Today I was discussing this very topic with some fellow colleagues who are search engine optimization consultants. We were all pretty curious as to what tools each used for external SEO.
Our discussions were focused on purely off-site, organic, manual SEO efforts. In no particular order our accumulated list is:
- backlink checker
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool
- Google Analytics
- Yahoo! Site Explorer
- Online Page Rank checker
- Posting/Ping Services
- Social Media Networks
- Free Online Press Release Sites
- Free Online Directory Sites
- Free Online Article Submission Sites
- Ability to think outside of the box(i know…i hate that phrase too)
The key, of course, is how you use each of the items in the list above. It takes a lot of training, experience and practice to fully utilize everything above to your full advantage to help raise your website to the first page of Google.
Google has numerous tools that assist in the process of optimizing a website for both onsite as well as offsite SEO. Google and Yahoo have wonderful tools for getting to know your competition a little better and to help understand what successful, high ranking sites are doing right.
There’s a lot of reverse engineering involved with SEO. That’s why one of the most crucial elements to any successful SEO campaign involves identifying and assessing your competition for any specific niche. Knowing what makes a site valuable to Google is also extremely important and many of the items listed above do just that.
Utilizing specific free resources online, such as free press release sites, free article submission sites and free directory submission sites can really help out in getting your website ranked. Some argue that submitting your website or articles to free online resources isn’t truly “organic” but I disagree. There’s nothing wrong or unnatural about wanting to get the word out about your site, service or product. Free online submission resources are there for just that purpose. Search engines actually place a lot of value in many sites online. It’s your SEO consultant’s job to find the best ones for you and your business.
Posting/Pinging services offer you the ability to get the word out about new content either on your website or perhaps press releases or articles you have submitted online.
Lastly, there are a lot of plugins for browsers that can really help out with SEO efforts. One in particular I listed is SEOQuake. The list above is for off-site SEO and constitutes purely “white hat” SEO efforts. If you have any questions or want further information on any items in the list please feel free to shoot me a note by emailing Steffan or commenting below.