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Useful Tools

Use these tools to analyse the performance of your website, collect data on your competitor’s sites, prepare images for loading on to your web pages and choosing keywords and phrases.

The first four tools cost money. They form part of a suite of software that provide an arsenal of weapons that analyse the components of your website element by element. Once you know all there is to know about your website, you then proceed to analyse your competitors with the intention of copying or bettering what they have done. This may sound a little dodgy, but that is the way of the Internet. Someone is always ready to steal your lunch. You just need to keep monitoring the performance of your website to keep ahead of the pack. This is the main tool we use for our own websites.

  • WebSite Auditor

    WebSite Auditor checks parts of your website you probably haven't even heard of. WebSite Auditor produces two audit reports, the first is of a general nature concerning your site, The second report analyses a specified page for a chosen keyword. After gathering the data it needs, it then proceeds to compare the data against the top 10 ranking sites for that keyword.
    After comparing your site against the top 10 ranking sites, it returns an overall percentage score of how close your web page is to the rest. The higher the score is the better. Your job is to take the poor scoring elements of your page, and improve them to the required standard so you get a score as close as or better than your competitors. Let's look at each report and what it analyses.

    Website Report - Current Website Statistics

    • Domain age - this is a factor in ranking, the older the better
    • Domain Google PageRank - from 1 to 10, the higher the better
    • Number of pages indexed in Google
    • Number of pages indexed in Yahoo
    • Number of pages indexed in Bing
    • Domain Google popularity index
    • Link destination statistics
    • Top 4 linked to pages, the higher the number of links the better
    • HTTP server response access codes, ensures robots can access the site
    • HTML validity, checks there are no script errors in the site's HTML
    • Page Titles analysis, looking for duplications, missing or overly long Titles
    • Page Descriptions analysis, looking for duplications and missing Descriptions

    These are some of the areas WebSite Auditor checks that affect a site's ranking. If your site is brand new, then some of the data will be missing. Nevertheless, robot access, HTML validity, Titles and Descriptions are all easy things to get right so ranking isn't delayed or compromised.
    The next step after making sure the bones of your site are in good condition, it is time to select the page you want to compare to the top 10 performing sites for your selected keyword. This is usually your Index or Home page, but can be any page on your website. After running WebSite Auditor, the Onpage Optimization Report returns the following data on the places your keyword should appear, with its density and prominence compared to the top 10 sites.

    Onpage Optimization Report

    • Optimisation Rate, the overall percentage figure for that page, the closer to 100% the better
    • Page Title keyword optimisation rate
    • Meta Description keyword optimisation rate
    • Meta keywords keyword optimisation, not used by top search engines, but spamming is a danger
    • Page body text keyword optimisation, a key area
    • H1 headings, avoid too few or too many
    • Bold text, search engines consider bold text is important
    • Anchor text should contain keywords
    • Image Alt text should contain keywords
    • Page load time, the shorter the better

    Most of the data in the reports can be obtained manually. The time to do this would be in the region of days or weeks. WebSite Auditor does it in minutes. Download a free trial copy, and test it for yourself. If your business depends on your website being ranked highly, this is the software that will help you achieve that. we use it exclusively for our own websites.

    Click here to download a free trial of WebSite Auditor

  • Rank Tracker

    After you have been indexed by at least one of the major search engines, you will want to track your site's ranking. Rank Tracker does just that, keeping a historical record of when you checked your ranking, and what the rank was on selected search engines. The data returned in the Search Engine Rankings Report is listed below.

    Search Engine Rankings Report

    • By selected search engines, detailing if the site is in the top 10, 20, 30,or 100
    • By keyword(s) by search engine with current ranking and any movement up or down
    • Keyword efficiency index (KEI) and visibility
    • Historical data by keywords, by search engine. The data includes rank when first checked, current rank, highest historical rank and lowest historical rank. A table also displays the date checked, rank on that date and the movement from the last check date.

    As well as the Rankings Report, Rank Checker also has an on screen progress graph, visits graph, visibility graph, and a summary table of history records and ranking data. You can also access Google Adwords from here as well.

    Click here to download a free trial of Rank Tracker

  • SEO SpyGlass

    Getting your SEO as good as or better than your competitors is only half the job. Search engines look at what sites are linking back to your site to assess how important your site is on the Web. If your SEO is perfect, but there are no back links, your site will rank lower than a site that does have back links. Even more importantly, those links must be of a quality equal to your competitors', otherwise you will still rank lower, even if you have more back links than your competitors.
    So how do you get this information on your competitors? By using SEO SpyGlass. This program takes a selected site and analyses all the back links going to that site. Just some of the data provided includes

    • The back link page URL
    • Page Title
    • Anchor text
    • Anchor URL
    • The Google PageRank
    • The link's value
    • Domain URL
    • Domain IP address and country
    • The Domain Google PageRank
    • Whether it is listed in DMOZ or Yahoo Directory
    • Alexa Rank
    • Domain age

    SEO SpyGlass lays bare the quality and quantity of back links your selected competitor has. Using that information you need to get the same sort of link profile as your competitor.
    SEO also has a 7 step SEO Success Blueprint. Some of the advice given about keyword optimisation is covered elsewhere in this website, but it still contains little gems that all help towards that first page ranking. The 7 steps include

    • Step 1: Optimising your keywords the right way
    • Step 2: Increasing your site's importance with Google
    • Step 3: Finding high quality link partners (SEO SpyGlass gives you lists of relevant link partners)
    • Step 4: Using articles and press releases for high quality links (SEO Spyglass gives you lists of high quality article and press release directories)
    • Step 5: Identifying your competitor's biggest traffic sources (SEO SpyGlass lists them for you)
    • Step 6: Tapping into social media sites (SEO SpyGlass lists the best for you)
    • Step 7: Using Internet directories to boost your rankings (SEO SpyGlass lists 1200 of the best for you)

    Click here to download a free trial of SEO SpyGlass

  • LinkAssistant

    Once you have identified the links you require in SEO Spyglass, you need some method of managing them as you acquire them. You can do this using a spreadsheet (I have), but again, it is too time consuming, especially if you are managing more than one site.
    The simple answer is LinkAssistant, the last module in this suite of 4. Linkassistant's primary objective is to manage your back links. It does this by listing them in a table of "Partners". The table shows the following data:

    • Partner domain
    • Partner domain PageRank
    • Back link page URL
    • Partner email address
    • Link status (is the website link active or still exist?)

    You can add 23 more columns of data or take existing ones out. The full data set is huge.
    Note: You can download your competitor's list of back links straight into Linkassistant. This is just another example of a great time saver.
    Linkassistant has a built in Web browser and email facility, meaning you don't even need to leave the program when looking for suitable websites to email link requests to. You can also create a link directory if you wish.
    Clicking on any back link in the table gives you access to all the data you can't fit on to your screen.
    One of the most powerful functions Linkassistant has is being able to verify if your links are still active. You can verify individual links or in bulk. Think of the time saving in that functionality. Why do this at all? Some websites put a link to you on their site, then after verifying you have put a reciprocal one on yours, delete the one on their site. (One way links have more link juice than two way).

    Linkassistant produces a report of the back links for your selected website. Most of the information is from the partner table, but the report does group data for easy review. The Backlinks Anchors Report details;

    • Anchor text analysis, a table showing under each different anchor text the back link pages, Google PageRank, Alexa Rank and the link value
    • Back link anchor URL analysis, a table showing under each different URL the back link anchor text used, Alexa rank and link value. This information can be quite important because unless you are getting back links to different pages, there should be only one URL anchor text used. A common error is when http://www.sample.com and http://sample.com are used. Google recognizes these URLs as two different sites.
    • Back link anchors verification results. This table groups all the text and URL errors together in one handy report. It takes too long to get good quality links without errors being made during set up
    LinkAssistant has two other reports, a Link Building Report that explains the most important link building terms and processes and gives both a quick overview and deeper analysis of your link building campaign letting you evaluate your progress.
    The Partner Management Report demonstrates and analyses data on all websites contained in the link building project of a particular site.

    Click here to download a free trial of Linkassistant

  • SEO PowerSuite

    Which SEO PowerSuite Program Do I Choose?

    If you only choose one of these applications, it must be WebSite Auditor. This program's ability to quickly identify failings within the website and the web page you are comparing to your competition is priceless. I've taken pages with a low 35% relevance to 85% in minutes.

    Rank Tracker is probably the least useful if you have a site ranking within the first few pages of search results. It only takes a couple of minutes to do a query to confirm where your site is ranking. If you have a new site that is buried somewhere deep in the search results, Rank Tracker certainly saves a lot of time, and it keeps detailed records of the progress your site is making up the rankings. Note: Google will often put sites you have visited regularly at the top of your search results, giving the wrong impression of your site's ranking. Rank Tracker removes this anomaly.

    SEO SpyGlass has two important functions, the first tells you what your competitors are using for back links that you can copy, and the second is the 7 step SEO Success Blueprint. The brilliant part of this package is SEO SpyGlass actually selects suitable link partners and article directories for you based on your keyword or phrase.

    LinkAssistant is a must have if you have a lot of competitors for your keywords. Quality bank links separate the successful from the unsuccessful when all your competing websites have equally good SEO. The number of back links that you may need to ensure a good ranking may number into the hundreds, and managing these manually would be a nightmare.

    If you are considering purchasing two or more of the applications, then I would suggest you purchase the suite of 4 as the price difference between purchasing 2 and the suite of 4 is small, and they all contribute something quite different to your SEO efforts.

    Click here to download a free trial of SEO PowerSuite.

    
    

    Free Tools

  • Website download speed checker

    Research has found that if a web page takes any longer than 8-10 seconds to download ON DIAL UP, you will start losing visitors. WebSite Auditor also checks loading speed, but doesn't analyse the result to the extent this site does. It shows the size of individual elements such as images by file size.

    Click here to use this web page analyser

  • Image optimiser

    Text adds very little to download speed. The main culprits are images and bells and whistles. Images need to be “optimised”. This means the best possible quality image at the lowest possible file size. Read more on the Marketing Effectiveness page.

    Use this tool to optimise your images.

  • Google Keyword selection tool

    Keywords are the key to why a search engine will rank your site highly. When selecting keywords or phrases, choose something that isn’t used by too many other websites. Try to position yourself in a niche category. A highly competitive keyword will mean a huge amount of work will be required to get your website on the first page of search results. Use this tool to select a keyword or phrase that has enough monthly searches to make it viable, but with low competition.
    Hint: Google will not display all the keyword options if you are not signed up. If you have signed up for Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools, you use this sign in. The keyword tool will then display up to 800 options.

    Click here to use Google's keyword selection tool.

  • Google Analytics

    Google Analytics is a tool made available to all website owners that allows them to attach tracking script to their web pages. The amount of information provided is vast, starting with the basics of unique visitor numbers to the keywords used that found your site, and the screen resolution that was used to view your web page. Priceless!

    Click here to get started with Google Analytics.

  • Google Webmaster Tools

  • Google Webmaster Tools is aimed more at your site's health and visibility than about visitor data. It reports on such things as crawl errors, links to your site, HTML improvements that could be made, content keyword significance and search query numbers and click throughs.
    It even reports if malware has been imbedded into your site.

    Click here to get started with Google Webmaster Tools.

  • HTML - Kit

    This useful tool is used to check the integrity of you web site's HTML code. If your code is faulty, it may affect your ranking. Web browsers are very forgiving, having to deal with HTML, XHTML, XML, JavaScript and a host of other scripting languages. What appears on your computer screen may look fine, but search engine robots are looking at the website's script to determine where the site should be ranked. You need to make it as easy as possible for the robots to read it.
    Note: HTML-Kit doesn't pick up XHTML written in uppercase when it should be written in lowercase. Uppercase attributes such as "LEFT" or "CENTER" are picked up. It does however give a corrected version if viewed in "split view".
    Once I have run HTML-Kit over a site's script, I then go to the W3C Markup Validation Service website for a final check. This organisation controls the standards for HTML and all its derivatives such as XHTML.

    Click here to download a copy of HTML Kit.

  • W3C Markup Validation Service

    The W3 Consortium controls the standards for code used to build websites. Website code started off as HTML (hypertext markup language), before moving on to XHTML (extensible hypertext markup language).
    Once you have corrected the majority of errors using HTML-Kit, go to the W3C website to get final sign off. They even let you use a logo on your website to show it meets the W3C standard.

    Click here to check your HTML code.

  • ISP upload/download speed checker

    This tool has nothing to do with websites, but is useful if you can't work out why your website seems to be downloading to your PC too slowly. This website checks your current upload and download speeds, which can change dramatically during the day.

    Click here to check your current upload and download speeds.

  • Tools That Cost Money

  • Website content duplication

    Use this site to check you haven't duplicated another website's content. Google is looking for unique copy on your website. Google will drop your ranking like a lead balloon if you are caught plagiarising another site!
    Limited checks are free, but "premium" checks cost $US 0.05 with a minimum order quantity of 100. The order lasts for 12 months.

    Click here to check for duplications.

  • The Best Spinner

  • This program is used to make multiple copies of the same article so search engines don't recognize them as duplicates. Article writing is one of the most effective ways of getting back links to your website using article directories. The only problem with this is creating dozens of unique articles.
    The way around this problem is by using software that takes your original article, and spins it into multiple versions, all subtly different from each other. You still have to cast an eye over the spun article for grammatical errors, but balance that against the time it would take to write say 100 articles.

    Click here to order a copy of The Best Spinner.

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