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5 Tools for SEO I Can’t Live Without

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 13:40

(the following is a guest post from Anthony Verre)

Sometimes there must be a list. Sure they're common... you see them all the time, but hey, they're easy to digest and useful too!  And, what better list to create than a list that is so ever-changing among search marketers and SEOs, as the tools we use.  It’s no Big Ass List of SEO Blogs, but rather an essential list of SEO tools that help get your job done more efficiently and quicker; tools that help you look, feel, and diagnose like a SEO ”sharpshooter”.

1) Web Developer Toolbar (Firefox Plug-in)

Developed by Chris Pederick, this is one tool I use everyday. It brings out the SEO geek in all of us, allowing you quickly dissect a page for all the core elements of SEO.  You can check all the ALT-Tags on images, check page semantics, and validate the page’s HTML and CSS.  All in a couple of clicks.  And, if you’re not using Google Toolbar (for whatever reason), you can generate a “cached” text-only view by dropping out key page elements in a few seconds.

Web developer tool bar for FireFox

2) TechSmith’s SnagIt (Screen/Image Capture Tool)

This is another genius of a tool I use everyday. And, sure, there are other tools out there (and free) like Jing or FastStone, but, as the saying goes, ya’ get what you pay for.  And, even though the license is a bit steep at $50, it’s worth every penny. 

SnagIt has multiple options for screen capture (region, full page, and scrolling page) with an option to keep web page links still embedded. It has Photoshop-esque image enhancement tools, and the ability to record mouse movements on screen.  It’s basically a downgraded version of Camtasia. The learning curve is a little deep, but once you familiarize yourself with it, screencaps, infographics, and client explanation slides become a snap.

Snagit screen capture tool

3) Aaron Wall’s SEO 4 Firefox and Rank Checker (Firefox Plug-ins)

They should be considered one powerhouse tool. Aaron’s tools make checks on prospective clients’ sites and their competitors’ sites simple. Whether on a SERP or on-page, you can tons of great link and domain information at your fingertips with SEO 4 Firefox. Not to mention the extra goodies: highlighted no-follows (in a color of your choice) and SEO X-Ray.

Rank Checker is fail-safe back up to check your SERP positions, and is just as lean and mean as its pay-to-play counterparts are. While many of us do make a concerted effort to get our clients away from the “SERP keyword position is everything” mentality, sometimes it can’t be avoided. Rank Checker allows you to export results in .csv and decorate them any way you like on-demand.

4) Link Diagnosis (Site w/ Firefox Plug-In)

As much as we’d all like to be SEOmoz Pro Members for in-depth Linkscape results, we can’t all be. And, really, who doesn’t want to see Rand’s boyishly-bearded face everyday J ?  It’s not the most accurate tool, I wouldn’t take any backlink tallies as gospel, but it does give a great high-level overview for prospective clients when you need to educate them at some of the core elements you’ll be evaluating and looking to improve. You can use SnagIt (see above) to highlight important aspects.

Here’s an example of what Link Diagnosis can provide, using David’s site as an example:

Link Diagnosis SEO tool

5) W.A.S.P: Web Analytics Solution Profiler (Firefox Plug-In)

WASP, created byStéphane Hamel, is a great plug-in to quickly determine if prospective client sites are using analytics, and if so, what type. WASP is a very handy tool that saves a few minutes of having to search source code.

There is also a paid version, which allows you access to more advanced functionality. WASP claims to cover and identify over 125 tools, including Google Analytics, Omniture SiteCatalyst, Coremetrics, WebTrends, and various others.

Web analytics solution provider

Anthony VerreAbout the Author; Anthony Verre is the founder and CEO of Silver Arc Search Marketing. Known at-large as "MilwaukeeSEO" (on Twitter). He has worked in search engine optimization and search marketing for several large verticals on international, national, and local levels. He also writes a blog on search marketing, search engine optimization, and social media marketing news and opinion called The Milwaukee SEO.

Anthony was a member of the United States Army Wisconsin National Guard for eight years, serving a tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tony taught English, History, and Social Sciences in the Milwaukee Public School district for three years and holds his MA in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


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