If you’ve done much publishing on the web, you’re probaly already familiar with Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. However, many web workers stick with the same small handful of SEO tools. There are quite a lot of them available online for free, and testing keywords and looking at analytics across multiple tools can make a lot of sense, especially since optimizing them is an inexact science.
Here is a look at three SEO and analytics tools that you may not use.
Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool and Google Analytics are enormously popular, but if you’re interested in alternative views of how keywords, domains and the like may perform, and forecasts of how they will perform in the future, there are many other good choices.
Microsoft’s MSN Keyword Tool does a good job on two fronts: 1) providing graphical comparisons of impression count forecasts for multiple keywords; and 2) predicting demographic distributions for keywords. You enter keywords separated by semi-colons, such as: “Windows; Macintosh.” You get a chart of forecasted impressions, and below that is a summary of demographic predictions for the various keywords. The demographics are broken out by both age and gender.
Miva reports on the number of searches that keywords have received within the past 30 days around its ad network. Just enter a search term in and retype the supplied security code for an extended list of results. This tool doesn’t get into graphical goodies, but it’s fast and easy for snapshot data on keywords.
Piwik (shown above) is an open source MySQL-based web analytics tool with many modules. The beauty of it is that a large community of plug-in developers contribute tools for customizing it. It produces good graphs analyzing traffic data, and you can easily embed real-time graphs into web pages for granular views of the data that you follow. You can get detailed reports on the keywords that visitors to your site used, popularity metrics for your pages and more.