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20 Free SEO Tools Every Blogger Should Know

Posted by Harshad

20 Free SEO Tools Every Blogger Should Know


20 Free SEO Tools Every Blogger Should Know

Posted: 13 Feb 2014 07:01 AM PST

Aside from a nice-looking website with interesting and regularly updated content, SEO is essential to bloggers. While it’s entirely possible to do SEO on your own, due to the complexity of SEO rules to adhere to, it’s probably a lot more efficient to fall back on tools out there that are primed for helping your site rank higher.

SEOgadget Tools

Whether it’s full-featured toolsets, keyword suggestion engines or very specific site crawlers and link checkers, there’s a huge number of tools and services out there that can help you improve your blog’s SEO.

In this post, we are listing our 5 favorite SEO tools you can use for free, and if that is not doing it for you, there is a second list of 15 more tools to try out at the second part of the post.

Our Favourite 5

1. Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO is one of the most advanced and complete SEO services on the market, focusing specifically on link intelligence and domain-based metrics. The tools it has to offer include the Site Explorer, Backlink History tool, Keyword Checker, Comparator and a Clique Hunter. The comparative tools require a paid subscription, but the free account is enough if you’re only interested in your own blog(s).

Majestic SEO

2. IIS SEO Toolkit

The IIS SEO Toolkit has Site Analysis, Robots Exclusion, Sitemaps and Site Index modules. The Site Analysis module has a full-featured crawler engine as well as a Query Builder interface to generate custom reports. The Robots Exclusion module shows robots’ content and lets you set "allow" and "disallow" paths, while the Sitemaps and Site Index module lets you view, edit and delete sitemap and site index files.

IIS SEO Toolkit

3. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider is an extensive website crawling tool that will help you analyze and audit your website for maximum search engine optimization. The SEO Spider checks your website’s links, CSS, scripts, images and apps to identify problems such as duplicate pages, broken links, URI issues and redirect errors.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

4. Google Keyword Planner

Since most of your traffic is probably going to come from Google searches, you’ll definitely want to take a look at Google’s new Keyword Planner. Google’s Keyword Planner provides a wealth of information on currently popular keywords that you can further fine tune with advanced filtering options. Keyword Planner also has a historical view, letting you see the popularity of keywords over a twelve-month period.

Google Keyword Planner

5. Virante SEO Tools

Virante offers a number of on-site and off-site SEO tools for free on their website. On-site tools include a Duplicate Content Tool, an LDA Content Optimizer and a Density of Keyword Tool. Amongst the off-site tools are a Competitive Analysis Tool, a Link Atrophy Tool and a PageRank Recovery Tool. Virante also offer miscellaneous tools like a Clean IP Tool and a HTTP Header Check Tool.

Virante SEO Tools

More SEO Tools

It’s always good to have more choices. Here are 15 more SEO tools that bloggers can use for free. Let us know your favorite in the comments.

Web CEO

Web CEO is a complete SEO tool that comes in both online and offline versions. Like most SEO tools of this type, Web CEO has features such as rank checking, link management and analysis as well as on-site opitmization tools such as a Site Auditor that can scan your blog for broken links and other SEO-damaging errors. Web CEO operates on a freemium model.

Web CEO

SEO Book Tools

SEO Book has a number of free SEO tools available on their website. Just register a free account and you’ll be able to use tools such as their Keyword List Generator, Meta Tag Generator, Server Header Checker and Link Suggestion Checker, all for free. You can also download Firefox extensions such as their SEO Toolbar that provides competitive and search data directly in Firefox.

SEO Book Tools

SEOgadget Tools

SEOgadget provides a number of free SEO tools to help you with your SEO efforts. Some of the tools SEOgadget provide include a Link Categorization Tool for Excel, a Content Strategy Generator, Anchor Text Tool as well as a SEOgadget for Excel tool that allows you to interpret data from services such as Majestic SEO in Excel.

SEOgadget Tools

SEER’s SEO Toolbox

SEER’s SEO Toolbox is an all-in-one spreadsheet-based SEO toolbox that can be used to analyse data from sources such as Google Analytics, Majestic SEO and Twitter. It also has some on-page analysis tools and scraping abilities as well. Since it’s an online spreadsheet, your whole team (if you have one) can work on and analyse the data together.

SEER's SEO Toolbox

Internet Marketing Ninjas SEO Tools

The Internet Marketing Ninjas have more than a few free SEO, Webmaster and Social Tools on their website. Some of the SEO Tools include a Page Speed Tool, a Robots Text Generator Tool, a Meta Tag Generator Tool and a Search Combination Tool.

Internet Marketing Ninjas SEO Tools

SEO Tools For Excel

Niels Bosma’s SEO Tools For Excel is an Excel add-on that adds a number of SEO-centric features. Some of the functions added by SEO Tools For Excel include the ability to find duplicated content, check backlinks and obtain WhoIs data. SEO Tools For Excel can also analyse information such as the number of links and the meta keywords on your site.

SEO Tools For Excel

SEO Site Tools (Chrome Extension)

This is a Google Chrome extension that adds on-page SEO data drawn from various websites and services. It provides aggregated data from Google PageRank, Alexa traffic details, Quancast rank and Dmoz domain presence. It also provides information on meta tags, social media reactions and can even make suggestions to improve your site’s SEO.

SEO Site Tools Chrome Extension

SEOquake

SEOquake is an SEO plugin for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari. SEOquake provides a wealth of information essential to any blogger looking to improve their site’s ranking, including information on Yahoo! Backlinks, Google page rank, Google and Bing indexing, WhoIs data and keyword density reports. It can also generate full page reports for any site you wish.

SEOquake

Moz SEO Toolbar

The Moz SEO Toolbar is available for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. It gives you access to typical SEO metrics in real-time as you browse the Internet. It can also highlight links and keywords on websites, as well as show all the page elements on a given website. It also has a detailed search engine results page (SERP) overlay that lets you compare Google, Bing and Yahoo! metrics.

Moz SEO Toolbar

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer is a tool that you can use to investigate backlinks (both dofollow and nofollow links) on both your blog as well as competitor’s blogs. Open Site Explorer also provides domain and page authority rankings. The free version limits you to 200 backlinks per report, with detailed information is only available for the first five backlinks, but that should be enough for a basic overview.

Open Site Explorer

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a keyword suggestion tool that suggests common sense keyword phrases based on Google’s own suggestion engine. Simply key in a query or keyword and Ubersuggest will provide a list of suggested keyword phrases based on your initial input. Ubersuggest can also be told to base suggestions on specific Google services such as Google Images, Google Video and Google News.

Ubersuggest

Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool

This tool helps you optimize your pages’ title and meta description tags in order to maximise the appeal of your websites when seen in Google search result listings. It’s a simple tool that generates a preview of the Google SERP so that you can make sure that your and meta description tags don’t exceed the optimal length.

Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool

Browseo

Browseo is a quick and simple web app that lets you look at websites as a search engine would. This lets you view your blog purely from an SEO perspective quickly, without having to dig into the code. The best thing is that there are also Android and iOS versions, so you can check your blog’s SEO optimization on the go.

Browseo

Anchor Text Over Optimization Report

This simple web service checks your site for any over optimized anchor text that may result in your site falling foul of Google’s search algorithms. Just input your site’s URL and the service will generate a list of keywords and keyword phrases with measurements on how optimized or over optimized these keywords are.

Anchor Text Over Optimization Report

Xenu’s Link Sleuth

Xenu’s Link Sleuth is an essential tool to check for broken links on your website, including partial checking of FTP, Gopher and e-mail links. The app also supports re-checking of links, SSL websites and can also detect and report redirected URLs. Xenu’s Link Sleuth can generate a simple report of all the issues it finds as well as generate a sitemap.

Xenu's Link Sleuth


    






How To Host Your Personal Website On Google’s Servers For Free

Posted: 13 Feb 2014 05:01 AM PST

At the present time, everyone is hosting a personal or portfolio website to showcase his information on the Web. If you wish to host your own personal website but don’t really have to budget for it, this post is right up your alley.

This simple tutorial will show you how you can host a basic website (built using HTML & CSS) on Google’s servers, for free. And you can easily complete this between 1 and 3 hours.

Technically, Google does not provide free hosting solutions, but they do provide a Platform As A Service (PAAS) known as Google App Engine (GAE). This tutorial uses App Engine’s ‘Static files’ feature to host a static HTML-CSS website on GAE’s servers.

At the end of this tutorial you will be getting your own personal website at a customized sub-domain address like so: <your-custom-name>.appspot.com. You can make it your contact page, to connect with potential clients or to expand

I have one at akapribot.appspot.com, hosted on GAE. It just takes 7 tasks:

  1. Make a personal website using a free HTML-CSS website template
  2. Download and Install Python and GAE SDK
  3. Sign up for Google App Engine
  4. Create app at Google App Engine
  5. Develop app using GAE Python SDK
  6. Deploy/upload your custom app to GAE servers

Let’s get to it.

Task 1: Make a Personal Website

Building a website from scratch can be hard and tricky, especially if you are not a hardcore web designer or an expert with writing tagged elements in html. However you can always work on a web template and customize it into your own version. Here are just a few good, easy-to-edit, and Creative Commons licensed website templates:

To make the website template your own, download the templat from the given links above, unzip the files and edit the index.html or other .html files. You can use any text editor to edit these files like Notepad or WordPad, but Notepad++ is easier and highly recommended. Add your information, e.g., name, skills, work, portfolio, contact information, etc. and save the file.

Alternatively, if you want to do more on your website, you can try learning HTML5 & CSS. We have plenty of HTML5/CSS tutorials to learn from. Do check them out.

Task 2: Get Python and GAE SDK

Next, download and install the following software for editing and deploying apps to GAE servers.

Note: Please install the software with their default options and settings, otherwise you may face problems with the tutorial.

Task 3: Sign up for Google App Engine

Third in line, sign up for an account at Google App Engine. If you already have a Gmail account, it’s just a matter of signing in.

  • Go to appengine.google.com
  • If you already have a Gmail account then move to next step, otherwise press the Sign up button and enter required details to create an account.

  • Enter your account credentials and press Sign in button to access the GAE dashboard.

  • Google App Engine will greet you with a welcome message.

Task 4: Create App at Google App Engine

Now, you need to create an application at GAE.

  • Click the Create Application button.
  • You may be asked to verify your account. Verify your account by following the on-page instructions.
  • You will see the "Create Application" page as below:

  • Enter the address you want in Application Identifier. This name will make your sub-domain address, e.g. your-name.appspot.com.
  • Once given a name, application identifier cannot be changed. So, choose your application identifier wisely.
  • Enter Application Title in the second text field. This name will be displayed when people access your app on the GAE.
  • For Authentication Options, leave it in the default option (Open to all Google Account users).
  • Click on Create Application button. You will see a page notifying "Application Registered Successfully" as below:

Task 5: Develop app using GAE Python SDK

It’s time to develop your GAE app on your system using Python and App Engine Python SDK.

  • Open Google App Engine Launcher app on your system using Start menu or Start screen (if you are working on Windows 8).

  • Open File menu > Create New Application. Alternatively, you can press the key combination Ctrl+N to create a new application in GAE Launcher.

  • Enter your application identifier in the field of Application Name.
  • Choose a local parent directory for your app by clicking on Browse button. Your app’s directory will be created inside this directory.
  • Leave the Port and Admin Port to default values.
  • Click on Create button.

To edit your local GAE app’s settings:

  • Choose your app in GAE Launcher.
  • Click on Edit.
  • Your app’s "app.yaml" file will open in WordPad.
  • Replace the whole text (delete old text and enter new text) with the following:

application: <your-app-name-here>
version: 1
runtime: python27
api_version: 1
threadsafe: yes
handlers:

– url: /
static_files: www/index.html
upload: www/index.html

– url: /
static_dir: www
libraries:

– name: webapp2
version: "2.5.2"

  • Replace <your-app-name-here> with your application identifier on the first line of this file.
  • Save this file and close WordPad.

To add your personal website’s files to your local GAE app:

  • Open the local parent directory of your GAE app.
  • Open your app’s directory.
  • Delete the files named favicon.ico and main.py present in this directory.
  • Create a new directory (or folder) named www inside this directory. (If you want to change this directory’s name, you have to rename this directory and replace all www in your new directory’s name in the app.yaml file.)
  • Copy your website’s files (all files and sub-directories inside its folders, e.g. index.html) to this wwwdirectory.

If everything goes well, then your app’s directory will have two files (app.yaml and index.yaml) and a sub-directory (www). The sub-directory ‘www’ will have your website’s files and folders.

Task 6: Deploy/Upload your custom app to GAE servers

You have created your local GAE app and now, you need to check and deploy/upload your app to GAE servers.

To check your local GAE app:

  • Choose your app in GAE Launcher.
  • Click on Run.
  • You will be shown your website in the web browser on your computer. (If you don’t, backtrack and check to see if you followed the instructions in the tutorial correctly.)

To deploy your GAE app:

  • Choose your app in GAE Launcher.
  • Click on Deploy.
  • You will be asked for your gmail id and password. Enter your account’s credentials and press OK.
  • You will see a Python window detailing the progress of the upload operation. It will take some time to upload your app depending on your Internet connection’s speed.

All done!

If you followed the whole procedure precisely, then by this time, you must be having your own website hosted on the web. You can check your website at <your-app-name>.appspot.com If you successfully hosted your website at Google App Engine, don’t forget to share your App Engine’s website address through comments.


    






6 Mind Mapping Tools to Increase Design Efficiency

Posted: 13 Feb 2014 02:01 AM PST

Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Jo Sabin, community manager at DesignCrowd.com, a leading online graphic design jobs marketplace.

The technique of mind mapping has actually been around for centuries, but Tony Buzan, a psychology author from the ’70s, was the most recent advocate of mind mapping, explaining that jotting down ideas in a branch-like fashion is much more conducive to the way we automatically skim a page when not conformed to linear note-taking. And it makes sense.

In a mind map, you start with a central idea or an image of your idea (such as "Fashion Business Card") and then branch out ideas in a hierarchical, flowing fashion.

Mind mapping helps designers float in between each aspect as ideas come to them in a visual way. It does this by allowing the use of colors, fonts, strokes on the connecting lines, graphics, photos, and even videos – yes, you can create digital mind maps now.

Here’s a list of the 6 best mind mapping tools for designers, and how they can help. Some are free, while others require a monthly fee, but they are all top-notch mind mapping programs.

1. Coggle

This incredible mind mapping program claims that it works more like people and thoughts, and less like a computer. It is completely free, and you can work on it completely online (there is no need to download anything). Your mind maps can be exported to PDF or PNG, if necessary.

Coggle.it also supports collaborative work and can track changes from anyone who is adding to or editing the mind map. It comes with a color wheel for easy selection of colors, as well as drag-and-drop for adding images. There is even a history mode that allows you to go back to previous versions and work from those.

2. MindMeister

With MindMeister, the features seem endless. Some of its best features include the ability to share mind maps via email or link, play back changes with History View, and export to lots of different formats. All changes from users are color-coded, and the change history is stored forever on the MindMeister servers.

Plus, you can use it on mobile and tablets and it is super easy to use. However, some of the more advanced options mentioned here come only with the Personal, Pro or Business versions which goes for $4.99, $9.99 and $14.99 a month, respectivey. You do get a free 30-day trial to try out the plans before subscribing.

3. MindNode

This mind mapper was featured on Apple as an "App Store Best", and only costs a one-time fee of $9.99. Although it only works on an iPhone, iPad or Mac, the good thing is that you can start a mind map on your Mac, leave for coffee with your iPad, and continue working on your mind map there at the coffee shop thanks to iCloud or Dropbox syncing options.

Other great features include the ability to cross-connect nodes from different mind maps, easy keyboard shortcuts, active hyperlinks, show and hide entire branches, tap to add nodes, and reorganize complicated maps. The maps also automatically rearrange to create room when adding content.

MindNode is simple and easy to use, and it comes with color themes, different strokes and fonts, and you can change colors of each aspect in the map. You can even embed your map into websites or blogs, share link on Twitter, email, or Facebook, and export to text file, FreeMind, PNG, PDF, or OPML.

4. Stormboard

Stormboard has a shared whiteboard and sticky note-like format for online collaboration. You can vote, comment, add priority, organize, and even connect remotely or via mobile device. Stormboard also gives summary reports instantly. You can also add photos and videos, and use the available templates, some of which has been customized by Stormboard based on previous mindmapping sessions.

It is also secured with SSL encryption, putting your mind at ease. Best of all, there’s actually a free version, which includes 5 users, 1 admin, and unlimited storms. The $5/user/month version comes with 30 users, 1 admin, unlimited storms, and a free 30-day trial. The $10/user/month gives you unlimited everything plus a free 30-day trial.

5. XMind 2013

The XMind 2013 is a beast of a mind mapping program, so it’s easy to see why paid versions start at $79. But there is a free version, which comes with everything a graphic designer would need: local network sharing, templates, IME support, different structures (tree chart, org-chart, logic chart, and more), a "matrix" view similar to a table which can be converted to a mind map or vice versa, presentations, attachments, password encryption, and even audio notes.

You can also share your mind map on the XMind network and set the privacy to public, private, or unlisted. Visitors can comment, bookmark, or download your map, if your map is public or privately shared with them.

What doesn’t come with the free version is the ability to export to Microsoft files, HTML, and images such as GIF, JPG, PNG, BMP. You can also export in vectors to PDF/SVG and to any Microsoft Office files when using a Mac, even if you don’t have Office installed on your Mac.

6. Mapul

Mapul has a fun, handwritten, organic look and feel, and it’s very colorful. It is only available on the web, but desktop and mobile versions are coming soon. For the surprisingly low cost of $2.50/month, you get quite a bit of excellent features. For instance, it comes with Web cloud images and you can upload images, export your mind map as an image or local file.

Other features include full cloud support, share via the Web, create unlimited maps, make presentations of your maps, add hyperlinks, and even premium support for email. Multi-user licenses are available as well. And there is actually a free version, but of course it comes with limited accessibility to all of the features mentioned above.

Wrap Up

You can check out these great mind mapping tools with the offered free trials before you actually get into some digital mind mapping. And if none of them appeals to you, there’s always the old-fashioned way of using large sheets of paper and colored pencils, or a whiteboard and colored markers.


    






The Dash &#8211; Wireless Headphones For Fitness-Tracking &#38; Music

Posted: 12 Feb 2014 11:01 PM PST

For most of us who run or work out, music is an integral part of every exercise session. Even world class athletes have their favorite songs or type of music to listen to. However normal headphones can be woefully inadequate for the job.

Cables can tangle or get in the way, plus you have to bring along accessories such as a music player and fitness tracker. But what if you could get rid of all these issues in one fell swoop? Enter Bragi’s The Dash.

The Dash is an all-in-one solution for listening to music on the go, especially while exercising. It’s a pair of in-ear headphones that also function as a music player, fitness tracker, heartrate monitor and sports watch, all in one. Let’s check it out.

Introducing the Dash

The Dash is a pair of completely wireless and discrete Bluetooth in-ear headphones. As you might expect, The Dash will play music through a Bluetooth connection, but The Dash also has 4GB of built-in storage that can be used to store up to 1000 songs, letting you play music directly from The Dash.

The Dash

Also A Fitness Tracker

The Dash also has a lot of sensors built into it. These sensors will measure and track performance-related metrics such as cadence, G-force, distance and pace as well as measure vital signs such as heart rate, body temperature and amount of calories burned.

The Dash will also keep track of your exercise goals and provide warnings for when you stray too close to the minimum or maximum limits for any particular metrics.

The Dash's Sensors And Tracking

Switching Between Tracking And Music

While fitness is definitely The Dash’s main target market, The Dash is also useful as an everyday pair of in-ear headphones. The Dash will also work as a Bluetooth headset with the built-in bone conduction microphone. The passive sound isolation means that it’s also great for noisy offices or airplane flights.

The Dash In Use

The Dash’s tracking and sound capabilities are controlled using its touch interface. The left earphone controls fitness-tracking features, while the right earphone controls music playback. The right earphone also controls The Dash’s transparent audio feature, which channels ambient sound into the headphone.

The Dash Touch Control

While most of The Dash’s tracking features will work without a smartphone, you’re still going to want to pair The Dash with Bragi’s The Dash app to make the most out of The Dash’s tracking metrics. The official The Dash app will be free on both Android and iOS, but The Dash will also be compatible with third-party apps.

The Dash With App

The Dash is currently being funded on Kickstarter and has blown past its $260,000 goal. At the time of writing, a $199 pledge will get you The Dash if you’re in the United States. If you’re outside of the United States, you’ll have add $15 for shipping. EU residents will also have to add VAT on top of shipping, depending on the pricing tier.

Full-scale production of The Dash is scheduled to begin in November 2014.


    






Index More Files To Turn Up In Searches In Windows 8.1 [Quicktip]

Posted: 12 Feb 2014 09:01 PM PST

One of the thing that frustrates Windows 8.1 users is the fact that they are not able to search for their files using the Metro inbuilt search features. For some reason, you can only search for files that are available on your desktop and your library, but not anywhere else. Files kept in say, "D:\notes" won’t turn up in the search results.

Where is my file?

In this article, we will show you how to index all your files to allow it to pop up in future search results ran in the Metro UI. You can select which drive to index rather than cover everything as th latter may slow down your computer.

To Start Indexing Your files

Open Metro UI with the Windows key and search for Indexing Options. Open it, then click on Modify to open "Indexed Locations".

Click On Modify

In "Indexed Locations", select the folder that you want to index so that the contents will appear in the search results. Note that the more drives you select to index, the slower your system may become. Click OK when you’re done selecting.

Select Folders To Be Index

Depending on the number of files you’re indexing, it will take some time before your computer can complete the indexing process.

Wait For Indexing Process To Be Completed

Once completed you can search for your files easily through Metro search.

Search For Your Files