Inspired by a question on Quora, here’s a list of my favorite SEO tools heading into 2011:
First, the tools that I can not live without:
- Google Webmasters – understanding impressions and conversion rate off of a search engine results page is as important as ranking well.
- Authority Labs – tracking the keywords you’re ranking on every day will provide you with the data you need to make the necessary adjustments as well as see how long the search engines take to react to changes.
- SEMRush – understanding what you rank on versus what you’d like to rank on is important. SEMrush is a gold mine with a large blog – identifying posts that rank well and can be tweaked to rank better. As well as providing insight into your competition.
SEOmoz Pro – the pro toolset of SEOmoz is, bar none, the greatest tool I’ve seen on the market. The report card is priceless.
- Webtrends – a great analytics tool is essential so you can measure what is working versus what isn’t. Everyone uses Google because most people don’t understand what to actually measure and how to develop a return on investment with their analysis. Webtrends mobile and social integrations are the best advancements in the industry. Disclosure: Webtrends is also a client.
- Sponsor: Visitors 2 You – Site analysis, submission, rank tracking and keyword tools.
- gShift Labs – I’ve heard great things but not actually used it.
- SpyFu – another fantastic keyword analysis tool.
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool – a good keyword tool but often misses the mark on seasonality.
- Majestic SEO – backlinks are the gold standard of good ranking. Majestic doesn’t appear to be too accurate, but it can provide some insight. Be sure to register to get the really good stuff!
- SEOmoz Toolbar – a stunning tool with everything you need to analyze a page.
- Google Trends – understanding trends and seasonality can give folks the leg up on their competition.
- Open Site Explorer – another link popularity and backlink engine.
- SEOBook Tools – some other good toolsets.
- Chrome – the ability to view pages and inspect element construction is critical. Firefox is good, Chrome has it faster.
- Pingdom Tools – an awesome app for seeing where your pages are slowing down. Sign up and use their alerts, too! Great system.
- Google Pagespeed – a great tool to help you speed your pages up!
- Google Libraries API – hosting common libraries so your browser caches them is brilliant. Thanks Google!
- Yahoo! Site Explorer (retired) – not as good as Google Webmasters… but it helps when tracking Bing and Yahoo problems. I’m not too big a fan of Bing’s Toolbox.
- Sitemaps.org – if your site doesn’t have a sitemap and isn’t pinging the search engines, you’re losing the battle. Roll out the red carpet and make it easier to be found with a comprehensive XML sitemap.
- Robots.txt – same as #14… and be sure to include a path to your sitemap in it!