There has been lots of enquiries about what all tools, software, websites and services one must use to make its blog better. Even I often get contacted by guys on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and through email asking me what tools I use for keyword research, link building, distributing content at social media websites etc etc.
To address all these questions, today in this post I’ll list down all the tools that I use for improving my blogs.
On the internet where everything happens virtually, you must regularly communicate with your followers at social media websites so that you could maintain good relationship with them.
When I say communicate, I meant sharing tips & tricks, new stories, motivation quotes, photograph of latest event you have attended or anything else that could engage the audience. This can’t be done manually because its lot to do, it can be a simple task but laborious and time consuming. if there was any software or service that could automate this process, I could save lot of time. Thankfully, there is one, Buffer ! It can automate content/post distribution at your social media profiles.
Similarly if you try to find out competitiveness of a large number of keywords manually, It will take several hours.
Thankfully, we have some good software and web based applications that simplify this job. Long Tail Pro will not only find you good long tail keyword but with a single click, you can know whether you will be able to rank for any particular keyword any time soon or no.
Again when you are into online business, you must require to fill lots of forms online, such as sign up for new Gmail account, creating account at different Forums, creating web 2.0 property accounts etc. “RoboForm” is my biggest time saver.
All you need to do is enter details once and you can fill all the fields in online form with a single click using this software. It is very helpful when people add their website to web directories. They need not to fill the form every time while adding their website in the directories manually.
Here is the list of recommended software/services.
Google keyword planner doesn’t need any introduction. It’s the widely used keyword research tool that world’s top internet marketing gurus such as founder of moz.com Rand Fishkin recommend.
Google Keyword planner is completely free and the most accurate (among all available tools, however it also gives just an idea about keyword search). You just need a Gmail account in order to use Keyword planner.
One can research keywords either by entering “seed keyword”(Primary keyword) and get a list OR by entering the URL of a website. This tool allows you to filter the results by country, monthly search count, language and export keywords in .cvs format that can be used for further analysis.
The search trend of any particular keyword over the last 12 months can be seen by hovering on the small graph icon under “Avg-monthly searches” column shown above.
This is yet another great tool if you are looking for related keywords to your primary keyword. You just need to enter your primary keyword and have a long list of related keywords which are worth trying.
All the keywords can be exported in .cvs file format for further analysis. This tool is really effective for affiliate websites because It gives list of some really good buyer keyword that can drive you sales.
This is one of my favourite tool that I use on daily basis. It can be used for multiple things such as finding competitor’s keywords, backlinks, competitor’s display advertisement, keyword research etc. SEMrush is widely popular and recommended by top guns.
The detailed report of the competitor’s website enables you to formulate marketing plan to outrank competitors.
I often use SEMrush to steal information about the competitors website such as what all keywords their website is ranking for and the backlinks.
When I’ve to find latest topics, nothing else work better than Google trend for me. It lists the current hot topics which people are interested in under different categories. You can scroll down to see what was most searched items yesterday or prior.
Clicking on any item will take you much deeper to understand how this particular keyword has performed over a period of time. Moreover you can subscribe to Google trends alert and have all the latest topic sent directly in your inbox.
Long Tail Pro is the best tool in the market for searching long tail phrase for your blog post. Today when while market has become highly competitive irrespective of any niche, targeting long tail keywords can help you drive targeted search engine traffic and hence the sales.
Long Tail Pro helps you find relevant long tail keyphrases by entering seed keyword/keywords. It can also help you to decide whether targeting a particular keyword worth trying or no by calculating score automatically.
Since 2011, it has been used by over 70,000 marketers & SEO for keyword research and we have some big guys such as Pat Flynn from Smartpassiveincome.com endorsing the product.
The above chart from Long Tail Pro indicates that, if the keyword competitiveness is under 40, you can somehow manage to rank your website or a blog for a particular keyword however from 40 onwards, it starts to become little difficult to rank.
Long Tail Pro is newbie friendly can analyse everything automatically and come up with easily understandable analysis. Anyone without any technical knowledge can understand what keyword is good to target. Thanks to the team for making it super simple !
KWfinder is yet another great tool that I use for exploring keywords ideas. The best part of this tool is when you enter the keyword, it comes out with several hundred keywords ideas along with monthly searches, CPC, PPC and keyword difficulty.
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In below example, I tried to find out related keyword ideas for the keyword “Blogging”. The tool came out with over 800 keyword ideas which may or may to be good to target.
On right side, you can see it has rated keyword difficulty out of 100 and here in this case, it suggests that that keyword “Blogging” is pretty much competitive (or course it will be, I just took an example to illustrate the process).
Also it shows all the websites ranking at different position for this particular keywords alone with DA, PA, Moz Rank, Backlinks, Social signals and the estimated traffic. The tools is newbie friendly and its feature of calculating keyword competitiveness makes it a good choice for beginners.
You can export all the keywords in .cvs file for further twist and come up with all new HIGH SEARCHED & LOW COMPETITION keywords.
You can’t scale up your traffic and the revenue unless you keep watch on the progress. Every single step needs to be monitored in order to formulate strategy to do better than current situation.
You need to monitor what all keywords have started to show up in search results, you need to monitor relative keyword ranking as compared to last check, you need to see how much of organic, social, direct traffic your website has been receiving so that you can further analyse where the improvement is required.
Thanks to big G for offering Google Analytics, it has been my all time favourite for tracking the performance of my blogs. Google Analytics is completely free for life and you can monitor upto 500 websites under one account, that’s a lot !
In above screenshot, this blog of mine receives 90% of the traffic from search engine followed by 8.8% direct, 1.6% referral & small portion of social media traffic.
The blog has one major problem, Guess what is that?
Well, the Bounce Rate !
Yes the bounce rate of this blog is pretty high. It doesn’t mean people aren’t reading content. There are several factors which unnecessarily increase bounce rate. But yes, there is great chances of improvement.
The important thing to note here is that I got to know about this serious problem because I had tracking tool installed on this blog and now I can work towards improving bounce rate.
While Google Analytics is installed to track the performance of a website, Google Webmaster tools is more about technical aspects of a website. For example if there is any problem with crawling, GWT will give a red warning to fix this issue else your website could be pushed behind in search results.
It sends notification if there is any 404 error, malware infection etc that again may impact search engine ranking.
Hence GWT is yet another great tool that I always use for every single blog.
As I said above when you need to automate form filling, nothing works better than Roboform. I’ve been using this software since I entered in Digital Marketing space because back then (10+ years), directory submission used to work pretty well for search engine ranking improvement and submitting website to 100 web directories means lots of work.
Roboform has several pre-defined fields such as First Name, Last Name, website etc that you can fill once along with 3 custom fields that can be used as per convenience. Roboform is free to use upto 2 different identities (profiles) however you must have to buy the premium version in order to add more identities. Although we have several other options such as Google Autofill but I prefer RoboForm !
Need to know what people are sharing at social media websites ? check out BuzzSumo. This is the website I can’t live without. It gives me idea about content creation and also what sort of title doing well.
You can see trending topics since last 24 hours, a week, 6 months or for a whole year. One of the best feature which I use the most is “Most Shared” tab from header menu.
If you can’t afford premium tools such as SEMrush or Moz, RankSingals can help you with finding backlinks of your competitors. This is the tool that I use atleast once a day !
If your motive here is only to check out the backlinks of your competitors website, Rank Sinals which is available for free is a very good option. You just need to sign up to check all the domains/webpages the competitor’s website is getting backlinks from.
Enter competitor website URL and see all the links, try approaching those websites and request them for backlink for your website. OR you can formulate altogether new strategy to secure better links than the competitor.
I use OpenLink profiler and Ranksinals interchangeable and its all depend on my mood which tool I want to use at a particular instance when it comes to finding backlinks.
With OpenLinkProfiler, you can perform much deeper research such as Anchor text, page which gets maximum backlinks, countries of linked websites, link age etc.
Here you can see the website yelp.com have more than 200K active backlinks. Out of which close to 11k links are pointing to Home page. There are several filters you can use to narrow down the results. For example, I prefer to checkout links from top level domains only.
Website load speed matters a lot nowdays and if a website doesn’t load within 2 seconds, you need to seriously look into this matter and need to revamp it to make it load within two ticks of ‘second hand’ of the clock !
Here it can be seen, my blog loads in 938 ms which is pretty much faster. I had to do a lot of things to make it load within 2 seconds as compared to before when it was taking close to 4 seconds to open.
The best part of this tool is that, when you move down to result page, it will categorise all the issues giving them RED, ORANGE & GREEN flags.
The issues which you see in RED need to be fixed as quick as possible however the orange ones too can improve page load speed. Not only this, you can further checkout what all elements are causing this RED warning and work on it.
Either I need to do keyword research or need to find blog post idea, alltop is the website I straightaway head to. This website is golden nugget if you know the art of using it smartly.
On the top right corner, enter the keyword you want to further explore. When the keyword is entered, a list of categories will popup. Select the one of your choice and it will list down all the articles from top websites which are popular over the internet.
So now when you know what article is popular and loved on the internet, writing something on the same topic can help you drive great traffic to your website.
I can not live without this tool and it has been among the most favourite tool collection of mine. Feedly helps you deeply research topic online by making you available information from top websites. You can once signed up can save favourite websites for later use.
Once you sign up or login with Gmail Or Facebook, you will see the categories which you can further explore to see the top articles from authority websites. For best practice, I search the topics and add it to my collection so that I can come over again and check.
As I said above you need to stay in touch with your friends/followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and other social networks, it can be a tedious job to distribute content at all these profiles manually. In that case Buffer is pretty much helpful.
You can automate distribution of content at all social channels you have linked buffer to. Just set the schedule and let buffer do the job for you. The analytics feature tracks all the clicks that makes buffer one of the best tool.