At Search Laboratory we use various tools on a day to day basis to gauge everything from backlink profiles to whats being said on social about our content. The number of such tools available is massive, but here are just a few of our favourites that we use regularly to achieve the best results for our clients.
1. Majestic SEO and Open Site explorer
These tools are great for looking at backlink profiles, but also allows you to find out about opportunities that you could use for your own campaign, i.e. replicating competitors most authoritative links.
Susanna Hartmans, COPR Manager
Evernote is a useful note taking application that can be integrated across multiple devices. Evernote can be used in collaboration with Skitch and Evernote web clipper allowing you to directly save articles, images and useful information straight to Evernote with ease.
Skitch also allows you to clip screen shots straight to Evernote. You can categorise all your notes into folders and tag them so theyre easy to sort through and find for future reference. It all syncs across multiple devices so you have your notes wherever you are and whenever you want them.
For conducting research its invaluable as you can gather information from multiple sources quick and efficiently into the relevant folder with the correct tags so you can refer to them later. I also use it for making notes as I’m able to access them wherever I am from my phone or laptop. Its also useful if you’re working with other people as you can create shared notebooks allowing multiple people to put stuff together.
Mike Evans, COPR Executive
3. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is an SEO Spider tool that crawls a website and retrieves data on links, images, CSS and much more.
It’s a great tool for quickly diagnosing onsite issues as it pools together data on crawl errors, redirects, meta description and title tag lengths as well as lots of other really useful data that they organise for you. Its diagnostic tools are vast and the fact that you download the tool straight onto your desktop makes it a really easy tool to use to crunch a lot of data in one place.
4. Keyword Planner
The keyword planner tool gives traffic and search volume estimates for keywords as well as other metrics that can help users to plan ad campaigns, get inspiration for keywords and ad group ideas and estimates of how they will perform.
This therefore gives the user the ability to hone and tweak their campaigns to ensure they are running the right budgets and bids for them. Keyword planner is also really useful for helping to choose keywords for organic search campaigns as it gives an indication as to the search volumes therefore giving an idea of how competitive a particular term is.
BrightEdge is a hugely customisable reporting platform that helps websites and website owners harness a vast amount of data under one roof which can then be used to make intelligent, data driven business decisions.
BrightEdge has its own built in algorithm that provides valuable insights into how to improve a websites SEO strategy, manage the social media and analyse it against competitors as well as a whole host of other functions, making BrightEdge an all-encompassing and very powerful reporting tool.
Ginny Deacon Elliot, SEO Account manager
6. Bing Link Explorer
Bing Link Explorer cuts out all of the spammy links and leaves you with the best. It’s so simple to use and incredibly useful, all you need to do is enter the URL and it brings up the external links. This tool is very accessible and easy to use, and also great for quick wins and any new links to content. I use it in line with OSE to analyse competitors and find brand new links. Useful for finding links to old domains which can be contacted and modified.
Matthew Langham, COPR Executive
Gorkana is a database of journalists and media contacts which allows us to get in touch with the perfect person at a newspaper or site, without going through a faceless contact form. It allows you to personalise your approaches and tailor them to specific individuals.
I use it mostly to find journalists to contact and to check whether my contact is the most appropriate person to get in touch with, as well as how they like to be contacted. I also use Gorkana as a quick, simple way to find high-profile publications by searching using relevant keywords.
Daniel Yeo, COPR Executive
This is an animation site, and a great way of spicing up content. This tool works as a PowerPoint, which you can then use animated images to help explain your topic visually! From this, it allows you to add images and text in an interesting way.
Richard Brennan, COPR Executive
Topsy can be used to look for people who have engaged on Twitter with content. You can use this for similar content that isn’t ours, in order to find new link targets. However you can also see who has tweeted our content out and ask if they would like to work with us. Topsy can also be used to research popular content, find new opportunities and find influencers who are active on twitter.
Rachael Murdoch, COPR Manager
10. Fresh Web Explorer
Fresh Web Explorer finds and tracks a number of mentions of a term or phrase in the last four weeks. This is a fantastic tool for keeping track of mentions or events; this could also be PR mentions around a specific campaign or brand mentions. This also allows you to search for domains that dont already link.
Daniel Yeo, COPR Executive
11. Tweet reach
This can be used to check on the social shares for posts which we have created for certain clients – it is also a great way to highlight social shares when reporting.
Tweet reach can show you how far your tweet has reached by looking at who has tweeted it/how many followers they have/how many times its been retweeted etc.
Alison Boyd, COPR Executive
Ahref is useful for searching for existing sites that already link to a page as well as finding redirects for a specific domain. I use it to find out which websites are already linking to a clients existing content so that I can see which niches I should be contacting or (if a lot of the websites linking to it are from the same niche) may have already been tapped.
You can search broken links to give you a list of websites that you can contact, and it also works for redirects as searching for a domain that redirects to a client means you have easy link targets that should be willing to change their information!
James Story, COPR Executive