Our SEO Toolbox: 7 Vital Tools We Use and Why

We're passionate about many things. We love Inbound marketing because it converts leads into customers. Web design and development reward us by helping you leverage on- and off-line business for more profits. Video production, photography and graphic design turns a visually-oriented audience into customers and followers, while they complement the personal connection with your brand you nurture most effectively through social media.

You might think these are the main tools we have in our SEO toolbox. They're important, of course. However there are seven tools we use every day to do our work, which hold the SEO house together. Without them, most of what we do would deteriorate.

HubSpot - The Construction Adhesive

This company gave 'inbound marketing' its name when Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan started it in 2006. While the concept wasn't new, the name was. HubSpot is an excellent description of what this tool does! The whole inbound mentality forms a glue that keeps customers coming.

When it comes to attracting customers, there's no better tool for growing your platform and business--especially since their release of HubSpot 3. Now not only do you have all the tools you need to accomplish all the essential components of successful marketing, you have them in one place. Email marketing, submission forms, CTA A/B testing, lead nurturing, reporting and statistics complement landing page generators and even website and blog content management systems (CMS) communicate with each other to empower the results you're seeking.

Here are the features we find especially valuable.

Simplicity:

Not tech savvy? No problem. We've found HubSpot has done a great job of making it easy for newbies to grasp the basics fast.

Smart CTAs:

This feature uses tracking to personalize the Calls to Action (CTA) as your visitors move through your website. For example if you sold camping equipment, a personalized call to action for a customer who spends most of their time exploring tents might be interested in your eBook on How to Choose the Best Tent, while someone looking for a cook stove is more likely to take action on How to Set up Your Camp Kitchen.

Content Targeting:

Aiming content at a specific group is more effective at converting visitors into buyers. HubSpot COS allows you to guide your visitors to the content they are most interested in, and then to continue delivering aligned content through automation.

Automated Workflows:

If you're actively capturing emails, you need to do something with them. With HubSpot's multiple automation options, you are in a position to leverage captured info. For example, you can sets up lead nurturing campaigns tied directly to customer actions. Use customer interactions with specific website pages to trigger a related email series.

Google Tools - The Nail Gun

For a house to go up fast, a contractor uses a nail gun, reserving hammers for small tasks. Google's your nail gun, offering three SEO nails to secure optimal results. Just as different nail lengths are needed on a construction site, so each Google 'nail' helps you secure a different SEO goal.

Google Analytics

You're attracting traffic to your website. Great, right? Maybe not. That's why we need to evaluate the traffic you get. Google Analytics is the tool for that.

Google Analytics enables profiles so it can track a piece of HTML code it asks your webmaster to place in the header of every page of your website. When this little piece of Javascript sends anonymous info on to Google, we can evaluate things like:

  • Where are visitors coming from?
  • What are they looking at?
  • What keywords did people use to find a page?
  • What pages attract the visitors you want?
  • What pages attract the wrong visitor?
  • What pages get the most engagement?
  • How well are online marketing campaigns doing?
  • What device called for your webpage?

These are just some examples of the information we can extract from the information Google collects.

Google Webmaster/Google Search Console

Your website communicates with Google--at least that's what you hope. Google Webmaster is the tool that tracks the communication between your website and Google. We use this tool to trace the following:

  • What pages does Google have trouble crawling?
  • Are there pages Google shouldn't crawl (member-only pages, for example)?
  • How many searches listed pages from your site?
  • How many times did search results lead to click-through?
  • What internal links does Google recognize on your website?
  • Which links does Google report are the most important?
  • Where are external links coming from?
  • What links have broken?
  • Does Google have a current site map of all the pages you wish to have indexed?
  • Do any problems exist, such as malware, HTML errors or slow loading times?

We also use this tool because there is a search analytics component in the Google Search Console that tracks factors not measured by Google Analytics. For example, Search Console counts visits to non-HTML pages like the PDFs you host on your website, while Analytics doesn't. It also captures information from visitors who don't have JavaScript enabled. It also records clicks from people who don't stay on-page long enough for the JavaScript to execute.

Google AdWords

We've found that AdWords is more than a PPC tool. It's an asset for getting into the searcher's mindset. When keywords that seemed like great choices prove far less effective than expected, AdWords usually clears away any rubbish.

For example, entering your URL into AdWords' Keyword Tool tells us what your website looks like in Google's eyes. It's a quick way to tell whether your SEO is on target across your site or not. Even when things look good, we can use the results to develop a shortlist of keywords that have the highest relevancy and search volumes.

As we consider the keywords Google recommends for potential AdWords campaigns, we consider whether there's a potential for low conversion rates. It doesn't pay to hit page one with a keyword if it's one known to have high bounce rates.

Another benefit of AdWords is the opportunity it gives us to help you achieve higher click-through-rates (CTR). We've found there's a symbiotic relationship between a well-run AdWords campaign and developing higher converting content. As you play with your AdWords campaign so its title and description achieves higher click rates, you'll see what succeeds. Use this insight to alter the page title and content to mirror your ad. When you do this, your organic search benefits from the campaign.

We can also use AdWords to identify where your SEO efforts deliver the highest ROI. Whether it's topical or geographic, AdWords info tells us where your conversions come from.

Other Marketing Tools

Yext - The Nail Punch

The tiny brads that attach framing around doors and windows don't pack a huge wallop, but every professional carpenter uses a nail punch to tap the nail head just below the surface. A little matching wax hides all the work--making it look as though the frames are 'just there.'

In like manner, many people don't realize just how beneficial Yext can be for SEO. The results rarely scream at you. Yet this tool benefits our clients in at least two ways.

Using Yext is a strong local SEO strategy. When a client doesn't want to manage submitting information to multiple local business directories, this is a good choice. It allows automation of your business identify to at least 60 locations, including social media, search engines and the online equivalents of yesterday's yellow pages and other business focused directories. Yext ensures your business data is consistent.

It's clear from the conflicting information many of the data-gathering platforms generate. You have hit-and-miss control over how each website's compilation process executes. It appears many compile their information from cached info. Google and the other search engines received mixed signals, which may not be good for SEO.

Another benefit of using Yext is access to premium listings at a reduced rate. Premium listings allow our clients to add Google-friendly content to their business listings. Because access is through a single time-saving dashboard, it saves time and makes altering details so much easier.

MOZ - The Combination Square

When you have a combination square, you can cut right angles and mitered cuts with a handheld circular saw. You have the tool to create a solid guiding line. MOZ (formerly SEOMoz) is the source of a whole subset of solid SEO tools--each one ensuring your SEO decisions are accurate.

They've been recognized experts in the SEO space since 2004. The tools they offer are foundational to success!

Moz Pro is the Search Marketing SEO toolset for improving rankings and search engine visibility. Tools to track ranking approach your website from every angle that matters. You see your global rankings, local rankings, mobile rankings and your competitor's rankings. You're scored for search visibility, and you gain insights into what search engine results page (SERP) features are driving traffic to your website.

Download Moz's eBook: The Beginners Guide to SEO

Moz Pro also offers one of the most powerful keyword tools we've seen. Intuitive suggestions mean you spot long-tail opportunities. High accuracy volume estimates guide you to higher ROIs, and SERP analysis deconstructs the data from successful pages so you can replicate results across your website.

We like the Links tools as well, because they protect you from spam links while finding link opportunities you should be leveraging. We like the Site Crawl tool because it finds must-fix SEO issues. We also find the Page Optimization tools beneficial.

Moz Local is another place to start your Local Search Marketing strategy. Plug your business name and zip code into the search, and in seconds you know whether your business is showing up in the major search engines.

Moz Content delivers insights that help us take your Content Marketing strategies to the next level. Discover which topics or content types are performing best. Measure the performance of your overall content strategy. Learn from high-ranking competitors.

Followerwonk is for our Twitter-using clients. Moz designed this Twitter Analytics tool to help you find followers, analyze them and optimize your Twitter activities.

Mozscape API is another tool we find extremely helpful. It effectively makes it possible to integrate the power of MOZ's other tools into your website.

Original CMP - The Tyvek

Okay, Tyvek house wrap wouldn't fit in a toolbox, yet it is today's best solution for keeping a house cozy. Enveloping the whole structure with one united air and water protective coating, it--at the same time--lets moisture escape.

Original CMP, our complete management portal, is Tyvek to your business. It was built with SEO at its foundation. In addition to simplifying SEO, this tool offers a centralized and customized management portal from which to manage all your primary business activities. Here are just some of the features Original CMP offers:

  • Content Management System (CMS) for website administration, e.g. blogging, website development and more.
  • Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) for serving clients/customers, developing leads, handling support and more.
  • Process tracking to establish clear goals, develop and improve work flows, create checkpoints and measure success.
  • Inventory Control Manager to manage stock, record purchases, track sales orders and shipping as well as manage your warehouse.

There just wasn't anything in the market that did what we felt our customers needed--one place where all the key players in the business could communicate with and support each other. We care about more than building a successful SEO strategy. We believe in helping you build a stronger business at the same time.

Summary

The partners we work with help us accomplish the main thing our clients come to us for--results. We leverage each tool to accomplish a specific goal. We use our SEO toolbox to construct a house with resilience. Expect our work to resist destruction for every area in which you seek our assistance.

hbspt.cta.load(376446, '30b9c7be-0da2-441c-a2af-f8e44d82c980', {});