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20 SEO Tools to Help You Achieve, Measure Success

James A. Martin | Feb. 7, 2013
The basics of search engine optimization are, well, basic: Build good, easy-to-find content, and promote it via social media, and they will come. But there's nothing wrong with adding to your arsenal SEO tools that will help you create more targeted content and a more visible website.

Third-Party SEO Tools

6. Screaming Frog SEO Spider Screaming Frog's SEO Spider is a desktop program that sends a "spider" (or crawler) to a site and compiles a spreadsheet-like report on the pages it crawls. You'll see title tags, URLs, meta descriptions, meta keywords and H1 tags, as well as pages that might have 404 errors. Whalen uses the program whenever starting a new site review. "It helps me get an overall feel for the site and quickly shows me any major technical issues," she says. The basic program is free; the licensed version adds more features for £99 (about $150 U.S.) per year.

7. SpyFu

8. Browseo Browseo (a mashup of the words "browse" and "SEO") helps you quickly determine a page's structure, as well as its relevance for specific keyword phrases. It's a fast way to get a helpful breakdown of a particular web page, Munoz says.

9. WebSite Auditor Munoz recommends this software, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, to analyze website content and help optimize each page for a particular keyword. It's available in free and paid versions-the latter of which, depending upon features, are $99.75 and $249.75.

10. Copyscape This Web-based tool will tell you all the places on the Internet where you may have duplicate content. Munoz says it's good for finding out if other sites have copied your content, too.

11. Rex Swain's HTTP Header Viewer Whalen uses this free tool to discover if a Web page has any type of redirects, adding that, "for SEO purposes, we like to see 301 redirects rather than 302s or any other kind."

12. Ahrefs Site Explorer Enter a URL and Ahrefs's Site Explorer tool will show you its backlinks, or external links from other sites. "You can get a lot of that information also from Google Webmaster Tools these days, but I'll often find different ones showing up in Ahrefs that I may not have seen in Google Webmaster," Whalen notes. "I mainly use it to check if the website I'm reviewing has a lot of spammy links," which can cause a site to be significantly demoted in Google rankings.

Google Chrome Extensions

13. NoFollow Google Chrome (as well as Mozilla Firefox) has a number of free extensions and add-ons designed to help with SEO. Whalen calls this "the best extension ever" for SEO consultants. "It outlines all links on a page that have the nofollow attribute on it. But even better is that it pops up a little window if the page you're looking at has a noindex tag on it," she says. "You wouldn't believe how many websites I find through this extension that are inadvertently blocking all search engines from being able to index them."

 

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