Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical element of building a successful website. You want to rank well on sites like Google and Bing when users search for keywords in your niche. But, precisely how do you measure the success of your SEO efforts? It takes some cool SEO tools to study your campaigns and calibrate them as your website evolves. Let’s take a look at three of the best SEO tools available.
Open Site Explorer
Offered by SEOmoz, Open Site Explorer allows you to see what websites are linking in to a particular website. This allows you track not only your own backlinks, but to see where your competitors are getting their traffic. It is also very useful information when you start seeking out websites to link to yours. After all, you want to know that a site linking to you is getting its own legitimate traffic. Open Site Explorer makes it easy to find potential new options for off page SEO.
For those with some serious programming skills, SEOmoz also offers a paid API, called LinkScape. It employs much the same data you will find in the Open Site Explorer SEO tools. But, it allows you to sort through the data programmatically.
Although their SEO tools are a bit older, SEO Centro offers a number of tools that let you quickly evaluate the basic SEO performance of your on page SEO efforts. SEO Centro’s tools allow you to analyze a number of on page elements, such as keyword density, Google PageRank, meta tags and more. Their utilities help you watch for problems with keywords stuffing. More advanced SEO specialists will find the site’s offerings to be a bit pedestrian. But, it never hurts to take a look at the basics of on page SEO and make sure you’re not doing something simple that might anger the Google gods.
Adwords Keyword Tool
- One of the least appreciated SEO tools available isn’t precisely meant for webmasters trying to dominate the search engines. Google’s Adwords program includes a Keyword Tool that is free to use. Users without a Google account have to enter a captcha code. It is designed to help advertisers evaluate the competition and costs involved in posting ads within a particular keyword niche.
- The Adwords Keyword Tool provides an array of useful information about keywords that are searched by real people in Google every month. The Keyword Tool lists the total monthly searches for a term worldwide. You can filter results by region, by language and by device platform.
- The Keyword Tool also shows a broad range of variations on the keyword you are targeting. It gives you a rough rating for just how competitive a niche is. Competition is rated as low, medium, high or very high. The data can help you evaluate whether or not a particular keyword is worth the effort.
With the advent of Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithms, it’s more important than ever that you are effective in using SEO tools to track your efforts. You want to know that the sites linking into your website are employing ethical SEO methods that won’t get you flagged by the algorithms. With a little effort and the right SEO tools, your site will be ranking well in no time.