SEO is a collection of page elements and activities that can improve rankings in search results. Search engines try to figure out what the pages are about and how relevant they are. Search engine optimization starts with keyword research and competition analysis and then continues with page preparation and promotion. Link building is an important part of SEO and finding good pages for link opportunities is not easy. But the most important part of SEO is tracking of page positions. If you can not see any improvement in ranking then all the SEO efforts are a complete waste of time. The conclusion is very simple–you need right tools.
This should always be the first step in any SEO project. You need to find keywords or search phrases that have high search volume, low competition and some commercial value. There are some freely available tools that can help us to find relevant keywords. One such tool is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. This tool is good if you have nothing to start with but for real work it simply does not provide enough data. You need a tool that will show not only keywords and search volume, you need also information about competition and possibility to eliminate otherwise unsuitable keywords.
You may find excellent keyword with high search volume and apparently low competition. The first estimation of the competition is the number of pages that Google reports for each search phrase. But this figure is only a rough estimation. You need to analyze pages at top positions for each selected keyword. This analysis should display all relevant facts for each competing page. The goal of detailed SEO competition analysis is to check first few pages that show in search results for some keyword and analyze essential SEO parameters like the number of links, the age of domain, on-page SEO elements, etc. These SEO parameters should be enough to determine the strength of competition. If you determine, for example, that the first five pages are too strong to compete with, then this keyword was probably not a good choice.
This is the most important tool which will show how successful your SEO work was. Rank tracker checks search results and displays positions of your pages. It is also good approach to track the number of links and PageRank. This information is needed to find out what is the effect of SEO activities. If after some campaign you can not spot any improvement in position or at least in the number of backlinks then the effort was worthless.
There are many tools for each of the SEO steps. However, there is one tool on the market that has all the SEO modules needed for any internet marketing business. Market Samurai contains elaborate modules for keyword research, SEO competition analysis, rank tracing, promotion, publishing (using WordPress blogs) and monetization. You can get a free trial version at http://marketsamurai.si/. Just register and download the software. Take some time to check many tutorial videos that will show you how powerful this tool is.