For those of you working in online marketing, I’m sure that you know the importance of awesome internet marketing tools. If you take some time to get to know what their metrics are telling you, tools can be your saving grace as they can make a process that was once manual and time-consuming either automated or assign-to-an-intern-able.
Recently, the JAR Group’s very own Dylan Spencer has been digging into Raven SEO which is basically an api aggregator. They take all the best marketing tools on the internet and throw them all together into an easy to use interface. Raven is great for us as a online marketing agency, because they allow us to put together automated, branded reports for our clients. And that is a huge time saver. For those of you who aren’t going to buy a Raven account, but are still interested in a list of awesome tools, the following is a list of awesome tools presented by Raven SEO’s John Henshaw at PubCon. You know they’re awesome because I’m sure, considering what Raven does, he’s seen it all. The following is a categorized list of tools that are the best of the best. I’ve just taken the highlights, if you want the entire presentation, you can look at the power points below.
I am in love with WordPress. I think it’s great for simple (and sometimes even complex) websites. While I’ve been doing WordPress stuff for a long long time, I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of plugins I’ve never heard of suggested. Of those, the Broken Link Checker I’ve since found to be most useful. It crawls your website, finds broken links, and lets you fix them. It’s incredible. The other one that I’m sure is incredibly useful is Wassup which offers realtime analytics. I’ve generally used and recommended Woopra for that, but Wassup integrates better into a blog, I imagine. So that makes it a little easier to hand off to clients.
Competitive Link Research
These are all pretty standards. But oldies are goodies, and there is nothing comparable to these awesome products when it comes to researching backlinks: Linkscape, SEM Rush, Majestic SEO. What Henshaw failed to mention in his presentation is how SEO Raven integrates a lot of the APIs from the programs on his list and makes it easy to manage a whole slew of data gathering services.
Find Related Sites
Determining who your competitors are is important if you want to rank for the keywords they’re already ranking for. Why? Well, by seeing who your competitors are, running queries that let you see where their backlinks are, you can begin to work to outrank them in the SERPs. For that reason, Aaron Wall has created SEOBook’s Hubfinder. Henshaw also suggests OpenCalais which I’ve never used. But I’m sure it’s incredibly useful.
Want to social network, but don’t have the time? KnowEm is a great tool to use. You can tie together all the accounts you already have, or you can have them create a bunch of new ones.
If you’ve been monitoring the space, I’m sure you’ve heard of HubSpot. While HubSpot is nice, there are other programs that do it on a different scale. LotusJump and Plug in SEO are two great examples. I know it’s in a different section of his presentation, but I’m going to include his “Social Monitoring stuff here as well. I’ve never used them, but I’m going to in the next few days. BrandsEye, Filtrbox, SocialMention (free), and WhosTalkin (also free) all look pretty amazing.
While I understand and appreciate Henshaw’s desire not to pimp his own product, there is only one King of the Automated reporting. Disregard his other suggestions and just use Raven.