“SEO is easy. Graphic design is hard.” wrote SEOmoz’s Cyrus Shepard in a recent useful post on ’10 Ugly SEO Tools that Actually Rock.’ When it comes to visual appeal, a minimalist approach worked out pretty well for Google, so it’s not hard to imagine that some of the best SEO tools out there come without all the eye-catching bells and whistles. We’ve summarized Shepard’s list to provide a quick reference guide for any SEO aficionado looking to up their game with some lesser-known, but highly useful tools.
1. Shared Count: This all-inclusive tracker measures the social sharing statistics of any page you ask it to, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. On top of that, it has an open API, allowing you to build and integrate your own tools.
2. IETester: Internet Explorer is the true test of cross-browser compatibility, and “9 times out of 10, [throws] you for a loop.” This tool is a free, downloadable browser that allows you to test different versions of IE in adjacent windows to check for errors, and also has a debugging option to target hard-to-find problems.
3. Blogscape: Monitor the popularity of any keyword, brand or URL on a daily basis with this nifty tool. Just enter a term or domain name to see a complete list of mentions, taken from a list of thousands of RSS feeds and more. Additionally, “advanced query operators allow you to track only posts containing a link to a specific domain – great for tracking new link discovery.”
4. URI Valet: Perform technical audits, site reviews and more using over 10 combined structural tools. Check server headers, text to HTML ratio, download speed, object details and quick links to W3C Validators.
5-6. Robots.txt Checkers (http://tool.motoricerca.info/robots-checker.phtml & http://www.frobee.com/robots-txt-check): Add both of these robots.txt file problem-finding tools to your bookmarks tab to find errors even when they’re not visible. “They even account for hidden code in your files that can trip up your average search spider.” Shepard guarantees that at least 1 out of 5 readers will discover errors they never knew existed.
7. Wayback Machine: Think of this tool as a digital time capsule that contains archived webpages going back 15 years. You can research old links that may have disappeared, or track site modifications that resulted in traffic changes.
8. SEO Browser: Get all of the vital SEO details in one view with SEO Browser. From the title tag, to robots.txt files, to analytics, this tool shows you all of a webpage’s important SEO structure in one view.
9. Rank Checker: This tool – you guessed it – checks a variety of different rankings, fast. Rank Checker runs on your browser so you don’t have to wait on a third-party to check your rankings for you. “Beware, because it runs on your browser it’s much harder to control for the effects of localization and other mitigating factors, but it’s still handy when speed is more important than absolute accuracy.”
10. Xenu’s Link Sleuth: Although Screaming Frog is the link checker du jour at the moment, Xenu’s Link Sleuth runs on your desktop and offers a “dead simple interface” with easy-to-understand reporting. This is a great tool for running quick site audits, as well as mining for link opportunities.
With countless SEO tools available, it’s easy to judge a book by its cover. But sometimes, the best tools are the bare-bones originals. To learn more about search engine optimization, contact Blue Interactive Agency today. From search engine marketing to social media marketing and SEO copywriting, Blue has the perfect interactive marketing solution for your company. Call 954-779-2801 for more information today.