Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the process of adjusting several aspects of your website to encourage search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to show your website before others in the search results for particular phrases. The majority of web traffic is driven by the major search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
Whether your site provides content, services, products, or information, search engines are a primary method of navigation for almost all Internet users.
Below are 6 free web-based tools to help you in your SEO efforts
1. Term Extractor From SEOmoz, which offers quite a few helpful tools, this one will analyze your pages and determine which search terms it looks like you’re trying to target. It’s a valuable tool, especially if the resulting report shows you’re optimized for terms other than what you had hoped!
2. Wordtracker Suggestion Tool Enter a keyword into this simple tool, and it will provide you with a list of up to 100 suggested search terms that include your keyword. The nice thing about this tool is that it also provides the number of searches performed for each phrase, so you can target those most likely to drive more traffic.
3. Keyword Difficulty Check Want to see how hard you’re going to have to work to get on the first page of search results for your keywords? This tool is for you. Just enter the word or phrase you want it to check, and you’ll get a percentage of difficulty result. For example, if you want to be on the first search results page for the word “blog”, you’re looking at a 93.48% (out of 100%) difficulty ranking. Want to be right up toward the top for “sesquipedalian armadillo” though? You’ve got a great chance at just 22.91% difficulty!
4. Keyword Group Detection Tool Another tool from Microsoft’s adCenter Labs, this one “helps you find groups of words from the pool of online queries that are related or similar to keywords that you enter.” In other words, you enter a keyword you want to optimize for, and it will give you common search words and phrases relating to that keyword for which you might also want to optimize. It’s a good way to get your creativity going when planning your SEO.
5. SEO Browser is a tool that allows you to see your site as the search engines see it. Offering both basic and advanced modes for free, the resulting report generated by SEO Browser gives you a clear view of your site content, including meta data, text-to-page weight ratio, number of internal and external links, and tons more, all on one page. This allows you to easily identify problems and ways you can improve your site.
6. Reciprocal Link Checker Want to see if people are placing the reciprocal links they promised? This tool does just that. Enter your site and multiple reciprocal sites, and you’ll get a report showing how many (if any) links on their sites point back to you. While this particular tool does not tell you which page(s) on the reciprocal sites are linking to you, it does save the time of hunting for your links on their sites.
These twelve tools should begin to get you the information you need to help improve your SEO. There are, of course, other tools out there. Which ones have you found useful? Be sure to share your experience in the comments below.