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SEO Tools in Review Part Two

Posted on May 28, 2009 by Zach

In my SEO Tools in Review Part one, I reviewed some of the SEO tools I see used the most in the marketplace, so in part two I would like to outline the types of tools I see most often utilized and the value they have to the SEO or marketer. Across many of the suites of tools I mentioned in my previous post reside similar tools, and while the method and data might change, the goal of the tool is usually the same, or close to. Here are some of the most common types of tools I see.

Web Page Header Check

A very common tool is a web page header check.  This simply checks the status codes and other information which the web server is sending out when loading a page. These codes let things like browsers and search engine spiders know if this page is OK, Moved, or Bad.

HTTP Status Codes

200 OK, 301 Moved Permanently, 302 Found, 304 Not Modified, 307 Temporary Redirect, 400 Bad Request, 401 Unauthorized, 403 Forbidden, 404 Not Found, 410 Gone, 500 Internal Server Error, 501 Not Implemented.

Common Issues and Opportunities

Finding common issues / opportunities or low hanging fruit is not always easy especially in a highly technical environment. These tools often run through a laundry list of common checks and also sometimes gather pertinent data regarding a website or web page. Crawl testing also falls into this category, making sure that search engine spiders can access and spider a website or web page information.

Keyword Density

Many would agree that keyword density is not something which is touted anymore, however there have been many tools created to measure it and gauge an optimum keyword to content ratio. There are some interesting tools which will review a page and return what it thinks are the targeted keywords.  Sometimes that can be helpful.

Keyword Research

Finding the right keywords is an important task.  If a website has the first spot for a term with little traffic but similar terms have more traffic it might be better to use the higher trafficked terms and optimize for them as well. Some really great tools have come out to perform keyword research and help users find better keywords.

Competitive Research

It's always a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing and while running all of the tools mentioned on competitor domains can give you some great data, some people have created competitor specific tools to extract specific data. There are also some great tools which let you compare websites and their varying statistics to one another. Those can be highly valuable tools when comparing yourself to your competition or competitors to competitors.

Link Analysis / Link Building

Link building is all the rage these days so it’s understandable that several tools have been created to help find, manage, and create valuable links for a website. Not only are there tools to find optimal websites to get links from but there are tools to see what kinds of links competitors or other websites already have.

Rank Checking

These are some interesting tools which aggregate rank and authority data for a domain or website. The SEOmoz trifecta tool is a one of my favorite tools, which quickly grabs vast amounts of data about a website.

SERP Tracking

SERP tracking can be tedious without some kind of tool to aggregate the checking and storing of the SERP data. Each of these tools is a good quality option to help streamline that process.

Additional Resources

Even though there are a lot of really great tools out there don't forget about additional content which might be available. SEOmoz and ShoeMoney for example have boatloads of awesome premium content.  Many of the other tools have blogs that can be used as a resource so take that into account if you are looking to pay for tools.

Search Engine Tools

Don't forget that each of the major search engines also have webmaster tools. These are free, provide a lot of value and have data that many of these tools don't have.

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