I use a ton of different tools every day to carry out various parts of my digital campaigns – so many, in fact, that I’m going to share with you a list of 37 of my favourites. These range from link and content analysis platforms to social analytics and scheduling tools.
It’s also worth noting that I don’t have any affiliation with any of the tools mentioned within this post. These are simply tools I have used and value highly.
• Majestic. This is my link analysis tool of choice. I’ve used Majestic for years now, and you just can’t beat it when it comes to the accuracy of its stats (although I’m sure some loyal Ahrefs users will argue with that). Don’t just take my word for it, though: here is a case study that Matthew Woodward wrote a little while back that reviews a number of link analysis tools.
• Ahrefs. Similar to Majestic, Ahrefs is a fantastic tool for link analysis, especially when it comes to finding fresh links. As far as I’m concerned, no link analysis tool identifies new links more quickly than Ahrefs.
• Open Site Explorer. Here’s the last of the big three link analysis tools. Open Site Explorer (a Moz product) definitely has a much smaller index than Majestic and Ahrefs; however, its UI is definitely the easiest to work with, and it’s great for link prospecting work.
• SEMrush. This tool is second to none for discovering the organic positions of a site that you don’t have analytics access for. It’s also a powerful keyword research tool. SEMrush is one of the tools I use most on a daily basis, especially when it comes to competitive research.
• Searchmetrics. Seriously powerful and packed full of amazing data, the Searchmetrics SEO suite enables you to track, manage and measure your entire SEO campaign (enterprise level).
• BuzzSumo. One of my favourite tools out there at the moment, I just can’t stop raving about BuzzSumo! In a nutshell, with BuzzSumo, you can filter through content relevant to your niche and sort it by the number of social shares across each social network. Similarly, you can compare different domains against each other to see which site is producing the most popular content.
• NerdyData. This one is a source code search engine (great for data analysis to go into your content). Using NerdyData, you can go through and look for specific code that appears within a website. For example, if you wanted to see all of the websites that have Facebook ad tracking code within them or that use a specific WordPress plugin, then this is the tool for you.
• URL Profiler. Much like BuzzSumo, I seem to be mentioning URL Profiler more and more of late. (I put together a full review of the software which you can check out here.) In short, URL Profiler enables you to extract big data from web pages in bulk so that you can perform content audits, link analysis and much more. This is so powerful as an analysis tool.
• Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Screaming Frog is powerful desktop-based website analysis tool. I use this tool as part of any SEO audit that I carry out, and it is also key in my broken link building strategies. (I recorded a full tutorial on using the tool here.)
• Long Tail Pro. This keyword research tool can be used to gather huge numbers of keywords for use within large campaigns. You can also pull in data from Moz surrounding keyword competition, as well.
• Quantcast. Get stats on website traffic to any website online without access to their analytics.
• Similar Web. This tool is similar to Quantcast, but it offers much deeper insights around traffic sources. Great for benchmarking your campaigns (I use Similar Web in tandem with SEMrush). It can also analyse mobile app traffic.
• Consumer Barometer. A project created by Google, the Consumer Barometer gives free consumer insights across a whole range of sectors. This is good for gathering stats to go into your content or to plug directly into your keyword research.
• Social Crawlytics. Gather social stats across any URL online, as well as further information around influential authors. You can even schedule reports to go out surrounding the activity of a specific domain, including new content, authors and social stats.
• Followerwonk. An advanced Twitter analytics platform owned by Moz, Followerwonk lets you analyze the followers of your competitors, search for influencers and track the success of your Twitter campaigns.
• Keyword Eye. This entry level keyword research tool is awesome for individuals, bloggers and businesses. It’s low cost and very visual, making it perfect for beginners and advanced users alike.
• Keyword Snatcher. Here is another one of my favourite keyword research tools. It pulls back huge quantities of results, using YouTube, Amazon, eBay, Google, Yahoo and Bing as data sources. It’s a one-time payment tool, as well, which is ideal for those that are budget conscious.
• Keyword Tool. This newcomer has been creating quite a stir within the SEO community. It looks like a really powerful keyword research tool, and I’m excited to see how it develops.
• Search Man. If you’re interested in app store optimization, this is a great keyword research suite for mobile apps. Essentially, you can use this like you would any other keyword research tool, but it gives you app-specific information.
• BuzzStream. This is the only email outreach and link prospecting tool that you’ll ever need. If you’re serious about SEO, then this has to be in your toolset. You can search for new link prospects, extract contact information, and send emails directly (from your own email accounts) through BuzzStream’s interface.
• Scrapebox. Often branded as a black-hat tool, Scrapebox is an SEO’s secret weapon. I wrote a really detailed tutorial on how to use Scrapebox for link prospecting, and Jacob King wrote an even better post that goes into more detail about how to use the tool for all kinds of things. You can use ScrapeBox for keyword research, large scale link prospecting, broken link building and all kinds of scraping tasks.
• Muck Rack. Here’s a fantastic database of journalists that you can pitch through directly to gain coverage for your business. I’ve gained some amazing coverage using Muck Rack.
• BuzzBundle. This social listening tool can be used to capture links, social engagement or as part of a proactive social media strategy. You can monitor unlimited phrases across social media, blogs, news sites and forums — all in real time.
• Mention. This alert tool works in a similar way to Google Alerts, but it’s much more powerful. I use this on every SEO campaign that I run and often find opportunities that I’d never have discovered otherwise. It’s really cheap and will send you email alerts to let you know when your brand/keyword has been mentioned online.
• Image Raider. Reclaim attribution links from websites using your copyrighted images – a simple but effective link reclamation strategy. Search for your images using Image Raider’s advanced search engine and get a list of the websites that have used them without linking back to you. You can often gain a number of quick links this way.
• Whitespark Citation Builder. Perfect for local SEO campaigns, Whitespark is a great service for building local citations in bulk. This tool manually creates good quality citations based around the data that you give it on your business.
• WikiGrabber. Want links from Wikipedia? Here’s your starting point. Find pages within Wikipedia that need citations so you can create content that can be used as a reference to the article in question.
• Writtent. This is a content creation service that is both cost effective and of good quality. I’ve used the service tons of times across my digital campaigns, and the writers are great.
• Hostt. This free web hosting platform is ideal for hosting a number of domains on unique IP addresses. You don’t have to pay anything and you get your domains hosted on servers – perfect!
• Google Analytics. Plain and simple, this is the industry’s leading web analytics platform. I’m sure most of you have heard of it by now!
• Cyfe. I love this tool. I’ve only been using it for a little while, but Cyfe allows you to integrate a ton of different tools into one dashboard to report on projects that you’re running. If you haven’t checked this out yet, do it now – there’s even a free option. (I recently recorded a full tutorial on using Cyfe to create marketing dashboards which you may wish to check out.)
• Sprout Social. My good friend and colleague, Troy Linehan, is the biggest Sprout fan I know. We use it for all of our social media campaigns, and it has some great features when it comes to social listening and scheduling. You can link up the various social accounts of your business, schedule in shares, analyze your followers, find brand mentions, and link up to other services like ZenDesk to add an extra layer of customer service. The reporting features are great, too.
• Oktopost. This tool is similar in functionality to the likes of Sprout Social, with powerful social management and detailed reporting features. It’s great if you’re reporting to clients. There are features to track brand mentions, get content recommendations, track messages, create a content schedule and run advanced reports.
• SerpBook. Here is a cheap and really effective keyword-ranking tracker. Although keyword rankings are becoming less important nowadays, I still monitor and track keywords within most of my campaigns, and I’d recommend still doing this yourself.
• Authority Labs. Similar to SerpBook, Authority Labs is a keyword-ranking tracker tool. There are some nicer reporting options here and some extra ways of grouping keywords (I actually use both SerpBook and Authority Labs).
Anything I missed? What tools can’t you live without?
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