1) Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools

  • Tells if your site is being penalized for some reason
  • Tells if your site is too slow
  • Allows you to see the search queries that brought your site up in google search results and how many resulted in clicks to your site
  • Other useful stuff

2) Bing webmaster tools www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster

  • An excellent source of additional data necessary for properly optimizing your site for search engines
  • Covers both yahoo and bing
  • Information presented is just as valuable for showing up in google
  • Provides much more info than google webmaster tools in fact.
  • Typically requires a live.com email address (not hard to sign up for) to make it work

3) Website quality test www.ismywebsitegood.com

  • Tells if your site is passing or failing the 5 second test and the call to action test
  • Also good for getting a feel for how good or bad the first impression of your site is compared to competitor sites, and how welcoming your site is relative to the competition
  • Passing these tests is crucial in order to have people engage with your site instead of hitting the back button and clicking on the next search result
  • If google sees a user return to search results after a few seconds on a site, that is a signal to google that your site is not an appropriate search result and therefore google may rank your site lower because of this

4) Meta Description Call to Action Test www.onlineimpactgroup.com/verb

  • This test evaluates whether your website’s meta description tags start with a verb, which helps create a call to action in your site’s search result listings. A good call to action can enhance the number of clicks to your website from search results.

5) Google Analytics google.com/analytics

  • Tells much more than old-style analytics because it is based on javascript.
  • Measures things like pages per visit, time on site, new versus returning visitors, mobile, number of tablet & desktop visitors
  • Lets you see where your site is getting referral traffic coming in from
  • Lets you see if your site is getting spammy visits such as from semalt.com
  • Measuring everything possible related to how people use your site is crucial to ROI for your site.

6) Keyword research tools http://www.e2msolutions.com/blog/the-10-best-alternatives-to-the-google-adwords-keyword-tool/

  • Important for finding search terms that are most searched on for your niche

7) Google Trends http://www.google.com/trends/explore

  • Very important for seeing what search terms are more common in your niche and your part of the country, before you start optimizing your website (SEO). Use in parallel with keyword tools mentioned above to gain more insight.

8) CognitiveSEO http://cognitiveseo.com

  • For determining which incoming links may be hurting your website

9) Ahrefs https://ahrefs.com

  • For incoming link research

10) SEMrush http://semrush.com

  • For PPC (Adwords) competition analysis

11) Moz Local https://moz.com/local

  • For local search optimization

12) Yext http://yext.com

  • For local search optimization

13) Synup http://synup.com

  • For local search optimization