Recently I found that I was in need of a new socket wrench. I thought I was in for a good day because I got to go the hardware store and get a new one and that’s always fun right? As I arrived in the tool section to my surprise there were a ton of wrenches to choose from–all shapes, sizes and functions. I was not expecting to have to have so many options when all I wanted was a simple wrench. At any rate, I left with anything but a simple one. SEO tools are a lot like this; there are so many tools available to choose from that sometimes it is harder to choose the tool than it is to do the job. Sometimes we use SEO tools to improve our own efforts and sometimes we use them to see what the other guys are up to.
In starting with this new project with The Solar Games I don’t have the company history to work from, so it is important to take a look at my competition so that I can make sure my work is on the same level and learn from them what not to do so I don’t have to go through the same growing pains they did. The site I selected to use for this exercise is that of Need for Speed, another social race game. In order to get this spying operation underway I first needed to select my tools. So let’s get down to it and go through the highlights of my research.
I have been a fan of Moz.com for a while now and have used many of their tools, so let’s start the list off with their Open Site Explorer. This tool has some features that you can use for free and some that come at a price. From the free features that I tried out I liked the Compare Link Metrics tab. This tool allows one to view data from several websites side by side. I found this helpful to be able to compare and see what website to borrow ideas from. I also liked the new Beta tool with the “Just Discovered” tool that shows you what websites are new on the block so you can compare that information with the old pro’s.
In setting up a new website, we looked at as many websites as we could to come up with the layout we have designed. A tool that I found useful in this pursuit was Built With . This sneaky little tool lets you look under the hood of someone else’s website and see what exactly they did to create a cool website. I liked that not only did it show the techy stuff like code and scripts–it also shows what tracking and analytics tools are in use and most interesting to me was what the site is doing about marketing. With this tool one can expose the competition for what they are and use it for any number of purpose, just keep in mind that like Votaire said–With great power comes great responsibility.
Of all the tools I reviewed and took for a test-drive, the one that I liked the most was WooRank. The tool was user-friendly and easy to read but in-depth all at the same time. Right at the top of the finding it shows what the site got right, has room for improvement and what errors need attention now. No hunting or guessing if you are looking at the right information it just spells it out for you all black and white. The Top 5 Priorities make putting the tool into action a breeze. Also this tool gives you demographic information for the visitors to the sit as well as what social media is linked to the site, SEO content breakdown and all the rest of the data you would expect like keywords and links. This is a tool I plan to put into real world use today.
Other tools that I liked were:
Spy On Web – Lets you see what other cyber assets the website owner has
Majestic SEO – Backlink list show Citation and Trust flow built into the report
SEMRush is a tool that I have used a few times and really like, however it is a big tool and because of that it does not always have information on smaller or niche sites. In the case of Need For Speed SEMRush came up empty.
Now that all the test-driving is done it is time to pick my pony and get off to the races and start using the tools. I know the more I use them the better I will get with them and there is no time like the present. Any thoughts on what Tools I might be over looking? I am always looking for input.