Before using any ‘SEO’ (search engine optimisation) tools to improve your website’s chance of being listed highly by search engines such as Google, it is necessary to identify what your business goals are: do you want to increase your search engine rankings, sales, click through rates, or traffic? What is it that you want your website to do better?
Search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo can be used as a starting point to see what comes up when you type in keywords, brand names, and so on. For example, typing your company into Google may bring up results that show your website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and so on. You can check which webpages Google and Yahoo currently index by entering ‘site:www.yoursite.com‘ into the search box. You should also make note of your competitors to see what they are doing well.
Next I would suggest using Google Adword’s Keyword Research Tool and looking at information such as ‘Global monthly searches, by volume’, ‘broad/exact/phrase match’, ‘local monthly searches’, and so on. Tutorials on how to use this tool can be found on YouTube.
Hubspot’s website grader tool can be used to check what is your current marketing grade and obtain information on how to improve your website score.
Another useful tool is Google’s Webmaster tools, especially ‘your site on the web’, and ‘search queries’ – an analysis of keywords used by people to find your website.
SEO Chat has a number of free keyword density and suggestion tools that can be used to analyse and find keywords.
Free online sitemap generators are available which can be used to create an XML sitemap that can be submitted to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines to help them when they crawl your website.
Google Trends is a tool that shows you terms that a lot of people are currently searching for on Google which you can then use on your website to generate traffic.
Google Alerts allow you to monitor important activities going on in your marketplace or niche.
You can check your backlinks and the backlinks of competitors using tools such as Open Site Explorer.
Google Analytics can be used to check for website information such as crawl errors, which pages are viewed most, landing/exit pages, keywords, html suggestions (eg duplicate titles).
Hopefully you will find these tools useful.
You may also like to take a look at our SEO checklist.