Basic SEO tools for the beginner (Part 2 of 3)

The world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be quite complex, but it doesn’t have to be, and even a small portion of SEO knowledge can generate a big difference in the end. Most people can easily understand the basics of Search Engines and there are plenty of good resources available for free on the web, including educational articles like this one.

Depending on the complexity of your website, your time commitment and the willingness to learn new things, you may decide to hire an SEO expert to handle things for you.

On the other hand, and if you are willing to try your own Search Engine Optimization Campaign, there are a couple of SEO tools we would like to recommend in order to get you started.

 

7 great tools for SEO

We have listed the top 7 tools & services which we consider as basic, free and easy-to-use for anyone with little experience of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The list of SEO tools is divided into a series of three articles covering Keyword Researching ToolsLink Building Tools and SEO Monitoring Tools.

 

Link Building

Links from external websites can be the difference between success and failure online. And link building activities is often the most challenging part of your SEO campaign, but also the one most critical to success.
The link building work is rarely the same for every SEO campaign, and the way in which you choose to build links depend as much on your website as it does on your niche.

Unfortunately, link building (Inbound Marketing if you prefer) is one of the most difficult activities to measure. But there are a few free and easy-to-use SEO tools available today that provides backlink data for your search engine optimization campaign.

 

Majestic SEO

First out is the Majestic SEO Toolkit. Majestic SEO has by far the largest index compared to similar tools available on the web and the tool itself actually provides historical link data, dated back to 2006. The most important part when choosing a link building tool, is the size of their index. You want the link data to be useful and as accurate as possible.

Majestic SEO’s Historic Index contains about 3.9 trillion unique URL’s (3,918,860,182,616 to be exact). Another strong selling point why SEO professionals tend to prefer Majestic SEO over other link building tools, is the tools update frequency. Majestic SEO’s Fresh Index is updated daily, and holds about 169 Billion Unique URL’s.

 

Some key features of interest, when researching your clients Backlinking Profile:

  • Majestic Site Explorer let you enter any URL you would possible like to research. The tool returns not only the number of external backlinks, but lets you dig into the details of referring domains, IP’s, NoFollow’s and Redirects as well.
Overview - Majestic SEO

The Majestic SEO Site Explorer let’s you enter any url you like (e.g sony.com)

 

  • Worth mentioning is the possibility to look at “Referring Class C Subnets”, for monitoring the quality of your clients referring domains & IP’s. “Class C” refers to the third set of numbers in an IP (AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD) and a high quantity of links from the same C subnet are likely to be less trusted by search engines when assigning a value to your backlinking profile.

 

  • Citation Flow and Trust Flow are “qualitative” metrics available in Majestic SEO Toolkit, and we recommend keeping an close eye on the two evaluation metrics when working on link building activities.
    • The Citation Flow predicts how influential a URL might be based on how many websites linking to it. Links are not all created with equal weight, and ultimately, a strong link will have a stronger influence on your websites ranking in Search Engines.

 

Link Profile - Majestic SEO

Citation & Trust Flow for Sony.com

Link Profile - Majestic SEO

Citation & Trust Flow for Apple.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • The Trust Flow is based on manual work and by crowdsourcing the Internet. A websites level of “Trust” is in fact evaluated by real people contributing to making the SEO tools metrics as authentic as possible. It’s known that trustworthy websites tend to link to trustworthy “neighbours”, and those neighbours also tend to link to trustworthy neighbours themselves.

Majestic SEO says: “In fact – after lots of iterations – those outside the circle of trust are put in the cold”.

 

Open Site Explorer

The second link building tool worth mentioning is SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer. SEO Majestic and Open Site Explorer is a perfect pair, and where Majestic SEO lacks the stylish design, Open Site Explorer is more pleasant to work with when researching your clients backlinking profile.

Linkbuilding Tool - Open Site Explorer

SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer is a great tool for analysing clients backlinking profile

4 Key features of Open Site Explorer

  • Domain Authority. Predicts a domain’s ranking potential in the search engines based on an algorithmic combination of all link metrics.
  • Page Authority. Predicts a page’s ranking potential in the search engines based on an algorithmic combination of all link metrics.
  • Linking Root Domains. Number of unique root domains (e.g. domain.com) containing at least one linking page to an URL/domain.
  • Total Links. All links to a page including internal, external, followed and nofollowed.

 

Domain & Page Authority in Open Site Explorer

Domain & Page Authority – Open Site Explorer

 

Summary

Did you really make it to the end of the list? Thanks for staying with us!

The pursuit of quality back links is one of the most intensive and challenging aspects of your SEO campaign. Therefore it’s great that both Majestic SEO & SEOmoz provides us with an easy-to-use set of Link building Tools …and available free of charge.

The link building work is rarely the same for every SEO campaign, and the way in which you choose to build links depend as much on your website as it does on your niche. Through links, search engines can not only analyze the popularity of your websites, Nr of pages linking to them, but also qualitative metrics like trust, authority and spam.

Thank you for reading the second out of three articles, covering the top 7 tools for SEO. We hope that you now feel confident enough to analyze your back linking data in order to make smarter decisions in regards to your Link building activities. In the third article we will have a closer look at SEO Monitoring Tools and list which are the basic, free & easy-to-use tools for tracking and understanding your websites SEO Performance (Link to come).