There are many great SEO tools out there that are available to new and experienced webmasters or digital marketers. Not only do these tools help you with analysing the performance of your own site, they are also ideal for checking the status of your competitors’ websites, which should greatly help you in terms of SEO and potentially enable you to leap-frog said competitors in the rankings.

So without further ado, here are the tools that your competitors do not want you using to see what they are getting up-to with their websites, in no preferential order.

1 – SEOmoz Toolbar

This is an excellent tool and a great add on to your web browser. This tool has been developed by the talented people from SEOmoz and it enables you to see a great deal of very useful information.

This toolbar includes tools such as:

  • Website link checker
  • Highlighting tool for internal & external links & keywords
  • On page element checker which highlights h-tags, Meta data, alt-text & text to code ratios
  • Page attributes, such as links both to and from your domain, and domain authority according to SEOmoz’s ranking factors
  • If you have the full membership to SEOmoz you will get access to all their tools, but there is still limited access for non-members.

2 – XML Sitemap Generator

This isn’t a browser add on, but a tool that will help you create an XML sitemap for your website. Sitemaps are a good way to prompt search engine crawlers to find your content and get it indexed. The XML sitemap will help to indicate to the search engine crawlers which pages are the most important, and therefore which they should crawl first.

3 – SEOquake

This is a similar package to the SEOmoz toolbar but one that doesn’t get appended to the top of your browser. Right click to access this SEO tool. It has some great parameters to help you with your SEO research.

Some of the best features of this tool are:

  • Alexa rank functionality
  • Robots.txt indicator and XML sitemap indicator, which are both unobtrusive
  • Excellent multi keyword analysis tool, very useful for finding out both short-tail and long-tail keywords
  • A quick and reliable competitor domain analysis tool, that can relay information such as page rank and Alexa rank quickly

4 – Open Site Explorer

A great tool that is available to all, and it’s from the guys at SEOmoz (again). Open Site Explorer allows you to analyse not only the links to your own website, but you can check the links that are going to your competitor’s websites too. It’s available through the SEOmoz toolbar but it comes in handy when you don’t have that available.

5 – Google Analytics & Google Webmaster Tools

If you work on increasing visits to a website then I recommend adding the tracking code of these two tools. Both provide extensive and invaluable data which can aid tactical improvements to your website, as well as informing your overall marketing strategy.

The list of features is extensive, and includes data on site visits, keyword rankings, what keywords were used to access your website and social media engagement such as Google+ activity.

Both tools are provided by Google and are generally intuitive with links to FAQs and intruction guides to help you get to grips with the functionality.  These tools are invaluable yet many websites owners do use them – so take advantage whilst you can.

6 – Redirect Checker

This website should be saved in all savvy website owners favourites list. The simple site can quickly tell you what types of re-directs you have on your site – really useful when you’re removing or altering content and you want to confirm that you’re sending the search engines the correct type of redirect code.

7 – Y-slow

 

This is a tool that will tell you the download time of the pages on your website.  This is particularly important to know as Google put a lot of credence into page load speed times, so if yours aren’t optimised properly then be prepared to pay the price (in lost rankings).  Make sure you use this tool to bring the specific culprits to your attention.

8 – Whois

This is a nice little application that can tell you some useful information regarding not only your own website, but also your competitor’s website. The site can tell you information such as the following

  • Domain name
  • Registrant
  • Registrant type
  • Registrant’s address
  • Registration status

Particularly handy if you would like to acquire a rival domain name, or would just like to spy on one of your competitors.

This is just a highlight of some of the many SEO tools out there aimed at helping you bring more visitors to your site.  I hope you’ve found it useful.  Are there any tools you use regularly and would recommend to other marketers and site owners? 


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