It’s Tools Week here on State of Search and as such we’re celebrating all those great, informative and handy tools that help make the technical and analytical aspects of our roles that little bit smoother and quicker. Whilst we have a number of posts planned on the bigger premium tool suites; plus a tonne on the link tools I thought it might be handy to collate a list of disparate free technical SEO tools that help us solve problems and answer questions. I recently posted here about handy Chrome Extensions for SEO, so in this post I thought I’d focus more on web (plus a little software.)
1. Handy Tool for a Quick Header Check
This one is quite handy if you just want to check how a site is handling root domain versus www-domain redirection (or lack thereof). Or if there’s a redirect in place or a URL and you want to check if it’s a 301 or 302.
2. Bulk Header Tool
Good for checking more than a handful of URLs at a time particularly if they are on disparate sites (and unsuitable for a crawling tool); for example if you have a suite of sites for one client, or a number of regional properties.
3. Crawling Tool
A much more all-encompassing tech/audit tool, we’re actually a bit in love with this tool at theMediaFlow. The free version allows you to crawl sites of up to 500 URIs and provides data on:
- Type (HTML, Image, CSS etc)
- Status (200, 301 302 etc)
- Page titles (plus meta descriptions and keywords, plus length for each)
- As above for H1, H2
- Directives (like x-robots or canonical)
It’s such a robust tool that we use the paid version as part of our in-house audit process.
4. Site Speed Tool
What I like about Pingdom is not only do you get the overall speed test shown above, but you also get a list of page component requests for plugins, CSS, scripts etc. to help you identify if there’s any particular clunky element, as well as a Performance Grade list of recommendations for ways to speed up the page and your current grade for each.
5. Quix App/Bookmarklet Command Tool
One from the Yoast stables this neat little tool lets you do or find out a number of things using a command prompt. There’s handy list of commands as well as the ability to extend it with your own custom-made. Here’s a couple of the ones I find handy:
- [ib] to send the current page to inbound
- [li] to share the current page to Linkedin
There’s loads more social ones, but for the more technical/SEO focused there’s:
- [whois] for a whois lookup
- [can] to check if the domain canonises its’ homepage correctly
- [nofollow] to highlight nofollow links on the page
- [snippet] to show how the page would render in Google with Rich Snippets (uses Google structured data testing tool)
6. Infographic Embed Code Generator
This is a handy tool by the SEOgadget team to help you generate an embed code for use with infographics, so that the graphic itself can then be easily embedded on sites that want to publish it, thus crediting (via link) to your original client source.
7. Schema Creator
We do a lot of work with Rich Snippets at theMediaFlow and looked into creating another tool to add to our existing but we simply couldn’t find any holes in this great tool from the guys at Raven. The tool talks you thorugh what structured data is about and how your can use different Schema to mark up different types of structured data (such as Review, Product, or Person), but then it also creates the code for you too! You just need to select the right kind of generator for your page and input the required information. Simples!
8. Bonus Analysis Tool – The Panguin Google Analytics Overlay
This pretty tool isn’t really a technical SEO tool, more of an analysis tool (or method of data vis). Great for onboarding clients who have experienced drops in traffic that seem to be related to [insert black and white animal here], you need Google Analytics access to the site you’re wanting to visualise and the Panguin Tool will overlay significant updates and iterations on Penguin or Panda; or related significant events, like link networks getting nixed.
I hope you found this post useful and I genuinely want to know about any cool technical tools that I haven’t covered here, particularly if anyone knows of any good, free browser-test tools.