Web Development and Search Engine Optimization Tools

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) increases web traffic by making it easy for search engines to find and index your site.

The problem is, most people do this process backwards. SEO is applied after the fact, usually after the site is performing poorly on both paid and organic searches. SEO is something that should start early in the planning process, long before the first line of HTML is written. What follows are links I use before, during, and after web development.

Please let me know if any of these links are broken or are of particular value to you so I can keep this list current. Just zap me an email.

Browser Testing
Adobe BrowserLab - Integrated into CS5.
Browser Sandbox - Easily test 8 of the the most popular browsers. Requires a download.
Browsershots - Simple snapshots.
Cross Browser Testing - This lets you test interactive features.
Building Links
Alexa - You should try to acquire links from high traffic pages. Use this to determine traffic rankings.
Domain Tools - You want older, established sites linking to you, and in general, you want to avoid partnering with newer, low ranked sites. So you need to research potential partners when building links. This tool will help you determine the site was created.
PageRank Checker - It's better to acquire a few high-quality links, versus a large quantity of low quality links. Lots of other great tools here too.
Ten Great C5 Videos - If you are new to C5, start here
Competitive Analysis
Compete.com - Analyze your competition. Pay site.
HitWise.com - Analyze your competition.
KeyCompete.com - Analyze your competition. Also generates long tail key words. (Pay site)
Link Harvester - Link Harvester provides a detailed look into incoming link, breaking down the list into unique domains.
Seodigger - Analyze your competition. Pay site, but some really nice free stuff.
SpyFu.com - Analyze your competition. Awesome considering some of it's free!
Content Tools
Fresh Content.net - Great source for free RSS news feeds on lots of different subjects. Mostly general topics like news, music, etc.
Keyword Density - It's important that target keywords be contained in your title and be dispersed throughout the content. However, keywords should not be repeated more than 4 to 6 times per 350 words of content.
YellowBrix - Great source for very specific issues such as medical services, programming, aeronautics. Paid site.
Creating Communities
Blogger - Completely free blog software from Google. Less flexible than Word Press, but tons of free storage.
FeedBurner - Let's you share your blog's content via RSS.
phpBB - phpBB is a popular open-source bulletin board software written in PHP. However, I do not recommend this for e-commerce. vBulletin is a better choice.
Review-Script - Adding reviews to e-commerce sites can have a positive impact on search engine rankings, not to mention a positive impact on your customers. Review script allows users to rank products on a one to five star scale and make comments.
vBulletin - vBulletin is a canned PHP/MySQL bulletin board that is powerful, scalable, and fully customizable. It's user friendly and is easy for new members to learn and use. The software is not free, but it's also a bargain compared to building from scratch.
WordPress.com - Free blog service. Lots of terrific plugs for this very popular software. Host must support PHP and MySQL. Word Press can host your blog, but it's not recommended as search engines tend to lump all blogs together.
Force.com Platform Fundamentals - Must read for newbies!
Intuvo - CRM for CU Mortgage departments
SalesForce Developer - Lots of good stuff for SalesForce development.
Salesforce developer workbooks - SalesForce developer books.
SalesForce.com Trailhead - This could be fun. Badges, points, and challenges, oh my!
SalesForce1 - SalesForce1 video tutorial. SaleForce1 is both amazing and maddeningly frustrating when it behaves unexpectedly!
VisualForce in Practice (PDF) - Excellent resource by seasoned pros. Free.
Domain Names
GoDaddy.com - These guys are great for registering and managing domain names, but I would not recommend them for hosting.
Name Station - Great tool for finding available names in real time.
Sedo.com - Secondary domain name market.
AppBistro - Facebook app stuff
Involver - More Facebook app stuff. These guys just got purchased by Oracle. They must be doing something right.
Industry News
David Naylor - Owner of Bronco Internet
Jim Boykin - Expert on link building
Search Engine Land - Informative blog.
Wolf-howel.com - Atlas Web.
JavaScript and jQuery
C3 Library - Reusable chart library. Such fun!
JSFIDDLE - Uber cool javascript dev tool
Sortable tabels - Make your tables smart and sortabl without reloading the page. Easy and works great.
Keyword Generation
Google Key Words - This is THE tool to start with. Use this to generate new words.
Google Trends - What's hot and what's not.
Keyword Discovery - Subscription based tool. Generates a large list of head and tail terms.
Semrush - Competitive key word analyzer. Lots of key word tools. Some free. Some not.
Wordtracker - Keyword suggestion tool. Wordtracker collects search data from dogpile.com and metacrawler.com. Free version limits number of key words, but paid site gives you instant access to thousands. But remember, more is not always better.
Maps and Geocoding
arcGis - Warning! This site is the 'black hole' of time. Once you enter, you will never leave.
Esri - The granddaddy of mapping
Texas A&M Geoservices - If you are working with maps, you are going to want to geocode your files. This is a great place to start!
Meta Tag Optimization
SeoBook.com - Writes clean title, description, and key words HTML you paste in your header. Helps you optimize meta tags.
Widexl.com - This great tool analyzes your meta tags and offers suggestions to improve them. (Works on your competitors too!) Lots of other great free tools as well.
Monetizing Traffic
Amazon Affiliate Program - You won't get rich, but every little bit helps.
AuctionAds - Advertising widget that allows you to promote items available on eBay.
AzoogleAds - Cost-per-action affiliate network. Allows merchants to specify a flat rate for a defined action such as an email subscription.
Commission Junction - The leader in affiliate marketing.
Google AdSense - The market leader in contextual advertising.
Hydra Network - Cost-per-action affiliate network. Mostly ringtone and dating offers.
LinkShare - Large number of high profile brands such as American Express, Wal-Mart, Land's End, Radio Shack, and NFL Shops.
ReviewMe - Get paid to review products.
Text-Link-Ads - Sell links from your site.
TextLinkBrokers.com - Link Brokers reviews potential link buyers to ensure your site is never penalized for linking to a "bad neighborhood".
Yahoo Publisher - Alternative to AdSense. Pays via PayPal.
Other Search Engines
Ask.com - Oversimplified search engine now owned by Google. What's the point?
Del.icio.us - Social bookmarking site allows you to store, share, and browse bookmarked pages.
Technorati - Search engine dedicated to searching blogs.
AdWords - Pay per click for Google search engine. If you can only have one PPC platform, this is it.
Microsoft's AdCenter - A distant third compared to Google, but Bing may change things.
Yahoo Search Marketing - Google's closest competitor with many of the same features as AdWords.
Practical PHP - Just in case you need a little refresher.
Social Media
Digg - Allows users to post and vote on user submitted content.
Facebook - Uber popular social networking site that enables you to build lists of contacts.
LinkedIn - Business oriented social network.
MyBlogLog - Social network that includes popular widget that show your visitors recent visitors.
MySpace - A community of 200 million members, but has a tarnished reputation of late.
StumbleUpon - Social network where members submit pages and rate them.
Twitter - Powerful and popular way to commumicate short bursts of information (140 character micro-blogs) to individuals and companies interested in what you are doing right now. Use the API to monitor buzz. It is the cheapest instant market research on the net!
YouTube - The most powerful way to attract visitors. Put together a video and hope it goes viral!
Valid Code
BrowserShots.org - See how your web page looks on various web pages.
W3C Markup Validation Service - Use this to validate your web page code. Valid code allows search engines to easily read your content.
Web Agencies
Best Web Design Agencies - This will help you find the big dogs on the block. Not so good if you live in podunk.
Web Design
.htaccess Tools - This tools helps you create code blocks to prevent your image files from being ripped off. Also has code for redirecting iPhone visitors.
Color wheel - The awesome color wheel!
Copyscape - Claims to be 'The world's leading plagiarism checker'. This site help you rank well by avoiding duplicate content.
Fonts for the Web - Stick to the basics.
HotGloo - Wire-framing tool. (Not free!)
Mockingbird - Cool wire-framing tool.
Pencil - This is a free wire-framing tool add-on for firefox
Privacy Policy Generator - You have got to have a privacy policy. Otherwise search engines and visitors won't take you seriously. This tool give you the necessary boilerplate to get started.
Robots.txt Generator - Robots.txt tells search-engine spiders what to do. They are a pain in the neck to create, but this utility make it easy.
Sitepoint - Excellent HTML reference
WuFoo - Awesome web form designs
Xenu Link Sleuth - Check your site for broken links. Search engines will penalize you for broken links
XML-Sitemaps.com - A free and easy-to-use automatic sitemap generator.
Web Hosting
FindMyHosting.com - Use this to evaluate your current or future host.
WebHostingTalk.com - Web hosting review forum
Web Performance
Google Analytics - Awesome. Free. You simply can not afford not to take full advantage of what Google has to offer. Did I mention it's free! Make sure you filter out your own internal traffic. Otherwise you will skew your reporting.
XML Tools
XML Formatter - XML formatter and xpath test area