As much as it’s important to write content that journalists will enjoy and find interesting, it’s equally important to craft it with SEO in mind. To be sure that your newsroom can be found by search engines, read our tips below.
Free read: tell a credible story with SEO
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Set of SEO Tools That Every PR Professional Should Know in 2016
For my daily activities, I have a list of more than 100 different tools that I use not only for my clients, but also for conducting various research related to the digital marketing industry. The tools I have chosen to cover in this article have been narrowed down to the solutions that I use on a regular basis, which means at least a couple of times per week. So, here are the SEO tools I couldn’t survive without!
This is my number one tool right now! I love everything about it, from the consistency of the data that you get and to the excellent data visualizations. When I need to look at how any domain stands out against its competitors, I use SimilarWeb, because it not only shows the domain’s organic presence on Google, but also its referral, social and direct traffic channels.
Another killer feature shows you how a domain is performing against its competitors and the share of traffic it gets from a designated landscape. It also shows me immediately whether the domains I’ve analyzed have strong or weak positions compared to their rivals, as well as what goals I should set.
The beauty of the graph below is in its simplicity; it could even be understood by a client that has no idea how SEO works.
This data highlights missed opportunities while pointing out the heights your client could reach if he or she decides to remain with you.
The last insights that I consider especially actionable for SEO and link-building purposes is getting a list of referral domains that bring traffic to your competitors’ domains. This data is invaluable when you’re interested in pointing out links that will not only work for your SEO rankings, but will also bring traffic.
First of all, I know that are many tools on the market designed provide competitive intelligence insights, and can’t argue with the fact that SEMrush, Searchmetrics, iSpionage, KeywordSpy and many others can certainly be used as well. But, these tools are missing the data that SERPstat offers. Only with the help of this tool, I can see the presence of Knowledge graph elements in SERP, which currently gets more users’ clicks than domains which appear in the first position. So, when I build my list of keywords for which my competitors are appearing in search, I can easily filter out those that produce answer boxes, carousels, lists, etc.
Here’s a screenshot from SERPstat in which I filtered out the keywords that SERPs include knowledge graph elements for:
By having this data on hand, I can better predict organic traffic and know that appearing in the top three for such keywords doesn’t necessarily mean that I am getting a good amount of traffic to my client’s websites.
The other competitive analytics that I use on a frequent basis is analyzing the domains’ structure in terms of the most visible pages in Google, as well as how all of its keywords are distributed across site’s pages.
SpyFu is another tool that offers competitive insights. However, I use the data it provides in a slightly different way. It helps me figure out if it’s possible to rank on the first page of Google for a particular keyword that is especially relevant to my client’s website. I use the report Ranking History to understand at a glance whether a SERP is stable or not.
The example below shows the ranking history for domains that appear in SERPs for the keyword “competitive intelligence.”
By looking at this data, it’s obvious that the SERP is not stable. For example, the website scip.org has recently entered the top 10 positions, so my main conclusion based on this research is that being on the first page of Google for the search query “competitive intelligence” is doable.
SEMrush offers a lot of data and tools under one roof, and I’m certain that if you choose it, you’ll be more than satisfied with what it provides for only $69.95 a month.
I realized some time ago that I can’t live without SEMrush’s Site Audit tool. Mostly I use it for my personal needs and rarely for clients’ (only because I’m not really into providing technical SEO). I think it’s a perfect tool for staying on top of newly-appeared on-site errors. I especially recommend using it for clients who’ve invested heavily in content marketing, because in most cases, it’s hard to manually control broken links, missing meta descriptions, duplicate content, etc.
Compared to other tools like Screaming Frog, Deepcrawl, Oncrawl and many others, SEMrush’s Site Audit tool is a perfect solution even for someone a who has almost no understanding of technical SEO.
I start my morning with a coffee and by reading an Accuranker Keywords Positions report. I tried various tools starting with Enterprise solutions, like PI Datametrics and BrightEdge, and ending with agency-focused solutions like SEOmonitor. Some of them I still use, some of them I don’t, but right now for my daily needs, I prefer Accuranker, which has a user-friendly interface and doesn’t overwhelm you with a huge number of features. It can also be integrated with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools and track the first 500 positions in depth.
And I especially love the ability to control what my URL’s snippets look like, as it helps me spot mistakes in them.
I love how Moz displays brand mention trends for the last four weeks, and gives you the ability to compare your brand to other brands. It’s my favorite tool when it comes to pitching clients, so that I can point out the poor coverage of their brands versus their rivals’ brands.
This is another tool I use on a daily basis to track brand mentions. It’s super-powerful and very easy to use. Compared to other brand trackers, it offers the most of competitive insights, such as tracking brand mentions for YouTube, SlideShare, Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and many other sources.
If you’re like me – mostly focused on PR and content marketing campaigns – then you can’t survive without Ahrefs and Majestic. I normally use Ahrefs to track backlinks and explore competitors’ link-building strategies. And Majestic is a perfect tool for spotting the most relevant sources and analyzing the relevancy of referred domains with the help of topical trust flow categorization, which you can do in only a few clicks.
To summarize quickly, I want to emphasis that none of the tools I’ve mentioned will give clear instructions for how to build your digital marketing strategy. However, they clarify a lot of dark spots, and help you make informed decisions! It’s worse to say that you shouldn’t blindly rely on any tool; use the power of your own brain, because that’s your most trustworthy resource!