In the field of search marketing, specifically search engine optimization, watching and tracking your website rankings, performing detailed and ongoing keyword research and managing link programs and competitive analysis are vital to your business and building search engine rankings.

While much of this can be done manually, you simply don’t have the time.

Perhaps you can keep up for a while on one domain, but if you are smart – you have applied a multiple domain strategy, supporting your niche market place with a domain ring and rich branding via URLs in PPC campaigns. Under this model, you’ll be more strapped than ever – but you need to continue building.

What do you do now?

Start by using a basic, but powerful SEO toolset that will do the job for you. Here are some tools that I use, and consider them indispensable search tools:

  • WP4 – a tool developed by the Webtrends folks – to help completely automate the tracking of your search engine rankings and related keywords. Used by many search engine marketers, there’s a free download, (aff) and you can selected between the standard edition and pro edition. Search engines don’t like abuse from tools like these, so make sure you run it responsibly, and use the “search engine friendly” settings. It’s nice to wake up in the morning – to detailed rankings reports with all your competitors listed next to you.
  • Keyword Research Super tool – Wordtracker. There is a free version you can start with now, and you can sign up for their paid version also. You must select the right keywords, or all your efforts will go wasted. Extensive data mining from ISPs and meta crawlers provide massive amounts of keywords for your research. This is the easy and professional way to remove all the guessing, and super-sizes the old overture tool (now Yahoo Search Marketing).
  • For link analysis and competitive research, you will do well with the Optilink system from Leslie Rhode, the SEO Overlord and stellar search programmer. As you probably know, link popularity (how many links are pointing to you) and link reputation (what those links say about you in the anchor text) are key to moving up in search results. Add also a strong relevancy factor, and you got a winning formula for success. (I recently tripled my traffic in less than a week with a recent site I’m testing – just from using this tool and building the right links the first time).
  • Keyword density has been discussed too many times in forums and search engine blogs about being a key factor to rankings. While having content on a page with the right keyword distribution is important, you can still use this free tool to make sure you’re capturing the right keywords. I also look at keyword proximity and prominence, both from the copy and supporting tools like this. The keyword cloud concept can be quite useful.

I have compiled a list of additional tools that you may use – some free and paid – on this comprehensive SEO tools list page.


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.