The Ultimate Digital Marketing Toolbox
As a digital marketing agency, we have access to a lot of Web tools. But we’re extremely picky. We won’t recommend a resource until we’ve kicked the tires and taken them out for a serious test drive. We want to see how these tools work in the real world with real data, putting them through their paces before using them on behalf of our clients.
Tool Ownership & Access
One element that differentiates The Spectrum Group Online from other SEO/SEM experts is that we believe all the data used to optimize a website belongs to you, the client. No black box here. We suggest that any online systems or Web tools be owned by the client, which allows continuity and access to important data.
That said, there are instances where we have an agency account (e.g., a professional version of a tool that has more bells and whistles). In this case, we agree to any reports and data exports before we begin work on your behalf.
Our Favorite Web Tools
We’re often asked for recommendations, ones that we have in our tool belt. If we like the tool enough, we became a reseller also known as an affiliate. Even though we get a little something in return for recommending them, it’s paltry compared to the huge value each of these Web tools provide. If we’re an affiliate, we’ll disclose our relationship.
Google Search Console
We consider Search Console as an essential SEO tools. It gives you a direct window into how your website is performing in Google organic search. Curious to see what keywords or search queries are getting you organic traffic? Want to track a page’s performance on SERP (Search Engine Results Page)? Then you’re in luck. Search Console has the data.
Google’s flagship analytics tool can give you a huge amount of information on your website and its visitors. Google Analytics provides trends and users insights that you can use across all digital marketing efforts, including paid search and social.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing is often dismissed, as this search engine’s popularity is eclipsed by Google. Even so, they control 2.5% market share, translating into millions of searches per day. Bing Webmaster Tools is an integral part of managing your website’s performance on Microsoft’s search engine.
Google Tag Manager
Tracking is the foundation of digital marketing. If you’re not tracking what people are doing on your website, then how can you see if it’s working? We use Google Tag Manager to help collect data for Google Analytics and Search Console, as well as Google Ads and non Google tools like HotJar and Bing Ads.
Local SEO Tools
Google My Business
Google My Business is a critical SEO tool, even if you’re business isn’t “local”. Shown on the knowledge panel (on the right of the search bar), in search results, or on Google Maps, GMB gives searchers information — like location, hours, service areas — about your business. From NAP (Name, Address, Phone) info, to reviews, photos and more, GMB is an essential part of any business’s online presence.
Bing Places for Business
Bing Places is Microsoft’s version of Google My Business. Working in a similar fashion, the platform helps you ensure Bing visitors get all the information they need about your company. Like GMB, Bing Places displays information on your business including photos and the geographical location. It also display reviews hosted on the third-party review platform Yelp.
Bright local is another local SEO tool that helps you build citations (mentions of your brand without a hyperlink) so you can manage your online reputation and even generate leads. We use Bright Local to add extra insight to our reporting on a website’s general SEO health and to help our clients proactively build link relationships.
WhiteSpark helps companies manage their online citations, improving Google rankings, and building stronger local search foundations. As with Bright Local, we use WhiteSpark to give us a wider perspective when we’re trying to improve a client’s online Local SEO footprint.
Link Building Tools
AHREFS allows you to audit your website, look into your competitors’ sites, as well as research keywords and backlinks – all in one place. At Spectrum we liked to get balanced opinions, rather than relying on one source. That’s why we use AHREFS alongside the other similar tools listed below.
Moz’s keyword explorer, Moz Pro neatly combines keyword research metrics and analytics data meaning we can quickly determine a website’s health and the best optimization strategies.
SEMRush is another keyword focused tool that we use to help measure a website’s overall SEO health. On SEMRush we carry out keyword audits, check the quality of backlinks and look for optimization insights.
Majestic calls itself the “planet’s largest Link Index database” and acts as a kind of SEO professional’s search engine. Offering data and analysis on your site, competitors websites and much more, we use Majestic to help with link building and website optimization.
Content Analysis Tools
On page SEO is a key part of building a website that ranks highly on search engines. Yoast plugs into your WordPress website and assesses the SEO quality of the content on every page on your site, making the optimization process quick and painless.
Have you ever wondered what people actually do on your website? Well, Hotjar allows you to record website visitors mouse movements and clicks (keeping their anonymity), so you can watch them navigate and interact with your site’s content. Understanding user behavior is integral to creating engaging content that converts.
While Google Ads has improved significantly in recent years, the reporting tools have room for improvement. That’s why we use Optmyzr to give us extra insights that are built right into the dashboard. We rely on several reports that pull together data on PPC performance.
Proving ROI is vital to digital marketing. That’s why we love — and recommend — tools that make measuring easier. CallRail helps companies track phone calls from their website, social media profiles, and to quickly determine which digital marketing campaigns drive phone calls and closed business. That’s why we’re proud to be a preferred CallRail agency.
photo credit top: Steve Jurvetson