I’m a sucker for tools, I love the fact that they save me time, I love the fact that they make me more productive, I love the fact that they help cut out the boring stuff.
On the flip side I love playing with tools and figuring them out and maybe, just maybe, I spend a little too much time with them.
When I saw there was an SEO and Social Media Power Tools session at SMX with Mike King, Dixon Jones, Aleyda Solis and Neil Walker there was no way I was going to miss it.
Note: What follows was going to be a round up of the tools that we featured across all the sessions but at 2500 words and a fair few hours dropping in the links I only got Mike’s done. If there is sufficient interest I’ll write up the others for you!
You will see that I have included links to the relevant tools, given my quick overview and linked blog posts that go further into the tool.
Mike King – @ipullrank – http://www.iacquire.com/
Learn to code:
In a nutshell: Mike is a big believer in SEO’s having the ability to code. Codeacademy allows you to learn coding online for free with some gamification to keep you interested.
Find out more: My Thoughts on Codecademy
In a nutshell: Ever wanted to learn how to build your own search engine? Need to brush up on your web application engineering? Fancy learning applied cryptography? Find all this and more for free!
Tools for on page analysis:
In a nutshell: Install this on your PC or Mac and instantly crawl site to find SEO errors. There is a free and paid version and the ability to download to Excel for analysis. Used here at Hallam. Great for site audits.
Find out more: Crawler Face-off: Xenu vs. Screaming Frog
In a nutshell: Chrome plug in that I use quite often. Want to grab some information from a web page quickly. Right click, scrape similar and easily export to a Google Doc.
Find out more: Quick Link Prospecting with Scraper Extension
In a nutshell: For checking HTTP response codes on the fly. FireFox plugin.
In a nutshell: Chrome or FireFox plug in for checking any issues that your site may be having with page speed. Quick and easy to use.
Keyword research tools:
In a nutshell: Pretty cool tool from Yahoo for getting demographic data at a keyword level, take your keyword research to the next level.
Find out more: Yahoo Clues: New Fun Search Keyword Tool
In a nutshell: If you are more of a visual person keyword research can be a bit of an eye strain and headache. Use this tool to visualise your keyword data.
Find out more: Keyword Eye Review: The Visual Keyword Suggestion Tool
In a nutshell: Nifty little tool used here at Hallam for expanding your keyword research – scrapes the suggest functionality on dozens of sites, can be customised for different verticals and niches.
Find out more: Review, Soovle Keyword Tool
In a nutshell: Mainly used by the black hats, Scrapebox is now being used for creative white hat techniques. See the post below fora whole bunch of cool white hat uses.
Find out more: Scrapebox’s Hidden Treasures for SEO
In a nutshell: Another tool that we use quite a bit. Scrapes Google Suggest and allows you export keyword data for your longtail keyword reseacrh.
In a nutshell: Streamline your keyword research by pulling the data straight from the adwords api into excel – like magic!
Content generation tools:
In a nutshell: Put together by Mike, this tool searches Twitter based on a keyword you input to give you real time insight in to what kind of content people are after right now.
In a nutshell: A Google Doc put together by Daniel Butler. Pop in a keyword and the Google Doc will throw back the content that is popular at the moment on a couple of dozen sites. Amazing stuff.
Find out more: 3 Steps to Content Brainstorming Productivity
In a nutshell: I’m not sure what I did before I found this Excel extension. Instantly pull SEO metrics, Social Metrics (and loads of other cool stuff) into Excel at lightning speed. Uber productive.
Find out more: Amazing SEO Tools for Excel: SEOtools By Neils Bosma
ImportXML for Google Docs
In a nutshell: There is a bit of a learning curve with this one, but get your head around ImportXML and you’ll be creating your own internal tools in Google Docs.
Find out more: The ImportXML Guide for Google Docs
Actionable link profile tools:
In a nutshell: We don’t have an account with these guys but I recently road tested their tools and the link data that you can get is pretty epic. It’s a bit pricey but I suggest you give it a whirl.
Find out more: Link Research Tools Review
In a nutshell: The best tools are deceptively simple. Simply upload your link data (from OSE) and get your backlink profile analysed into types. Essential since the emergence of Penguin.
Find out more: How Garbage Ranks in the SERPs: a Case Study
Competitive analysis tool:
In a nutshell: Get a deeper understanding of your vertical with what looks like an awesome tool. Alas I have never tried it myself so can’t really comment any further.
Find out more: Testimonials
Keyword level demographics
In a nutshell: From Mike’s words “I’m not quite sure when the idea hit me—and hit me it did—but one day I realized that if you can pull a user’s data from Facebook and couple it with Referrers from Search the result is demographics at a keyword level!” I suggest you go and read the post but it is difficult to explain in a nutshell!!
Find out more: Keyword-Level Demographics
Track social network users are logged in to
In a nutshell: Want to know which social network visitors to your site are logged into. Use the plug in to see the data and then make actionable decisions for your site based on real data.
In a nutshell: Check to see if the Google Analytics code on any given site is set up correctly.
Find out more: New Tools to Debug Your Tracking Code
In a nutshell: To be honest I am not very familiar with these tools but are on my list to check out. Essentially Mike suggests these as great ways to help you build personas.
Link building quick hits tools:
In a nutshell: Mike’s guides to link building. Covers everything that you need to know (and a bit more) for creating successful link building campaigns. Even gives you a 6 month plan.
Simply Measured combined with majestic, open site explorer or ahrefs
In a nutshell: Use the free version of the twitter follower export to get all the details a of an accounts followers, which is pretty awesome on its own but when you combine it with link data…well just read the post below…
Read more: Using Twitter and Backlinks to Build Links
In a nutshell: Want to make something cool for your site? Then head over here for loads of data sets to create infographics. You’ll surprised what you might find. If you are struggling just think outside of the box a little bit
In a nutshell: Who’s got the data? Google’s got the data – see what datasets you can get from them here.
Data visualisation tools:
In a nutshell: I love this site – if you already have some data and want to spice up a blog post simply upload it here to create and embeddable interactive chart.
In a nutshell: Easily create interactive timelines to make your blog posts a little more exciting.
Find out more: I created one for this post on the history of Google.
In a nutshell: I have never used Storybird but put simply you can turn your data into an interactive book – and they look amazing
Link data source tools:
In a nutshell: One of the newer backlink data providers and pretty nifty it is too! Sign up for a free trial to get a feel for it – but really you need the paid version.
Find out more: AHREFS Review: An In-Depth Look at a New Link Research Tool
In a nutshell: Calling itself the spam free search engine blekko provides its users with some whopping transparency regards SEO and link data, I wrote about it briefly here and for the record all you need is a free account!
Find out more: The TNW Review: blekko – Is this finally a Google killer?
In a nutshell:
Recently acquired by iAquire [Update] Mike has pointed out to me that iAquire has always owned linkdiagnosis (my apologies!) and currently being worked on by Mike, this tool uses the Linkscape API to prettify all your backlinks. I touched on it here and it is a tool that I return to fairly often.
Find out more: Link Diagnosis Launches New Tool: A Review
In a nutshell: A secret project by Mike so get yourself signed up. Looks like it could be a winner for anyone who dabbles in broken link building.
Still hungry? Check this out: Backlink Data – Who is the Best Provider of them All?
In a nutshell: Bookmarklets are massive time savers and I use a whole bunch of them to quickly access link data, share on social media and organise my day. Tom put together this amazing posts and shared dozens of them, when you start using them you will never go back!
Find out more: 30 SEO Bookmarklets to Save You Time
In a nutshell: It use to be that the only way you could tell how something would render on Facebook was by testing it or checking the code. Until this bookmarklet came along!!
In a nutshell: Another bookmarklet that lets you instantly turn any website into a wireframe – magic!!
Find out more: Wirify: turn web pages into wireframes
In a nutshell: I’d heard Mike mention this tool before but have never got round to testing it out. After revisiting their site it looks like I might need to! Check out some of the features here.
Link building tools:
In a nutshell: I use this regularly and so should you. Find influencers on Twitter, build link prospecting lists using stats that matter or just get some pretty reports to share. You get free credits that top up everyday or you join for a very modest sum. Indispensable.
Find out more: LINK PROSPECTING WITH TWITTER TOOLS AND APIS
In a nutshell: Don’t search for contact details when link prospecting – get a tool to do it for you! Also includes link metrics and other useful tidbits
In a nutshell: Designed as a way to claim your user name across hundreds of social media platforms (and very useful for it too!) but why not use to find spy on your competition or further you link prospecting research – a little gem!
In a nutshell: Want to know how people are connected on Twitter, who influences the influencers but is more accessible for outreach? Do it here, amazing tool and looks great too!
In a nutshell: One of the big link building suites, prospect and organise efficiently. Also has a number of free tools that are helpful in the link building process.
Find out more: Ontolo Reviewed
In a nutshell: if this then that puts the Internet to work for you. Has possibilities beyond just SEO and Social Media for making your life a little easier. Uses triggers from certain platforms to create an action on another. I have been using this for 6 months or so now and it is a great time saver.
Find out more: fttt Ideas & Review
In a nutshell: A simple idea elegantly executed. A gmail plug in that allows you to see the social profiles of the people that send you an email. Quickly hook up with them on multiple social networks or alternatively use it in your link building outreach to help gauge someones influence or make the emails that you send them that little bit more organised…”I saw you tweet the other day about….”
Find out more: RAPPORTIVE – THE NEW LINKBUILDING TOOL
In a nutshell: Another Gmail plug in, this ones allows you to schedule your emails for later, test different times to getter return for your out reach bucks. Schedule follow ups, the list goes on…
In a nutshell: Ah Buzzstream, probably my favourite tool of the bunch. Essentially a CRM for link building…but much more. Ditch the spreadsheets and use a team collaboration tool for maximum ROI. Use it prospect for links, use it to automagically get SEO metrics for your prospects, connect to your email for outreach tracking, create and use outreach templates, use it to find social media profiles associated with prospects and emails and………
In a nutshell: Essentially a blog publishing assistant – as a blog owner if you need pictures or other media or related articles for your post Zemanta will make recommendations for you. However if you are looking for links, sign up to have your content pushed to relevant bloggers…win – win!!
Find out more: Making Blogging Easier with Zemanta
In a nutshell: If you run multiple blogs (I bet a few of you do ;)) it can be a pain to individually update all of them with new plug ins
or back ups. Make life easier with ManageWP
Find out more: Features
Most important tool:
Read about Mike:
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