Throughout the years I have used almost all Search Engine Optimization related tools available on the internet. Some have cost me hundreds of dollars, and some software creators want thousands of dollars for something which you do not need.
If you are looking for improving your website search engine rankings, then here are the SEO tools worth using. (Later in this post, I will also share the tools that I use when optimizing my clients websites).
Top 5 SEO Tools to Use
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Freely Available Backlink Checking Tools
- Network Tools
- Broken Link checkers
Google Webmaster Tools
I don’t think I should even mention this here because this one tool is a must for all websites that want to improve their rankings in Google. I have created a complete course showcasing all the features of this tool here.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Learn to use this great and user friendly SEO tool, and forget about others because Screaming Frog SEO spider doesn’t overwhelm its users with worthless insights. Instead it shows you what is important for improving your websites optimization and as a result its ranking. Below is a screenshot of its user interface.
As you can see, if you are a beginner to the world of website optimization, you can use this tool and with just few right mouse clicks you can analyze web pages and remedy any issues which may be causing problems with Google rankings (as shown in the sample image above).
Backlink Checking Tools
In internet business world, there are smorgasbord options for checking backlinks. Some are paid and some are free. For your own website you can use Google Webmaster Tools links to your site feature. And for checking backlinks for other sites, you can use siteexplorer.info which is free to use.
I use Majestic SEO (you can verify your own site and analyze backlinks for free) for my client’s SEO projects. If there are many spam backlinks, then Google Disavow Tool can be used to disavow spam backlinks.
You can also use Google Advanced Search Operators like this:
- allinanchor:“Sample Keywords”
There is much that can be analyzed about a web server a web site it is built on, such as what server software being used, or if the server is using shared option amongst many other things. Begin here
Broken Link Checkers
Links are very important part for maintaining your website’s overall ranking in Google. Because links (hyperlinks) is what Google analyzes for understanding what a particular website is about.
Also, it is just a natural part of website operations to have links (internal or external) that may over time be broken. This creates bad user experience if someone visits your site by pressing on some link they found on an external website, just to visit your website to find 404 Page Not Found error. Keep in mind that search engines also follows those links which may no longer exist on your site.
And the fact that Google is in the business of providing great user experience for its daily searchers, and just as a normal website visitor will dislike seeing broken links, so will Google. So using tools to check for broken links should be an important tool in your SEO Toolbox. Use Xenu link checker) and Broken Link Checker Plugin if using WordPress CMS.
Video Tutorial Regarding SEO Tools
Professional SEO Tools for Masterful Website Optimization
So far, I’ve shared easy to use search engine optimization tools that any website owner can use. However, there are others in my trade box which you may find of use to you.
Chrome Web Developer Tools (as well as https://developers.google.com/web/tools/lighthouse/ (or Chrome Extension version))
HTML5 Outliner (this is great to use particularly for creating Heading Tags)
Firefox Browser (CTRL+U view source code highlights broken code in red (to identify HTML structure coding issue easily)
IE and Safari (to see if there are major webpage rendering difference)
Wayback Machine to see if there are any results in the Archive (particularly for competitors website analysis to see if they are making changes/updates as WWW evolves)
Structured Data Testing Tool (more and more support is now provided by Google (for Rich Cards and Rich Features) so this is becoming more important in 2017 and beyond)
Mobile Usability Testing Tool (especially in 2017)
Because I mainly specialize in WordPress
Yoast SEO Plugin (although I disable most features such as: readability analysis, focus keywords, Ryte, Corner Stone Articles, Link Counter (which I believe aren’t worth it at all for proper SEO) (so I am not sure what the Team at Yoast are thinking by adding all these new features)
Google Advanced Search Queries I Use Often
I play around with Google Search Box at least an hour or two for each SEO project (there really is a gold mine in Google Search Box (related searches, People Also Ask feature (if its there for particular search query) ) (now in 2017 have to work bit longer due to Google Instant Search discontinuation)
info:www.example.com (quick and easy information for a site)
site:www.example.com (always go to last result page to see what is omitted (and compare that number with the first “About N Results”))
“exampledomain.com” -inurl:”exampledomain.com” (to see where else is the domain name is mentioned) (can also be used on competitor domains)
filetype:pdf (to see if there are PDF’s)
define:samplekeyword (to find more about the keyword being targeted, as well as to find synonyms)
Once all these tools are used, then you will have the insights to begin optimizing websites thoroughly.