You’ve finally finished building your very first website and whether you built it from scratch or used a template from Wordpress or Joomla or some other CMS source, unfortunately your work is still not complete. Even if you’ve packed the site with thrilling content and wonderful writing and the design is impeccable, you’re still going to have to wade into the somewhat murky world of search engine optimisation if you want people to actually read it. This article will look at the very best tools to help you tweak your site for the search engines.
Before you do anything however, you’ll need to look into what keywords you should be targeting to get your site to rank well in the search engines. Whether you intend to run your own organic SEO campaign or go for Pay Per Click advertising you’ll still need to choose the right keywords before you do anything else and this is best done, initially at least with a pen and paper. Take half an hour to quickly note down all the search phrases you would use and the words you would type in if you were searching for a site like your own. Repeat the process for your competitor’s site and you’ll very soon have a decent list of search terms that will bring the right kind of traffic to your site.
Now you’re ready to start working on search engine optimization you’ll need to get to grips with some of the tools that will make your day to day work a bit easier. Here are seven which are popular with webmasters:
Google Analytics – Google provide Google Analytics for free, allowing site owners and webmasters to track the activity on their website and to study certain categories such as average time spent on the site, bounce rate, pages viewed per visit, page views and page hits. Google Analytics is invaluable in helping you to make sense of your site’s search traffic, the value of your keywords and the performance of your content.
Link Diagnosis – A popular tool for analysing links and link competition. Link analysis reports on link competition by giving you details of a competitor’s links. Link Diagnosis lists page rank and anchor text amongst other things, but is limited to use with the Firefox browser.
SEO Logs – SEO Logs offers a wide range of tools such as Keyword difficulty check, SEO optimizer, on-page SEO and Google tools for detecting any fake PR results. Also useful are the included HTTP headers and status check features, the back link analyser, the domain age checker, Adsense profit calculator and the ability to compare Alexa rankings.
Alexa – Alexa is another tool you should get to grips with. Alexa is used as a way of measuring websites’ popularity by using browsers toolbars.
Key Complete – Key Complete is best used for working out a competitor’s keywords when conducting a PPC campaign. A useful online tool.
SEO Moz – One of the main tasks performed by SEOmoz is to detect any errors on your site, monitor and track your traffic and research keywords. Receives reports from search engines including Yahoo, Google and Alexa.
Widexl – Widexl is useful to help you understand link popularity and the pages that link to your website. In addition there is a Meta tag analyser which looks at keyword density, meta tags, page loading time and other similar SEO related details.
Alex is a blogger and seo consultant. He currently writes for the Bedouin Group on finance and the contracting sector, covering everything from mortgages to umbrella companies.