Happy new year everybody! If you are like me, you spend a lot of time researching competition watching SERPs and monitoring client sites. It seems I find myself returning time and time again to many of my favorite tools for making my job easier. I thought that since they make my life easier, I should share them with you to see if they can help your SEO efforts.
1. SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer (grab the bookmarklet)
2010 was an incredible year for the Linkscape index and Open Site Explorer. We use the Linkscape API in our own tools but I still find myself running back to OSE repeatedly throughout the day. I’ve even created a blookmarklet you can have to make accessing OSE easier. Just drag and drop the OSE link below to your toolbar.
2. XML Sitemaps (another bookmarklet)
Actually the xml-sitemaps.com site lost out on this one because they don’t allow the GET method for submitting sites to their crawler. I went instead with tools.webmasters.sk sitemap creator because it is easier to use from a bookmarklet. Here is another freebe for you. Grab the bookmarklet below and quickly see a sitemap for any site you are visiting.
Creating a sitemap is one of the first steps I take in auditing any site. I actually often find myself doing it for most sites that I come across in the SERPs. Within seconds of glancing at a sitemap, I can tell how focussed a site is on SEO.
3. Google UK search
I use the Google UK search with personalization turn off to see what search results look like without places and any personalization getting in the way. Queries such as this are very helpful.
4. SEOmoz Web App
I hesitate to recommend this one since it isn’t a free tool but it is a very valuable tool and I can only imagine where the tool will be 6 or 12 months from now. I know the team at SEOmoz is very dedicated to providing quality research, analysis and insight.
5. Adwords keyword tool
This is another one that we built in to our own toolset through the adwords API. It represents the best keyword research tool available today that I have seen. Results aren’t perfect but it does give a general idea of search volume and trends over time. Find it at http://adwords.google.com
I didn’t mention Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics. We incorporate data from both in our own toolset through the APIs. Webmaster Tools has really grown up this year. The inclusion of external link data has been a great help. Maybe next time I’ll do a top 7 list
Anyhow, what are your favorite tools? Did I miss any?