Any search engine professional will tell you - to succeed, you need the right tools. Tools to evaluate keywords, tools to gauge your competition, tools to get backlinks.
Without the right tools, even the best SEO professionals in the world won't be able to get very far.
What are the most important tools you should know about? Here are some of the most important tools for Google search engine optimization (you might also want to think about social media optimization).
==> Backlink Checking Tools
Backlink checking tools allow you to figure out exactly how strong your competition is for any given keyword before you begin a campaign.
It also allows you to reverse engineer strategies that are already working for other people in your industry. If you can figure out what's already working and do it even better than your competitors, you have a very good chance of success.
Two great backlink checking tools are Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO. Both of these tools have free versions that give you quite a bit of data, along with a paid version with even more data.
You can also use Yahoo Site Explorer and Bing Webmaster Tools to check backlinks; though both of these tools have serious drawbacks.
You might also want to contact a search engine marketing expert or hire a search engine marketing firm.
==> Submission Tools
If you're doing mass backlinks using a social bookmarking website or article marketing, you're going to want to have a few programs that do it for you.
For example, if you're regularly submitting content to social bookmarking websites, you'll probably want to use a tool like Bookmarking Demon or Ping.fm. These tools will submit new content to a wide array of social media websites all at the click of a button for you.
If you're doing article submissions, you'll either want to use a submission program like Article Submitter or use a service like iSnare.
==> Market Research Tools
There are several market research tools on the market that offer stellar keyword research and niche research capabilities.
For one, Google's own Google Keyword Tool is still the best tool out there for raw traffic data. If you're just trying to figure out how much traffic certain search terms get, it's one of the fastest and easiest places to get data.
Another tool that's been taking off rapidly is Market Samurai. In addition to search volume, Market Samurai will also evaluate the competitiveness of each keyword you type in and give you a rough gauge of how much you can expect to earn in that market if you successfully rank.
==> How Much of SEO Is in the Tools?
Though not having the right tools can prevent you from succeeding, having the right tools doesn't necessarily mean you'll succeed.
You need to use the tools in the right way to get the results you're looking for. If you want to get ranked, tools can help you get there faster, but they can't do the bulk of the real work for you.
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