With so many SEO tools that come and go, what are the tools that have stood the test of time and are still being used today? We asked the Koozai team to tell us which tools they still love with all their hearts and why they love them. We also want to hear all about your favourite tools in the comments.
Emma North (@MorphNorth)
Tool Suggested: Link Detox
Why? I would have to choose Link Detox, which is a great link analysis tool available as part of the Link Research Tools tool kit by Cemper. When carrying out a backlink analysis, whether it’s for future-proofing your link profile or attempting a clean-up to recover from a ranking penalty, you need to use as many link analysis tools as possible to ensure you identify all your potentially unnatural links.
However where Link Detox differs is that it categorises your links based on toxicity, labelling each link as either Toxic, Suspicious or Healthy. It then gives each harmful link a code to help you identify why it has raised alarm bells. Of course, a manual review is essential before you take any action, but Link Detox gives you a great indication as to the health of your link profile. It’s definitely a great place to start with backlink analysis and in conjunction with tools such as Majestic SEO and OpenSite Explorer you can gather some solid insight into your link profile’s health.
Tool Suggested: Microsoft SEO Tool
Why? Because it runs such a deep crawl of a site that it can highlight technical and on-page errors that you may normally miss in a normal audit. There are issues from page code violations picked up all the way through to canonical issues. I have found lots of ranking saving things using this tool already. I like it so much I even wrote a review.
Oliver Ewbank (@OliverEwbank)
Tool Suggested: MajesticSEO
Why? When it comes to link intelligence Majestic SEO wins hands down. You can quickly asses the health of your link profile in a matter of seconds. I love the level of detail it goes into. You can spot anchor text and IP patterns straight away. The tool gives you the opportunity to asses top referring domains and the flow metrics give you a clear indication of link quality. In a web ruled by links this is the tool for me. I would be lost without it!
Gemma Holloway (@Koozai_Gemma)
Tool Suggested: Google Analytics In-Page Analytics
Why? With the suspected increasing importance of user engagement on rankings (i.e. page views, bounce rate etc.) it is import to present users with an engaging landing page, making my favourite SEO tool Google Analytics In-Page Analytics. I love this tool because it helps you to determine how users interact with your pages allowing you to alter your pages layout for optimal engagement levels.
Anna Lewis (@Koozai_Anna)
Tool Suggested: LinkRisk
Why? I’m going to say something quite unexpected today – for the first time in a long time I’m going to skip over my normal answer of Google Analytics and say a new tool: Link Risk. It’s a simple numerical representation of how risky your link profile is (see, I can’t get away from numbers!). Link Risk is a new tool (so new that it’s currently in private beta), its aim is to give you a score of how risky the links to your site are and to break the links down by risk level so that you can identify problem links. It’s very visual and really clear about what’s what. You put your links in and then when it has worked its magic you get a lovely report telling you your overall score and showing this clear diagram of links within each risk level:
You can click on the diagram to see the details of the links of that risk type and then you can use this to sort out your link profile and get the rankings you’re looking for.
Graeme Benge (@GraemeBenge)
Tool Suggested: Google Chrome
Why? I’ve never had any snags with it as a browser. It’s really intuitive to use and there’s a great scope for personalising it.
The Chrome Web store is a treasure trove of handy tools too such as:
• Google Similar Pages: for finding link sources
• Scraper: for getting hold of web page data
• Resolution test: to view web pages in different browser configurations
• Pearltrees and Clipular: Handy curating tools
Ali Moghadam (@AlMoghadam)
Tool Suggested: Google Keyword Tool
Why? I like it because it gives you so much information and allows you to discover new phrases and opportunities to target. It’s not without flaws but the real human level work is where you find the joy in it. By finding variations in key terms you can see which ones perform best, letting you fine tune your keywords based on experience and real world data, all spawned from a suggested keyword you might never otherwise have considered.
Tara West (@Koozai_Tara)
Tool Suggested: Ubersuggest
Why? My favourite SEO tool is Ubersuggest because it’s a keyword research tool with a difference. You put in your starting term and Ubersuggest scrapes Google Instant for your starting term with a range of letters and numbers before and after it. You can then copy them from a text file. The downside is that there is no data on search volumes but I’ll happily put up with that because the data is real and taken from current search queries. It’s a refreshing change from tools like the AdWords keyword tool where the data can be out of date and inaccurate (Sorry Ali!).
Tom Howlett (@Koozai_Tom)
Tool Suggested: Web Developer Toolbar
Why? One of my favourite tools is the ‘Web Developer Toolbar’ which is available as an add-on in Firefox and Chrome. It is really useful for establishing site issues, viewing image information, visualising page headings and more to help diagnose any site problems and get them fixed. If you use it in conjunction with a tool such as Firebug, they can quickly help you establish what is going on behind the scenes, very useful for ensuring that your site has no errors that can harm your search engine rankings.
Laura Phillips (@Koozai_Laura)
Tool Suggested: Panguin
Why? I find the Panguin Tool great for keeping a real-time eye on what effects Panda & Penguin had have/could have on my sites. The Panguin Tool looks at your Google Analytics data then marries it up with algorithm updates as recorded by SEOmoz categorised as Panda, Penguin and Other. You can set date periods, and under the graph you will see the latest updates on algorithmic changes.
Andy Williams (@Koozai_Andy)
Tool Suggested: Screaming Frog
Why? Screaming Frog is an excellent tool. So much important information is provided after an initial crawl of your site. The platform is so easy to use and so well laid out. You can pick up data within seconds of starting to use it without needing to read any help files. All the important elements are in place, giving you a tool that allows you to carry out an in-depth health check on your site. It has also proved the ideal replacement for so many tools by bringing in the type of data that I used to have to use three or four tools to collaborate.
Response codes, Title tag and Meta Description information (and their lengths) and individual URL information can be obtained by clicking any listed URL. What pages you link to internally and externally, even the H1’s and H2’s you are using and more. This is a very helpful tool. It’s one of the “must have” tools I would recommend to any SEO.
Lenka Istvanova (@Koozai_Lenka)
Tool Suggested: SEOQuake Diagnosis
Why? My favourite SEO tool that I use on a daily basis is SEOQuake Diagnosis which is a part of the SEOQuake Toolbar plugin.
It’s a very handy and free tool; just by one click I can get all the important SEO information for a particular page – it provides a quick analysis and overview of all key on-page elements together with advice.
Some of the key information this tool will show you include:
• Current Title tag and its length
• Current Meta description and its length
• Headings (H1, H2, H3, …) structure
• Total number of images with alt tags/ missing alt tags
• Text/HTML ration of the page
• Existence of Robots.txt and XML sitemap
• IP and more
Mike Essex (@Koozai_Mike)
Tool Suggested: WordPress
Why? I spoke recently about how much the brain is my favourite SEO tool but that’s not to say I don’t also love tools and use them. In fact my all time favourite tool is one that’s perfectly designed to help your brain to flourish; WordPress.
You only have to look at how WordPress has enabled people to find their voices with content to see what a vital role it plays in shaping the future of SEO and the content we create. Yes there are other tools but I’ve never found a blogging platform that’s as well designed for SEO, especially when you delve in to the wonderful plugins that are available.
Without WordPress my job would be several times harder and it seems every time we want to do something new with CRO, responsive design, SEO, social integration or content promotion WordPress has served us incredibly well.
Dean Marsden (@DeanMarsden22)
Tool Suggested: Google Webmaster Tools
Why? My favourite SEO tool of choice is Google’s own Webmaster Tools. Firstly it tells you exactly the website issues that Google have detected, so you can guarantee that you’re fixing issues that will have an effect on your performance in Google. There is also very useful data on what Google thinks your site is about and what links it has found pointing to your site. From there you can improve these two factors to make your site more appealing to Google. One downside to Webmaster Tools is the search query and ranking position data which still has a long way to come to be more useful to SEO’s.
What is your favourite SEO tool that you can’t live without and why do you love it so?
Kopf Icons via Fotolia, copyright Rudie