10 Brilliant SEO Tools, Plugins, and Hacks You Need to Use Right Now
- June 20, 2018
- Content, SEO
On Thursday, May 31, TechTarget hosted Dan Shure’s SEMNE talk “12 Ways to Use SEO Tools You’ve (Most) Never Seen Before” at our offices in Newton, MA. We were delighted not only to welcome the Eventbut even more excited to learn a few new ways to use SEO tools and plugins from our ever-growing arsenal.
Dan’s number one goal was to provide each participant with at least one new tool or a new way to use a tool they already use. Judging by the reactions of the audience during his speech and the comments immediately afterwards, he absolutely achieved his goal. Since the audience ranged from beginners to more experienced SEO professionals, this was no small feat.
During his presentation, Dan covered seven SEO categories of tools which he defined as follows:
- Video SEO
- make you look good
I’m not going to rewrite his presentation because I’ll link to it at the end for those who couldn’t attend or want to revisit, but I would like to highlight a few of my favorite tools that I either used already, have now learned a new way to use, or are new to me and my workflows managing search traffic and engagement for TechTarget’s vast network of technology-specific websites.
I love SEO plugins. They make it easy to perform real-time SEO research and analysis without having to log into your favorite SEO platform. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) If you’re like me and already have fifty tabs open, you understand the value of not having to open another tab and switch in between when you don’t need it.
MozBar, Broken Link Checker, and Keywords Everywhere are three of my favorite SEO plugins that Dan included in his presentation. (Add links to tools and screenshots.)
I used MozBar since its launch. It offers quick insights into domain authority, on-page links, optimization insights, keyword data, and link data. It’s great as a top-level review even within the SERPs or as an entry point to deeper analysis within the Moz platform.
Dan mentioned the use broken link checker to find link building opportunities, but I love it for URL-level analysis. When I look at content to update or troubleshoot performance issues, I definitely want to know if the page has broken links.
And while I can check Ahrefs for broken links, this plugin lets me do that on the page in the browser window while I’m evaluating things like the inclusion of related topics, rich media, and subtitles. .
Keywords everywhere is a fantastic add-on for Chrome and Firefox that displays search volume, CPC, and competition data for multiple sites in one place. Additionally, using its “people are also searching” feature is another great way to create data for a content strategy or package.
SEO diagnostic tools
Diagnostic tools are extremely important for all parties involved in SEO. There is always something to diagnose if you are a internal referencing or manage an agency.
SEMrush is a tool I use for a lot of things, but specifically the “subdomain report” that Dan mentioned is handy for doing research before accepting a consulting position. No one likes finding surprise subdomains that haven’t been considered before quoting a project. It’s also great for performing competitive analysis and a fantastic way to get a high-level snapshot of rankings and traffic across all subdomains in a network. The ability to drill down into those same details is an effective way to segment details during research and analysis.
Another great tip from Dan is to use the Google Analytics date comparison hack, which is extremely useful when diagnosing a drop in traffic – just ask my team. As Dan said, “It’s simple, the date comparison is reversed.” Using this hack, discovering content that has declined in performance over time is a piece of cake. Once the content has been identified, the search and analysis of the causes and the discovery of potential improvements can begin.
VidIQ is a great video marketing and analytics tool that was previously unknown to me. I don’t work with video content as often as I did when I started my career, but having a tool to do YouTube-specific keyword research is a gold mine. Whether it’s live footage from an industry event, an interview, or more in-depth technical video content, it pays to know what people are looking for and target those opportunities.
SEO tools that make you look good
Interestingly, Dan suggested Respond to the audience as a tool to impress customers and you know what? It’s impressive. My team uses this tool to generate content ideas with our writing. One of the best ways to ensure that a searcher is satisfied is to answer their query thoroughly and do it well.
User Experience (UX) Tools
Funkify is another tool that was new to me. This is a Chrome extension that lets you experience the web and interfaces as a disabled user. For example, a designer or product owner could use Funkify to easily simulate how someone with color blindness or ADHD is able (or unable) to interact with a site. Using this tool and acting on the results can help ensure that more sites are properly accessible to people with disabilities.
Responsive SEO Tools
HARO (Help a journalist get out) is a site where journalists and sources can link for stories. Three times a day, genuine requests are sent in by journalists looking for industry experts to help write stories. It’s a great way to build your personal or business brand and increase the visibility of your content through earned links.
One of the content hacks Dan mentioned is one I use a lot – the “Keyword Gap Report” in SEMRush. This report is fantastic for identifying opportunities to target both your competitors’ rankings and where they are underperforming. Plus, it’s a great tool to help sales teams build pitches on how their sites can kill it organically and why a potential customer should partner with them.
SEO is such an important part of your content and marketing strategy and you need to make sure you apply the tools you need and leverage what works best for your specific task and campaign. There are plenty of SEO tools, plugins, and hacks you can take advantage of beyond what I’ve reviewed here.
Do you have any tool recommendations? Add them in the comments below.
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content marketing, Moz, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, SEM, SEO, SEO tools