Mike's SEO and Digital Design Toolbox
Last Updated On 02/04/18
Disclaimer : Google's search algorithm can and often does change. SEO methods viewed as perfectly reasonable by Google one day, can suddenly and without notice become unacceptable the next . This may result in a penalty in the form of a drop in rankings. The tools listed below and the advice contained in this document are offered in good faith. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure they are both accurate and up to date.
However, before embarking on any course of action mentioned below and especially before parting with any money, it is a user's responsibility to satisfy him or herself that Google's current best practice re SEO has not changed.
This advice applies equally to the use and rules and regulations concerning any of Google's other products, or any tool or product mentioned in this guide.
This random and ever-increasing collection of SEO and Web Design Tools and Links is curated by Mike Loomey of 3 in 1 Web Design on 020-8594 1320 (best number) or 07967 044282. For your convenience we have now added an index to this site, which you will find to the left of your screen. All links were re-checked at the "Last Updated On" date shown at the top of this toolbox.
The SEO Toolbox was created to support those attending the low cost Beginner’s SEO training delivered by Mike each month at the City Business Library and a variety of other venues throughout London and Essex.
SEO and Backlink Analysis Tool
This highly recommended site contains (in my opinion) the best backlink analysis tool there is and much, much more.
Unfortunately, it is no longer free. This tends to be a growing trend with most decent programs. However, as at Feb 2018, there is a very cheap 7 day trial which should allow sufficient time for most small businesses to get a pretty good idea what they could do to improve their situation
There are some similar tools listed below in this SEO Toolbox, such as "Open Link Profiler" and the "Moz Open Site Profiler". They all work in a similar way but use slightly different terminology and provide slightly different results.
Another good free alternative is the links section of the "Google Search Console".
You could also try "SEO Powersuite" - This company also provides a FREE, constantly updated set of tools.
Their "SEO Powersuite SpyGlass" tool is a pretty good backlink checker. The only drawback in the free version is the fact that you cannot save and download the results.
Ahrefs is still the best. What a shame it is no longer free on demand.
Answer The Public
Use websites like AnswerThePublic and Quora (see below) for inspiration about which subjects and questions actually are the most frequently asked. They can be enormously helpful when trying to come up with subject to blog about.
Weekly SEO Newsletter
Authoritative weekly SEO newsletter from a site that won't spam you to death - Sign up now!
Backlinks to your new site with NO budget
If you are a looking through this SEO Toolbox, there is every chance that you are already aware that without good backlinks from reputable sites in your own business sector, or geographical area, your on-site SEO efforts are going to be extremely difficult.
I am a huge fan of American SEO guru Neil Patel- Here is his advice on the matter.
Neil's blog posts are very long, iteresting and full of actionable material. However, he is the master of temptation and it is easy to get sidetracked.
So, grab a pen and paper and make good notes as you scroll throught the article but on the first read-through, please don't click any of his links or enticing "calls to action".
When you come to the very end, go back to the top of the post and go through it again, This time around, feel free to click links to additional articles, calls to action, supporting evidence and take more good notes.
41 Backlink Checker Tools
Regular users ofMike's SEO Toolboxwill have noticed how often great SEO tools, which once were completely FREE, suddenly become subscription only, or at best limited to a certain low level of usage. Fantastic backlink checker tools such as ahrefs.comare now priced at a level that only professional SEO firms can afford. Small site owners, doing their best to attract backlinks to a single site are left out in the cold.
Linksphinx.comhas produced this comprehensive list of tools in 2018. As I work my way through it, I will list the best of the bunch, with comments, below.
Broken Link Checker
Google Hates Sites With Broken Links
This very fast FREE tool will check your entire site for broken links in less than 20 seconds. Use regularly!
Feb 2018 update - You get one free go at using this program, after which you are blocked. You can however get a free 7 day trial by signing up.
SEO works on a “per page”, not “per site”, basis. So you can (and should) optimise each “web page” on your site for an entirely different key phrase.
This advice equally applies to each blog post. However, finding enough popular subjects to blog about is challenging. And what is more, even if people do come across your blog in the search results, or shared across social media, what sort of attention grabbing headlines could you be using to tweak their interest enough to get them to click on the link and come to the page.
Buzz Sumowill tell you which blog posts in your business sector got the most social shares. The idea then is not to just copy that popular blog but to entirely reimagine it, expand upon it, improve it and update it. So if people are sharing a blog called “10 Essential Facts about Widgets” … Your post could be “20 Essential Facts about Widgets”. In SEO circles this is called the skyscraper technique.
BuiltWith® is a website profiler, lead generation, competitive analysis and business intelligence tool providing technology adoption, ecommerce data and usage analytics for the internet.
Top 50 Citation Sites
You may also wish to try searching these directories in case any of them fit your profile.
http://www.homeandgardenlistings.co.uk/ (home and garden directory)
http://www.fashionlistings.org/ (fashion directory)
http://www.healthandbeautylistings.org/ (health directory)
http://www.b2blistings.org/ (B2B directory)
http://www.travellistings.org/ (travel directory)
http://www.designerlistings.org/ (design directory)
http://www.toylistings.org/ (toys and games directory)
http://www.ukhotellistings.co.uk/ (hotel/accommodation directory)
http://www.pubandrestaurantlistings.co.uk/ (pub and restaurants directory)
http://www.uklistings.org/ (UK businesses)
http://www.photographerlistings.org/ (photographer's directory)
http://www.tradequotes.org/ (trade directory)
http://www.ukcrafts-directory.co.uk/ (art and craft directory)
ARTICLE SUBMISSION SITES
http://www.foreverinfashion.org/ (fashion articles)
http://www.b2bwise.com/ (B2B articles)
http://www.healthyvoices.net/ (health and beauty articles)
http://www.yourhomeandgarden.org/ (home and garden articles)
http://www.myfavouriteholiday.com/ (travel/accommodation articles)
For SEO purposes Google likes fresh, unique content. This free tool will check just how "unique" your content is, or whether perhaps someone else has copied your narrative or images.
Alternatively if you have erm, "reimagined" an article i.e. copied and slightly changed the content. This tool will assess whether you have gotten away with it, or if it's back to the drawing board!
A similar tool called Sitelinerwill look at your own site and see how much duplication has taken place there.
Use Bucket BrigadesTo Slash your
and Boost Visitors' Time On Page
When someone lands on your site from a search engine two things can happen:
They either leave right away or they stick around.
And when people stick on your page like superglue, Google thinks:
“This is a great page. Let’s give it a rankings boost.”
But when people leave your site like a sinking ship…
That’s when Google drops you like a stone.
The bottom line?
If you want higher rankings, you NEED to keep people on your site.
How? Bucket Brigades.
These are words and phrases that keep people on your page.
You may notice that I tend to use short sentences that end in a colon, like this:
That’s a Bucket Brigade.
But what are Bucket Brigades, exactly?
Bucket Brigades are an old school copywriting tactic that were originally designed to keep people reading sales letters.
But here they have been adapted for SEO content and the results are, well,crazy.
Now it’s time for me to show you how to use Bucket Brigades to boost your Time on Page:
First, find a place in your content where someone’s likely to hit their browser’s “back” button…
…and add a Bucket Brigade.
Start with your intro.
You also want to use Bucket Brigades in the middle of your content.
Bottom line: whenever you have a section where someone may get bored and leave, add a Bucket Brigade.
You can make up your own Bucket Brigades or you can use these tried-and-true Bucket Brigade classics:
And — bada bing, bada boom — you’re all set.
These Bucket Brigadeideas are all his and not mine !
Digital Assistants & SEO
From the programs and ads on TV, it is abundantly clear that voice-recognition programs improve and “voice-first” hardware are becoming better and more popular.
So you will need increasingly to optimise some pages on your site to handle search queries which are framed as questions. One of the pages to tackle first is your FAQ page.
You can do several things to help yourself here. (1) Make your FAQ page the best one in your business sector. Check the competition, see what questions and answers they have and make yours more succinct and inclusive. (2) Get a smart phone with voice recognition switched on and experiment to see which sites are winning the voice recognition battle and improve upon what they do.
Courses - Udemy SEO Tutorials
Free Udemy On-line Video Courses
Not a web design or SEO tool at all but a possible source of affordable help for both.
Economy of Hoursis what is known as a TIMEBANK. It is based in London and extremely well run. You won't get spammed to death or conned.
Simply put, you join up for free and as a reward for doing so, you are given 5 credits called ECHOES. With these credits you can buy 5 hours worth of another member's time. A wide variety of services is available from help with tech stuff such as courses on MailChimp, WordPress, or MS Excel to having somebody come over and cook you a meal, or teach you the guitar.
If you run out of credits / Echoes, you can access a FREE 5 Echoes overdraft and continue to spend. Alternatively, you could offer a service or services of your own and build up the credits in your account that way. These services could include things as divers as garden clearance, teaching chess, sharing language skills, helping meet and greet guests at an Echoes social, testing video gams, or being a man with a van.
So what's the catch? - Why would people work for free? The explanation is simple, what one person can do easily and quickly, another person may struggle with or perhaps cannot do at all. For example an SEO guru may be clueless about gardening, or replacing a loose tile in their bathroom. The gardener or tiler might have a basic website but it is languishing on page 47 of Google and she may need an SEO guru to do a few hours work on it. Echoesis a perfect solution to this sort of situation.
Ecommerce Tips and Tricks
This Toolbox is mainly for SEO & web design but here are a few quick general Tips and Tricks to improve your conversion rate on e-commerce sites.
(1) Add an on site chat module.
(2) Have a 2 step check out process, so you are not bombarding buyers will info requests all on the same page.
(3) Add a timer to your checkout page to introduce a sense of importance and urgency.
(4) Add free shipping and incorporate the cost into the base price.
(5) Make sure your site is damn fast to accommodate mobile purchasers and ake sure it is mobile compatible - Use one of the emulators in this toolbox but better still pop down to PC World and check it on a range of devices.
(6) Even if you are a web-based site, get on Google Maps via Google My Business (7) Encourage reviews, big time!
(7) To instil confidence in purchaser, make sure you include a physical address and add a map and phone number - Don't hide !
(8) Google reads words, not pictures, so make sure your meta description is filled in on every single page
(9) Make sure your product images are named to reflect what they are and not 12348_?/123.JPG
(10) Make sure you use ALT text for all your images, mentioning your keywords - Don't overdo it !
(11) Have UPSELLS on your site and premium options. (12) Make sure you have some means of collecting client emails
(13) Use a tool like Survey Monkey to ask clients their opinion of the site and what improvements you could make to help them. Perhaps offer respondents entry into a prize draw.
(14) Use top quality images but "saved for web and devices" to improve load time
(15) Run time sensitive promotions.
(16) Consider using Google AdWords for very targeted, short-term promotion of very high ticket items but get some AdWord tuition firsts.
(17) Employ re-targeting techniques selectively - see below.
Google AdWords or PPC / Pay per Click is an amazing program which, if used correctly (and if your budget is high enough) can get you lots of work. You will be positioned above all the organic listings in the Google SERPs, or Search Engine Ranking Pages. However, before using attempting to use AdWords, do get yourself some very good tuition, or it will cost you a fortune while you try to master the necessary techniques.
I highly recommend the short classes and workshop in London at General Assembly. These cost between £20.00 and about £200.00 depending on the length of the course. However, they are well worth it and will save you money in the long run.
I also recommend that you sign up for the once a week summary of upcoming classes run by General Assembly. I promise they won’t spam you to death.
Google Ad Grants
If you are a bona fide charity, registered in the UK, you should stop reading this page right now and go and learn about Google Ad Grants, before they change their mind. You will qualify for a minimum of $10,000 or sometimes even $40,000 per month as a grant from Google.
$10,000 a month is $330 per day!!! - I stress this is an on-going grant, not a one-time payment for which you have to jump through hoops and constantly re-apply.
3 in 1 can offer a low-cost, 1-2-1, step by step (with no steps skipped) seminar on this topic.
Mike occasionally also presents this seminar at City Business Library. Please call Mike on 07967044282 or 020-8594 1320 for more details.
Alternatively, click the link below for a list of Mike's forthcomeing seminars for more details about the talk.
Google Adwords Keywords Planner
Whether you go down the AdWords or SEO route you still need to do some thorough keyword research before you start. In my seminars I now always recommend using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner .
If the above link does not lead you directly to the keyword planner tool, it is probably because you have not set up your free account as yet. You will need to have a Google email account and give the Google AdWords team your credit card number but actually using the tool is free.
From most pages on the AdWords site you will find the toollocated under Tools – Keyword Planner .
Using this tool is quite complex and how it works changes from time to time. Nevertheless I guarantee that learning how to use it will be well worth the effort.
Google Disavow Tool
This tool is accessed via the Google Search Console. You will only need it if you believe your site's ranking is being harmed by negative SEO or low-quality links you do not control. Using the tool, you can ask Google not to take these links into account when assessing your site. However, you should also make every effort to manually clean up unnatural links pointing to your site by reaching out to the site's webmaster. Sometimes just using this tool isn't enough.
Google "Mobile Friendly" Test Tool
The mobile-friendliness as an SEO ranking signal has become increasingly important. Yes, they are deadly serious about this one, to the point that not having a fast mobile friendly site now has “a significant impact” in the search results.
Recently, they have even released their own tool for webmasters to check their own sites.
Google Search Console
~ Formerly Google Webmaster Tools
I can't put this any more strongly, Google Search Console is absolutely essential for site submission and SEO analysis. It has a wide ranging set of tools and reports including an .XML sitemap checker and submitter.
As I update this section at the start of Feb 2018, Google is, bit by bit, rolling out a new, easier to use, more comprehensive version of the Webmasters tool. However, for the moment you can still access the all the old versions is their familiar places.
For Wordpress sites, I always install the FREE Yoast SEO Plugin, part of whose functionality is automatically creating and updating page, image and category sitemaps.
You can easily find the locations of these 3 sitemaps within Yoast and notify Google about them using Google Search Console.
Please note, for anyone NOT using Wordpress, the free SEO program discussed below, called "Screaming Frog", now includes a very good, free, xml sitemap generator which does not set a maximum number of pages.
You will need to register before you start.
Google My Business
Google have rationalized a confusing stack of separate tools and programs and moved them all to one central location. Click the link below for a fuller explanation of how Google My Business works. Use it to add your site to Google Maps etc
Google Page Speed Insights
Ever since searching the web on a mobile device began to be more common than using a powerful desktop computer, Google has been encouraging webmasters to look at how long it takes for each web page to load. This handy tool really helps with that goal.
Google’s “answer” to Facebook. Not great but it’s a Google product and as such, posting an update on Google Plus is currently still a really good, quick way to get an unlisted page listed on Google.
Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.
If you are charged with the task of optimising a client's website via SEO, it would be very well worth your while reading this PDF about Growth Hacking. It could possibly be that the techniques discussed here would be a better route for some to getting more visitors than traditional SEO.
Quicksprout is a Neil Patelwebsite, one of several which are highly recommended in this list of tips and tricks.
On updating this section at the start of Feb 2018, I note that when you click the link below, you will get not one but 2 pop-ups inviting you to sign up for Neil's mailing list. I recommend that you cancel both of these and, for now, just read the Guide to Growth Hacking. By all means come back later and sign up for the mailing list.
The HOTH is a Chicago-based SEO agency
Their main aim is to get you to sign up for their paid SEO services but on the way they offer a ton of EXCELLENT free SEO tools, brilliantly incisive free webinars and advice. Plus there are some very good training videos on YouTube.
Check the HOTH out - You won't regret it !
The best thing about THE HOTH is that if you sign up for a free account with them, you get FREE access to several of SEM RUSH's excellent SEO tools.
The best of these is the SEM Rush Search Engine Rankings tool.
This will show you which of your site's keywords rank in the top 100 this month and last and how much search traffic there is for each key phrase.
Things to note ... The default search engine setting is www.google.com ... Leave that setting as it is and enter your site URL - When the results come in, click on it to change it to www.google.co.uk.
At the bottom of the results page, you have the opportunity to export the file as a csv.
Please note that you will have to do this twice as the initial export will cover only the first 50 key phrases. Click on "more results" to reveal key phrases 51 to 100.
IBP ~ Internet Business Promoter
The business version of IBP is priced at EU499.99. In addition to this initial one-off purchase price, users are obliged to pay EU39.99 per quarter to keep the tool up to date. This is a highly recommended suite of professional SEO tools and is the one that we use ourselves at 3 in 1. There is a free demo but unfortunately when you use this trial version most of the results are redacted
Keyword Generator Tool
Google's Latent Semantic Index
Google is gettiing far better at understanding and interpreting people's search needs.
Search is becoming increasingly “Conversational”. or as Goggle calls it “CONTEXTUAL” OR "SEMANTIC".
When composing your content therefore, you should sprinkle into the narrative, not just your main chosen key phrases but words and other phrases which are related to them.
For this exercise you could either use a thesaurus or a Latent Semantic
Index Keyword Generator Tool.
Advanced SEO Techniques
It is extremely rare to come across an impartially written guide to advanced SEO techniques but this is it ... It will take you much, much further than Mike did in his Beginner’s seminar. It would also be well worth your while subscribing to Neil Patel’s SEO blog …
Marketing School is a daily 8 minute podcast from Neil Pateland Eric Siu - It's pretty good but if you sign up, prepare to be bombarded with promotional SPAM !
Use [Control + F] to search this Podcast list for topics of interest.
Moz Open Site Explorer
Moz is a highly reputable SEO company which offers a set of free and paid for SEO tools to help improve your search engine ranking positions.
Being successfully able to get other quality websites in your business field, or geographical area, to link to your site indicates to Google that you have a site of note and one worth listing high up in the rankings. The problem is ... how on earth do you find a bunch of great sites which might link to you? The answer ... look at who is already linking to your most successful competitors. Like Open Link Profiler and other backlink tools mentioned in Mike's SEO Toolbox, this tool will help you find them.
Sadly, the free version is now limited to only the top 5 links.
This is a free, extremely comprehensive SEO toolbar from MOZ, a major SEO agency.
This is a fantastic, free, tool that really helps make your site more user- and SEO-friendly. It points out numerous errors which you should fix.
Unfortunately, they have severely limited its use now and you only get three “goes” before they disable it. So print offthe first report and work on all the errors, before testing again. Then either use a different computer, or wait until the following day if you need it again. It is definitely worth the effort.
qSnap: Screen Capture Tool
If I only had to recommend one free Google Chrome Extension, this would be it. For Web Design and all sorts of other purposes, I find it invaluable and literally I use it every single day.
Most people are aware that you can press SHIFT and PRINT SCRN together to take a screenshot of whatever page you are currently looking at. This is great but these days all too often you have too scroll down to view the content of a single page. To capture this would require several screenshots, which then somehow you would have to cobble together.
qSnapneatly solves this problem, allowing you to either save an entire page or just the visible part.
Open Link Profiler
This is another, essential, free backlink analysis tool and with the demise of the free version of ahrefs in Summer 2017, along with Google Search Console, it is probably the best free backlink finder left/
Simply enter your own URL into the tool, hit the "Get Backlinks Data" button and you can see everyone that currently links to you. On screen, you can also view the "risk score " of the linking website. The score ranges from 0-100. The higher the "risk score", the more likely it is that Google interprets the link as a spam.
If you also agree that a link is suspicious, approach that site's webmaster and ask them to remove it. If you have no success, the next approach is to use the "Google Disavow" Tool, discuseed above.
You can export all this linking data to an excel spreadsheet but you first need to create a free Open Links Profiler account. Once set up you can use the "export links" tab halfway down on the left hand side. Everything you see on screen (with the exception of the "risk score") is exported to an easy to use spreadsheet.
Although it is essential to record how many links you have at the beginning of your link building campaign, the main use of tools like Open Link Profiler and ahrefs is to spy on your competition. If they have managed to get links from a certain directory in your business sector, or geographical area, it is very likely that those same directories would be prepared to link to you.
When deciding who to approach first, begin with those sites with the highest LIS or "Link Influence Score". A score of 30% or above is colour coded in green. These directories or sites would be an excellent place to start. You are looking for quality, not quantity here.
As voice-recognition programs improve and “voice-first” hardware becomes more popular, you will need increasingly to optimise some pages on your site to handle search queries which are framed as questions. One of the pages to tackle first is your FAQ page.
You can do several things to help yourself here. (1) Make your FAQ page the best one in your business sector. Check the competition, see what questions and answers they have and make yours more succinct and inclusive. (2) Get a smart phone with voice recognition switched on and experiment to see which sites are winning the voice recognition battle and improve upon what they do (3) Use websites like AnswerThePublic; Google Trendsand Quorafor inspiration about which subjects and questions actually are the most frequently asked. Please note that to get the best out of Quora in Feb 2018, you will need to sign up for free membership.
Photoshop by Adobe
This is the industry-standard picture editing software. It comes with unrivaled, multiple, web design uses. The main ones for SEO purposes are to resize, crop, or compress a chosen image in such a way that it fits in the required position and most importantly, loads much faster. You can also edit or save an image in many different formats.
To compress an image in Photoshop CS6, choose FILE > SAVE FOR WEB AND DEVICES and pick the level of compression you can live with.
Adobe, the makers of Photoshop is strongly encouraging users to move from from a one-off single payment to purchase the CS6 program outright, to a monthly fee to rent the very latest Creative Cloud or CC versions of the software. At Euro 24.99 per month, this can be a hefty investment.
You may be able to achieve the same results using Adobe's entry level Photoshop Elements program which is available at the start of Feb 2018 was on offer from PC World at £89.99 - I have never used Elements myself, so make sure it does everything you need of it before purchase. Alternatively, I have seen CS6 available on line for about £40.00 but pls assure yourself that you are buying from a reputable website before purchasing.
One of only a handful of tools in this guide where I have thought it worthwhile including 2 screenshots ... The top one explains pretty well why you should use it.
Not an SEO or web design tool, by any strech of the imagination but my team and I use it all the time to generate, easy-to-use, great-looking, highly effective sales proposals ... and helpful guides such as the one your are now reading.
They offer a completely free, fully featured trial before you have to part with a penny.
Serplab Ranking Checker
SEO Book Keyword List Generator
If you have several lists of Keywords that you would like to automatically combine, this free tool will automatically do that for you. The same functionality is available in the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool but for simplicity, SEO Book is hard to beat.
You begin by manually sorting your phrases into groups. For example, group one might be the principal keywords for which you wish to be found. Group 2 could be the areas in which you operate e.g. London, Essex, Kent. Group 3 could be qualifying words, such as best, cheapest, with restaurant, near me etc ..
At the touch of a button you can create every conceivable combination of the 3 groups. After deleting any inappropriate phrases, you could save and export the list for further analysis.
Responsive Design Checker
There are numerous checkers out there to test what a site looks like on various size devices. In my experience nothing beats testing a site on the device itself. However, when that is simply not possible, this tool does a pretty good job and offers far more alternatives than any other emulators I have used. Give it a go.
Screaming Frog is possibly the most useful web design and SEO tool of all. You have to download a small (dot exe) program which then spots all your web design and SEO errors and suggests improvements.
"Screaming Frog", now also includes a very good, free, xml sitemap generatorwhich does not set a maximum number of pages. You can also find and submit all the images on your site and have them show up in Google Image Search. Use in conjunction with Google Search Console (See Above.) NB You will need to sign up for Google Search Console but this is not necessary for Screaming Frog.
An expensive but easy-to-use, comprehensive suite of SEO tools and programs intended for professional SEO guys. Again, you have to sign up and verify your account in order to get access to the full range of tools. Some of the tools are available for free if you log in as a guest. You also get a month’s unlimited access to almost everything for £1.00. Remember to cancel or you WILL get charged.
Server up-time Monitor
This regularly monitors your site or client's sites and emails you the instant any of them go off-line. Be extremely careful to unclick the button saying you want info from related sites or you will get spammed to death!
Free analytics tool from a friendly Irish company. Unlike Google analytics, the layout has been pretty much the same for years. As such it is very easy for you to use and get used to. You can schedule weekly reports to be emailed to yourself or others. There is also now a brilliant FREE APP for your phone where you can get an instant idea of who has been to your site today, over the last week, or over the last month. The mobile app is even better than the desktop version, in my opinion.
Also, if you use Wordpress, you can get the free Statcounter plugin.
from Power Thesaurus.
When optimising a web page, it is essential that you do not stuff it full of your targeted key phrase.
The recommended keyword density is per page is somewhere between 3% and 5% (depending on which SEO guru you listen to).
If the analysis of the page narrative indicates that your keyword density is way too high, you could perhaps replace some of the instances with synonyms ...
For a great on-line synonym generator
Not strictly a web design or SEO tool but a beautiful design and a great, free way of getting useful UX or user experience information from visitors about your site ...
UX - Web Usability & SEO
Steve Krug ~ Don't Make Me Think!
Although not an SEO book “Don’t make me think (A common sense approach to web usability) 3rd Edition - Revisited” by Steve Krug contains a wealth of useful info which will help you structure your site and encourage users to buy from you.
On 03/02/18 when I last checked, this was the latest edition and the PDF version was
Personally, I like and use the Kindle version, which you can not only read on the go, but on which you will be able to click each of the many links the book contains and view extra content.
( Formerly Known as "Feed the Bot" )
Huge (and very useful) range of SEO tools, particularly for mobile uses.
What WordPress Theme is That?
What WordPress Theme Is That is a free online tool allows you to easily detect what WordPress theme a site uses (including parent and child themes). Additionally, it will also detect what WordPress Plugins are being used.
Top 50 UK Citation Sites
Whitespark - Local Link-Building
Whitespark provides some really good free tools that you might use when running a LOCAL link building campaign - Inbound links are hugely important and these tools are as good a place as any to start.
Please note however that if you subscribe to this service, you will be innundated with information and offers on a daily basis.
Top 50 UK Citation Sites
This can be used as a source of inspiration at the start of your keyword research. If you are presented with a web page to optimise and you have no idea really what the main thrust of the page is, creating a Wordcloud often helps
This is a good but expensive professional, keyword research tool with a fully featured FREE 7 day trial.
Whether you use Wordtacker or my current tool of choice, the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, I recommend the methodology explained in the beginners seminar (a) look at one page of your site and brainstorm with yourself what phrases people would use to find it. (b) Put that list to one side and in 7 days time compile a new list, without referring to the old one (c) phone a friend and ask them to do the same exercise (d) ask your staff (e) ask a customer. (f) combine all the lists and remove duplicates.
Then get the 7 day free trial and test your results. Please note – Wordtracker now requires your credit card to sign up for the free trial and you must be sure to cancel it before the 7 days are up or your card will be charged. If you need more than 7 days, sign up again from a different computer with a different email address and a different credit card.
Please note: As of April 2017, I have stopped recommending and demonstrating Wordtracker as my main keyword research tool of choice. This is because, for many / most of my clients' key phrases, Wordtracker shows zero monthly searches, which is not very helpful.
XML Sitemap Generator
This free tool will effortlessly create a sitemap for you to submit to Google using Google Search Console. You can also use the XML Sitemap Generator in the Screaming Frogtool set or if you are using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin - see below - also does a pretty good job of creating and updating the xml sitemap for you.
Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress
In the beginner’s SEO seminar, I explain that the Page title is the number one factor that you should look at in order to improve your SEO rankings. Also important for each page is the Meta description. The free YOAST SEO plugin for Wordpress is a good tool and will enable you easily to position these important page ranking features in the correct place with the correct coding. It also will check other basic SEO features on your web pages and is enormously helpful.
However, in my opinion, randomly picking what Yoast calls your "Focus Keyword" and simply using this basic free tool will absolutely NOT get you a top ten ranking, unless your level of competition for your chosen focus keyword is very low to start with.
If it was as easy to achieve as that, all the hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites using this plugin would be in the top 10 and clearly they are not.
There would also be no need for any of the dozens of other really expensive SEO tools in this guide, or for that matter SEO guys like me!
I highly recommend Yoast but I need to manage your expectations.
3 in 1 Web Design
Google's search algorithm can and often does change. SEO methods viewed as perfectly reasonable by Google one day, can suddenly and without notice become unacceptable the next . This may result in a penalty in the form of a drop in rankings. The tools listed above and the advice contained in this document are offered in good faith. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure they are both accurate and up to date. However, before embarking on any course of action mentioned and especially before parting with any money, it is a user's responsibility to satisfy him or herself that Google's current best practice re SEO has not changed. This advice applies equally to the use of (and rules and regulations concerning) any of google's other products, or any tool or product mentioned in this guide ...