If there are still people out there not plugged into the incredible world of digital marketing tools then come on in because you will never look back. It is amazing how much time we spend researching, crawling sites, hunting for content ideas, mechanically posting, commenting and creating content. There is an ongoing cycle which never ends and we are always looking for methods to ease the more mundane processes.

There is an element of geek in us all that drives us towards new and shiny objects – that has transcended physical bounds and now pushes us towards intelligent tools that we can watch in awe as they push forward the realms of possibility. This is just a short list of some of those tools that we cannot imagine being without. We would love to know of any tools that you use because it is always nice to kill a half hour amidst a gruelling work schedule checking out the latest equivalent to ‘sliced bread’. In no particular order here are 10 tools we refuse to live without:

1. SEMrush (keyword research) – www.semrush.com

Unlike other keyword tools SEMrush shows you keywords that your competition is already ranking for. This means that all those creative and outside of the box keywords that would be impossible to find otherwise actually kick off your investigation. The interface is very user friendly. Some terms you will need to know are:

SEMrush rank which is where the domain ranks in its database of domains – the lower the number the better the domain. This is based on total organic traffic and the value of that traffic.

SE Traffic is the estimated number of monthly organic visitors that came from Google.

SE Traffic price indicates how valuable the traffic is (this is based on Adwords CPC).

2. Google Webmaster (Link analysis and acquisition removal) – www.google.com/webmasters/tools 

It has been around long enough that most of our audience will be extremely familiar with Google Webmaster tools but no list would be right without it. It provides the data, tools, and diagnostics for a healthy, Google-friendly site. Google empowers you to:

  • Check for potential issues that Google has detected
  • Understand your search traffic so you know how users are finding your site
  • Optimize your site so that Google better understands it and represents it accurately

3. Moz (Open Site Explorer) – www.opensiteexplorer.org

Moz (Open Site Explorer) is also a tool for link analysis and acquisition/removal. Moz will help you to improve your sites authority. It is very much a must for the SEO professional’s toolbox and a little harder to master for the inexperienced user than Google Webmaster tools. It enables you to:

  • look at who is linking to your site
  • show you how you can strengthen those relationships
  • fix links that are pointing to broken pages
  • see what your competitors are doing

4. Screaming Frog SEO Spider (Site Crawler/broken link checker)

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is an industry favourite because it makes the SEO experts job a lot easier. It goes over all links and pages of a website and provides, along with other data:

  • Status codes (301, 404)
  • Page titles and meta descriptions
  • Canonical URLs and robots meta data

The information is filterable per file type so the results can be broken down and expanded upon until you get a very structured overview of each site.

5. Advanced Web Ranking (SERP rank tracking) – www.advancedwebranking.com

This is a heavy tool, as in there is a lot to go at but that does ensure thorough results. It is a robust and adaptable tool that has been around for a long time. The all-in-one nature of Advanced Web Ranking allows you to seamlessly move between on and off (links, social, etc) page factors for a site (and its competition) inside of the Website Auditor feature. The tools built into it offer a deep delve into competitive analysis.

6. Pingdom (site monitoring) – www.pingdom.com

The tool that contains everything you need to monitor your website. The level of monitoring Pingdom provides allows you to stay on top of any issues your website has as they happen. If your website goes down you will be notified and be able to rescue performance. It has a full-featured API and responsive bulling and technical support.

7. Hootsuite (social media management) – www.hootsuite.com

hootsuite

One of the first social media management tools and still very efficient. You can attach multiple accounts to Hootsuite and schedule posts. The interface is simple to understand and the streams give you plenty of information so you can track your posts, read those of others, respond in real-time and it has handy URL shortening built in. It is a tidy package with the bonus of providing an app that enables you to monitor your Instagram account.

8. Buffer (social media management) – www.bufferapp.com

A tool quickly proving to be indispensable to those who are battling to create content on a regular basis that is of high quality. Buffer offers you the ability to re-tweet and post content from reliable/strong sources so you never go quite on social media platforms during peak times. You can also schedule your own posts and you can add Google+ pages to Buffer.  buffer queues up your content so you can look at a daily breakdown and also add more posts before you run out.

9. Klout (social media measurement) – https://klout.com/home

I have called Klout a social media measuring tool because its emphasis is certainly on increasing your social presence and Klout rather than managing your platforms. There is a buzz around Klout and Klout users that means those who rank highly on it tend to build interest from others. It is great for encouraging a little healthy competition amongst employees and it is also a great way of monitoring how successful your content strategy is. Content creation alone does not a great strategy make. How much engagement it receives tells you a lot about what audiences it is reaching and if it is shouting loud enough to be heard.

10. Powtoon (video creation) – www.powtoon.com

As we have mentioned in previous posts, video is a big deal these days. This is a free tool that enables you to create basic video and it is extremely easy to use. Their basic package is also very reasonable so with a little creativity you could be creating video in no time! Just imagine what that might mean for your content strategy. This is animation software to get your started in the arena of video creation and lets face it – its fun!

 

Hopefully you will find the tools above as helpful as we do. There is a lot of serious power in those tools, especially when it comes to SEO. I would add a small warning regarding the social media management tools and that is that nothing can replace human interaction. At the end of the day people are wanting to hear from you and get closer to your world and your company ethos so make sure you do not get too deeply submerged into the world of automation. Otherwise enjoy! Let us know if you have any great tools you think we are missing out on and keep searching because the newest, shiniest one is still just around the corner!