One of my first tasks when settling in here at Strategiq has been to ensure that I’ve got my tools up and ready to go. The “SEO toolkit” has always been a little bit of a mish-mash if I’m honest, as SEO has evolved and the focus changes, so has the toolkit. You have a huge range to choose from, premium suites to browser plugins to self-built tools – whatever makes you a more effective marketer!
For my first blog post on the site I’ve decided to share the most used items of my SEO Tool Kit and give a brief glimpse as to why they’re important.
In SEO HTTP Status Codes are important, mainly because they’re sending all-important signals to Google (amongst other things) as to current status of a given page.
Are you telling Google that a broken page (404 Not Found) is in fact working fine (200 Okay)? Or maybe you’ve moved a link permanently (301), but instead seem to be saying it’s only a temporary move (302)? This may seem confusing to casual bystander, but it’s pretty important that you’re not giving Google the wrong impression!
Rather than going to the trouble of individually checking the HTTP response for each page, Redirect Path does it for you and displays it within your browser so you can check it as you go.
Tag Assistant (Google)
So much of good digital marketing is getting a solid grasp of what users are doing on your website, which for the vast majority of websites means that Google Analytics is your bread and butter.
But you’ll only get good data within Analytics if your code is implemented properly on your website. Tag Assistant gives you page-level insights into the state of your code as well as helps trouble-shoot any problems too, making it quick and easy to establish if there’s an issue and what you will need to do to fix it.
Web Developer Tool Bar
With page speed being a big deal for Google (and users!), getting insights into how the website is performing and what might be causing page speed issues is really important.
Yslow is a great plugin that gives you the information you need, rating each element of the site’s speed and providing recommendations. Like most of these tools, it’s not the only one out there that does the job, but the website speed results are broken down into actionable areas nice and easily.
Backlink tools/software could be a separate post altogether, and these are two of the biggies out there. One of the best ways to get a comprehensive look at how your website appears on the Internet is from its backlink profile.
Ahrefs and Majestic display (amongst other things) data which shows who links to any given website and how its linked to. This enables you to highlight good links in a competitors link profile, so you can prospect and claim for yourself or helps you trouble-shoot bad links which may be causing you any problems.
Other notable mentions:
Of course, the five tools I’ve mentioned above aren’t only ones I use, and as I mentioned above, these change all the time – some of which being highly dependent on the task at hand. Here are some other notable mentions, which are really useful.
Rank Checker – Ad Hoc rank checking for when you want to take a quick snapshot of a link profile.
User agent switcher – See how other users/device types view your website at the touch of a button.
Scraper for Chrome – Scrape (or copy) information off websites quickly and easily without having to learn to code.