It’s not easy being a digital marketing manager. With multiple projects and channels to coordinate, it can sometimes feel like you’re spinning plates rather than focusing on the bigger picture.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that aim to make your life easier, whether by automating time-consuming processes, creating a clearer picture of your workflow, or visualising data to improve your reporting. Unfortunately, not all of them are as useful as they claim!
To save you time, we’ve asked experts across our agency to identify the tools they couldn’t live without, and explain why they’re so vital. Feel free to use them, share them with your team, and show them off at your next board meeting.
When it comes to organic social, one of the most useful tools is Audiense. It’s a tool for Twitter – the only platform worth investing in without paid activity – that allows you to:
- Discover new followers in your time zone, based on keywords in bio, and filter by a range of factors (such as number of followers, and how active they are)
- Identify the key times your audience are online to make sure you’re providing content at peak times
- Quickly ‘clean up’ your community by unfollowing inactive users or those who don’t follow you back
- Tweet your content to large lists of key influencers in one batch
- Set up a personal auto-response to welcome new customers to your Twitter account
- Create reports on custom hashtags or keywords, including user-related factors such as demographics and level of influence
Your content team is probably responsible for a wide range of tasks – everything from on-site, SEO-driven content to creative campaigns to generate coverage, and everything in between.
Few tools are useful across such a broad spectrum, but Answer The Public definitely fits the bill. Enter a keyword or topic in the search box and you’ll be presented with a vast range of related search queries, segmented by type of query and common prepositions.
It’s invaluable for identifying common long-tail queries, which can then be used for content inspiration. Whether you’re looking to optimise your on-site content around user intent or plan a content marketing campaign, Answer The Public should be one of your go-to tools.
Ahrefs is a fantastic all-rounder, with applications that are relevant across multiple channels, but it’s especially helpful for your outreach team.
It’s invaluable for carrying out in-depth competitor and backlink analysis, and its ‘Link Intersect’ tool is particularly useful for identifying any quick wins. You can plug in competitor domains alongside your own domain. The tool then pulls in a list of domains that are linking to your competitors, but not to your own site.
This allows you to assess what kind of content your rivals are featuring in, and use this information to contact relevant domains to add in your site – particularly for resource sections – or inform future content marketing campaigns.
From a tech and web performance point of view, Screaming Frog will make your life a whole lot easier. It allows you to crawl a site and analyse a wide range of key on-page SEO elements on a page-by-page basis. Using Screaming Frog will allow you to:
- Organise site data into tabs, helping you to easily identify issues such as duplicate content
- Make use of custom filters to check the source code of each page, to identify pages with (or without) specific code, e.g. Google Analytics tracking
- Export the data to CSVs to filter further using Excel
- Integrate with Google Analytics to fetch page data, such as visits
- Utilise multiple configuration options, allowing for bespoke crawling conditions / options
These features make it a fundamental tool when auditing a website.
Need some help with your paid search efforts? Look no further than the free Google AdWords Ad Preview Tool, which is a fantastic tool for identifying new ad group and keyword ideas.
But there’s more to the Ad Preview Tool than just planning future paid search campaigns. We also use it for:
- Working out suitable budgets for selected keywords
- Highlighting data on keyword trends and traffic levels
- Accessing guidance on campaign structure
- Finding out suggested keywords relevant to any given site
That last point is particularly significant. Not only can you use the Ad Preview Tool to plan your own paid campaigns; it can also be used to find out keywords relevant to your competitors’ sites. That means you can identify keywords that are being targeted by your biggest rivals, but which you might be currently missing out on. Sneaky!
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