I've tried a few of them. They can be helpful at identifying issues and ways to make changes and improve
I came across these seo tools seomz & majesticseo. I'm just wondering do you / online companies use seo tools such as these? If so what tools would you recommend? or should I just do my own seo work & stay away from these tools...
Majesticseo is interesting in that you can analysis your competitors links, filter out links that are of no real relevance & just concentrate on the most important links.
*Basically what I'm asking are the general online marketing professional community using tools that I just don't know about? (like trade secrets as such). (BTW I don't/never have work for an online marketing company).
They can be useful. Especially when you work on large sites or realise that even a small site can have hundreds of links, elements, images etc that could be broken.
The only problem is, quite often, that not all the links are returned by search engines when you search on a domain name - I have some clues as to why.
The thing about the link checkers - and the very reason I don't use them - is that it assumes its about quantity, and it assumes that they're all good (good/bad - not meaning that they could be harmful!). IF you have links from clients, suppliers, independent bodies - those are often the best links - unidirectional, relevant and authoritive. Software can't create relationships like that!
One tool (or type of tool) that you should look at is xenu link sleuth. It's fairly crude at a high level, simply crawls your site and returns the relevant information on link status, but you'd be surprised at just how powerful that information can be in identifying other factors like issues with the site architecture. There are lots of tutorials out there with tips on how to use it or get the most out of it, certainly one worth playing with a little (there are various other similar alternatives that do pretty much the same job, so personal preference on which type to use will come into play).
As link8r and blacknight both said, tools can be handy to give a very quick high level snapshot. Just avoid becoming overly dependant on them, you need to understand the basics before you can use tools in a meaningful way, and be sure to use the right tool for your needs. Focus on tools that provide you with actionable and quantifiable information and not ones that give random 'scores' that are meaningless without true context.
Thanks for the link, (defo look into it) I've recently just set up a campaign with seomoz so I'm just gonna see how I get on with that for now
Remember that even if you get to a point where you find a 'paid' toolkit you're happy with, it's handy to have an idea of the various free offerings out there should clients wish to perform any independent monitoring. The biggest problem is simply finding which tools work best, given the host that are available out there. Even the standard webmaster tools are getting better at identifying many of the issues that will pop up.
If you've been looking into the area, I'm sure you'll have already come across Raven Tools (free 30 day trial available). One of the more common agency tool sets used in the industry. Has its pros and cons, just as the others do, so very much a case of 'horses for courses' and finding which matches your needs at a price that you're willing to pay (do try to avoid wasting time trying out 'free trials' on a product that you won't/can't realistically sign up to long term [be it seomoz, raven, or any other] - it's a waste of time and effort getting over the hump of the learning curve just in time to have it removed), then focusing on that set.
I'm currently on the free trial of Raven
Cost doesn't bother me *too much*
If you were able to tweak your site to get better (and more) organic traffic you'd be saving yourself money on PPC