- Google Analytics and AwStats A quality statistical tracking program is essential in reaching a website’s peak performance; knowing which websites and search terms bring you the most traffic can show you what to optimize for. Maybe your ‘Top 10′ lists are the most successful, if so you might choose to write more of them to maximize your traffic. AwStats and Google Analytics are my favorite statistical tracking programs.
- Digital Point Keyword Tracker
If you know which keywords you’re targeting high search engine rankings for, this tool is very useful for tracking the daily changes to your rankings. If you have made changes to your SEO you will want to know whether it helped your rankings or hurt them, this tool will tell you exactly that.
- Crazy Egg Heat Maps
Crazy Egg offer dynamic heat maps of where your visitors click on your website, this can be a very helpful in optimizing advertisement placement for high conversions or simply placing your elements (header, navigation, search, content etc) in the most useful positions. This tool can also show you if your visitors are actually using certain parts of your site, if they’re not using a part there’s not much point developing it further.
- Keyword Discovery – Keyword Research Tool
If you have read my SEO Case Study you will know how important good keyword research is. Keyword Discovery is currently the best keyword research tool I know of. When developing or optimizing your website, targeting suitable keywords is essential for you to achieve high search engine traffic. An alternative keyword research tool you can use is Word Tracker.
- 7Search Keyword Suggestion Tool
This tool is a hybrid tool including a search frequency research tool and a keyword advertising price research tool. If you use this tool for keyword research you can not only target suitable keywords for SEO but also for high paying advertisement clicks. The results are not to scale but it it useful as a reference.
- SubmitExpress Link Popularity
A very simple yet useful backlink monitoring tool. This tool provides the amount of backlinks of a website in all major search engines and in comparison to many benchmark websites. This main benefit of this tool is that it’s quick and easy, and you can analyze three of your websites at once and compare them.
- BacklinkWatch Backlink Monitor
This tool is similar to SubmitExpress’s tool listed above; this tool provides a free backlink analysis but does so in great depth, it is far slower than the above tool however. BacklinkWatch provides the URL of the backlink along with its Google PageRank, the amount of outbound links it has, the anchor text of your link and whether the link is nofollow or not. This tool is very slow though, you might need to give the tool 15 minutes to finish its analysis. I think it is worth using though, even with the long processing time.
StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking toolbar for FireFox and Internet Explorer including 100+ categories. You can submit your website to the most suitable category and if people like your website they will click ‘I like it!’ in the toolbar – the more people who click ‘I like it!’, the most traffic that you get. This traffic can be substantial and is also quite well targeted although the visitors tend to not convert well to sales or advertisement clicks.
- XML Sitemap Generator
Once again, if you have read my SEO Case Study you will know that a quality sitemap is important to get your pages indexed by search engines. XML Sitemap Generator is a good sitemap generator which I recommend using if you don’t already have a sitemap.
I really love this tool but it is currently down – “We’re very sorry but the free version of Sitescore is currently unavailable whilst we increase the capacity of our systems to cope with huge demand”. SiteScore is an amazing website analysis tool which analyzes every aspect of your website from SEO to readability to code validity and outputs the results into a report. If you can afford to purchase the commercial version I recommend it otherwise you can wait and hopefully the free version will come back online.