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Basic SEO Tools

These are the tools every Search Engine Optimizer cannot do without, the basics of the basics.

Google Ads Keyword Planner

You don't need to start using Google Ads to take advantage of the Keyword Planner. Just open a Google Ads account and start using it!

This should be the first tool you use to check if the keywords you are thinking of ranking for are actually searched by Internet users. It will also throw up other suggestions you might not have thought of.

Set up your Google Ads account at

Google Webmaster Tools

This free to use resource is essential.

  • Know where you really rank - what you see when you search Google is not necessarily what other people see!
  • Fetch as Google bot - check what the Google robot sees when it crawls your page
  • Errors - The Google robot will flag up issues for you such as broken links, repeated titles, blocked pages, etc.
  • Backlinks - Not that accurate or comprehensive but use it alongside services like Open Site Explorer, Majestic and ahrefs (see below)

Set up your Google Webmaster Tools account here.

Google Analytics

Another essential and free resource.

  • Know where your visitors are coming from - and know where they go on your site
  • Set up goals or ecommerce monitoring - to see who is achieving your goals and how
  • Who loves you? - break down visitors by the browser they use, device tyes (mobile or desktop), geographical location ... the list goes on forever. Then fix issues where you spot them.

Set up your Google Analytics account at

Google Chrome

Open your site in Google Chrome and then press CTRL+SHIFT+i to see how your site looks in a variety of mobile devices and tablets. Search engines consider how mobile friendly sites are when ranking them so make sure yours doesn't fall apart on a Smartphone or tablet.

Chrome is also kitted up with the Google Lighthouse project which will help you optimize pages in a variety of ways

Get Google Chrome for free at

Firefox and the Web Developer Tool Bar

If you're techie minded this duo is for you.

Firefox has built in analysis. Just right hand click anywhere on a page and select 'Inspect Element' to see the HTML code and CSS behind that part of the page.

The Web Developer Tool Bar for Firefox by Chris Pederick adds a slew of extra tools from rulers to image checking to resizable windows so you can see how your site might look in different screen size.

Get Firefox for free at

Get the Web Developer Tool Bar

Yoast (for WordPress users)

Take control of your meta tags with the industry favorite if you use WordPress to host your content.

The Yoast SEO plugin can be found at

Screaming Frog

This is a tool you download to your computer which will then crawl your site (or any other site) in search of broken links and a whole host of SEO issues.

This is third party software so use with caution. Some of the issues thrown up are questionable as this is just the opinion of the programmers rather than the official Google or Bing line.

Many of the problems it flags are also shown in Google Webmaster Tools so check there first to see if Google itself is complaining!

You can pick up screaming frog for free at

I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimisation and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.

If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.

Find me on Facebook or get in touch if you need help.

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