Recommend tools to automate/facilitate SEO best practices

As an Online Marketing and SEO professional working with small business owners and mid-size company marketing directors, I am continually asked for recommend tools to automate/facilitate SEO best practices. And so, I have compiled a comprehensive list of SEO resources related to keyword ideas and development, competitive research, target research and more.

Keyword Research Tools:

  • Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool
  • Google Suggest Tool
  • Wordtracker Free Keywords
  • Keyword Discovery
  • Microsoft Ad Intelligence – brilliant extension for Microsoft Excel which puts a load of great keyword research data directly into Excel.
  • Alexa – shows traffic trends for competing websites. Alexa has a heavy webmaster bias that is nowhere near as noticeable at Compete or Quantcast.
  • Quantcast – shows site traffic and demographic trends and details. Also allows you to download a list of their top 1,000,000 websites.
  • Google Trends for Websites – free tool from Google showing traffic estimates, visitor country location, top 10 related websites, and top 10 related keywords. Only returns data for fairly high traffic websites though.
  • Google Search Insights – shows keyword trends, hot keywords by cateogry, and top geographic regions for a keyword.
  • SearchStatus – highlights nofollow links, shows PageRank, shows Alexa rank, and provides links to some backlink information
  • Search Analytics – low cost competitive tool showing keywords that send competing sites the most traffic.
  • HitWise – similar to Search Analytics, but costs about $10,000 and up.
  • KeyCompete – shows keywords that competitors are buying
  • KeywordSpy – similar to KeyCompete, but with more data – including cached ad copyand affiliate data
  • SearchMetrics – offers SERP ranking data & link data. Provides historical ranking data, as well. Primarily focused on enterprise-level clients, but has a more accessible lower cost
  • Essentials level.
  • SEMPhonic – tracks keyword rankings and provides competitive reporting
  • SpyFu – shows terms that competitors are buying or ranking for in the organic search results.
  • Trellian Competitive Intelligence – shows keywords that competitors rank for and keywords that send them significant traffic.
  • Keyword Density Analysis Tool – finds common words and phrases on your site, or competing websites.
  • Spider Test Tool – shows the page size, source code, meta tags, page title, textual copy of the page, keyword breakdown by density (including 2 and 3 word phrases), number of words, number of unique words, and outbound links on a page.
  • Link Harvester – web based tool that allows you to dig deeply through a competitor’s backlinks
  • Link Popularity Comparison Tool – allows you to quickly and easily compare your link popularity scores to other websites.
  • Majestic SEO – link anchor index that allows you to download the link profile for any site…going thousands or millions of links deep!
  • Open Site Explorer – similar to Majestic SEO, but with an easier to use interface and perhaps a few less filters. Database is not as large, but it also doesn’t have as much outdated data as one would find in Majestic SEO’s database.
  • Competition Finder – tool looks at how many competing pages there are in Google’s index that has your desired keywords in their page title and anchor text.
  • Search Engine Saturation Tool – helps you compare how many pages you have in the search indexes compared against competing sites.
  • Back Link Analyzer – free Windows based downloadable software allowing you to deeply explore through a competitor’s backlinks. Powered by the Yahoo! API, so it might be a bit spotty, but it is not bad for free.
  • Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool – allows you to plug in a URL and shows you what keywords Google thinks the page should be advertising for
  • Google Traffic Estimator – estimates the number of Google AdWords ad clicks and bid prices for the top ad position.
  • Google Search Based Keyword Tool – shows keyword search volume estimates and keyword values…by keyword, site, or category.
  • Backlink Watch – shows backlinks and anchor text used in the backlinks
  • Xenu Link Sleuth – Downloadable software which makes it fast and easy to find broken links on your site.
  • SEO Power suite Tool
  • Web CEO Tool
  • IBP Tools

Rank Checking Tools:

  • Agent Web Ranking
  • Rank Tracker
  • Google Webmaster Central – allows you to sign up for Google Sitemaps, shows some crawling errors, and a more complete view of your backlinks. Also shows keywords you rank well for and keywords that send you the most traffic.

Analytics Tools

  • Google Analytics – powerful full featured analytics tool
  • Clicktale – specializes in customer heat maps
  • Crazy Egg – somewhat similar to Clicktale in providing analytics visualization Adobe’s Omniture WebTrends
  • comScore’s Digital Analytix Suite
  • IBM’s Coremetrics