Useful SEO tools

By Kris Consadine

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When we build websites here at JUMP, there is always some varying level of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) that goes on behind the scenes prior to, during and after a website build. In order to help us through these stages and beyond we use a collection of different SEO tools to help us analyse data, highlight potential issues and ultimately make improvements where necessary. Some of the tools are free, some are not. But they all play an integral part in the success of any website SEO campaign.

So, what SEO Tools do we use?

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a small program that is very useful when carrying out website reviews and audits. A typical example scenario of when we use it would be when a client comes to us and asks what we can do to help improve their website performance within the search engine results (SERPS). Running this tool allows us to quickly ascertain any issues found on a site such as 404 errors, missing or duplicate content and export that information into a nice tidy, easy to understand excel document.

NoFollow browser add-on

As developers and SEO's, we use a lot of browser add-ons for a number of different tasks. A very useful one (and is a must for SEO's) is the NoFollow add-on. When enabled it highlights all links on a web page that are not being 301 followed and if a webmaster has accidentally added a Noindex tag to a webpage, the add-on will tell you in a jiffy. You would be surprised to learn how many web pages have the Noindex tag on it thus preventing search engines robots from crawling the site. Doh!

Y-Slow browser add-on

Now one may question why we have listed the Y-Slow add-on considering it is largely seen as a web developer tool rather than an SEO tool, however optimising the speed of your web page load times is very important when it comes to search engine optimisation. If your web pages are taking too long to load, then you are more than likely going to do more damage than good to your organic rankings as page loading time is a factor in search engine algorithms. There are many other page speed tools out there but as developers and SEO's, we use this every day.

Open Site Explorer

An incredibly useful online tool to allow you to check where your inbound links are coming from. Using the sites additional filters you can specify which kind of links you want to view such as equity-passing or nofollowed, and you can also see what the link anchor text is of those links all in one report.

Google Analytics & Google Webmaster Tools

The most important set of tools in our tool kit.

Combined, these offer us an incredible amount of information about how a website or web page is succeeding at its goals (or not as the case may be). You can have site audit reports, custom reports, bespoke dashboards, real time activity and advance segments which allow us to drill down to who is finding our websites using 2 keyword, 3 keyword and 4 keyword phrases for example. With Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) you can also ensure your site is adhering to the strict SEO rules that Google sets out to impose and if your doing something naughty - Webmaster Tools will tell you. Ouch!

To wrap up, if you are involved in an SEO campaign or are developing a site (which of course would require search engine optimisation), then these tools come highly recommended by the JUMP team. There are many other useful SEO tools out there, especially the secret one which at the press of a button makes your website jump to the first position in Google. But of course were not going to tell you what that useful SEO tool is called...

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