SEO Trade Secrets - 8 Great Tools for Search Engine Optimization
About 80% of website traffic comes through search engines. And research shows, if you're not on the first 2 pages, most people won't find you.
This article isn't about how to achieve a high ranking. That topic has been done to death over the past few months. We all know the basics now... Submit your site to the major search engines, scatter a generous helping of the right keyword phrases throughout your site in real sentences, then get a lot of other relevant sites link to your site. That's it.
This article is about what tools to use to make your job easier.
1) Choosing Keyword Phrases (costs approx USD$7.50 per day)
To decide what keyword phrases to use, subscribe to www.wordtracker.com for a day and do some analysis. Simply enter a keyword and WordTracker tells you how often people have searched for that keyword in the last month or two, how many competitor sites are using that keyword, and how many searches it expects in the next 24hrs.
2) Measuring Keyword Density (FREE)
To measure the density of the keyword phrases on your page, go to http://www.gorank.com/analyze.php and type in the domain and keyword phrase you want to analyse. It'll give you a percentage for all the important parts of your page, including copy, title, meta keywords, meta description, etc. The higher the density the better.
3) Check How Search-Engine-Friendly Your Site Is (FREE)
Search engines send out spiders (or robots) to investigate your site. These tools allow you to see your site from the spider's point of view.
4) Check How Many of Your Pages are Indexed (FREE)
Go to just about any search engine and type site:www.yourdomain.com. The search engine will then tell you how many of your pages it has indexed.
5) Monitor Your Position in Google (FREE)
No need to waste time clicking through hundreds of Google search results looking for your site. This tool allows you to enter a keyword and a domain name, and it searches Google to see where your domain is positioned. Go to http://www.cleverstat.com/google-monitor-query.htm to download the setup file. Then just install.
6) See How Important Sites Are (FREE)
The Google Toolbar is an indispensable tool. One of the things it can tell you is the "importance" of every site you visit (in Google's eyes at least). You've probably heard a bit about PageRank or PR. PR is Google's measure of the importance of a site. Basically, the higher your PR, the higher your ranking. This tool gives you a snapshot of the PR of every site you visit. Go to http://toolbar.google.com. TIP: It's good to get links from other sites with high PR - especially if they contain the same keywords as your site. WARNING: Apparently the Google Toolbar monitors your internet usage. As yet, it's unclear what it uses this information for.
If you're new to SEO, the first thing you should do is check out Google's guide to SEO at http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html. If you already know the basics, there are a number of forums you can subscribe to to post questions. These forums are free, and they're frequented by countless SEO experts. And when I say "experts", I mean EXPERTS! Some of these people do SEO all day, every day. And like many technical experts, they're only too happy to help - for free. The best forum seems to be http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3, but http://searchengineforums.com/Forum28 is ok too. If all else fails, you can try sending Google an email. Go to http://www.google.com.au/contact/index.html, but don't hold out much hope of help here. They'll eventually answer, but there's no guarantee on the quality of their response...
This is just a snapshot of the tools available out there, but these will certainly get you started.