So what tools are great for SEO?

Recently I posted a question on Facebook about what tools are great for SEO and this are a few responses i got.

Alna Dall hi Aloysius Mario Louw: First determine the small necessities that you need to employ on your site to tickle the google-spiders fancy: Image descriptions, a permanent re-direct, tags for your content, a mobile version of your site, links to social networks, MOZ rank etc...(use the sites Ardi Coetzee) has mentioned).... but at the end of the day SEO = traffic and traffic= good, interesting content that is RELEVANT and updated regularly. You want people to come back to your site and use it regularly to bring down your bounce-rate.....

Ardi Coetzee Wordpress plugins are nice to get started, but you still need to understand SEO before you'll be able to use it properly. And you'll eventually have to get your hands dirty to compete with the big guys. My advice to anyone starting a wordpress site or a blog: forget about SEO, focus on creating good content. Good content trumps good seo any day of the week.

Brendan Ihmig A poor workman will always blame his tooks... I mean toolz... grrrrr tools... stupid, stupid keyboard!
Like Ardi said, " on a more serious note"... Google webmaster tools, Hubspot, Seomoz, Alexa, Microsoft SEO ToolKit and YouTube (because there are some great tutorials on how to use the tools mentioned) - Personally I simply don't think there is an easy 'out of the box one stop SEO tool box' as SEO goes way beyond simple automatable processes, leaving the very best tool: your keyboard for creating great, engaging, insightful and unique content. B!

Brian Sandham What a lot of people do not realize is that with the recent panda and penguin update the entire rule book of SEO was turned on its head. 
What can a free SEO tool do for you? It can ensure you have proper titles and clear anchor text. I feel if one doe
s not know how to do that they would be wiser to take ten steps and start from the ground up. 
The bigger problem is that the rules or at least what google is looking for as far as SEO goes is changing all the time. So these days its as much about being able to define and realize active search terms that can generate traffic as it is about optimizing a page.
The next thing people fail to realize is that google is valuing content above everything else at the moment. How one presents that content and how it is served can make huge difference.
Then off site signals become the next big trend, how is your social interaction, how many sites are actively discussing yours. 
Then one has to begin to look at positive and negative links and understanding the difference. Basically there is a lot to learn and SEO has become a dare I say specialized field. So looking for a easy solution is not unlike me looking for a plug and play solution for a php script. A lot of stuff may be alright but you wont solve the problem without a learnt skill set.

Brendan Ihmig Agree Brian - so much changes with Google's and other search engine algorithms and approch to search that it is so important to stay on top of those things to ensure you are not hat-tricking the wrong colour or simply wasting your time or being penalized for yesteryear's best practices. The only true constant for SEO over the years has been CONTENT and will remain that way - after all is that not what the internet is about? B!
You can also join the discussion by posting your comments bellow. 

Brendan Ihmig It's actually ironic that the best search engine optimization tips from Google is to to create for humans and not for search engines... but makes sense seeing as Google is wanting its Search Engine to replicate/mimic human thinking = AI - one of Google's big goals. B!
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