4 SEO Tools You Should Be Using But Probably Aren't
SEO tools make your life easier, but there are so many of them that you have to be a little picky about what you get involved with. It's really easy to waste time on SEO and end up chasing the wrong kinds of link targets. Then there's the matter of on-site SEO. That's a bit of a boondoggle in and of itself since Google has come out recently with an over-optimization penalty. Stick to these tools, and you should get the most bang for the buck (or time invested):
The folks over at Citation Labs have come up with a winner here. Link Prospector lets you create a campaign and reach out to link targets. You get to choose from a variety of different reports. Each report details different types of link prospects like guest blog posting opportunities, links pages, review opportunities, donations (you make a donation to a charity or some other organization and receive a link back in return), content promoters, and giveaways.
While there's not much in the way of keyword research with this tool, it does provide an affordable way to get really great links and they even have a free trial offer. Given that citation labs is recommended by Eric Ward, and mingles in the white hat crowd, this tool is not only effective, it's safe and ethical.
AdGooRoo has become pretty famous for being one of the best legitimate SEO tools on the web. However, not many Internet marketers use them. Why? Because they screen every applicant before allowing them to use the service. They don't even list all of the prices for all of their tools. Yes, it's like walking into a Tiffany jewelry store in the heart of New York City. If you've never done that, try it. You won't find any prices on any of the pieces. If you ask the salesperson how much something costs, you'll likely be met with an answer that goes something like "it's very expensive." In other words, if you have to ask about price, it's probably too expensive for you.
With that said, AdGooRoo is the largest intelligence database on the web. You can tap into 920,000 different advertisers across 14 different search engines in more than 50 countries. That's their pitch, and it's a good one. Using their tool is basically like pulling back the curtain on your competitors' secret underground lab. You get to spy on everyone in ways that even you might not feel comfortable with. Dig up your competitors' ads, find out which ones are pulling the best for them and which ones are dogs. Forget guessing on which keywords will convert. Dig up keywords that are already converting for your competitors and start ranking for those.
Find link prospects that no one else is getting in your industry and get the webmaster's email and even phone number. This tool is so good it should be illegal - but it isn't.
Wordpress SEO Plugin by Yoast
Probably the best SEO plugin for Wordpress out there. This SEO plugin bypasses all the hype and garbage found in most SEO tools and sticks to what has been proven to work over time. Wordpress SEO shows you whether you have included the keywords you want to rank for in your post title, and content, and shows you a running keyword count. It gives you better control over the meta robots settings so you can allow or block webpages and posts from being indexed at your discretion.
The tool also allows you to fix up canonicals on your site for your homepage, category pages,k and tags. You also have much better control over the breadcrumbs feature of your site so that your visitors never get lost while surfing. The plugin cleans up your permalinks so that other people linking to you can't muck up your site with erroneous links (whether through typos or weird stylization) and send visitors to 404 pages. Yoast's plugin integrates a cool sitemap feature that makes your sitemap not only pretty and useful to users but it also modifies the sitemap according to your meta robots information and any other variables you've set in the plugin.
The RSS enhancement gives you better control over how your feed is displayed, and links back to your website just in case someone scrapes your feed and republishes it all over the web for some easy backlink wins.
You can edit your robots.txt and .htaccess easily. This is a big plus for an SEO plugin since these files are notoriously difficult to modify. Finally, the plugin cleans up the <head> section so that your site doesn't transmit its secrets to competitors.
SEO Smart Links
Have you ever seen someone's website and noticed how all of the site was very well linked together? Keywords within the site linked out to other pages and it was easy to find what you were looking for. Ever wonder how the site accomplished this? It was by using a handy little Wordpress plugin called "SEO Smart Links." Smart Links parses your content and intelligently links to other posts or pages within your site according to the parameters you specify.
This helps your users navigate through your blog more easily and provides valuable links to related posts that users might not otherwise find. This translates to more time on site, a lower bounce rate, and possibly higher conversions if you're offering high-value content.
While these SEO tools are great, they aren't the only tools out there that will help you. Keep in mind that SEO is constantly changing. That doesn't mean that these tools will become useless. On the contrary, they will probably become more powerful. What you really want to do is continually keep an eye out for tools that help you automate white hat strategies or improve your work flow. Those kinds of tools will always work and will always be valuable for you as a webmaster.