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February 12, 2009

Tools, Glorious Tools

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It’s freezing in here and I have no funny this morning so I’ll just tell you that the panelists are: Ken Jurina, Epiar Inc., Stephan Spencer, Netconcepts, Lauren Vaccarello, lv logic, and David Wallace, SearchRank. Chris Sherman, Search Engine Land, is moderating. With any luck Stephan Spencer will just give us his powerpoint again and I’ll be spared trying to recap his speed of light presenting.

Ken Jurina will be going first. He’s got seven tools to cover and he’s apparently going to do it at the speed of light. He tossed the URL for downloading his presentation at us but he did it too quickly to copy down. You’re welcome. [Ken kindly provide Susan with his presentation URL after the session. --Virginia]

Firefox is his first tool. If you don’t have it, get it at getfirefox.com.

Extensions: SEOpen, Search Status, Web Developer, SEO for Firefox, Groowe Toolbar, PDF download, Roboform Toolbar, and Customize Google (you can turn on or off Google suggest).

Spyfu.com: The free stuff is good and the subscription version offers more. It’s not intuitive, unfortunately. It allows you to see what keywords competitors are buying as well as lots more information. It’s a good tool for SEO and PPC.

Browsershots.com: Test your site in multiple browsers without having to download multiple browsers. When you first set it up, make sure you uncheck some of the browsers before you run it or it will take forever. It’s free.

GSiteCrawler.com: The tool is a crawl simulator. Large sites might take a few hours and need to be run overnight. Make sure you look into the Page Tools menu in the results because there’s lots of good information there. It’s free.

Google Insights for Search: This tool is from Google. There are no real search frequency numbers, only relative comparisons, but it’s a great tool for trends, geo-targeting and news stories. It identifies breakout stories. It’s free.

Time Fox: Online time and project tracking application with a good UI and zero training cost. You get free upgrades with no contract. Be careful of double booking yourself. You should track against an estimated cost. The cost is $35/mo + $5 per user.

Epiar Online Negative Keyword Tool: There is a one time fee of $189 with no subscription.

Lauren Vaccarello is up next. She’s focusing on fast, cheap and easy tools.

Competitive Research Tools

Premium tool: Compete.com. There is a free version available but it’s limited to 5 results. $200-500.
Cheaper: SEMRush.com. The tool has a free version. Paid versions range from $20 to $500.
Cheap: SEODigger. The tool is free.
Cheap: Xinu. The tool is free and it also shows you social media campaigns that your competitors are doing.

Keyword Research Tools

Premium: Wordze. The cost is $40 a month.
Cheap: SEOBook KW Tools. The tools are free.
Cheap: Keyword Discovery

Link Development Tools

Premium: SEOMoz, Linkscape, Pro Tools
Free: Comment Hunt. Don’t spam.
Free: RateItAll Promote. Don’t spam, quality sites only.
Free: Tattler. Scrape your competitors’ backlinks.
Free: GetListed.org. For brick and mortar stores.
Free: Link Harvester from Linkhounds

Social Media Monitoring

Digg Alerter
RSS feeds from Digg
Tweetdeck: Prioritize your following list.

Reputation Management Tools

Premium: TrackUR. The cost is $18 a month.
Free: Google Alerts
Free: Keotag
Free: MonitorThis

David Wallace presents next.

“Tools can never replace human ingenuity but they can make the job a human does a whole lot easier.” [Too true, Dave.]

Dave also mentions Keyword Discovery, but he means the paid version. It’s incredibly robust. It’s $70 a month.

Domain Tool: HTTP Status Codes Checker
Ranking Reports: These are going by the wayside but if someone still wants to see one, there are paid versions out there.
LinkPopularity: Link Exchange Tool by SEO Administrator. It’s a desktop tool that is part of a larger toolset. Most are pretty outdated and not useful, but this piece is. The tool shows if the link is present, what the anchor text is, and if it’s followed or not. Allows you to export reports.
Local Search: Again, we hear about GetListed.org. Man, is that a good tool.

WordPress plugins: All in One SEO Pack, HeadSpace, SEO Title Tag, DoFollow, Twitter Tools, and Math Comment Spam.

Stephan Spencer finishes up. His presentation is at http://www.netconcepts.com/learn/tools.ppt if you want to download it. I recommend that you do, since he goes much much faster than is humanly possible to recap and I’m not even going to try. That makes me smart, not lazy, in case you were wondering.

It’s not written out in the presentation, but the first few tools are free until you hit the Internet marketing ninja tools. Those cost money, as do the ones following, though some have free versions.

The Social Media for Firefox tool looks awesome, btw.

Stephan goes way over time and it was pure tools the whole time. Go, download the presentation. You’re welcome.

Q&A

I miss SEODigger, does anyone have a replacement?

Stephan: Hitwise. It’s only tens of thousands of dollars.

…Everyone else is stumped.

What are your favorite keyword research tools for Canada, AU, SA and UK?

Lauren: Spyfu has a conversion.

Stephan: Google Adwords keyword tool.

Ken says something unintelligible.

How do you decide which tools to use?

Stephan: We have a lot of staff and we have specialists in different areas, so they all focus on different kinds of tools.

[Yes, but that's not what the question was. If you're just one guy, how to you pick which of the 100 tools to use? And they didn't even mention most of the tools in the world. They skipped the SEOToolSet altogether.]

What should we use to analyze log files?

Stephan: I wouldn’t bother. I’d use a JavaScript solution like Enquisite.

Ken: Agrees with spending the money on Enquisite.

Stephan mentions that keyword prominence is more important than density. Agreed, we’ve made that change to our tools as well.

I’m going to find something warm. [shivers]

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