We all know that proper SEO has its advantages and one that we can not live without, specially if our objectives online is doing business (in any form). Good SEO allows us to “compete” or par with anyone and the beauty of it, is that if you rank well, you can drive that much desired traffic to your website or web pages for free. The only investment required for this to be achieved is to make it happen. To make it happen, you need to take action and start by reading the best SEO Tips and practices, in case you missed that one out.

Something to think about: SEO is a competition. You have to be more popular and more relevant than your competitors to succeed (exclude friends, family members and your community). Keep it clean, and remember to take action. Taking action in itself is already a competitive edge, from those who don’t.

If you have not done so already, the route towards your SEO should start, by submitting your site to Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer, and Bing Webmaster Tools. Once you’ve done that, the second step should be to submit your sitemap to all three of them. Now, you can start rolling. The basic steps:

  1. Submit to Google, Yahoo and Bing (site URL, validate and sitemap)
  2. Apply best SEO tips and practices (on-page and off-page – see link above)
  3. Monitor your SEO progress
  4. Adjust or adapt
  5. Rinse and repeat (steps 2 – 4)

Now, the tools and plugins I will share with you today are “best” based on my experience and lots of devoted time on researching. They might not be all that are available (that’s for sure), but these ones work. In case you are still looking for the best SEO tools and WordPress SEO plugins, let me give you here a jump start to save you time :). Please note that this post is somewhat long so brace yourself and have several cups of coffee. After finishing this post, I realized that this was way too long (over 3000 words), so I decided to break this down into two parts. The first part will cover SEO Tools, and the second, SEO plugins. That said, the tools (same goes for the plugins) that are here, are either new or greater emphasis are being given to use them. Links are either pointing to inner pages for additional info, or directly to the websites providing such tools. Towards the end, click on “more” to see other useful and recommended SEO tools.

Best SEO Tools 2011

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT): This is a free SEO tool that I can not live without. The vast amount of information that GWT provides; traffic sources, keywords, CTRs, sitelinks, html suggestions (for duplicate content issues), search queries, site errors, etc., makes it ideal for beginners and advanced users. In addition, GWT provides plenty of information that can help you identify problem areas that need attention to further improve your SEO. Aside from providing you with a wealth of “must have” information, you can use GWT to provide you with data that can help improve your conversions.

Google Webmaster Tools 2011

Google Search Based Keyword Tool: Over and over, this is probably the one word that pops up every time someone talks about SEO, keywords. Keywords are the main component to get your SEO lit up and if you do a proper research, this free tool can be of great assistance to you, specially if you are trying to find “keywords” to help your business grow. In addition, Google’s AdWords Keyword Tools has added an extra feature which now allows users to search for volume data for mobile search. Very good to include in your keyword research. If you are interested, here is one example of how I use this tool for business purposes.

Mobile SEO Keywords

SEO Quake: A FireFox extension (I think it is available for Chrome), this SEO tool allows webmasters to obtain tons of information regarding SEO parameters on any website. I won’t talk much about it here as Michele of NewBizBlogger.com has done a thorough review of this tool, including video on how to install it (image is hers too). Just head over there and find out more about SEO Quake.

SEO Quake Tool

Blekko: If you have not heard of this before, Blekko at first glance seems to be another search engine. I like to think of Blekko as an “All-IN-One SEO Search engine” and If you have not tried it before, I’m telling you that it is a powerful SEO tool where you can even get “nasty” (positive side) information that “other” search engines will not provide you with.

[note]On August 20122, Blekko decided to charge for their SEO tools. You may want to stir away from this one for now.[/note]

Blekko SEO Tool CuteRank: Remember, SEO requires a lot of work and one of them is to monitor your progress. This free keyword rank checker tool (software) is a desktop application which is designed to automatically help you check keyword positions and track their performance on multiple search engines such as, Google, Yahoo, Bing (MSN), Ask, and AOL. Instead of trying to figure out what position your are in, just insert all the keywords you want or let CuteRank automatically detect keywords for you, and let it do its magic. One thing I really like about this app is that it returns results in near “real time”. This really is a time saver and the free version has absolutely no catch. It is free for life and safe to use. The only limitation is that you can only check your rankings for one website at a time. Here is a report that I checked today for one of my websites, just for you to have an idea: twittnotes ranking This is now one of my favorite tools in my arsenal, and I got the premium version which allows me to create reports with my own credentials (logo, address, etc), plus a little extra in features (e.g. unlimited websites). Great for people who offers services of SEO or keyword monitoring service. Yeah! You can make money with it too and pay for itself. I’ll cover this on a future post but if you can’t wait, just drop me an email and I’ll reveal you some secrets :). Anyway, and as I said, the free version is all you need.

SEO Doctor: As the name suggest, it will analyze your website and do a checkup of critical SEO elements. It is really a simple tool, but the results are tremendous and easy to understand. One of my favorite analysis is the “PageRank” flow. It simulates how much “juice” your pages are giving away and I think you might get surprised that some links do not carry the same weight as the other. Your general objective here is to get an SEO score as close to 100%. The SEO doctor checks for page load time, checks bad “tags”, verifies “PageRank” flow, inbound links, and much more. What I like best about this tool is that it is not for sale :). SEO Doctor

You can find a more in depth explanation of how SEO Doctor tool works over at Vladimir’s page, the developer. Vladimir has excellent SEO plugins and I will covering those on the next part of this mini-series. This is a FireFox extension and is not available for any other browsers (yet).

Bing SEO Toolkit (Microsoft): Countless times I have recommended the use of this excellent app, free form Microsoft (not a whole lot free from them). Once your site is established, you will find that often times there are “things” that do go wrong. Things, such as broken links, tags you forgot to use, images without proper alt attributes, violations, duplicate anything, etc. The difference between this tool and SEO Doctor, is that it runs an audit of your whole website automatically, finding problems, and recommending individual solutions. Curiously, it does not calculate “PageRank” flow (can you guess why?). SEO Doctor does the same but you have to do a run on every single page you have. I use SEO Doctor for my homepage and Bing for the rest. Very, very powerful, but slightly techy. Why hire an auditor when you can DIY? Bing SEO Audit Tool WebPageTest: Page speed or load time, is a factor that search engines are taking into consideration. However, my take on this is that internet users benefit from this greatly as it is really annoying to go ta a website and wait, wait, wait, until… Back button or worst, never to be visited again. You risk of loosing potential audience because of poor loading time, so best thing is to see what’s going on and remedy that situation if needed. This tool will analyze your load time, has options to keep the test private, provides an  “optization checklist”. Alternatively, WebPage Analyzer is equally a good tool in case you wish to compare results. Page Speed Report

Monitor SEO Progress: You’ve done your SEO homework and optimized just about anything you can possibly have. Obviously, you won’t be able to see how things are performing without monitoring and verifying your progress. In addition to CuteRank above, this link will take you to a specific post that provides you with the tools of the trade, all free.

More SEO Tools: Tools that have been recommended in 2010, but are still valid and totally recommended, today. That’s it for part one. The second part of the Best SEO Tools and Plugins min-series, will be out in a day or two. Until then! In the meantime, what SEO tools are you using that you would recommend? Do you think that they are important, or just a waste of time? What say you?


DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

36 thoughts on “The Best SEO Tools, SEO WordPress Plugins For 2011 Part 1

  • Hey DiTesco, how are you.
    Cuterank is downloading as we speak. I have been looking for a tool that checks rank. Could never fin one.
    I have now. Thank you.

    • Hi Pete. Awesome! Hopefully you’ll love CuteRank as much as I do. It is really a simle and easy to use tool, and in my opinion very useful. Let me know what you think.

    • Hi Pete. Awesome! Hopefully you’ll love CuteRank as much as I do. It is really a simple and easy to use tool, and in my opinion very useful. Let me know what you think.

  • Really fresh and hot off the press I am using majesticseo to check backlinks and historical data of domains.

    • Hi Andreas. I have heard of MajesticSEO before but I have to be honest and did not pay too much attention to it. Thanks for reminding me. I’ll check it now again and see what its got 🙂 Thanks

  • SeoQauke is used often by me..I use this to instant know how the competition is when i visit their site..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Hi ColeMan. Yeah! SEO Quake is a pretty good tool and I use it once in a while for specific and on the fly stuff I am looking for. Thanks for dropping by

  • Like always, some great tools you had for us DiTesco. I was familiar with some of them from your other posts.

    I wanted to try SEO doctor, I like the link juice analyze it does. That can certainly help you with long tails keywords, that is if done correctly you can manipulate the importance of your inner pages by controling the link juice you are offering to them (so you can cut the flow to some useless ones like contact, privacy, terms etc).

    Also, I think you should do a post about which ones we should have installed (what combination of tools). I am guessing you don’t have tens of tools just for SEO. And how to combine them in order to get the maximum results.

    • Hi Alex. That is a great suggestion, although I use most of the tools here, depending on what I am looking for. For example, for viewing my top pages to improve conversions, I use GWT. To find hot “keywords”, I use both AdWords KWT and Insights. If, I want to do a quick check on any website I have or any other, I use SEO Doctor. If I want to do a thorough analysis of my website I run IIS.

      Anyway, you got me lit up there with combining these tools. I did something similar with the SEO plugins (affiliate ninja) and I will have to brainstorm this a bit to see what I can come up.

  • LOL…good idea on breaking up the post DiTesco. I’ve been been guilty of having long posts once or twice that needed to be broken up into parts. 😉

    Well, well, well, lots of goodies for me to take a look at . I’m really looking forward to checking out CuteRank… looks like something I would use.

    Looking forward to part 2!

    P.S. ” Do you think that they are important, or just a waste of time? What say you?” I think you know my take, but just in case others reading this don’t… SEO although not end all be all IS important IF your focus is to get good search engine ranking.

    The way I think of if is this, you can do no SEO on your site and spend endless hours networking and promoting your site through social networks to draw in traffic, which by the way, will work. Or you can put good SEO practices in place and have search engines help you along your way and bring traffic to YOU. hmmm…
    I say do both!! 😀

    • Hi Michele. Yeah! The idea to break it up into parts serves the purpose of not being too boring, whilst, instead of one, make it two 🙂

      Totally agree on “I say do both”. Bets of both worlds, if properly done, always works better. We are definitely on the same radar here.

      Finally, do try CuteRank and let me know what you think. I think that if I know you already a tad, lol, your opinion will be of great value for sure 😉

  • I use some of these tools but haven’t heard of others, definitely going to check each and every one of them out.
    Thanks for the great list.
    I see many bloggers don’t pay too much attention to SEO saying that it is just too hard. Well, with the right tools, and there are so many (listed here), it isn’t all that hard. Just start doing it!

    • Totally agree with you Brankica. SEO with the right tools and mindset, does not have to be complicated at all. On the contrary, I think that most people fail is to take action upon it. Whether this be the tools to use or others, truth is SEO is an ongoing process and fortunately there are the “good guys” that help us achieve better results. It does make sense for example that if Google wants only quality search, to help people provide them with quality material, right?

  • Hi DiTesco

    What a really helpful and informative post. I have a friend who will be helping me with building some minisites. She worked in SEO for 5 years so I am really blessed to have the knowledge and experience she brings. Will let her know of this article too. Thanks

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Well, well, well Patricia. Look at you building minisites and all, lol. I’m impressed and if you ask me, I think that if done properly has a great and positive effect. I’m really glad that you are constantly taking your “efforts” forward as this is absolutely the right mindset to achieve results. Good luck, and as always, you can count on me for anything I could be of assistance with.

  • Thanks for including CureRank there DiTesco!
    I was looking for a software to track my Google ranking, cause my 14 day trial period of Market Samurai just ended today.

    Btw, how often to you check your rankings at Google?
    Currently I’m checking them on a day-to-day basis, but barely ever see a difference, so I’m thinking about only checking them once a week.

    • Hi Amr. You are welcome on CuteRank. It is free for life unlike “MS”, which I am very familiar with and is also a great tool. If however you are looking for “tracking” and “monitoring” your efforts for keywords, I think that CuteRank is less complicated.

      How often do I check my rankings? Depends, if you are obsessed like me, lol, you will do it five times a day… Just kidding.

      Seriously, I think that in the beginning, when you are targeting for a specific term, maybe every three or so days. See on GWT how often your pages are crawled by Google (see last crawl date) and use that timing to do your checking. It really does not have to be often, as rankings (exception to real time) do take a while before positions are shifted. Once a week is good.

  • Hey DiTesco,

    That is a great list of SEO tools you have put together. I thought I knew of all or most of them, but you have introduced me to one or two that I have never heard of. Like the Bing SEO Toolkit is new to me but it sounds great, and from reading this I can see how it can be useful for SEO purposes.

    I use SEO Quake pretty much everyday. It’s great for quick SEO analysis on the fly. Thanks for your recommendations I plan on trying out the few I’m not familiar with.

    • Hi Jason. Bing toolkit is good and the results and recommendations not only are good for all search engines, but most importantly to improve your users experience. Nobody likes (including engines) broken links. They are indication of “lazy” people who do not even bother to once in a while do some maintenance checking on their blogs. If you do decide to use it, let me know how it goes. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Excellent list of SEO tools. I haven’t been using much of these SEO tools except Google adwords keywords tool. It is also an excellent way to begin your keyword research. Anyways, I will surely check out your listed SEO tool. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

    • You are welcome Aswani and these tools are really great. They save me a bunch of time and allow me to constantly look for possible problems in my website. AdWords tool is a must use and the recent “mobile data” is quite interesting. Have you seen them yet?

  • WebPageTest this is the on of the best tool to analyze the page speed and loading time..

    • I agree. Thanks for stopping by

  • You have listed out some great SEO tools out here. I plan to use some of these tools mentioned here. Thanks for the post.

  • What a comprehensive list of SEO tools, some of them I even haven’t heard about.
    Honestly, I only use the Google’s tools to do SEO on my blog as I think they are the most reliable tools. And I think we should do the natural SEO, don’t concentrate too much on keywords.

    • Hi Tuan. Google is obviously one of the best providers of SEO Tools and if you ever would just pick “one” then it is maybe the wisest decision. However, in some circumstances, Google will not provide data that other tools may provide and it is within this context that the other tools come into play. Finally, I can understand why you are not too concerned about keywords, but give one or two posts a “full” text optimization, and compare your results. You might get surprised 😉

  • The only one that I use out of this list is SEO quake and I find it great for comparing other sites as it provides the information in the bar of your browser.

    Other than that I’ve only just started using Market Samurai. Unfortunately it’s not working properly on my computer and is hanging every time it gets to a certain stage. Their tech guys are currently looking into it.

    • SEO Quake is a great tool specially for “on the fly” type info. Very useful. Market Samurai is a great piece of software and the only reason I did not include it here is because it is for sale 🙂 It is somewhat a memory hog but really powerful. Wonder why it keeps hanging on you on a certain stage. Hope their support team can solve the problem. BTW; you just gave me an idea for another SEO post 🙂 Will think about how I will structure it right now. Have a great week ahead

      • I think perhaps its the fact that it is a memory hog. My computer is a few years old so maybe that has something to do with it. I think I may shoot them another email to see if they’ve made any progress.

  • Great post and very informative for bloggers! Until that moment I did not hear about many of these plug-ins, mainly used All in One SEO Pack: It literally works straight out of the box (metaphorically) and is easy enough for beginners while giving more experienced SEO practitioners enough options to refine their approach.

    The plug-in provides a range of handy SEO functions which include auto page titling and meta data, avoid common duplicate content issues, navigational link management and more)))

  • I am just using Google webmasters and SEOQuake going to check others soon,thanks for this list

  • I don’t know if anybody knows please tell how can I submit my sitemap to ask.com ??

  • What a resource. I will have to bookmark this post on WPJ as I am sure it will be a hit. Thanks and I will have to check out for myself some of them as there are a lot of new ones that I have not yet tested. Kudos

  • Thanks for listing down these great SEO tools, I have used some of them but this is the first time I have heard about most of them. Bookmarked and will definitely return 🙂

  • Wow,I don’t know there so many SEO Tools before, thank you.But now I am using a new one, I bought it few days ago, thank god, it worked well.

  • google Webmaster tools has been very effective at helping me with my SEO efforts and it really easy to understand.

Comments are closed.