In this economic environment, tempting as the success stories from different SEO companies may be, outsourcing your website optimization to an SEO agency simply may not be an option. Let me be clear that unless you have done extensive research on the subject, garnering similar results with your own in-house efforts can be a challenge. Furthermore, professional SEO services are comparatively cheaper than traditional marketing efforts and significantly more effective. So even when money is tight, an investment in professional SEO services is money well spent. But hey, I’m openly biased about the subject. We are, after all, an SEO agency.
Why, then, do I feel it necessary to release the tricks of our trade rather than convincing you to hire us for our SEO services? The answer is twofold:
- These aren’t really the “tricks” of our trade. You can find these SEO tips anywhere on the Internet. I’d rather you come here than anywhere else. Plus, I’m not releasing any 10Best Solutions-specific SEO secrets. That would just be silly.
- Understanding SEO in theory and applying it in practice are two very different things. There is no magic formula, and the methods change constantly. If you’ve got the budget, I recommend leaving SEO up to the professionals lest you become an addict like the rest of us, reading SEO blogs into the wee hours of the morning and salivating at the site of a #1 ranking.
Enough with the disclaimer, right? Let’s get to the good stuff. The following is an annotated bibliography of what I consider to be some of the best free SEO tools available. I suppose a Google search of “free SEO tools” would produce a similar list, but I’m more entertaining.
The Best Free SEO Tools for Do-it-Yourself Website Optimization:
- SEOmoz Though the site does require a login and many of the tools call for a purchased membership, SEOmoz still offers a number of useful free SEO tools. If you’re just starting out with you website optimization, I recommend the Crawl Test for a quick analysis of any inherent problems with server response codes, search engine indexing and meta data.Another good one is the Term Extractor which crawls your page and then returns a list of the keywords it thinks you are targeting. This can be quite eye-opening if you have tried any optimization and find the keywords you targeted are not at all what the Term Extractor finds.If you consider yourself advanced in the field of DIY SEO, drop your URL in the Term Target tool along with the primary keyword you were optimizing and see if SEOmoz agrees that you have done a bang up job of optimizing your website. You’ll get a report card complete with a big, red A through F letter rating, so be prepared to be embarrassed if you have failed.
- Beanstalk Inc. Beanstalk offers a number of fun, sleazy tools for the competitor in us all. Use the Multiple Domain Rank Checking Tool to compare your search engine ranking with that of a competitor for a specific keyword phrase.Even sneakier is the Web Page Comparison Tool , which evaluates all primary SEO elements of your site alongside those of your top competitors. Check their titles, meta tags, content and top keywords to see what they’re doing right (or wrong).
- SEOpen SEOpen is a collection of (mostly) free search engine optimization tools. If your website is a real blunder and you can’t find it within the first, say, 10 pages of search results (or 100 rankings), you can use SEOpen’s Check PageRank tool to get an idea of where your site is buried in Google without having to click through thousands of pages. Though they provide a thorough explanation of how Google page ranking works, all you need to know for this exercise is this: If your PageRank is higher than 1 (meaning it’s listed as the 101st-nth result), you have some serious work to do.Toolbar PageRank(log base 10)—> Real PageRank
0—————————————-0 – 10
1—————————————10 – 100
2————————————–100 – 1,000
3————————————1,000 – 10,000
4———————————–10,000 – 100,000
5————————————–and so on…
Now, go forth with your arsenal of free SEO tools and let thee optimize. But know this: When you find your attempts to be less than fruitful, call us. And this: If you find great success, call us. We like success stories—even if they aren’t our own.