There are several sites and tools that I have found to be especially helpful as I have researched how to optimize my websites and increase my presence online.

Google Goodies
The super power known as Google offers a variety of tools and tips for optimizing your website, as well as growing and keeping track of your online presence. With a Google account which simply involves signing up, a large number of resources are available to you. Google Webmaster Tools allows you to submit your sitemap, analyze your website’s use of title and description tags, learn where your website ranks for certain keyword searches, examine your website’s keyword density, see which websites are linking to your site, locate crawl errors and see how fast your web pages load.

Google Analytics provides a wide array of statistics on how searchers are finding your site and what they do once on your site. Google Analytics demonstrates what referral sources and keywords are bringing searchers to your site, which search engines are being used to find your site, how many times a page has been viewed, the geographical region of your visitors and which browser your visitors use. It can serve as your website’s only source of statistics if your web host does not provide statistics. I would recommend using Google Analytics along with another statistical measure in order to compare the data. Google Analytics must be added to the coding of every page on your website that you wish to analyze.

Google Local Business Center allows you to submit your business information in order to receive a listing on Google Maps. Google Local Business Center listings provide the option of submitting your location, website, email address, blog link, business hours, insurance and payment information, specialty, Facebook & Twitter pages, education information, years in practice, photos, a video and a short description of your business. Google Local Business Center keeps track of reviews from several sources, including Insider Pages and City Search. Google has its own area where patients can submit reviews as well. One of your first steps in enhancing your online presence is to sign up for a Google Local Business listing.

Google Alerts give you the opportunity to be notified by email of the latest relevant results for a word or phrase you have chosen. These alerts can be emailed to you as soon as a reference is found, once a day or once a week. I have set up alerts for different variations of my name in order to monitor reviews about me and to see where Google is finding me. Google Alerts can be used to provide information for blog posts, tweets, status updates or patient e-newsletters by setting up a weekly alert for topics like children’s dental health.

Google Blogger is free blogging software that is easy to use. You can find more information about its abilities in the section on blogging. Google Reader allows you to keep track of blog subscriptions and read the latest updates from your favorite blogs. Google Blog Search provides a search tool to find blogs on topics that interest you.

www.LinkVoodoo.com
LinkVoodoo provides two helpful online tools for analyzing the optimization of a website. The Backlink Analyzer Tool provides a total number of links to your website. The list gives the name, Google Page Rank and the Alexa Rating of any sites that provide an anchor text link to your website. This isn’t the best backlink analyzer out there as it only shows the names of the sites providing an anchor text link, but it does provide extra information on those links. The Quality Score Tool is a very helpful resource which analyzes Alexa Ranking, participation in the major directories, Google Page Rank, inbound and external link qualities, social bookmarking participation and a title search. This information is combined to give you a “trustworthy” score. LinkVoodoo offers a free sign up to receive more tips on making improvements in each of these areas, but I have not been able to get this function to work.

SEOBook.com
Seo Book has designed several helpful tools for analyzing how search engines see a website. The tool I have used most often is the Spider Test Tool . This test displays a web page’s title tags, Meta description, keyword tags, html coding, keyword density and links to the web page. It provides links to see Google’s latest cached copy of that web page, as well as how many pages of the site are indexed by Google. There is a link to Yahoo!’s Site Explorer data which shows the number of links to the website and how many pages of the site are indexed by Yahoo!. Links to Bing and Ask’s listings of indexed pages are provided as well. Their Rank Checker tool that is available with a free membership allows you to search a website’s ranking on Yahoo! and Google for keywords and phrases that you choose. This powerful tool allows you to search multiple sites and keywords at one time.

KeywordSpy.com
With a free membership, Keyword Spy allows users to research organic and pay per click competition by keyword and domain name. When you search for a keyword, you will receive detailed results on how many companies are competing for that keyword in the organic and pay per click markets. A keyword query will provide the ad copy for the pay per click advertisements competing for that keyword, as well as a listing of the domain name and pay per click budget of the companies behind those advertisements. This allows you to analyze your competition before deciding on keywords to include in your website content and pay per click campaigns.
When searching by domain name, Keyword Spy delivers a report with a list or keywords that a site is being ranked for, where the site ranks and how many searches are done for that keyword in a month. Keyword Spy allows you to analyze your organic competition with a list of websites using similar keywords. For those websites that participate in a pay per click campaign, Keyword Spy provides results on the pay per click ads and keywords being used by that domain. With a free trial, you will not receive a full list of organic keywords or competitors, but you do receive a good number of results.

SearchStatus Tool
The SearchStatus tool is a free download to be used with Mozilla Firefox. This tool appears in the bottom right corner of your browser window, but can be customized to appear elsewhere. When browsing online, it allows you at a glance to see the Google PageRank and Alexa Rating of any web page you visit. Other options include highlighting nofollow links and keywords, reporting on the number and types of links on a page and providing the title, description and keyword tags. You can choose to view the whois information, sitemap, number of pages indexed by the major search engines and keyword density.