SEO Tools and Services

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The searchengine marketing industry is absolutely filledwith serviceproviders, software
companies,and others offering helpful (or not-so-helpfut) tools. In preparing this chapter,
I've tried to focus on those tools with which I have personalexperience, which have
come highly recommendedby industry professionals.

BecauseI can't possibly put together a comprehensive listing of all the availabletools,
I've tried to provide good coverageof the most important categories.This approach
may result in some omissions,and your favorite tools may not be included. For that, I
apologizein advance.

When it comes to SEM tools, there's a lot of snake oil on the market. The chapter
contains a listing of discussionforums for searchengine marketers.Posting in any of
these will provide you with a great deal of information on any tool you may be consid-

SEOToolsand Services
This was one tough section to put together. When I posted on a single forum to ask for
suggestions, receiveddozens of emails from people offering their tools. If you have a
particular need, chancesare that someonehas alreadybuilt a tool to addressit.

Rather than spend hundreds of hours individually evaluating hundreds of tools, I've
focused my attention on those tools that you absolutely must know about.

URL                         http://www.keyworddiscovery.
                                                            Chapter 7: Tools

Applications    I(eyword research.

Description     This servicecomprisesa databaseof actual Web searchtems,
                which, as of December2004, had stored over I I billion total
                searches from over 40 searchengines.At that time, counts
                for many searchterms appearedto be a little inflated.

                IGyword Discovery's main advantageis its inclusion of a full
                year's worth of keyword data. This allows search engine
                marketersto identify seasonal trends and searchfor keywords
                that may not be very active in other databases.

 Cost           $29.95 per month.

 URL            http ://

 Applications   I(elword research.

 Description    Wordtracker is a databaseof actual Web search terms. It
                                                                from the
                contained approximately350 million total searches
                Dogpile and Metacrawler search engines as of December

                Wordtracker's main advantage is in the quality of its data,
                which, as discussed Chapter 2, is relatively untainted by
                searchescreatedby rank-checkingapplications.

 Cost           From $B per day to $250 per year.

             Term Suggestion
                http ://wvr,w.
                http ://

 Applications   I(elword research.

 Description    This tool comprisesa databaseof actual Web searchterms,
                for the prior month, searchedthrough the Overture distribu-
                tion network.

                Naturally, if you use Overture foryour PPC campaigns,you'll
                want to use this tool to determine how many impressions

                                                              Chapter 7: Tools

                your advertisements are likely to get, and what others are

                For SEO purposes,the main advantageof this tool is that
                it's free. It's good in a pinch, or as a way to get some quick
                suggestions relevant searchterms.

Cost            Free.

 URL            http ://wvrrw. sitiontech. com/

Applications    Paid URL inclusion.

 Description    Position Technologies provides paid inclusion and trusted
                feed services all of the maior programs,including Yahoo!
                Site Match. There are many competing providers. Position
                Tech is probably the largestat this point, and is used by many
                SEO professionals.

 Cost           Variable.

 URL             http ://www.prioritysubmit. com/

 Applications    Paid URL inclusion.

 Description     Priority Submit (whose operators also managethe IGy'word
                 Discovery service)provides paid inclusion services all of
                 the major programs,including Yahoo! Site Match.

                 There are many competing providers, and Priority Submit
                 offers no specialcompetitive advantage,but I've worked with
                 these folks and trust them to provide reliable service.

 Cost            Variable.

 URL             http ://

 Applications    Link campaign tracking.
                                                              Chapter 7: Tools

 Descriptions   Arelis is somewhatcontroversial,becauseit can be used to
                generatebulk emails for link solicitations. However, Arelis
                is an excellenttool when usedproperly, allowing SEO practi-
                tioners to research potential link partnerships and track
                linking relationships.

 Cost            $100-$300; free trial available.

 URL            http ://

 Applications    Link analysis.

 Description    Another semi-controversial   tool, which usesscreen-scraping
                to extract information from search engines, SEO Elite ana-
                lyzes the bacldinks to a Website, including the text used in
                the links. This can be helpful in researching  competitors, or
                troubleshooting  an existing site. It can alsohelp you identify
                strong link partners and "authority" sites.

                I apologize in advance for the hyped up salescopy that's to
                be found on the SEO Elite site. This is a useful tool, but
                probably not the single key to universal SEO salvation.

 Cost            $I47: free trial available.

 URL                           .mo
                 http ://wr,r,"w zilla.or !

 Applications    SEO: various applications.

 Description    The Mozilla Firefox browser isn't the official browser of SEO,
                but it ought to be. The tabbed browsing and bookmark
                managementfeatures alone are fantastic, but that's not why
                I recommendit.

                 The Firefox system allows developers to create extensions,
                 and many of these extensionsare especiallyuseful for SEO.
                 I wouldn't be caught without my Web Developer Sidebar,
                 CSS editing, or Live HTTP Headersextensions.

                 Mozilla allows you to access much functionality in just a
                 few clicks. You can turn off |avaScript, style sheets (CSS)

                                                                        Chapter 7: Tools

                           and imageson a Web page,which givesyou a clear idea of
                           what a searchengine spider will see.You can view HTTP
                           headers flying back and forth between the Web server and
                           the browser,which can help you diagnoseserverissues. You
                           can also dornnloadone of the Googletoolbar extensionsthat
                           includes the PageRank display, and forget about Internet
                           Explorer for a while.

 Cost                      Free.

PPCToolsand Services
 fu you evaluatePPC campaignmanagementtools, you need to considerhow much ac-
 tual PPC work you're doing. If you're managing one or a few small-scalecampaigns
 (under $ 1000 per month), you may want to look at tools like OnePoint, or other hybrids
 that also offer analytic support.

 In addition, it's worth watchingwhat the PPC servicesthemselvesare offering. Overture's
 Bid Optimizer performs many of the functions that third-party tools are meant to
 provide. Professionals                         to
                          can thereby gain access an expandedcampaign management

 URL                       http ://

 Applications              PPC bid management, optmization, and ROI tracking.

 Description               This automated serviceis one of the most popular PPC bid
                           managementplatforms availabletoday. Using a rules-based
                           system, Atlas OnePoint allows you to automatically change
                           bids accordingto your cuffent retum-on-investment, a desired
                           position, bid gapsthat exist, and more.

                           In all, there are about twenty rule-basedbidding strategies
                           that you can apply, alone or in combination, to your cam-
                           paigns including day-parting.

                           Depending on the level of servicepurchased,  Atlas OnePoint
                           also offers keyword generation, paid inclusion management,
                           and Web analytics. The servicesupports all the major PPC
                           enginesincluding Overture, AdWords, and FindWhat aswell
                           as the smaller players such as GoClick, Searchl23, and I(a-

                                                                       7: Tools

Cost            Starting at $79.95 per month for management of 100
                keywordson up to 10 searchengines,and tracking of 50,000

      and BidRank
                http ://wrnw.

Applications    PPC campaignmanagement.

Description     BidRank is primarily focused on managing Overture cam-
                paigns,and currently offersno support for GoogleAdWords.
                giaRanl( Plus adds support for severaldozen smaller PPC
                services, such as espotting, FindWhat and I(anoodle (which
                are also featured in this chapter).

                $129 and uP.

       and eSPotting
 URL                         findwhat. conV
                http ://w"vlw.
                http ://wrnw.

 Applications   PPC service.

 Description    With innovative offerings such as pay-per-call, Findwhat is
                one of the PPC servicesto watch and-if your budget al-
                lows-to test for yourself. With the acquisition of eSpotting
                (Europe's leading PPC provider), Findwhat has moved t1l
                into alolid secondtier position behind the "big two" of PPC.
                eSpotting has long been a tnrsted provider of PPC advertising
                in the UI( and offers distribution partnerships throughout
                Europe's searchportals.

 Cost           Variable, pay-per-clickpricing.

OvertureKeyword Selector
 URL                                                  html
                http ://wvr,w.nccboston.

 Applications   View Overture bids.

 Description    Rather than entering search terms one by one on Over-
       to find outwhat the current bids are, this tool allows
                           you to paste in an entire list and view the current bids for all
                           of them, in one easystep.

 Cost                      Free.

 URL                        http ://

Applications                PPC campaign fraud detection.

 Description                Who's Clicking Who? uses advancedtechniquesto analyze
                            PPC campaignsfor evidence of fraudulent clicks, including
                            repeatedvisits acrossmultiple PPC services,   which may rep-
                            resent the activity of a competitor trying to drive your costs
                            While I don't have much first-hand experience with click
                            fraud, and don'tworry about itvery much, this tool has been
                            recommendedby severalPPC professionalswho managehigh
                            volume campaignswith high bid prices.

                            Click fraud detection is not cheap, and advertisersneed to
                            balance the cost of fighting fraud against their actual risk.
                            My campaigns   rarely exceed$1000 per month, and spending
                            a substantial portion of that trying to combat fraud would
                            not make sense.Your mileage may vary-if you need help
                            with click fraud, WCW is the place to go.

 Cost                       From $79.95 per month to $499 per year.

 All of the analysistools I've included here are among the "best in class,"but there are
 many lower-coit and even free options available.Traffic analysistools are basically -split
 into'two tyres: those that use Web serverlog files, and those that use some sort of on-
 page tracking code.

 One category of on-page tracking appearsto be in danger of disappearing altogether.
 Any serviie that depends on third-party cookies to provide a hosted analytics service
 (such asWebtrends Live and Hitbox) may becomeineffective asWeb usersincreasingly
 adopt browsers and personal firewalls that block such cookies.

                                                                           Chapter 7: Tools

 Choosinganalyticstools is largely a matter of personalpreferenc.t1ld it's worth testing
 as*anyiools aspossiblebefore settling on a favorite. Personally, like Clicktracksright
 now, but I'll give every new offering a cursory look at the very least.

                           http ://wr,lw.

 Applications              Traffic analysis.

 Description                Clicktracks provides the "usual" statistics,but that's not why
                            so many search engine marketers use it. The reason why
                            people use Clicktracks is that it's so useful for drilling down
                            into server log data in order to examine visitor behavior,
                            campaignresults,and more.

                            The servicesoffers too many features to describe here, but
                            very few searchengine marketers who use Clicktracks would
                            be willing to give it up. If you work with the marketing de-
                            partment, or you are the marketing department, give Click-
                            tracks atry.

 Cost                       From $50 per month; free demonstration available.

                            http ://wrnw.

 Applications               Traffic analysis.

 Description                Itwas only a matter of time before Clicktracks acquired some
                            major competitors,and NetTrackeris one of the most formid-
                            able.In its latestversion(7.5), NetTrackerofferssubstantially
                            the same feature set in terms of visitor behavior tracking,
                            along with many detailed site and traffic analysis reports.
                            Many SEO/SEM professionals       that I know use both Click-
                            tracks and NetTracker for their clients.

 Cost                       From $0gS per profile. Readthe site to understand the pricing
                            structure: free demonstration available.

 URL                        http ://www.omniture. com

                                                              Chapter 7: Tools

Applications    Traffic and campaign analysis.

 Description    Omniture's SiteCatalystis a tool with which I have no first-
                hand experience, the demo I receivedat the SearchEngine
                Strategiesconferencein December2OO4knocked my socks

                SiteCatalyst allows marketers to track many campaigns, in-
                cluding email, search,and even offline campaigns,in a single
                tool. If you're a high-volume advertiser, or need to integrate
                information acrossmany different campaign ty)es, give it a
 Cost           Variable, but since Omniture wouldn't give me a price, it's
                probably not cheap!

 URL                                  com
                http ://w"vr,w.webtrends.

Applications    Traffic analysis.

 Description    Webtrends has been a market favorite for a long time, and
                the team has done everyrthingnecessaryto keep pace with
                the industry leadersin the latest version, Webtrends 7.

                Similar to Clicktracks and NetTracker in many respects,
                Webtrends helps you more than merely analyzewhere traffic
                comes from: it tracks customers right through the "funnel"
                to conversion.

 Cost           $495 and up; free trial available.

 URL                         digitalpoint. com
                http ://w"vr,w.

 Applications   Track Google rankings and bacldinks.

 Description    DigitalPoint offers a Google-friendly rank-checking applica-
                tion, which usesthe Google Web servicesAPI to track ranlc-
                ings and bacldinks.DigitalPoint offers one of the few methods
                by which you can track rankings without violating a search
                engine'sterms of service.

                                                                                   er 7: Tools

Cost                         Free;requires GoogleAPI key (alsofree).

       Web Ranking
URL                                                        com
                             http ://w"ww.

Applications                 Rank checking.

Description                  I hate to recommend a rank-checking tool in any form, be-
                             causeI'm not sold on the necessity suchservices.
                                                                 of                However,
                             if you must carry out rank checking,you may aswell use the
                             best tools. This application is clearlythe best in its class,of-
                             fering exceptional flexibility and generating reports in a
                             variety of formats, including PDF.

 Cost                        Variable; currently $59-$229.

OtherToolsand Services
 If you're operating a small or virtual SEM firm, outsourcing can be a very effective_way
 to stay focusedon your core competencies,     and free up more time to spend consulting
 with clients. In addition to outsourcing tasks that you don't want to do, or that aren't
 the best use of your time, there are some challenges  you just can't taclde alone.

 In this section, I'll highlight a few servicesthat can help fill the gaps.

 URL                         http ://w"vtw.eo-pr. com

 Applications                Pressreleaseoptimization and distribution.

 Description                 SEO-PR is a very unique service,as you'll already know if
                             you read the interview with Greg Jarboe in the previous

                             While this company doesn't provide services that you
                             couldn't carry/ out yourself (given a significant effort), I
                             wouldn't feel right if I didn't suggestyouconsideroutsourcing
                             this kind of work. Optimizing for news search is certainly
                             something I'd rather outsource than try to keep up with.

 Cost                        Variable.


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