I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say:
Link Building isn’t easy.
It’s one of the most important parts of SEO, but it’s also one of the hardest.
And, no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t seem to get any easier, does it?
Well, it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. Not at all.
All it takes is a little elbow grease, and knowing which tools are going to get you the best results. And, lucky for you, I’ve got the answer to that right here.
These are the 15 SEO and Social Media tools we use every day at E2M to help our clients….
Social And Outreach Tools (For Better Links)
Social Media is an often-overlooked place for SEO and link building. Because, it takes the ‘marathon, not a sprint’ approach.
But here’s the thing about building quality links:
They need to be from the best sites.
And the best way to get on these sites? Get to know their owners.
As Tim Ferriss once said, “Your network is your net-worth”. So it’s time to start honing those outreach skills.
If you really don’t want to miss out on a single conversation that matters to you, you should be prepared to spend hours dissecting data.
But how do you locate exactly where these conversations are happening in the Wild, Wild West of social media? How do you reach there in time? How do you get your engagement guns blazing?
BrandWatch analyzes millions of tweets, Facebook posts and blogs (in 44 languages), and other social data in real-time. You can use customizable Boolean queries to glean powerful insights that will help you make a decision that bit faster.
It also offers a social data visualization tool – Vizia (pictured above) – to help you turn mountains into molehills.
Coming up with fresh tweets for our Twitter account is one of the most time consuming, thought-intensive, must-do tasks that we face everyday.
We don’t want to bore our audiences with the same old stuff that everyone else is tweeting. At the same time, we want to make sure that we keep the engagement going with interesting bits of information going out regularly.
Our solution for this is Tweet Jukebox. Much like a real world “jukebox” we fill it up with multiple “records” – read, tweets – and then Tweet Jukebox does the rest. It keeps playing – uh, tweeting – at pre-scheduled intervals. This is especially useful to us because the majority of our audience is in the U.S. and we are based in India.
FollowerWonk is a simple, easy outreach tool that gives you great insights.
Enter the name of your niche or topic, followed by “writer”, “author” or “blogger”. Then you’ll get a list of all the content creators with their social influence.
Telling you who it’s worth connecting with, and who’s just in it for the spam.
All you need to do now is work down the list and say “Hello!” to the people that matter.
BuzzStream is a brilliant tool to have in your arsenal.
It’s for relationship management. And it allows you to keep all the sites you’re connecting with (or prospecting from) in one place.
- Online magazines
BuzzStream gives you all the important data on them that you need. Then tells you if they’re a good fit for your campaign.
Then -and this is the best bit – it gives you a direct line to contact them. If the email address is on the site, it’ll add it to your data-sheet. Or, it’ll give you the link to the contact page.
Saving you time, effort and money.
This is a tool within a tool.
If you’re not familiar with BuzzSumo:
It’s a content marketing tool that shows you the social shares and impact of any content from the last year.
But that’s not the reason you’re going to use it. Instead, you’re going to use it to find out just who is sharing content so you can connect with them.
Take a recent piece of content you love in your niche and put it into BuzzSumo, like this:
Then, click on the ‘View Sharers’ button, right here:
That’s going to show you a list of everyone who has shared that content on Twitter. Their Bio, twitter handle and a direct link to the profile:
Do this for 10 different articles and soon you’ll have a list on 30-40 top influencers who you can connect with. Or, let know about your next piece of content.
Here’s a fun little fact to brighten your day:
There are already bloggers sharing your content, you just don’t know them yet.
Topsy is a tool that shows you who they are, and how to connect with them. That way you can start chatting, sharing, tweeting and messaging with them. Giving you not only a solid network, but also organic links for the future.
Okay, you might read this and think…”Well, duh, I’ve obviously got a Twitter account.”
But how often do you actually use it for outreach, instead of just promoting your own content and offers?
Chances are, not as much as you should.
Twitter is perfect for this because it gives you a direct channel to connect with any authority. Without that nagging feeling of wasting their time.
Whether you go straight for the link or try to create a relationship beforehand is completely up to you. But this is a great way to cut out the gatekeeper and get in with someone worth knowing.
I’m a firm believer that you should build a system and choose the tools that make it better. Instead of building a system around your tools.
That’s where a lot of people fail.
So when it comes to research and audits, find the system that gets you results. Then pick and choose from these awesome tools to make it even more powerful:
This is the first tool I’ll use whenever I get a new client.
By a URL through SEMRush you can get a brief, and accurate, history of a site. Where you can see:
- Their most effective keywords
- Who their main competitors are
- Any past penalties
- PPC Campaigns
As well as a lot of flags that are usually missed by other audit tools.
This is one of the most invaluable tools ever created. So if you only take one tool from this list, it’s SEMRush.
Screaming Frog is often considered the Swiss Army Knife of SEO. And, I couldn’t put it any better myself.
It’s the fastest way to crawl through sites, and answer questions at any point in your campaign.
Whether you’re trying to learn the ins and outs of your competitor’s on-page copy. Find the most effective anchor text. Or, find out the most important linked pages.
Screaming Frog can do it all in the blink of an eye.
Ahrefs is auditing, on steroids.
It’s up to date, and one of the simplest ways to find active links and see if your client needs a clean up.
And because they’re so on the ball, you’re never left off the pace with information either.
This is one of those tools that is good on its own, but even better when you use it alongside another one.
Let’s say you’ve used Majestic and Screaming Frog for all your research. You can use URL Profiler to see your data from another angle. Highlighting any missed points, and tying it all together.
This gives an extra layer of depth to everything you’ve just done (and keeps you in check).
A lot of tools focus on the global (or at least American) scope of SEO. But, Bright Local does the opposite.
It shows you the most effective way to build a campaign for a town or city.
You can track the best citations and get laser-targeted keywords for any location. Keeping you on point and eliminating any guesswork.
This should still be the go-to tool for your keyword needs.
When I’m looking for keyword ideas, or just to check search volume, it’s the first place I go to.
It’s simple, it’s easy and it’s Google. A recipe for success if you ever saw one, right?
Useful (And Overlooked) Tools
Before I wrap this up I want to talk about two more tools.
They might not be the meat of your link building strategy, but they can make your life a whole lot easier:
I’m a big fan of blogging.
But for bloggers doing SEO is usually an afterthought. Because, you’re usually running a whole business too. You’re the accountant, the content creator, the marketer and the CEO. You’ve got a lot to think about.
Yoast takes the thinking out of it.
Do a little Keyword Planner research. Fill out the boxes beneath your post. Then you’ve got a bulletproof system for SEO.
Bonus: Google Page Speed Insights
Here’s an important lesson that you could learn:
Page speeds matter.
If you’ve got a slow loading page, you’re not going to rank high. And the more competitive the keyword, the lower you’re going to go.
Think of it this way:
If you go to a site that takes more than, say, five seconds to loads, what’s the first thing you do?
Because that site has failed to impress you in the first few seconds. Which means your visitors will be doing the same too.
Google’s Page Speed Insights helps you put an end to that.
Type in your URL and you’ll receive a score out of 100%. And, for the results you do fail on, you’ll get some actionable steps to help you solve the problem, too.
It might sound simple, but it’s a big load off your mind.
You’ve Heard Ours, How About Yours?
Okay, so you’ve seen the tools we use every day to get our clients epic results.
But, which tools do you use? Any of the same? Or have you got a better tool we’ve never even heard of?
Let me know in the comments…