SEO & Web Best Practices
Victoria Kuhn
by Victoria Kuhn
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Top 20 SEO Tools

12/28/2012
Top 20 SEO Tools

Hey if Letterman and Carson can have top 10 lists, so can technology companies. Okay, okay, I didn’t pull off the punch line but maybe I have your attention.

The very best SEO optimizers are not magicians and they cannot guarantee to place a site at the top of the search engines results pages (SERPs). If they could, you’d see a lot of "rock star" SEO moguls on TMZ driving Ferraris and throwing wild parties. There aren’t that many SEO firms with more than a million bucks in revenues (I’d say less than 100). Matt Cutts got rich by being one of the first Googlers. Same for Vanessa Fox. Eric Enge, Elisabeth Osmeloski, Arnie Kuenn, Jenny Halasz, Alan Bleiweiss and Michael Gray are all early SEO and content veterans. Danny Sullivan coined the term SEO and profits by running websites and SEO conferences (and being a witty and nice guy). Rand Fishkin sits atop SEOmoz, one of the best in the business. Bruce Clay, also among the best, runs Bruce Clay, Inc.

David Addison worked and trained with Bruce Clay, Inc. for a number of years. Lee Odden, Dave Naylor, Reg Saddler, Barry Schwartz, and Gerald Weber run successful firms. Brett Tabke recently sold WebmasterWorld and the PubCon conference. These are the top names in SEO. They’re exceptional marketers. All provide leadership in the industry.

SEO is both strategic and tactical. Historical context and a deep understanding of the Internet is important. Trickery (or black hat techniques) never wins in the long run. We are big fan of the Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors. Behind every SEO professional is a custom-tailored strategy that best fits each brand with a set of SEO tools.

We use many tools and are always trying out new ones. Below are a few SEO tools that the web best practices team uses at Dirigo.

  1. Majestic SEO (backlink data): http://www.majesticseo.com
  2. Experian Hitwise (competitive intelligence data of many stripes): http://www.experian.com/hitwise/index.html  (this is a pretty nifty tool, it comes with hefty price tag too)
  3. Compete (competitive intelligence data; we like this interface): http://www.compete.com  (this too has an annual fee associated, less than Hitwise)
  4. Raven Tools (SEO and SEM plus social): http://www.raventools.com
  5. Divvy HQ (content schedule and calendar; this is a great tool when clients are involved in daily or weekly content generation process): http://www.divvyhq.com/
  6. Excel (am compelled to include MS Excel as we oftentimes deploy content schedules in Excel; it’s a versatile tool) [you must know the web address of Microsoft, right?]
  7. Live HTTP Headers (page load, server response, redirects) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/live-http-headers/  [always download from a trusted source, such as Mozilla Addons]
  8. Fiddler (trace tool, shhh, this is a great one!): http://www.fiddler.com
  9. SEOmoz (on-page, link, keyword, etc. analyses) http://www.seomoz.org/tools
  10. Xenu’s Link Sleuth (broken link checker plus): http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html  [there are lots of knock-offs so be sure it get download the original from Tilman Hausherr]
  11. Bruce Clay SEO Toolset (rank checker, link analysis, backlink checker): http://www.seotoolset.com/ (this requires a paid subscription)
  12. SEO for Firefox (SEO basics) http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/seo-for-firefox.html
  13. Sprout Social (queue content, monitor engagements, analytics): http://sproutsocial.com/
  14. GTMetrix (page seed/performance): http://gtmetrix.com
  15. SEOQuake for Firefox (PageRank, indexed pages, inbound links, plus) http://www.seoquake.com
  16. MyPoseo (daily rank check for Google): https://www.myposeo.com/en
  17. SEMRush (competitor analysis, positions, keywords, plus; we like the interface) http://www.semrush.com (there’s a wee monthly fee for this tool)
  18. Ahrefs (keyword analysis, backlinks) http://ahrefs.com/
  19. Google (SERPs, Analytics, and Webmaster Tools for organic and paid placement, top pages, keywords, plus, plus, plus): https://www.google.com/ http://www.google.com/analytics/ https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ [and don’t forget about Bing SERPs and Webmaster Tools]
  20. WebmasterWorld: http://www.webmasterworld.com/ (all things web from hard core technical, to content, SEO, SEM, social media, regulatory issues, SERPs, plus, plus, plus)

Enjoy from the web best practices team at Dirigo and let us know if we can help!

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