Search Keyword Tools
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner – Google’s own keyword research tool, the Keyword Planner was developed to help paid search advertisers, but is also used routinely by SEO’s.
- Google Insights – Check out when a keyword is most seached. Helpful for choosing keywords for seasonal campaigns.
- UberSuggest – runs off Google Suggest, this is a cool tool that helps find keywords and inspire content.
- Also see SEMrush below… I rely on this tool for some good competitive research.
- Rank Ranger – Stellar rank tracking tool with some free features. We use them . Daily SERP tracking, local rank tracking, whitelabel PDF reports. Integration with Analytics, Majestic, ahrefs, and Moz. Tons of features.
- Microsite Masters – For free you can get daily rankings (and trending) on 10 keywords.
- XML-Sitemaps.com – Great for a site with less than 500 pages. If you have a larger site, you could pay to get more than 500 pages. Until discovering the same feature in Screaming Frog (download), this was my go to service.
Social Media Tools
- Shared Count – Enter a URL, get the Facebook, +1, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, and Buzz social metrics.
- Open Link Profiler – A solid entry, totally free. I’m very much liking this one!
- Linkody – Free backlink checker using Ahrefs data.
- Open Site Explorer – Get some data for free, or pay for the full spectrum.
- Majestic – Another like above, usually with some different data.
- Ahrefs – Yet another like above. Really great detail, and one of my favorites, but sometimes the data seems a bit wonky. I definitely recommend using all three for a bigger picture of your backlink portfolio.
- Google Analytics – The hero of free analytics. Some interpolated data, but a pretty robust interface. Segmentation and goal funnels are available. You can’t correlate as deeply as something like Omniture (arguably better suited for enterprise sites), but for SEO and marketing, this will likely serve the purpose just fine.
- Woopra – Real time analytics. Provides a nice view into live queries and active pages. Plus it’s just fun to watch your visitors navigate your site. The pay version gives you filters and navigation path. For certain strategies, I hang out here more than GA. It’s great ‘in your face’ insight.
- Social Crawlytics – Get insights on all your site pages, and the most popular shares across the big social platforms. This showed me that I’m a bigger deal on Linkedin than on Twitter, which I didn’t know. Cool tool.
- DD Whois – When you’re looking for a domain, this is a quick iPhone friendly way to check for availability.
- Alchemy API – Find out what entities, topics, and keywords that represent a page.
- URI Valet – Scans a page for headers, tag content, content density, objects, external links, and speed.
- WooRank – Also scans a page for a quick summary of traffic estimations, site rank, popular pages, tags, and more. (Thanks Brian)
- Annie Cushing’s Audit Checklist – This is about as robust as it gets.
- BuzzStream Meta Tag Extractor – Extract several page title, descriptions, and keywords from a URL quickly.
Comparison / Competitive Tools
- The Wayback Machine – Archive.org has snapshots of decades old websites. Nice if you have a need to see competitor changes, or have a client who’s content or URLs suddenly disappeared.
- SEMrush – You only get a little for free here (you pay to unlock the full beast), but this tool is great for giving you insight into what your competitors are bidding and organically ranking for. This is one of my favorites.
- Paid Link Discovery Tool – Read the post, and copy the worksheet. It’s a clever tool to help identify potential paid link buyers… but you have to continue doing some digging on the resulting suspects. You can get some false positives. Still, very useful.
Counters / Measures
- Keyword Density Tool – For those who still think in terms of keyword density, you’ll find this useful.
- Backlink Checker – From Monitor Backlinks, get a quick look at a competitor’s top backlinks and whether they’re followed or nofollowed.
- Google Analytics URL Builder – Simple tool to help you whip up tracking parameters for your URLs.
SERP Fluctuation Monitors
- Serp Metrics – When Google is making changes, this snapshot will let you know how volatile they are.
- Mozcast – From Moz, another great way to see fluctuations from Google updates.
- URL Opener – When you have a list of URLs, and want to open them in tabs, this quick web-based tool can handle the job.
Link Building Helpers
- Email Guesser – Want to email someone but can’t find their email on a website? Try this.
- Outdated Content Finder – This is our own homegrown tool for finding outdated content, where you can approach and update with your current content. Read blog post here.
- Send Tabs URL (firefox) – When doing link building, you start to open a lot of tabs. How many times do you wish you could just get them in a document to follow up on later? Now you can.
- Multi Links (firefox) – This tool lets you highlight a large group of links (in the SERPs or webpage), and attempts to open all of them for you at once. Can be a time saver in certain applications.
- SEO Serp (chrome) – Unlike many, I’m not a fan of Firefox’s rank checker. I find it much too slow and innacurate. Instead I opt for SEO Serp for chrome.
- Firebug (firefox) (chrome) – Another must. This tool lets you edit code live on a page, and troubleshoot. Once you get your head around how it works, you’ll be using this all the time to inspect code.
- Check My Links (chrome) – Need to find your link on a page, or a broken link? This handy extension will help you.