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.
Own Your Tools, Own Your Data
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 regardless of which agency you work with.
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’ll discuss this upfront to export any data before we begin work on your behalf.
Our Favorite Web Tools
We’re often asked for tool recommendations, ones that we regularly use in our digital marketing work. If we like the tool enough, we may become 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 many of these Web tools provide. If we’re an affiliate, we’ll disclose our relationship.
Google Search Console
We consider Google Search Console as an essential SEO tool. It gives you a 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. And the best part… it’s free.
Google’s flagship analytics tool can give you a huge amount of information on your website and its visitors. Google Analytics (GA) provides trends and user insights that you can use across all digital marketing efforts, including paid search and social. While they offer a premium version, we find the free version sufficient for digital marketing tracking.
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.
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.
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 displays 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.
Link Building Tools
AHREFS enables you to audit your website, look into your competitors’ sites, research keywords, and view backlinks – all in one place. At Spectrum, we like to get balanced opinions rather than relying on one source. That’s why we use AHREFS in combination with other 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 tool that helps 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 points and analysis on your site as well as your competitors’ websites, we use Majestic to help with link building and website optimization.
Content Analysis Tools
On-page SEO is a key part of building content that speaks to the human searcher and 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 easier.
Have you ever wondered what people actually do on your website? Well, Hotjar’s software allows you to record website visitors’ mouse movements and clicks (keeping their anonymity and data secure), so you can watch them navigate and interact with your site’s content. Understanding user behavior is integral to creating engaging content and pages that convert.
While Google Ads has improved significantly in recent years, the reporting tools still 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 actionable 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.
As companies grow they need to speak to wider audiences with consistency. Mailchimp allows businesses to increase the volume of their email communication, without reducing the quality. At Spectrum we are happy to be a Mailchimp Partner.