While SEO is a relatively new profession, there is one way it doesn’t differ from any other job–you need to know what tools you have at your disposal and when to use them. There’s no shortage of readily available SEO tools, both free and paid. You probably already know about Google Analytics, but in this post you will learn about a few others that seasoned SEO experts keep close by.
- WebPagetest (free)
WebPagetest is a technical SEO tool that will tell you how long a page takes to load on average and what elements are slowing it down. Because a faster page load time is conducive to a good user experience and regarded favorably by search engines, it’s worth it to take a look at the files, fonts, images and whatever else may be bogging your site down. Zero in on what you need to change or eliminate, then sit back and watch your site speed up.
- PageSpeed Insights (free)
PageSpeed Insights is a Google Developers tool that helps you decrease load times and is great to use alongside WebPagetest. While both tools focus on the same issue, they provide different kinds of information. WebPagetest provides raw data to analyze and use as you see fit, while PageSpeed Insights calls out specific issues and tells you how to fix them.
- Web Developer (free)
The Web Developer toolbar can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store and is an essential extension for gathering strategic information about a page. From helping to identify on-page elements such as header tags and image alt text to allowing you to view a page exactly as search engine robots see it, there are a lot of practical uses here for an SEO expert.
- Screaming Frog (free)
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a desktop program that crawls your website for links, CSS, scripts, and images, as well as broken links or other errors, to help you conduct a quick audit. The data pulled here can be exported to Excel, where it is easily manageable and can be used to make informed SEO decisions.
- Wordtracker (paid)
Wordtracker is an excellent tool for conducting efficient keyword research in a timely manner. Simply type in a search term and it will generate a list of up to 1,000 keywords that contain that phrase–and provide you the monthly search volume for each. To find longer-tail keywords, click on any word in the list to open a new window.
- Moz (free and paid)
A subscription to Moz Pro allows you access to a variety of effective SEO tools such as Moz Analytics, On-Page Grader, and Fresh Web Explorer (for identifying link building opportunities), all of which are worth exploring in a free 30-day trial. Of course, you can get your feet wet beforehand by trying all the free tools on offer, such as Open Site Explorer, MozBar, and Moz Local.
- Google Search Console (free)
Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, Search Console can be used in conjunction with Google Analytics and other SEO tools to gather vital information about a site, such as duplicate title tags and meta descriptions, crawl errors, internal and external links, and a lot more. Google also provides tutorials that teach you how to get the most out of resources like the Search Console.
These are just a handful of the infinite SEO tools at your disposal. All of them are suitable for experienced SEO analysts as well as those who are just starting out in the field. Now is the perfect time to test them out and see how they can help your site get a competitive advantage over the competition.
Which SEO tools are your favorites, and what do you use them for?