January 15, 2008
SEO tools are essential for plotting your ascent through competitive industries and allow you to carve out a niche in the top 10 for an entire series of key phases for your website, blog or business.
Reaching the upper echelon of organic search is no simple task, in fact, it requires a great deal of patience, foresight and strategy. Although we leave the use of these tools up to your imagination (much like Adobe Photoshop, where there is more than one to reach the same objective) the extent of the results all depend on your ability to think-outside-the-box and wield each tool with creativity.
So let’s get started…
There is quite a buzz about this first tool in the SEO industry right now, so, we will cover that one first.
First up – SEO Tool #1: “WordZe Keyword Discovery Tool”
Every good SEO campaign starts with fundamental keyword research. Without it, you could waste months optimizing the wrong terms and miss the boat on what’s hot and what’s not when gauging an industry and the respective keywords that drive it.
A high search volume (traffic-bearing) keyword is a result of supply/demand and conversion, although it may be more difficult to acquire, the rewards yield more than enough profit to justify the means. Whereas a less competitive keyword can provide you with a top 10 listing, but for a term with low search volume that nobody is searching for. So, it’s better to eliminate the exercise in futility by using a keyword research tool that allows you to find the most relevant (up to date) search data to base your keyword discovery.
Just in case you are still stuck in the past and using keyword antiquated research tools like Overture Keyword Discovery Tool or Word Tracker, there’s a new series of professional-grade SEO tools making a debut called WordZe that’s sure to hit the sweet spot for SEO enthusiasts (while mutually raising the bar for keyword research/discovery tools).
Say for example, you want to compete for a specific keyword and you enter it in the “word rank” global competitive keyword analysis tool. The company describes this tool with the following “WordRank is a tool that will inspect the search results for a given keyword, then analyze each domain to assist you in understanding the level of competition you can expect from others that already are leaders for the keyword or industry.”
Pretty straight forward, and to the point. This by far is my favorite, because aside from just showing you who ranks for the term, it provides an accurate snapshot of how many links per month your competitors are building to maintain that term for their position, for “that” keyword – “Priceless SEO data”.
The calculation uses a new fundamental ranking algorithm, that by far is the most evolved I have seen for a commercial tool. I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the awesome SEO Tools that the exclusive members have now at Jim Boykin’s – Internet Marketing Ninjas (this is NOT a plug or paid advertisement), but using WordZe for only $35 per month in conjunction with Compete.com (our next pick) and you can essentially deduce just how difficult it would be to dethrone your competition from their most prized, traffic bearing keywords.
Aside from this tool, they have a keyword density tool that allows you to enter your domain name, it takes a snapshot of all of the keywords from the domain and assesses the terms the site is targeting. In addition to viewing the raw data, it provides useful one, two and three word combinations that you can test in search engine queries to provide valuable insight about where they rank for any combination of related phrases.
Also, the site has a wide array or other tools (that I have yet to explore) that allow you to assess trends, demographic information, keyword demand based on the region, state or global percentage of requests for that keyword and so much more. For the price it is a must-have SEO tool for your analysis toolbox.
Next Up SEO Tool #2 – Compete.com Search & Site Analytics
Aside from having to wait nearly a month to purchase a few credits (as a result of their API reaching it’s daily limit) I was finally able to test drive some of Compete’s nifty SEO tools. My favorite is the site analytics section which has become a natural stop after taking a peek at your competitions back links in Yahoo. Speaking of Yahoo and SEO, on a side note, follow the link to get Joost De Valk’s new SEO Analysis Tool, a FREE plug in for Mozilla Firefox that reveals the anchor text of your competitors back links (when you use the site:www.competitorssite.com search command) – “Priceless and not to mention FREE”.
Not to digress, as a freebie, Compete allows you to assess the monthly traffic a site is getting just as a taste of their SEO tools right from the home page. So, say for example, you want to see how your traffic fares against your favorite competitor, just type their URL or paste it in the top left portion of the homepage’s vs. query box and click return.
You can also, add up to 3 domains to have a face-off to see which site is getting the most traction for their keywords in the SERPs. It breaks down traffic trends to their site using data collected over the past year. Once again, “Priceless information”, when attempting to assess the strength of your next keyword acquisition campaign.
The hint here is “if they are smoking you in the rankings, at least you can turn the microscope on them with a few of the other tools here to determine if a keyword quest is in order to tip to vote in your favor from the search engine spiders. I was researching a few competitors for example who have managed to secure a number of high ranking keywords, yet despite their selection of optimized terms, their traffic was a mere fraction of ours. So, ultimately one needs to decide if targeting competitive terms or focusing on the long-tail of search is the way to drive optimal conversion for their pages.
Compete also has the ability to parse monthly search engine queries using site analytics and reveal which keywords visitors used in order to reach the site in question. Just add this to a great keyword discovery tool like WordZe and you could essentially assess the competitive climate based on the cross-referenced data in a few short hours which could save you months building links for the wrong terms.
SEO Tool #3 – Linkvendor.com
Here is an excellent example of philanthropy in it’s finest from Linkvendor.com, whereby Marcus from SEO Solutions / SEOmetrie (I like the first name, kinda has a ring to it) made these SEO tools in context of his diploma/thesis. Kudos to Marcus and thanks for sharing…
He has essentially ran the gamut on every possible SEO tool that one could desire ranging from analysis and link popularity to domain tools and keyword position checkers. This is one free site that is link-worthy and anyone using them should definitely throw a link back their way.
SEO Tool#4 – SEO Chat’s Page Rank Search Tool
Although the Page Rank Search Tool was probably designed just to see if your pages are passing the little green fairy dust, another way you could use it is by using a link command with one of your competitors domains in the mix.
Just click here and add your favorite competitors domain name using the link:competitorswebsite.com to the query box, sort by page rank and set the number of results to 100 and viola, you can take a peek under the hood of your competitors back links in Google and see which pages are passing the most link juice. At least, as far as a rudimentary inspection that is.
Well, that wraps up this review of 4 Indispensable SEO Tools You Can’t Live Without. Since so many tools were omitted, I feel the need to throw in a few more since we are on a such a roll.
SEO Tactics for SEO Tools – Application
Now that you have some nice tools to play with, as an added bonus, how about a few SEO tactics to go along with them to get things started.
1) Hypothetically speaking, between SEO Digger (as a keyword mining tool that reverse engineers the Google Search Algorithm and extrapolates keyword combinations) and Hittail (a great tool for extracting the keyword gold from the long-tail of search for visitors that have already visited your pages), you could survey your keyword landscape for a future SEO campaign.
2) Or perhaps you may visit a site using SEO Quake (another wicked Firefox Plug-in), to get a summary of their domain age, Who is information as well as their back links and combine that with a summary of the traffic from Compete.com to see just how effective their SEO is.
3) Or what about using SEO Chat, or Joost De Valk’s new Mozilla plug in to conduct a link analysis through some link mining to see which pages are candidates for links from your competition. Chances are, since they linked to someone in your industry, they are open for some type of service/exchange. Just don’t email them with a reciprocal link request, unless you want to ruin any chance of an authority link. Pick up the phone and see what you can work out, you never know.
4) Also, links do not always have to come from the same country to be effective in augmenting your global website profile. Dave Davis from RedFly Marketing has created a another awesome Firefox plug-in Google Global that allows you to view organic and paid Google search results as they appear in almost any location on Earth, talk about link building opportunities. What are you waiting for, go download your copy if you haven’t already.
In closing, SEO tools are only as dapper as the one using them, so remember to think outside the box and experiment with new and exciting methods when optimizing your pages.
I know we have only scratched the surface on this one. So many search engine optimization tools, so little time, so this is one time where I would like to call upon other SEO’s that may wish to share their favorite SEO Tools or techniques and drop a relevant link or two below. Don’t be stingy now, comments are open and if you have a question, let it be heard.
If not, then stay tuned for more SEO tips, tactics and strategies from Seo Design Solutions. I hoped you enjoyed this post and if you like, link it, Digg it, Stumble it,mixx it, Scoop it , Zoom it, or share it how you like.
Author: Jeffrey Smith is an active internet marketing optimization strategist, consultant and the founder of Seo Design Solutions Seo Company http://www.seodesignsolutions.com/. He has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and fresh marketing strategies to individuals involved in online business.