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Free tools on the net that can help you

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Business and Finance

A great thing about Internet is that there are many net enthusiasts who want to share their knowledge. Some do it from a purely philanthropic spirit while others do it to drive traffic to their sites. Either way, you should make use of these free tools because they give you valuable insights into the working of the net.

The following are seven tools that can help you:

1)      Alexa toolbar is a free and downloadable toolbar. It gives a vast amount of site information, not only about your site but about other sites too. It provides you details about the traffic on different sites as well as site ranking based on traffic. This information is very useful for those who want to investigate a sites traffic before entering into a link partnership or joint ventures. It can also help you study your rival sites especially the ones that are ranked higher on Alexa and assess what you need to do to improve your site traffic.

2)      You can similarly subscribe to free tools like Google news or Search Froogles to collect information about rival companies.  They make market research faster, and more relevant especially if you happen to be a net business.

3)      Links like NetMechanic bring in the tool kit with which you can locate potential problems like browser display or broken links and correct them. Nothing can be more frustrating for a customer than to visit a site which is full of error pages. But mind you, these are limited versions and if you want more, you have to pay a fee.

4)      GIFBot gives you the means to reduce the size of images. This is an important service because large images increase download time, and may force your customer to go away. To learn your own web designing you may go to Nvu and download it free. The WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor is an expert at designing web sites.

5)       The free keyword selector tool assists you to learn about the words that are being used to conduct searches. This is a very useful guide because you know what people are searching for. You can accordingly include the relevant keywords in your Meta data, or build content pages around those keywords to attract traffic.

6)      The free browser compatibility service is another useful service. It provides you tools that you can use to test your site on different browsers. You will be surprised to see how different the same page looks on Firefox and on Internet Explorer. The tool will encourage you to check your page on different browsers before uploading it.

7)      The free search tool is a downloadable search tool available on Answers.com. Its strong point is that it makes available dictionaries, thesaurus etc.

These are just a handful of free tools available on the net. If you explore the net more you will find more such tools. Make full use of them because they have been set up by people who understand the net. They will add value to you site.