Every SEO will, at one point or another, be confronted with the task of doing some in-depth website analysis. Sometimes you need to get an idea of the health of on-page elements, at others you want to do comparative analysis. Often you may simple need a “bigger picture” view of what is going on with a site. When posed with questions such as – Why has my traffic dropped this month? To – What areas do I need to focus on for improvement in SERP rankings? A search engine optimizer will need to sift through some data to better understand the exact circumstances of a website’s performance in order to make accurate and educated recommendations.
There are a number of tools on the market that help with the SEO analysis process, some free, some paid. What are the programs that can help the most, or are easiest to use and understand? The following are five of my all-time favorite SEO Tools to use for site analysis and research:
- Raven Tools – www.raventools.com - Raven Tools offers a paid set of marketing tools – their SEO Software is currently one of my favorite go-to programs for reporting. Not only does it offer an immense amount of details and a wide range of reporting options, Raven Tools also makes it easy to incorporate your branding on reports. It used to take me five or six open browser tabs to accomplish what Raven Tools can do with just one click. It grabs the data, adds it to an easy to use reporting interface and makes accessing that data a snap with color graphics and clickable data links for delving further into the data it has retrieved. A great tool and a huge time saver. A busy SEOs dream.
- Google Analytics – www.google.com/analytics – Of course Google Analytics had to make my ‘top five’ list. Any SEO who is not using Google Analytics is missing out on a boatload of valuable data. You know the old saying that humans only use 20% of their brains? Well, I kind of feel the same way when I’m knee deep in numbers, digging through a client’s dashboard trying to figure out a current statistical anomaly. It’s times like those when I realize that most SEOs (including myself) only use a fraction of what Google Analytics can offer – there is just so much information to digest! A girl (or boy) can get lost in there. A word of advice – if you are using GA regularly, get certified by taking the Google Analytics IQ Test and make sure you are using this tool to its greatest potential. For research and statistics, it is second to none. For reporting integration – it leaves something to be desired. But to be fair, it’s not trying to be a branding tool like Raven Tools is – and for a FREE tool, it is one powerful vehicle.
- The Hubspot Marketing Grader Tool - marketing.grader.com – HubSpot’s Marketing Grader is a tool that analyzes your website and provides actionable insights to improve your online marketing tactics – for FREE! It gives you insight into your on-page SEO (meta tag usage, headers, internal linking) as well as off site indicators like social media, blogging, and backlinks. This is a one stop snapshot of how your site is doing, instantly! A great place to start your research if you are not sure where to begin.
- Webmaster Tools (Bing www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster and Google www.google.com/webmasters/tools ) – Often overlooked, Bing and Google webmaster tools are positioned to be one of the more info heavy (and reliable) of the data providers outside of Google Analytics. While Bing may actually offer a bit more in the arena of data, both tools offer keywords, links, queries, and site issues so you can maintain a healthy web presence if you take the time to review the information within. The tools are free, and super intuitive to use (unlike Google Analytics) so finding information fast is very doable from either of these interfaces.
- MySEOTool – www.myseotool.com - This is another set of analysis software that is incredibly user friendly. MySEOTool shows keyword rank, social media monitoring, and backlink statistics all from a very visually appealing interface. Reports are easy to export in pdf format. This tool is my favorite for showing local rank. It has become a go-to favorite in my SEO toolbox. Google webmaster tools is integrated in their newest release, so you get two great tools in one!