I had a great time at SMX London 2013 last week. We met some great people, enjoyed some awesome talks and I took part in a panel on SEO tools. Here’s the deck and a summary.

As a non-coder and someone who isn’t involved in developing tools myself, I’m quite the neutral! At Tecmark, we use scores of tools in different elements of SEO and PPC campaigns. These include a ton that many SEOs use and talk about a LOT:

  • SearchMetrics
  • Majestic SEO
  • The SEOMoz toolset
  • MyBlogGuest
  • BloggerLinkUp

The list goes on! This deck was designed to talk through some of the lesser discussed ones. Here’s a summary:

Infographics Tools

Note: tools are no substitute for a solid concept and an incredible designer with infographics experience! Use these carefully and don’t become someone who produces poor quality infographics.

With that said, however, sometimes you just need a quick visual or graphic to accompany a post and you need it on the cheap. Infographics, fancy charts or data let graphics don’t have to cost the Earth. If you’re on a tight budget, try some of these:

  • Easel.ly
  • Piktochart
  • Many Eyes by IBM
  • Infogr.am

Data and Surveys

Before we get into data visualisation, however, we need data to visualise. I’m a fan of data that isn’t already out there and a great way to get it can be to survey people. But our clients aren’t always in a position to do that for us. This is where 3rd parties can come in handy.

  • OnePoll – a reputable market research company. Surveys commissioned by all sorts of brands and carried out by OnePoll have featured in reputable news sources including the BBC and Guardian.
  • QuickSurveys.com – a cheaper version, basically.

Moving on from surveys, another excellent way to get data is by taking advantage of the Freedom of Information act, which allows us to make requests to a number of different publicly funded bodies (councils, hospitals, police etc) for data. This data could be anything from what they’re spending on social media to how many people they fired! There’s lots to be had. An awesome tools called whatdotheyknow.com will manage the process of doing this for you.

Content Inspiration

If you want some inspiration based on current trends for some content you’re writing, try out:

  • Google Hot Searches
  • Trendsmap
  • SEO Gadget’s Content Ideas Generator tool
  • Portent’s Content Ideas Generator

Finding Outreach Contacts

Outreach is doomed to fail unless you absolutely nail down the right contacts. There are several tools I use to do that:

  • Journalisted – a UK database of journalists. Search by keyword or name and find the contact details. Contacting people this way is far more likely to yield positive response than just emailing a general press release email and hoping for the best
  • Group High – an excellent outreach management tool with a brilliant search function as well
  • Follower Wonk – (now owned by SEOMoz) a brilliant tool for finding influencers on Twitter within certain niches

Being Ignored when you Email Bloggers and Journos?

PICK UP THE PHONE! It surprises me how few people use the phone in link building. You’re harder to ignore by phone, you have a better chance of getting in touch with the right person and you can strike up a rapport much more easily. If there’s a telephone number on the website, use it!

If you don’t feel comfortable using the phone in this way, start showing your sales team some love and ask for half an hour of your agency’s best cold caller’s time. Some of the concepts that apply in cold selling apply in pitching an idea or a piece of content at a journalist or blogger.

Getting Eyes on Your Content

If you’ve produced a piece of content you are sure will accrue links when enough people look at it, then be prepared to pay for traffic to it.

  • Zemanta
  • Outbrain
  • Stumbleupon Paid
  • Adwords
  • Microsoft AdCenter
  • Facebook Advertising

Tracking Image Usage

If you’re embarking upon link building through images (releasing images under Creative Commons Attribution Licensing) and you want to track who is using them, you can manually do a reverse image search at Google Images. However, if that’s too much like hard work, then you need imageraider.com in your life. This tool will let you upload images and will periodically check for you and email you if they are used.

A massive hat tip to Hannah Smith of Distilled for sharing this in her presentation at LinkLove in March. I hadn’t come across it until then. It’s amazing.

Keyword Research

Aside from the Google Keyword tool, check out:

  • Ubersuggest.org
  • Soovle.com
  • Keyword Eye

Reporting Help

I LOVE Cyfe.com, a brilliant web app that lets you build dashboards. It can report data from Paypal, Salesforce, SEOMoz, Google Analytics, Adwords, Webmaster Tools, a rankings checker and dozens of other tools! This lets you get all your data in one place and you can schedule delivery of decent looking reports in PDF format periodically.

Venngage.com is also amazing. It lets you make Analytics and social insights data in a great looking ‘infographic’ styled way.

Browser AddOns

I use tonnes. But two of my most recent acquisitions are:

  • SEO for Chrome
  • SEO Serp

Mobile Tools

  • SEO Search Rankings – rankings checks on the move
  • Found SEO – very quick on page stats on the move

Enjoy! And feel free to add any other awesome tools in the comments!

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