Andrea Cole

Trim Down Your Bookmarks! The Only SEM Tools You’ll Need

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nowadays you can’t read a search marketing blog without seeing a post on SEO tools. There are so many out there that it’s overwhelming. My bookmarks are overflowing with them… saved by the dozens to never be visited and used. The truth? You really only need a couple good tools to do your SEM job well. And luckily, I’ve found a couple tools that accomplish many tasks, thereby further decreasing the Firefox add-ons and bookmarks I must keep up with. Below, my list of top tools I go to again and again.

  1. Aaron Wall’s SEO Book Firefox Toolbar Add-on. This little gem does a lot. A LOT. This is my all-in-one SEO toolbar add-on of choice. Features of interest include:
    • Web stats you need, from Page Rank to indexed pages.
    • Easy access to keyword research with the option to have many research tools power the results, like Aaron’s Keyword Suggestion tool, Google, Wordtracker, and Keyword Discovery.
    • Rank Checker button to check organic rankings.
    • NoFollow button to visually see the NoFollowed links on a page.
    • SEO X-ray feature to gives a snapshot of on-page keyword density, internal and external links, and meta data.
    • Competitor SEO KPI side-by-side comparison tool.
    • Hot buttons to Alexa, Whois, SEMRush, Compete, and more!
  2. Link Sleuth. Although cumbersome at times, Link Sleuth crawls sites thoroughly and produces an easily sorted broken link list when copied into Excel.
  3. Producing HTML and XML sitemaps can be a pain in the butt. Both because it’s time consuming and there always seems to be that one page that shouldn’t be in a sitemap that sneaks in. With easy exclusion and filtering options,’s version is the best I’ve played with yet.
  4. SEO Browser. Sometimes the easiest way to understand how Google crawls your site is to see what Google sees. And that is exactly what SEO Browser provides. Although I know there are more “techy” text viewers out there, this one serves my purpose well by giving me the site, live links and all, in a text only format.
  5. Copyscape. Duplicate content has become a scary word in SEM. This little tool helps ID the offending pages perfectly.
  6. Link Diagnosis. We all know anchor text and site authority are important metrics to research when link building. This tool gives you that, and then some, without having to manually research, click, or visit the pages in question.
  7. Google Webmaster Tools. The cornerstone of all SEM work. Use it to find crawling errors (especially 404s), indexation errors, assess inbound links, or the newest feature that I love, organic click through rates!

Good luck!

One Comment

  1. Brian Watkins
    Posted August 30, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Great tools! I’ll definitely have to check out SEO Browser and Copyscape. Duplicate content is annoying, especially when you’re searching for something and seem to find a dozen results with copy/pasted information.