10 SEO Tools to be Thankful For
:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO::
Many of the tasks involved in setting up, managing and running an SEO campaign can be quite time consuming.
Thankfully, there are several tools that can be used to improve efficiency and automate some of the more tedious tasks that SEO professionals are required to do in order to stay atop the search engine result pages.
Here are 10 SEO tools you should be thankful for.
If you are not familiar with one of the best tools on the market, SEMrush was developed as a competitive research tool but does a lot more.
A few of its uses include:
• Keyword Tracking & Difficulty Analysis
• Back Link and Domain Comparison
• Paid Ad Research
One of my favorite ways to use SEMrush is for client prospecting. Find people paying a lot for PPC ads but not ranking organically and you have a good SEO lead.
You can sign up for a free trial and take this tool for a test drive, you will be glad you did.
Hootsuite is a tool for social media, but if you haven't been paying attention - social media and SEO are partners these days. This tool gives you several options to automate and analyze your social media activities.
A few features I really like are:
• RSS Feed Posting
• In-Depth Social Analytics Reporting
• Streamlined Social Profile Management
How does this benefit SEO though?
There are actually several ways you can impact your SEO using Hootsuite. One of the easy ways to get started is to track mentions of your brand on social media. Reach out to those who are already talking about and sharing your content and ask them if they would be willing to link to it or if they would like you to write something for their blog.
3. Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO is a tool built for backlink analysis. Simply plug in your website to the tool and you are able to view your link profile, anchor text ratios and a ton of other data pertinent to your website. This tool is generally used for two reasons, analyzing your back link profile or digging into your competitors' back link data to reverse engineer their ranking strategy. Even if you are only doing one or the other, this tool is still worth the price.
4. Traffic Travis
A great SEO strategy takes more than keyword rankings into consideration. With that, you should be tracking your keywords as one of the many indicators of whether or not your SEO campaign is working. While SEMrush also can track keywords, I have included Traffic Travis because of the great price. You can get this tool for only $99 per year and if you search for coupon codes online, most of the time you can get a copy for just $39 per year, either way the price is unbeatable. Aside from tracking keyword rankings, Traffic Travis can also be used for:
• Back Link Analysis
• Keyword Research
• PPC Ad Research
There are several more uses for this tool, I just haven’t explored them. If you are looking for a cheap way to get started though, this would be a great tool to purchase.
If you are looking for an easy way to spam thousands of blogs (just kidding!), Scrapebox is the perfect tool for the job. Kidding aside, what you may not know is that Scrapebox can be used for several other tasks as well. Here are just a few of the things you can do with Scrapebox
• Pull Competitor Back Links
• Find Link Opportunities
• Check Site Index Status
Brian Dean of Backlinko put together a guide on advanced link building with Scrapebox, I suggest checking it out if you are going to buy a copy of this cheap and powerful SEO tool.
One of the best methods for link building in 2014, and for as long as links influence rankings, is outreach link building. In order to increase your likelihood of success with outreach link building you need to create linkable assets and you need to send a personalized and effective pitch for your content. Rapportive is a great tool for streamlining the personalized outreach process. This free plugin will allow you to view the LinkedIn details of your contacts from within your inbox. This means you can quickly find common interests with the person you are reaching out to which will allow you to personalize the email, and gain more links.
HARO is not really a tool, but it wouldn’t be right not to mention it on the list. HARO stands for “Help a Reporter Out.” To take advantage of this service you simply sign up and subscribe to the categories that are relevant to your business. You will then receive emails regularly from them with reporters asking for people to reply to their queries. While not all of the requests from HARO are of high quality, you can find a lot of really great sites looking for your input on a variety of topics. People have used HARO to land links on Mashable, Huffington Post, Forbes and several other reputable sites, including Website Magazine. If you haven’t already, sign up today and check the emails daily.
The reason we use SEO or any other type of online advertising is to send people to a page that converts them into our customers. Instapage makes that task easier with their drag-and-drop style landing page builder. Even if you are not a designer, you can quickly put together a landing page that will help you convert your SEO traffic into customers, even better, you can try this tool for free.
9. Google AdWords
Why in the world are you saying AdWords is a good SEO tool?
Glad you asked. During the keyword research phase, SEO companies spend a great deal of time and effort finding keywords that can be ranked within your budget and have the proper intent. When selecting keywords, they are generally classified as “educational” or “buyer” keywords. As you can imagine, educational terms are those people use when searching for more information about a product and buyer keywords are those most likely to convert searchers into clients.
Sometimes you will find keywords that have a good amount of traffic, are fairly easy to rank for and may convert into customers. You could put forth the time and effort to rank those terms to find out if they are going to convert or you could run a PPC campaign using the keyword and find out after just a few weeks. You can apply this strategy to any potential keyword/landing page combinations to quickly see if your target keywords are going to convert well.
“Knowledge is power” and SEO is not the exception to this rule. If you compile all the credible information available about SEO, you can learn quite a bit before you ever try to build a link or optimize a page. Here are some great places to learn more about or stay up to day about SEO trends and tactics.
Website Magazine – If you are here and reading this, you already know this is a great place for information, enough said. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.
Backlinko – Brian Dean has one of the best SEO blogs online and the actionable posts are packed with information you do not want to miss. If you have not yet, stop by his site and sign up for email updates, you won’t regret it.
QuickSprout – Neil Patel and Brian Dean often collaborate to develop content and when they do, it is not something you want to miss out on either. Neil Patel is the founder of Crazy Egg and Quicksprout, both of which are in his own words “kind of a big deal.” If you haven’t checked out any of his guides, now’s a good time.
Mark Traphagen – If you are interested in how to better use Google + as a marketing tool, Mark is someone you need to follow. He works over at Stone Temple Consulting and collectively, the team over there has put together some epic case studies on social media and how it impacts SEO.
MOZ- My list would not be complete without mentioning Moz. They offer several starter guides to get you going with SEO but the best information can be found in the community forum. If you take the time to read through some of the questions and answers from other members, you can get a lot of solid and actionable information.
What's Your Favorite Tool?
I am sure that you have a favorite tool that I did not mention above, share it with me and your fellow readers below. You may just show them the perfect tool for their project (or find one for yours).
Author Bio: Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a search marketing and design agency located near St. Louis, Mo. Travis loves researching and writing about SEO strategies and implementing innovative strategies for his clients. Connect on Twitter @theseoproz.