What’s in your SEO Tool kit?

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When I first started doing SEO work I used little more than Dream Weaver, Overture, Word and Excel. I went through a fairly intense OJT training where the unspoken, but thoroughly understood realization was …

If you lagged behind your co-workers, even in the slightest, you had better have a backup job awaiting. 

So, for my first six months as a neophyte SEO specialist, web developer and programmer, I literally worked day and night, to absorb every thing I could about my craft. I probably slept an average of two, to three hours a night during week days, and only a bit longer on the weekends.

After my skills in sharpened  a bit, I began to use more powerful and more productive tools to get my SEO work done. So, out of the hundreds of different applications, services, tools and products that I have used to do SEO work with, I have generated a list of the top ten SEO tools that I use for SEO campaigns.

Number One – Dream Weaver

I have learned how to develop HTML, CSS, JavaScript,  ColdFusion, and PHP, all within this one IDE. Hands down, this is the most productive tool for SEO that I use.

Number Two – The Web Developer Toolbar By: Chris Pederick.

For all of the projects that I work on, I use the Web Developer Toolbar to help me with the common HTML and CSS tasks quite a bit … Now that I have been using it a while … I wouldn't want to work without it.

Number Three – Xenu Link Checker

I love reports … and with Xenu, I can check several important facts about a web site really fast. If there is a problem with redirects, 404's or bad inbound links … it's really simple to just check out the report after running a scan and get a quick snapshot of the condition of a web site.

Number Four – MS Excel

Now many of you that read this will think that Excel has nothing to do with SEO … but I use it so much that my life as an SEO would be very difficult without it. I use Excel for so many different SEO tasks that I have set a side a little bit of time each week just to learn more tips and tricks about Excel …

Number Five – Webconfs Keyword Density Checker

I don't always check the density on the SEO pages that I create but there are times when I feel that a search term or situation calls for attention to the density of the keywords for a project … Even though I am getting to the point where I can usually just go with my intuition on keyword density … the keyword density checker at Webconfs is the one I use when I decide to get the numbers.

Number Six – Domain Tools SEO Text Browser

I really like the online SEO Text Browser that domain tools has … It's gives a very nice depiction of a web site much like one would see if using a regular text only browser such as Lynx, but, without the poor navigation  and ugly user interface you get with most text only browsers … it even gives you the basic details regarding you Meta Tags …

Number Seven – Webconfs HTTP Header Checker

This is one tool that I am beginning to rely on more and more … sometimes when you are unsure of the responses that you are getting back from a site … it's a good idea to check out what the server response codes are to determine if there are any unseen errors … this is one very handy tool.

Number Eight – Search Status Extension for Firefox

This is a tool that I only picked up recently but since I added it to my tool kit … it has become apparent that this is a very cool little feature to have around … it really comes in handy when I have to get stats on a site quick … this makes it an invaluable resource for dealing with clients that want answers on the fly. 

Number Nine – SEO Link Analysis Extension for Firefox

This tool is becoming one of my favorites to get info on link data. Joost De Valk has really brought a fantastic extension together to provide link information to SEO's from the interface of Yahoo! … this is also another tool that can can save a conversation about links from going south … fast.

Number Ten – Trellian's Keyword Discovery

I left the best for last on this one … No SEO campaign can be complete without effective and thorough keyword research. Though it is the most time consuming and tedious part of an SEO campaign, SEO's that don't do their homework usually end up with results that reflect just that … Keyword Discovery proves to offer the most reliable selection of keyword data for the price …

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Edward J. Beckett is a passionate software engineer, web developer, server administrator and polyglot programmer with nearly a decade experience building desktop and web applications ranging from simple personal web sites to enterprise level applications on many technology stacks including Java, Java EE, Spring, Spring MVC, Spring Data, Hibernate, SQL, JPA, JMS, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ColdFusion, PHP, Node.js and more...
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