By Brian Patterson
When it comes to tools, I’m like Depeche Mode: I just can’t get enough. Our team is constantly on the lookout for shiny new things that will make us more efficient and better at our jobs. In fact, this is so important to us that we make yearly goals regarding how many tools we want to test and implement.
And while we tinker with every SEO-focused tool out there, we also explore tools not necessarily meant for our industry. As with anything, there are hits and misses. I’d like to share with you six of our favorite hits.
1. InSite 5
In this video, Matt Cutts hints at grammar having an impact on your rankings:
Rankings aside, visitor trust and conversions can only be improved by eliminating pesky spelling and grammar issues on your site.
That is why we really like InSite 5. It is a desktop software (PC only, sadly) that crawls your website looking for spelling and grammar errors. You can also customize the dictionary to eliminate false positives. When the crawl is done, it creates a nice PDF report that you can have someone execute on.
This is a great tool to run on a regular basis against all of the sites you are a part of.
Collaboration is vital to what we do, as we always have a team of at least five people working on a project (project management, technical SEO, content, design, link building, etc.). Attentiv makes this collaboration easy and asynchronous, with threaded commenting, polling and idea upvoting to help us to get more creative and decisive. We keep Attentiv open all day, sitting in a tab next to our email.
Cost: Free for first 10 users. $5/user per month after that.
Sometimes, you need a graphic quick — like, right now. And while I love our designers, they are generally working from a priority queue and are also perfectionists, so things don’t happen immediately.
If I need a great open graph image or a custom image to support a blog post, I’ll often turn to Canva to quickly put something together. I’m not a designer, I’m just one of those guys who thinks they know what does and doesn’t look good, and I’m always quite pleased with what even I’m able to do in Canva with just five minutes of work.
Cost: Free to edit images. They also have a stock photo library that you can pull from with photos costing $1 each.
Yes, infographics still have their place in SEO, particularly for the right data and message. Infogr.am is a non-designer-friendly infographic maker, and it can come in handy when you’re in a pinch.
However, we also use it for more than just infographics. When we’re working on creative content for use in client marketing campaigns, or when we just want to make some charts look really good for our client reports, we turn to Infogr.am. It is quick and easy to create charts, and it visually crushes any chart you’d create in MS Office.
Cost: 30-day free trial. Starting at $15/month after that.
5. Cision Media Database
This is one of the more expensive tools we invest in, but we’ve renewed every year because of the value it provides.
The Media Contact Database contains information about almost every news outlet and reporter out there: it has the topics they cover, all of their contact info, and all of their social media accounts. It’s a starting point in a broader relationship-building and content promotion process, but an important point at that.
Cost: We can only speak for Vocus’ Media Contact Database, which was acquired by Cision. Vocus didn’t publish the price (nor does Cision). It starts around $4,800/yr., but it is very negotiable.
6. Title Tester
Title Tester is beautiful in its simplicity, and it’s something we use with every piece of content that goes out the door. We even tested the title of this very blog post. What you do is craft several good title options for the content you are creating.
You put those into Title Tester and it provides you with a link to share with your network. Everyone in your network can vote on their favorites, and in the end you have a semi-data-driven approach to selecting your title. It’s very fast and very effective.
Cost: Free if you have your own friends/family vote on your title options. You can also pay a nominal amount on the platform for their population of people to upvote.
Do you have a favorite non-SEO tool that you use for SEO? Let us know in the comments!
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