The online marketplace is a fierce battlefront between businesses fighting over web traffic and rankings. Everyone with an online business will do anything to attract more traffic and gain higher ranking in the major search engines. Many webmasters take on extreme search engine optimization tactics to get traffic that is more organic for their pages and sites. Despite the desperate attempt to gain more traffic, most of these plans/strategies do not produce any fruit at all. This could be because the optimization methods being used are outdated, poor SEO planning and strategy development, or a combination of the previous, and a lack of vital tools needed to boost the optimization strategies. To make the most out of search engines and get improved, quality traffic to your website, some factors have to be put into consideration. While tools are not the end-all-be-all, I’ll discuss 7 must-have tools that can help turn the tables around. 1. The Web Analytics Tool Developed by Google, a popular tool is Google Analytics. It’s a free tool (a small script gets placed on your web pages) that helps track many different metrics, including conversions / goals, and then identifies the best traffic sources for you. This allows you to look into the high converting sources thus giving you a chance to maximize on the same. Almost every web marketer uses this tool to identify credible traffic sources, meaning you too should make use of GA. If you already are, you are likely not using it to its fullest potential. Resources: www.google.com/analytics www.clicky.com 2. The Rank Checker As the name indicates, a rank checker helps check a keyword rank in search engines. This tool is capable of telling you what ranks your website page and which keyword are associated with it and what search engines. This gives you an idea on which keyword is richer in search engines, and highlights which keyword needs to be optimized further for optimal performance. Resources: https://proranktracker.com/ http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/rank-checker/ 3. The KeyWord Tool It goes beyond saying that most of the internet users today use Google when searching for information. The Google Keyword tool (available when you login into Adwords) helps you identify keywords that have traffic associated with them. You can even spot competitive metrics and see trends in the market, also locally. Resources: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner http://keywordtool.io http://ubersuggest.org 4. The Competitor Analysis Tool Business rivals with the same market competition and audience use this tool very extensively. This tool can analyze and provide a detailed report on almost anything on your competitor’s website. This includes traffic sources, the number of backlinks, top pages, inbound traffic and ranks among others. By using a competitor analysis tool, you will be able to identify underutilized strategies that could be beneficial on your side. It also acts as an eye opener on search engine optimization techniques that you may not have used on your site. Resources: http://semrush.com http://spyfu.com http://similarweb.com 5. The Backlink Checker Tool A backlink checker helps check all links linked to your website or page. This tool is capable of detecting broken links, or special type of links (spam) that may have a negative effect on the overall site’s performance. Quality, trusted and authoritative links are very important for a website’s performance and rankings. They also ensure audiences are directed to the right page and aren’t greeted with a redirect or page load error. As long as all links are live and working, you can then be assured of increased traffic from the same. Resources: http://ahrefs.com http://majestic.com 6. The SEO Auditing Tool One of the toughest SEO tasks every webmaster has to undertake is auditing all SEO tactics and strategies used on a website. Since it is a time-consuming task, there is a higher probability of missing errors on websites that should be corrected. This is however not the case when using the SEO auditing tool. It is capable of crawling a site and identify common mistakes that can be costly for the website’s performance in search. It is therefore a highly effective and essential tool for all webmasters and online marketers. Resources: http://woorank.com http://mysiteauditor.com# 7. The A/B Optimization Tool The Google Experiments tool helps webmasters test and evaluate web pages, thus taking guesswork out of the “which page or copy works best” game. Different features and aspects of the website/page are tested to ensure they perform at their highest potential. This includes content, call to action elements and overall engagement. Any website that gets high marks from this tool has the potentiality of attracting more traffic. Resources: http://services.google.com/websiteoptimizer http://optimizely.com https://vwo.com Other factors such as ensuring quality content placement and checking for duplicate pages and content on the website also play an important role. Finally, ensuring your website is fast loading and optimized for mobile and desktop viewing, and is linked to social networking platforms is recommended as well. Which tools do you use and love? Let us know in the comments.