Like carpenters and cooks, SEO professionals rely on creativity, skill and the right tools to work their magic. And like a craftsman or chef, a talented SEO pro can produce impressive results even with simple tools—but can achieve even more with better, more specialized tools.
In this post you’ll find keyword tools, other SEO tools (backlink checkers, SEO analysis, duplicate content finders), and reviews of even more tools (from smart guys like Lee, Marty, Brent…hmm, why does there seem to be so much SEO talent in Minnesota? Must be something in the water…).
SEO Keyword Research Tools
Tools for Search Marketing Intelligence by ClickZ
Julie Batten reviews eight tools to help with search marketing and SEO planning, including both free (i.e., Google AdWords Keyword Tool) and fee-based (i.e., Compete.com Search Analytics) alternatives.
5 Powerful Tools For Keyword Suggestions and Ideas by BMD Media Website Design Blog
R.I.P. Google Keyword Tool. Long Live SEO! by aimClear
Marty Weintraub delivers a blog eulogy for Google’s free AdWords Keyword tool, which wasn’t killed so much as neutered in October 2010, and suggests four alternatives including WordStream. Fortunately, however, in response to massive and severe blowback from the search marketing and SEO communities, Google relented two months later and fixed the keyword tool.
Comprehensive 2010 SEO Guide to Keywords by Bruce Clay
Brent Rangen details keyword research offerings from the three two major search engines, plus the YouTube keyword tool and a couple of additional offerings.
Other SEO Tools
A tool with free and fee-based offerings for monitoring and alerting on search position, Google and Alexa ranking, server uptime, backlinks, social bookmarks and more.
A fast, free overall SEO analysis tool that checks a site for duplicate content, proper 404 error handling, URL structure, domain age, use of header tags, page load time, inbound links and other search-related attributes.
A conceivably useful SEO analysis and grading tool, but it asks for a lot of information—your company, name, email address and phone number in addition to URL, keywords and competitive sites.
I haven’t had a chance to play with this one yet, but it looks potentially very helpful. The Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawls your site and exports key onsite SEO elements (url, page title, meta descriptions, headings etc) to Excel for easy analysis. Data collected includes redirects, external and internal links, duplicate/missing page titles, image data (large files, missing alt tags) and more.
A slick SEO toolbar that enables you to instantly check a variety of attributes on any web page including pagerank, delicious links, backlinks, keyword density and domain age. What’s really tight though is the ability to run Google searches and then export the results to Excel.
The creators didn’t waste a lot of time on a fancy UI, but URLinfo is a handy collection of 113 tools for, as the site puts it, “handling web pages: finding information about it, translating it, finding related pages, etc.” Find search engine backlinks, blog site references, social media links, Alexa info, and much more, though a few of the tools need updating.
A collection of 70 free tools for link analysis, keywords, rank checking, on-page elements, social media, website speed testing, code optimization and more.
Reviews of SEO Tools
Five Free Link-Building Tools for Small Business SEO Campaigns by Search Engine Smarts
Guest blogger Lee Odden quantifies the value of inbound links for SEO and then provides reviews of five tools “for tracking inbound links (that) small business marketers can use to get a leg up on the competition.”
The Best Free Online SEO Tools by Dreamscape Design
Because “Working in SEO is very similar to working as a carpenter (why does that analogy sound familiar?), painter & decorator, builder, or a mechanic…you are only as good as the tools you have at your disposal. Bad tools lead to bad craftsmanship, and this will ultimately lead to poor conversion rates, wasted money, and unhappy clients,” James Brack reviews four valuable yet free tools for keyword research, competitive diagnostics and links building including Link Diagnosis and Link Hub Finder.
The Top 10 SEO Competitor Tools for 2010 by ineedhits Blog
Rene LeMerle supplies mini-reviews of 10 competitive analysis tools to help discover “who is out ranking you and what they’re doing to achieve the results,” including Spyfu, SEMrush and Linkscape. The list is great, the site a bit spammy; apologies if you get an annoying popup when clicking the link, I wish bloggers would realize how annoying this is and how it cheapens the experience of visiting a site, but some still don’t get it.
Tools to Predict and Monitor Competitor Traffic by The Daily SEO Blog
Top 10 Must Have SEO Extensions for Google Chrome by The YOUmoz Blog
Patrick Ahler supplies helpful, illustrated reviews of 10 SEO exensions for the Google Chrome browser including SEO Site Tools, IE Tab (allows you to view a web page as if you were using IE) and Google Screen Capture.
Top 6 Best SEO Tools for Google Chrome by Daily SEO Tip
The MEGA List of Free and Paid SEO Tools the Professionals Use [Best of SEW 2010 #3] by Search Engine Watch
If the collection of tools above isn’t enough to keep you busy for a while, Garry Przyklenk provides brief reviews of another 20+ free SEO tools, toolbars and browser plugins, “freemium” and fee-based tools.