Whether you are new to the game or not, it is always great to keep up to date with the new tools that are being invented day by day. You might have a great collection of go-to web apps that help you keep your site ahead of the competition, or you may just be starting out. Either way, here are some of the basics along with some that you might not of heard of.
- Adwords Keyword Tool
Okay, so this is a tool that was really designed for paid search, but it’s still a good place to get the ball rolling for keyword research. You can set the location to your country and then you will be served estimated monthly search volumes for that area. Be aware that these figures are not 100% accurate and that the numbers you see are the maximum searches – even if you are in number one, you are likely to only receive 15-20% of that traffic. Make sure the tool is set to exact match only. You can also get other keyword ideas based on the terms you entered or by entering the URL of the page you are optimizing.
- Open Site Explorer
Okay, so you can’t get the full gamut of data if using the free version of this tool, but OSE is potentially the leading authority for link research. Focusing not only on quantity of links, but also quality, type and authority Is what sets the tool apart. The new version even counts social metrics. Learn more about your own link profile or your competitors.
- Xenu Link Sleuth
This tool is a piece of desktop software that you can use to find broken links on site. Fix the links and conserve that link juice! It may be a bit clunky, but it’s free and it’s still one of the best. Only drawback is that they still haven’t made a version for Mac. Maybe we can start a petition.
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider
If you haven’t got the resources to pay for a proper web crawler from the likes of SEOMoz or Raven tools, this makes a nifty alternative. It crawls your site like a search engine and returns a .csv report that you can use as a basis for on page reports and recommendations. The free version allows you to crawl up to 500 pages, but it can always help identify issues that could be affecting the whole site. The full version is only $99 per year, if you do need more.
- Google Suggest, Yahoo Answers
These two I grouped together because they are both for keyword research and can definitely throw out ideas on how people think about different topics, and what they search for. While there might not be huge volumes on the terms that you do see, you’ll get ideas for niche content to capture more long tail traffic.
There are more to talk about, but these are a few to get you thinking. If you have a free tool that you love using, please feel free to let us know!
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