Must-Have SEO Tools for Small Businesses
Search engines are essential for getting your site noticed; however, it is a huge challenge to optimize your site when you don’t have the resources or tools necessary.
With these tools you can optimize your page both on and off site.
On-site optimization takes into account the factors on your website that you have direct control over, such as site structure, internal linking, crawlability, technical concerns, content, and quality. Determining if your on-site factors are fully optimized can be difficult, but with these tools, the complexity of the job greatly reduces.
- Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a great tool for performing site audits. Link Sleuth downloads directly to your desktop and has a very friendly user interface. This tool analyzes your site and produces a report containing any broken links, lost mail servers, and even produces the different types of code being used on specific pages. Link Sleuth not only is a great tool for site audits, but can be your best friend when scraping your site for link opportunities.
- URI Valet is the Swiss Army Knife of on-site SEO. This tool performs technical audits and provides a report on download times, internal links, external links, object details, text to HTML ratio, and much more.
- Google WebMaster Tools give you the ability to improve your target keywords by showing you the statistics on keyword visibility, impressions, time spent on your site, average position of keywords, click through rate, and indexing issues. Webmaster tools offer a wide variety of tools that can be used for both on-site and off-site optimization.
- SEO Browser breaks down a web page into a text file that shows an easily readable layout of the page, from the title tags to the H1 headers and so on. This tool is useful if you need a quick report on structure of a specific page.
Off-site optimization involves you searching out link opportunities from other sites, as well as taking advantage of popular social media platforms to spread linkable content. Popular off-site tools include:
- MozBar from SEOmoz is possibly my favorite off-site tool. The MozBar gives you an instant look at the page authority and domain authority of any indexed page and also gives you an in depth link analysis which is useful when mining for quality links.
- Google Insights for Search easily allows you to input any keywords and see the distribution of how heavily that keyword or phrase is searched all over the world. You can even narrow down search volumes to city level. Insights for Search even gives terms closely related to the queried keyword.
- Rank Checker is useful for when you would like to check multiple rankings at once and have little time. The Rank Checker tool offers an easy to use interface and runs directly off your internet browser; however, running off the browser isn’t always a good thing. One problem is the localization of search results, which can affect true search rankings. Rank checker can be used for a quick competitor analysis or to keep up with where your page lands for different terms.
- Shared Count moves away from traditional SEO techniques into the social side of SEO. Shared count gives the user the amount of Facebook likes, Tweets, Google +1’s, Diggs, LinkedIn shares, Google Buzz’s, and stumbles from StubleUpon. Not only does shared count show your social status, but also it offers an open API so you can build company specific tools and widgets on the page.
Building a high-ranking site not only involves onsite metrics, but finding great linking opportunities outside of your site. With these amazing tools and some practice, you can start building awareness through optimizing your current webpage and ranking for terms that bring in leads and sales.
Matt Polsky is a business writer and Marketing Manager for VA Mortgage Center.com, the nation’s leading dedicated provider of VA home loans.