And now for something completely different. Well, maybe not so much different as just comprehensive as Rhea Drysdale, Michael King, Merry Morud give us an overview of tools for every SEO, from independent shops to enterprise-level organizations. Get ready to take notes because this group is about to drop some super valuable and actionable info while Monica Wright and Vince Blackham moderate. Ready? Let’s do it.
Mike King kicks things off by having everyone make some noise. Then he says there’s no way we’ll be able to take notes on this, so he shares a URL: http://iacq.co/toolspullrank3 (It’s his slide deck)
I’ll get as much as I can, but you’ve been warned! [Now that I'm done, yeah, wow, he went super fast, so what follows is basically a big list of all the tools Mike mentioned.]
The ability to write code is pretty much a super power today, according to Matt Cutts. Mike says it’s the first time he’s ever agreed with Matt.
- Screaming Frog – You can crawl a whole site in minutes.
- Scraper for Chrome
- Page Speed Plugin
Keyword research (other than AdWords Keyword Tool)
- Yahoo Clues – lets you see the type of people who search for your keywords.
- Keyword Eye – gives you a word cloud
- Soovle – scrapes suggest for things from Amazon, Google, YouTube
- Ubersuggest – does the same thing, but adds location
- Scrapebox – don’t use it as a black hat tool; use it for keyword research
- AdWords API Excel Plugin from @SEOGadget
- GoFish – pulls the last 200 tweets from Twitter, and find the keywords that occur several times
- Facebook Recommendation Demo – not a tool, a widget for your site; you put in a domain name, it gives you the top five most shared pieces of content from that site, you can expand to top 20
- SEOTools by Niels Bosma – get this now
- ImportXML for Google Docs – you can do a lot with this
- Link Research Tools – tells you why your competitors are beating you; slices and dices all your competitor information
- Link Detective – important post-Penguin; crawls links and tells you the location, sidebar, comments, etc.
- SearchMetrics Essentials – you can see how well a site is doing in just seconds
- Keyword-Level Demographics – put your site on Facebook Open Graph, and you get information on everyone who visits your site; read the post on SEOmoz
- Google Analytics Debugger – you don’t get to see custom variables in Analytics real time, but you can with Debugger.
Personas – How do you find them
- Facebook Ad Creator – same as keyword tool, but for ads
- Facebook Insights
- Doubleclick Ad Planner
How to Visualize Data
- Piktochart (a good post from pointblankSEO)
- shy away from infographics—they’re played out
- Storybird – you can make books; Mike encourages you to do this
- Open Graph Helper
- STAT – they update every day, and have the STAT codex that tracks tons of keywords for brands and verticals
Link Building Toolkit
- FollowerWonk – quickly identify influencers
- Outreachr – gives you IP, link metrics, country, etc.
- KnowEm – uses it to stalk people and find out who they are in social
- MentionMapp – lets you see who people talk to
- Rapportive – see who you’re talking to
- Zemanta – WordPress plugin for bloggers
Managing Multiple Blogs
- ManageWP – don’t use for blog network (but you could)
Most important tool Mike uses: his brain! You’re not going to use all those tools. Just figure out which are the best tools for you, and use those.
Next up is Merry. She’s going to talk about Facebook hidden gems in Insights.
She just jumps right into listing the tools she recommends.
Organic Social Questions
- What are my goals?
- What are my KPIs?
- How big is my circle? Degrees of separation?
- Where can we associate conversations?
- To what extent was content exposed?
- What types of content received the most exposure?
- How did users engage with site? Rebroadcast? Like?
- What are the demographics of your audience?
Hidden Gems in Facebook Insights
- Post-Level Reporting – tells you what people hate. You can pull the report and find negative feedback.
Third-Party Tools for Social
- Identify Your Needs
- Page Management
- Manage Multiple Accounts
- Social Listening
- Robust Analytics
Button & URL Analytics
Social & Open Graph Site Tool
- janrain – prices range from free to $2,250/year; it stores users demographic info; you can socially share activity; they also have loyalty reward games
Google: Social Analytics Overview
- You can see who came from where, how long they’re spending on your site, and find the search volume
- Conversions and Assists
- Visitor Flow
- SocialMention – free
- TrackUr – inexpensive, but there’s an enterprise-level option
- The Archivist – free
- TweetReach – free to $899/month
- TwitterCounter – free to $150/month
- Vitrue – has a multilingual tool
Facebook Management and Analytics Tools
- Buddy Media
- Sprout Social
Posting, Listening, Analytics and Reporting Powerhouses
- Raidan6 – has eCommerce integration
SEO, PPC, Social and Analytics Super Powerhouse
- Raven Tools – Multiple profiles and users, white labeled reports, Basecamp integration, and much more!
Now Rhea is going to talk about the business case for purchasing tools. Why is she qualified to talk about tools? She’s not a programmer, but she’s the CEO of a small agency that has to be nimble. She’s also worked in-house, and she’s built tools in our organization. She’s also purchased a lot of tools…and dated some!
Most of us weren’t hired to build tools—we were hired to think. As a boss, there’s nothing that drives her crazier than not thinking strategically.
When we combine tools and brains, we make something incredible. Sometimes we don’t.
Epic Tool Fail Study
She uses data from one of our clients, whom we can’t name. Their traffic went up overall, but their organic traff for target keywords went down. Why? Beause they switched to a new CMS.
What Went Wrong
- The new CMS contract was signed before we got involved. The executive team signed off on it, and we couldn’t get access to the dev site beforehand.
- IT had no training on how to manage the CMS, so everyone was dependent on the CMS proider, who didn’t hold to their guarantees
- IT turnover
- unplanned and extended code freezes while they worked on the CMS
- SEO agency (us) were not positioned as a consultant, but as a vendor (Rhea has an SEOmoz whiteboard Friday coming up all about that, so watch for it!); we weren’t involved in the purchase decision
How Are We Fixing It?
- Immediate SEO audit, which cost the client more money
- In-person visit, met IT
- Bribed IT with doughnuts, and our work got done
- Agency is now contracted as a consultant; now we’re managing their in-house team
- Halted development of new CMS on any new property; still have to work with the one we have
Actual Cost of Tool
It’s called a “switch-cost” when you’re going from one tool to another. They might sound good in theory, but turn out not to be good in practice.
- New CMS
- Internal time
- Agency time
- Loss of sales due to drop in organic traffic
- Agency SEO audit and consulting
- Travel down to see client
- Internal team morale and productivity
- Missed opportunities
Tool Selection Criteria
- Access – accessible in Windows and Mac? Viewable in multiple browsers?
- Cost – this is more than just the up-front cost of the tool
- Usability – is it user-friendly? Easy to use? Does tool provider offer customer support?
- Privacy and Intellectual Property – does it protect your personal data?
- Resource Management
- Added Value – Can the tool be easily replicated? Can it be customized?
Making the Business Case
Tool Value – (True Cost + Risks)
Switch Cost Considerations
Here, Rhea provided a list of about 20 things, so I’m going to recommend you seek out her slide deck. I’m sure we’ll be tweeting it soon. :-)
Make Things Simpler
Rhea mentions Jon Cooper (PointBlankSEO). He built a list of link building tactics. We took it and put it into a spreadsheet with dependencies.
She did the same thing with all the tools that were presented in this entire session, because she’s awesome like that. You can get it on the Outspoken Media Google+ Page: https://plus.google.com/101895425639809783585/posts
If you like it, +1 it!
Get all the SMX Advanced 2012 coverage here!