7 Online SEO Tools for Small Businesses
Helping people optimize their sites for a living requires being up to speed on the latest and greatest SEO tools. A lot of people out there think that SEO is this mysterious world where Wizards and Gurus use their magic to convince search engines to rank their sites number 1. In reality, like in most occupations, SEO’s are only as good as their tools. Which is why today I just wanted to lift the cloak off us Wizards and share with you 7 online seo tools you can use for your small business.
The Google Keyword Tool is the ultimate tool for your SEO toolbox. It allows you to tap into Google’s database and see actually keywords people are searching for in Google. You can also see search volume and filter keywords based on language and country. In fact, searching for the keyword Computer Repair brings up 800 keywords alone. Imagine what some creativity could do!
SEO for Firefox is a free SEO tool developed by the guys over at SEOBook. It’s a plugin so you’ll have to install it but once you do you’ll be able to spy on your competitors. Let’s say your a local dry cleaner and you want to figure out why your competition is beating you in the rankings. After installing SEO for Firefox, go to Google, search for Austin Dry Cleaner, and you’ll see a bunch of links below the normal search results. These links provide specific information about your competitors such as domain age, PageRank, number of pages indexed in Google, number of links to the domain, and if it’s listed in important directories like DMOZ. Pretty helpful huh?
Hubspot’s Website Grader is just that: a grader for your website. It grades your website on how effective it is at search engine optimization, creating social media buzz, and driving traffic. After entering your website, Website Grader generates a report, giving you a grade from 1 to 100, just like grade school. The report shows you how many pages you have indexed, the readability of your site, your homepage’s meta data, the age of your domain, and your site’s tweet score. The best part is if they see that you’re doing something wrong they’ll make suggestions on how to fix it. I’d say it’s worth the price.
SEOmoz isn’t a tool. It’s a suite of tools. While it costs $99/month (you get the first month free btw), it’s the most comprehensive set of SEO tools out there. Used by some of the Fortune 500, SEOmoz’s tools include Open Site Explorer, Rank Tracker, and On-Page Keyword Optimization. These tools allow you to research your competitors links, track your rankings in the search engines, and analyze your on page keyword targeting. If you’re not up for spending the dough, they have a free SEO tool called the Mozbar which allows you to see a websites’s PageRank, domain age, and pages indexed.
Raven used to be a SEO consulting company, so they know their stuff. Raven is an internet marketing dashboard. Within Raven you can create a profile, sync Google Analytics and start tracking your competitors. That’s just the start! You can also track your rankings, setup events (for when you make changes), manage your link building initiatives, and monitor your social media activities. Overall, Raven is must have. It’s my favorite SEO tool and at $19/month for the solo plan it’s a great addition to the SEO toolbox.
Universal Business Listings or UBL makes local search easier. They take your business information and submit it to hundreds of local directories. Why is this important you ask? Well Google, Bing, and Yahoo have really been pushing for small businesses to get online and start advertising. One way they have been doing this is by establishing what they call local pages. These local pages act as a hub where business owners can post things like images, their hours of operation and contact information. Not only is this a great way of promoting your business but you can also use it to gather reviews. The search engines have also started to show these local pages along side their normal search results. One of the ways to get your local page to the top is to have have 3rd party sites with your same business information validate for you. This is where UBL comes in. They submit your business to 3rd party sites and when those sites, who all have the same information, are indexed by the search engines it’s more likely your site will be at top of the search results page.
You don’t have to be a webmaster to use Google Webmaster Tools. Google Webmaster Tools allows you to check on the health of your website. Once you’ve submitted your site you can see exactly how Google crawls it. You can see what keywords people used to find your site, who’s linking to your site, and if you have any crawl errors. While not everything is accurate. It’s a great snapshot as to what is going on with your site. I highly recommend that you setup Google Webmaster Tools so that you can get an understanding of what Google deems important in regards to indexing.