Google, as I've written before, is the best free SEO tool (analytics, webmaster tools, adwords, search etc). The second best is yahoo. And the plugins to Firefox are amazing. In terms of third party websites:
SEO Tools - Specifically:
Search Analytics Tools - establish your marketing goals and establish a baseline for where you are at right now.
Keyword Research Tools - discover the keywords your customers are searching for right now.
Competitive Research Tools - see what keywords your competitors are targeting.
PPC Tools - buy important keywords and track the results to understand how well they convert,which helps you focus you organic SEO strategy on the most profitable keywords. Save money using these free Yahoo! Search Marketing & Microsoft adCenter Coupons.
Link Analysis Tools - start building your link profile and track your progress compared to competing websites.
Search Engine Ranking Checkers - determine how effective your marketing is by watching your search engine rankings improve.
SEO Digger - Provides great info but you really need a premium account to go to work.
Free Wordtracker - This is much like the old Yahoo/overture tool that we all liked - - I wonder where they get their data? Answer is from dogpile and metacrawler which accounts for .63% of the searches. But, their searches are not by typical or mainstream users. A big problem. I mean like what sort of person in 2008 uses dogpile? If you met someone who used dogpile to search with, what sort of person do you think it would be? Would it be someone like Joe Sixpack? Or someone really weird and fringy...Maybe from Hawaii or Alaska...
BTW - there is a decent thread on this at digitalpoint.com
Hey thanks for this great post. I've learnt alot from it. I'm thinking of getting search engine optimization service for my own website. Do you advise that I employ a specialized seo company or do it myself?
Savant - your post looks like spam but still, I'll answer. I decided to bring seo inhouse since it was a vital part of our strategy and since we are fast learners, I thought we could have a more coherent long-term implementation of seo principles by making it a core competence, not something on the side (and outsourced)
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