My Ten Favorite Free Web Tools

This list is slanted towards SEO tools so I will be doing follow-on post that digs into some of my favorite Social Media tools. I also tried to keep this as a toolset that someone with average web skills could use and skipped some of the geekier tools that I use less frequently.

1.       Mozilla Firefox

I was a Microsoft partner for a decade and it took months to get me to switch to Firefox, but now it’s by far my favorite browser.

2.       SEO for Firefox

If you are interested in understanding how your website ranks and why all from one interface the SEO for Firefox tool is one of the best free tools available.

5.       Roboform

Managing passwords is one of the hardest things for those of us who work online, especially if we are managing client websites and social media sites. Roboform helps me manage the hundreds of logins/passwords that I have to manage. You can get a free 10 site version here

6.       Quantcast

Quantcast.com has detailed traffic statistics and estimates for websites so you can get a feel for how big a site is when looking for sites to place ads on. Compete.com is a similar site with free and paid versions .

7.       Google Reader

a.      There are a lot of readers out there, but Google Reader has the best set of tools for segmenting and sharing blog and other RSS feeds.

8.       iGoogle

a.       With iGoogle  can get a quick glance at what is important to me. The modules I use are

i.      Google reader

ii.      Google docs

iii.      Digg

iv.      SEOBook competitive research tool

v.      What’s popular

vi.      Duct Tape Marketing

vii.      Seth Godin

9.       Google Analytics

a.       If your website designer doesn’t share some sort of analytics from your website with you they are an amateur or they don’t want you to know.

b.      I find GA is better than 90% of the paid tools that I’ve tried, yes there are tools that are better and if you control your own server and have a big budget you can purchase them, but none of the low end tools come close to the results you get form Google’s free tool.

10.   Google Keyword tool

There are two ways I use the Google external keyword tool:

a.    Find out if a market is getting any search traffic

Just because a market doesn’t get search traffic doesn’t mean that there isn’t a potential business there, but it does mean that you will need to find another way to get to your market – that will affect tour strategy and your marketing mix

b. To find out what Google thinks a website is about

When we type in a website address we can see what keywords come up. With our own website we find quite often that Google has a very different idea of our site than we have. It can also help when setting up a website you can

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

  1. Jenny says

    You mentioned Roboform, it is a good password manager, but very much better is Sticky Password – I’m using it for years and it is a great product for storing passwords, generating strong and unbrokable passwords and what the best – it is integrated to browsers and applications in form of a button next to minimizing buttons. Much better than another toolbar.

    Jenny

  2. Jenny says

    You mentioned Roboform, it is a good password manager, but very much better is Sticky Password – I\’m using it for years and it is a great product for storing passwords, generating strong and unbrokable passwords and what the best – it is integrated to browsers and applications in form of a button next to minimizing buttons. Much better than another toolbar.

    Jenny

  3. says

    Nice list Doug, but why do you think so many people do not use the free Google tools that are available? I have always wondered, when so many knowledgeable web experts recommend them.

  4. says

    Nice list Doug, but why do you think so many people do not use the free Google tools that are available? I have always wondered, when so many knowledgeable web experts recommend them.

  5. says

    Joseph,
    It’s always surprising to me, but I think many people simply believe that free tools can’t be any good. I used to feel that way, I owned a software company for 8 years and looked down at free software. But with web tools, especially Google’s suite there is no reason for anyone to purchase tools unless they have highly complex sites generating millions of page views and the revenues that can be generated by that volume of traffic.

    I can’t tell you how many people I’ve run into who don’t even run Google Analytics on their sites.

    Doug

  6. says

    Joseph,
    It’s always surprising to me, but I think many people simply believe that free tools can’t be any good. I used to feel that way, I owned a software company for 8 years and looked down at free software. But with web tools, especially Google’s suite there is no reason for anyone to purchase tools unless they have highly complex sites generating millions of page views and the revenues that can be generated by that volume of traffic.

    I can’t tell you how many people I’ve run into who don’t even run Google Analytics on their sites.

    Doug