I’m just about to reach the 5 year mark working in the online marketing industry, and one thing that I’ve always found remarkable is how open and sharing people in this line of work tend to be. Whether it’s strategies, tactics, updates, techniques or tools – folks in this space do a lot of sharing, and often the depth and breadth is outstanding.
I find this to be true online and offline – I read a lot of industry blog posts and attend many workshops and conferences and people are typically quite passionate about what they do; and that passion frequently translates into contributions to the rest of us in the online marketing community.
Nowadays, as an SEO Strategist on Team Portent, the bulk of my day-to-day professional work involves a lot of, well, SEO-related diagnosis and recommendations. And just like you wouldn’t send a carpenter or a plumber out to do a job without a proper set of tools, we online marketers need tools that help us to be more productive than we would be otherwise. During my day-to-day work, I use a combination of Portent’s stellar internal toolset and a host of other tools as well.
Some time ago I started keeping a list of tools on an Excel spreadsheet because it’s just too hard to keep everything in my head (I named the file my “forget-me-not” list of tools). I read a lot of industry blogs every day and if someone mentions some tool and it seems like something I can use now or in the future, I log it on my spreadsheet for future investigation or use.
Cut the Talk – It’s Time to Rock
You probably already know about many or most of these tools, but I’d bet that you’ll find at least one cool tool here you’ve never used before – and that will make it worth your time to scan the list or bookmarking this page for future reference.
I’ve broken this down to logical-to-me categories, but you may prefer a different organizational scheme. Also, it’s true that many of these tools “fit” into more than one category and can be used for multiple tasks, so there is that to keep in mind. I’ll also mention that you may find my extremely short descriptions inadequate (please be kind, I typically would enter the tool to my spreadsheet with some hastily-typed or copy/paste from the site to cue me as to what the tool could be used for). But setting all that aside, what’s important is that someone, hopefully you, will find this list useful.
Last notes: I’ve been keeping this list just for my own personal benefit, and I’m not being compensated in any way by any tool or resource you see on this list. My descriptions are purposely very short making it easy for you to scan this list. So without further ado, here’s my insanely large list of tools. Want to download the spreadsheet? No problem, do that at the bottom of this post.
Sure, you don’t want to “take your eye off the ball” with respect to your site and overall digital marketing strategy – but you don’t want to be caught sleeping either while your competitors pass you by (excuse the mixed metaphors). You can learn a lot from what your competitors are doing well or even doing poorly when it comes to online marketing. I recommend you do periodic research on your competition and keep your finger on the pulse of your industry at large.
Use Competitor URLs in Keyword Planner tool, review suggested keyword groups and keywords.
Batch Analysis: very fast overview of backlinks & social metrics for any list of URLs you enter.
Where are your competitors being mentioned? Are there feeds that highlight their content frequently? FWE is a good tool to build up your outreach list.
Top 10 SERP comparison module outputs a color-coded grid of various key ranking metrics.
Browser toolbar – provides wealth of metrics & data on web pages and SERP listings.
Bulk URL checker to grab Moz stats on multiple URLs via SERPs scrape/download.
“The freshest backlinks, for free”.
Get most linked-to URLs for popular content research – many, many more uses.
Serious competitive intelligence including finding all GA accounts!
Use the domain vs. domain tool to see what keywords competitors rank for with associated metrics. View Competitor keywords, ad copy, organic or paid.
“On-page report card” – grade a page for a Keyword.
Analyze competition and discover keywords.
Easily find similar websites.
Via Avinash at Mozcon – use to get a *&%$load of data on your site and other’s sites.
Instant insights on any website: can also get email subscription to alerts.
Backlink profile checker, not free.
Get a quick overview of site metrics.
Quickly find and share the most valuable content in one easy-to-use platform (paid tool).
Content Strategy Generator Tool (updated)
This very cool tool from Richard Baxter and the Builtvisible team helps you plan your content strategy intelligently, using keyword research and estimating your audience size. Their description of the tool is “Easily consolidate trending news from across the web, and find inspiration for your research topics quickly and easily”.
Content “story” creation service via Mike King.
Copyscape serves both as a plagiarism checker and a duplicate-content checker. Great to use if your content has been distributed across the web.
Navigate the world of public data.
Find questions your target demographic is talking about online.
FWE allows you to check on or keep track of a set of terms over time, and helps you get a sense for what type of content gets a lot of mentions, shares, and links. Many more uses, features keep getting added.
Drawing on vast public databases, Google public data offers a great starting point for content research, infographics, and more.
Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer.
Use this tool to check for duplicate content issues. The Similar Page Checker will give you a score of how closely the HTML of two pages resemble each other.
A community of bloggers and influencers come together to read and share great content.
Create mind map out of Wikipedia topics & articles.
Enter a subject (or topic or keywords) and get all kinds of titles and ideas.
Get visitor feedback.
Get visitor feedback.
CRO, A/B testing, analytics.
Live click tracking.
Get visitor feedback.
A/B & MV testing.
“Amazingly simple graphic design for blogs, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers and so much more”.
Use the online image color picker right to select a color and get the html Color Code of this pixel.
Hreflang testing tool.
Hreflang tag generator from Aleyda Solis.
Create HREFLANG Sitemap.
Search de-personalized, via Portent SEO Kaitlin McMichael.
Search international, get SERPs.
Displays a handy little chart with every definition of a word and synonyms. It’s a lexicon-builder’s dream.
Simulate using Google Search from different location or device or perform a search with custom search settings – useful for searching Google as if you were somewhere else and for SEO & SEA testing.
Build Google searches in any combination of Google supported top level domain, country and language.
Generate keywords from a seed keywords or enter a list to obtain search volume and other data points.
Look at the keywords that drive traffic – especially historical data before the onset of (not provided). Matched Search Queries – the keywords a searcher typed before clicking on an AdWords ad.
Find searches that correlate with real-world data.
Look at related searches at bottom.
Don’t hit enter when you start searching. Thanks to Wil Reynolds.
Get idea of up or down trend & also look at hot trends for new ideas.
Look for striking distance keywords. Export for further analysis in Excel or other tools.
Free section requires signup.
Organic & paid info. Recently added killer backlink analysis.
Like Ubersuggest: get 750 google keyword suggestions for free.
Create “wonder wheels” of related terms – hover for definitions.
Local SEO keyword research tool – enter Zip & KEYWORD, get list of KEYWORD plus local cities.
Research a list of keywords you enter or enter a seed keyword to generate related keywords; huge amount of associated metrics is available.
Get definitions and related terms for keyword research.
Keyword difficulty tool.
Grade a page for a keyword.
Enter site: get keyword list export, organic or paid
Keyword suggestion tool.
Like Ubersuggest, you can generate lists of related keywords using a root term. Need to play with this, check it out.
Download top keywords; use wordle/compose to create word cloud to visualize. Hat tip to Ben Lloyd.
Visualize social trends.
Organic & paid info.
Suggester is another free tool like Ubersuggest where you can input a seed term and generate variations – download to CSV is desired.
Make your own tag cloud from any text.
Enter keyword, look at trends & spikes.
Generate list of keywords from seed; enter into AdWords tool for volume etc.
Create word clouds.
Generate keywords – paid tool.
In addition to its paid offerings, Wordstream offers a suite of free keyword tools offering access to thousands of keyword suggestions.
Generate keywords – paid tool.
“An RDF Search Engine”.
Yelp Trends tool.
Just like Google Autocomplete.
You’ll end up with a report allowing you to sort your backlinks by the social standing of the authors of those links.
Incredible: enter a keyword, it outputs links to Google SERPS of your keyword plus various advanced search operators.
Email Tracking service, via Ross Hudgens.
Checks for broken links on a page. Browser plugin.
Checks a site for broken links.
Garrett French’s tool – Citation Labs.
Scrapes the web for broken links based on keyword input!
Check DA of up to 200 domains at once.
Various tools & uses.
This magic extension for Chrome not only helps you find important broken links, but also tells you if the links point to an available domain.
Free tools for creating and sharing inforgraphics. The templates allow anyone to create a professional-looking graphic.
Find email address via domain name entry.
Verify email addresses.
Find recent mentions where you aren’t being linked-to.
Help a reporter out.
Automated reverse image search! Search who’s using your image, request a link from them.
A great free Infographics resource that allows you to easily create graphics and data visualizations.
Create domain misspellings (add TLD) add to bulk backlink checker like Majestic or Ahrefs, find links that point to you then go and ’em.
Enter keyword, generates clickable advanced search operators!
Mine our database and identify opportunity for content placement whether as a link builder, an affiliate or a website owner.
Discover new links immediately, even as they’re being placed (via Mike King).
Need to send an email to an untested address, but you don’t want to spam them? Check it first with this mail tester to verify.
See competitor’s link profile.
Community of guest bloggers.
Look at competitor’s links for good opportunities.
Find outdated content, build fresh, and ask for links.
Grab OSE data via API with this tool.
Scrape, check, ping, post!
View all your tweets on one page.
Word cloud tool – use to see influencer names.
Via Richard Baxter, Mozcon 2013: twitter archiving Google spreadsheet.
Send email with a 1 min video (via Mike King).
It really is.
US Census tools for audience demographics.
Your Local SEO not-so-secret weapon.
“In one easy step, Moz Local ensures your business listings are correct, consistent, and visible across the web so search engines and new customers can find you.”
Google Gadgets driving directions widget for your webpage.
Among other things, Google Map Maker allows you to contribute to public map information, which may be shared and incorporated into Google Maps.
Google Places for Business Category Tool.
Michael Cottam’s Google+ My Business Page Finder.
Offline Conversion Tracker
OSHA Standard Industrial Category Tool.
Create HTML with schema.org microdata.
You’ll need a specific address, so be ready for that.
Search all complaint websites at once.
Note: although I’ve been AdWords certified for years and have run some small campaigns, I don’t necessarily consider myself a “PPC guy” or expert (we have those here, though) – so my list of PPC tools is not particularly extensive, to put it nicely. Feel free to send me your non-commercial suggestions to add here via Twitter (@dportney) – thanks!
Landing Page Creator.
The relative importance of checking rankings is debatable. In fact, it was at @SEMpdx SearchFest industry conference where I heard my first full-blown rant from @ConradSaam about the uselessness of checking rank (he recommended focusing on traffic and conversions) – that was 4 years ago and before the Google Hummingbird algorithm update and before Google started rewriting queries based on perceived user intent. I’ve used and still use rank checkers, but the effectiveness of SEO strategies based on keyword ranking really seems to be dying if not already dead. That said, here’s some tools I’ve used:
This light and easy desktop tool checks rankings with the click of a button. Quick, easy and free.
Actually, AWR does much, much more than just rank tracking and is definitely worth checking out (this is a paid tool).
I haven’t used AL in awhile, but have used their service and it’s generally very good – I’m sure they’ve made improvements since (this is a paid tool).
I love doing site analysis. Whether it’s a relatively quick SEO Triage, a comprehensive SEO Audit, or even a full-blown SEO Strategy Playbook, conducting a thorough site analysis and providing recommendations is one of my favorite tasks in SEO-land. Here are some tools that I use and that will make your analyses faster, easier, and more comprehensive.
Mouse over page elements to see HTML data like div classes & IDs.
Anchor Text Over Optimization Tool.
Bing users will thank you.
Get an overview of site metrics.
“Find Broken Links, Redirects & Site Crawl Tool.”
A simple online web page compression / deflate / gzip test tool.
Create CSS Sprites Online.
Many use cases – a Swiss Army Knife of tools.
Get various site metrics.
Many robots.txt files contain hidden errors not easily visible to humans. Run your file through this tool and you never know what you’ll discover.
Tools, data, and insights to improve your page speed.
Google Penalty Checker tool.
Google Plus One Checker in Bulk!
Pagespeed & Yslow grade, great report!
Check if Gzip is enabled.
W3C HTML markup validator.
Some web servers enable HTTP compression and conditional GET to reduce bandwidth usage with browsers that support these technologies. Use this tool to test whether a webpage supports HTTP compression and conditional GET.
Check if compression is on.
IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit.
Check All Links or Images on a Page.
Inspect Meta Data via Chrome Plugin.
Check how a site looks on various mobile devices.
Various tools – check dmoz, backlinks, DA etc.
Neil Patels Website Analyzer
Get various stats on your site and where you might make improvements.
Check the Important SEO Content on Your Webpage.
Check the Speed of your site and your competitors.
Pingdom offers an entire suite of speed tools to help analyze page load, DNS issues, and connectivity.
Enter domain to test SSL Certs and get a report.
See URL HTTP status.
Use robots best practices and discover hidden errors in your robots.txt files that may cause search engine crawling problems.
Better than way back machine – easy way to quickly see past versions of sites.
SEO, Social, Rankings, keyword and backlinks report tool
Crawler – cloud based, allows export – max 250 URLs – plus other tools.
Get key metrics & data quickly – use plugin or toolbar.
Via Avinash at Mozcon – use to get a sh*tload of data on your and other’s sites
Check if a website properly supports the SPDY protocol, the super-fast HTTP replacement, and troubleshoot any problems with the configuration.
Create CSS Sprites out of background image using bookmarklet
Create CSS Sprites – drag and drop interface
You Can Disclose Websites With The Same Google AdSense Code, Google Analytics Code, IP Address etc.
Analysis of the configuration of any SSL web server on the public Internet
A great tool for digging into server headers, canonical information, analyzing redirect problems and more.
Want to see the history of your website or your competitor’s site? The Wayback Machine allows you to step back in time and track important changes.
Page Speed Tool via Ian
Get a quick overview of site metrics
Google Plus Analytics
Debug your OG tags
Facebook Power Editor Download page
The ultimate Google+ directory that’s great for research, outreach, and link building. Sort by keywords, profession, country, and more.
Find influencers; competitive research.
Search and find the best twitter hash tags.
Create tabs to listen on a particular topic or hashtag
Internet Meme Database
Check for if your brand is available across multiple social sites
Easy way to generate those images with text at top and bottom like “what if I told you…”
Test structured markup and get approval in same process (per Cyrus’ Moz post)
Want to know how any piece of content was shared socially across the major services? This is the tool to use.
Harnessing the combined statistics of Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and more, the SharedCount API puts a ton of social data at your fingertips.
How much reach and social authority do your followers have? How about the people you’re trying to connect with? The free Social Authority API will tell you.
ID competitors most shared content
Complete data on all image sizes for major social media sites
Visualize social trends
Social media analytics
First submit domain (per Cyrus’ Moz post) – then check URL
Analytics and more for Twitter via Matt McGee glowing recommendation.
Good relations snippet generator
Use to grab HTML Markup
Google Plus Schema Creator
If you use Schema.org microformats or any other type of structured data, this tool will verify your markup.
Everyone loves using Schema.org, but the microformats are difficult to write by hand. This generator from the folks at Raven simplifies the task.
Extract unique hostnames
Remove duplicate hostnames
Desktop scraper / data harvester
SEER opened up its internal toolbox for everyone in the world to use. These are the same tools used in-house at SEER, and they rock.
Lots of great tools here
All kinds of tools to choose from, pretty cool!
Virante offers a number of high quality SEO tools to the public. These are often the same tools developed for the Virante team, opened up for public use.
Creates a bell curve.
Aleyda Solis’ Tools List.
How do they make CloudFlare free? It works both as a CDN and a security service to provide your website with speed and safety.
Despite the rise of Google Docs, Word still dominates much of the world. Copying and pasting has always been a hurdle, but this tool makes it easy.
Convert HTML markup to markdown – via Matthew Henry at Portent.
Keep stuff in the cloud, notes, screenshots, etc.
We help to download files from many popular sites.
Like MozCast – Daily Ranking Changes for Google Places for Business.
Singed up several times, never heard back.
Link tagging for Google Play Apps.
Report if a site has scraped you and is outranking you too.
Remove outdated content from the search results, public tool.
The Ninjas are some of the best SEOs and online marketers out there, and they’ve put some of their best tools online for free.
Creates regex for IP address range.
If this then that – general usage.
List of tools on OnlineSales.co.uk
Look at SERPs volatility.
Search code online!
News story notification service, free.
Turn any URL into an RSS feed – use with IFTTT.
Great toolset here.
Ontolo offers a suite of link building software and a few helpful productivity tools for link builders. The remove duplicates tool solves a common problem.
If you’ve never scraped a webpage, you’re missing out. Scraper for Chrome puts the power of simple web scraping in your hands without the need for code.
This web page shows your secure (i.e. HTTPS) referrer.
Bulk status code response checker.
Browser toolbar – various uses.
Browser toolbar for SEO.
Preview SERP snippet live while writing it.
Look at SERPs volatility.
Google offers a slew of free, top-notch sitemap generators. Most of these live on your server and generate new sitemaps automatically.
Like Google Alerts.
Expand text like MS Word autocomplete.
Shows your user agent string.
Get your complete browser information.
A great mashup tool that combines different feeds into content and other magical creations. Used for link building and whatever you can dream of.
Free and easy resource used to create captions for YouTube. Helps with usability and offers viewers a readable transcript.
One-click screen capture recording on Windows or Mac computers with no install for FREE!
Create custom embed code for video to include a link: via Phil Nottingham.
Expand a shortened URL.
You can greatly improve your efficiency and productivity by using these tools – that certainly has been my experience. I’m confident that you’ll find at least one tool on this list that will be beneficial to you. If you want to download an Excel spreadsheet containing all of these tools you, grab that here. I’m also confident you’ll know of a tool or two that is not listed here that you think should be, so feel free to share those with all of us in the comments below.
And finally, if you need some help with hands-on best practices to put these tools together for technical SEO wizardry, remember to pick up the ebook.