phrases, but we typically just type in “kw tool” into google or other competing search engines and the site usually shows up #1.

Why is this the most important?  If you didn’t know what people are searching for, you wouldn’t even be able to do any SEO in general.  This tool answers this question and does it for approximately 65% of the search traffic in the United States and even a larger percentage internationally.  It even gives you an idea of how competitive these phrases are by telling you how many other advertisers are competing for the phrases you look up.  One other element it also shares is seasonal trending over the year as well.  There are many questions this tool can answer.  Frankly, I think it’s the most important business tool in history.

kw tool

The next tool is actually a browser extension.  For anyone who’s going to do SEO on their website, I believe they need to know where they are starting from.  For example, before we were on page 1 and eventually the #3 result for the phrase “seattle seo,” we were basically 200+.  This next SEO tool will tell you as objectively as possible where you are positioned in the SERPs (search engine results pages) at any given time and just like the keyword tool, it’s free.  I can’t believe it, but it does definitely help this very young industry expand.  The tool is called the “Rank Checker” by Aaron Wall’s SEOBook.

rank checker

The next website really isn’t a tool, but it becomes a tool frankly as it tells you truly what you’re gaining from SEO.  So, I’d recommend highly having Google Analytics installed on your website because again, it’s free!  It will also tell you so much information that you can truly leverage it for the benefit of your business.

google analytics account

A very unused SEO tool (i.e., website) that many companies should be using, but fail to use is Google Webmasters.  Why?  I can’t tell you why they don’t use it, but I can tell you that you can learn what Google “sees” in your website by making sure you have this tracking your website.  This free (did I say free again?) tool/website tells you:

  • links to your site (that google sees)
  • the keywords they (google) thinks you represent online
  • your rank position (albeit a delayed and somewhat inaccurately)
  • if there’s malware attacking your site
  • and gives google an update of the site changes if you have a sitemap faster than waiting for them to crawl your site

among many other features including their new +1 (plus one) efforts.  While the data might not be perfect, it at least gives you some insight as to what google thinks your website looks like from their side.  And as it’s titled, it’s “google WEBMASTERS” which means they are thinking these factors are what you should be looking at as the owner of the site.

google webmasters snapshot

So, this ends today’s initial snapshot at probably the 4 most important SEO Tools you should be using to improve your SEO efforts.  It doesn’t include the actual tools you might use in order to improve your rankings, but it definitely provides the ones that you can use to track and plan your SEO efforts.  We’ll do our best to provide other tools that can help your SEO efforts in the next installment of “SEO Tools – Part II.”  We hope you can wait…

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