Thanks to mobile apps it’s now easier than ever to to run your SEO, PPC, AdWords and Social Media campaigns directly from your phone. That’s definitely a big deal when you’re traveling or if in an industry that requires a lot of time out of the office.
While that makes your professional life a whole lot easier, it can be a challenge to narrow down the most useful apps. According to Statista, there were 1.3 million mobile apps in the Apple App Store alone in September, 2014. To help save you an endless amount of time scouring through Google Play or the App Store, here are seven incredible apps that you need to use for SEO, PPC, AdWords and Social Media campaigns.
Note, before using 3rd party apps, make sure things are approved with your employer (if you are in-house) or your client (if you list tools that you utilize in your agreements). 86% of apps used for business were not sanctioned in 2014, and the last thing you’ll want to do is add to that number and the amount of Shadow IT issues occurring with third party apps.
This free app is absolutely essentially if you own a website. It runs tests that check your social media presence, Google ranking and the amount of backlinks. It also provides suggestions on how to optimize your website, such as the proper length of titles and description. It also notifies you of any broken links and even comes equipped with keyword suggestions so that you can optimize blog posts and ad campaigns.
SERPs provides a powerful app for Android and iOS users that delivers daily SEO data, like ranking, link metrics and monitoring of organic traffic. It even integrates with Google Analytics so that you can discover which keywords are most effective. Other features include being able to spy on your competitor’s backlinks, local rank tracking and having the power to run test which techniques are working for your business.
You can install the SERPs.com app for free, but you’ll need a login to continue. This means that you’ll have to purchase a plan. The Starter plan begins at $999/month.
Google Analytics remains a necessity for SEO. With the Google Analytics app you’ll have real-time reports that highlight your page’s traffic, visitor information, how long people stayed on your site, which content is performing best and your AdWords campaign is performing. That’s a lot of information at your fingertips for free – there is a premium version if you need something more robust.
Speaking of Google, there’s also the AdWords Express Apps that you should also download if you want to reach more customers. Through this app you’ll be able to create an ad in under 15 minutes, which will appear in Google search results, Google Maps and select partner sites. Once your ad is up and running you can then view how many calls or clicks it is generating. You can also adjust your budget accordingly. It’s a great solution for both online and offline businesses.
Why is HubSpot such a popular tool for marketers? Because it pretty does everything you want and need when it comes to your marketing campaign. Whether it’s scheduling social media posts/emails, monitoring what others are saying about you online, review effectiveness of marketing campaigns and connect with leads with through Contact Records. Now you have access to all of this information through the HubSpot App – available for both Android and iPhone. After your 30-day free trial, you’ll have to select a plan which starts at $200/month.
Hootsuite is another tool that is often discussed among online marketers because it’s one of the best social media tools available. Not only can you plan Facebook posts or Tweets, you can assign tasks to team members and review analytics reports. You can also target audience by location, listen to the online conversations involving your business, locate better leads, create a social media marketing campaign and provide customer service. Hootsuite has a Free plan, but the Pro Plan starts at only $10/month.
If you’re looking to curate potential content ideas, stay up-to-date with the latest industry news or see what your competitors are sharing, then look no further than Feedly. If you haven’t heard of Feedly, then just know that it’s a news aggregator application which allows you to select the feeds that interest you the most. It’s a free service that can run on Android and iOS devices, which means that you can keep check your feed whenever and wherever you want.
What are some of your favorite SEO / SEM mobile apps?
Your content is one of the greatest tools you have at your disposal, from a marketing point of view. It gets your name out there, attracts attention, bring in regulars, markets your brand, builds your authority, connects you to other experts… you would be hard pressed to find a way it wouldn’t be helpful. Having a consistent, high quality blog can launch your entire career, and turn a hobby into a money making venture.
But how does it rank with the content of your competitors? Competitor blog audit involves gathering data that allows you to compare your work with someone else’s, or to get a feel for what your target audience is looking for in a successful blog. It is something that every blogger should be taking part in regularly; to make sure they are constantly evolving with the needs of their potential readers.
Step 1 – Determine Your Competition
While you may be able to get some idea of what people are reading by looking at the biggest industry blogs on a topic (such as TechCrunch or Gizmodo, for example), chances are that you are nowhere near their level of visibility. Maybe someday you will be, but for right now you should focusing on websites that are more direct competitors.
Put as few as three on this list, and as much as five. If after you have made this list you feel the need to put some big names on there, one or two could be added. Just keep in mind that these big names will be best case scenarios for the future, as a goal in mind. When comparing their data, it should be as part of a longer term strategy, with the bulk of your information coming from the direct competitors to start out with.
Helpful tool: Use BuzzSumo to find recently active and successful blogs on any topic!
Step 2 – Look At What Content They Provide
Not all blogs are all about text blog posts. Multiple media forms is just a part of an overall, well rounded content strategies on the web today. Look and see what your competitors are doing on a regular basis. Infographics? Podcasts? Videos? Slideshares? Mini clips, like Vines? Comics? Are they specializing in one or two, or have they branches out into every niche possible?
Helpful resource: Here’s an easy guide to understand blogging easier
List all content under each name, and see what sites have what media in common. You should be able to narrow down what is working and what isn’t based on who is trying what.
Step 3 – Figure Out What Is Popular In Each Media Type
It is pretty simple to get an idea of what is bringing in the most benefits for your competitors blogs. SEO ranking is part of this, but we will look at that in another step. Right now, you should be looking at their engagement.
Helpful resource: Give this tool any blog RSS feed and it will pull out recent articles and their social media numbers
Comments, social media shares, and referral traffic present a clear picture of how people are reacting to those topics, the tone of the post, and the media style. Take a collection of links to the most engaging content on those sites, and include it in your spreadsheet.
Step 4 – Start Sorting Out The Most Popular Posts In Each Category
Take the links you are finding, and start sorting them into categories by media type, topic, or style. That will give you a look at what is working most for each site. Note any patterns that begin to emerge, where the sites have data in common. If three of your five competitor blogs are getting a lot of engagement on posts that include infographics, but not a lot on audio podcast downloads, that should tell you something.
Helpful tool: Our Social Media Tool will process lots of links for you and return helpful social media stats and author details:
You can also start to compare these links to your own content, to see what it has in common (or doesn’t) with your own posts. This process is excellent for pointing out things you may have been doing wrong, or just not quite nailing down.
Step 5 – Look At Competitor’s SEO Tactics
Finally, you want to know how people are driving traffic through direct searches. That means taking a look at the keywords they are properly exploiting, and those they aren’t.
You may be able to find some keywords they aren’t targeting, and take advantage of those ones yourself. Or find some keywords that you should be pushing for, as pushing past their SEO rank is an easy way to start getting more traffic.
What To Do With The Data
Essentially, this is just a way to seeing what is working for others, and what isn’t. How you choose to use it is entirely up to you. You could either start to focus on the same topics and media types that they are, or you could go the alternative route and start to focus on the areas that they are lacking. Both have a chance of improving your content strategy, and so boosting the popularity of your site.
Personally, I prefer to use it more loosely. I will see what topics or content get the most mileage, but will try and find a way to incorporate that into my own interests and work. Never forget that while you are auditing your competitors to see how they are improving their own success, you don’t want to copy them. You have your own strengths, your own readers, and your own style. You want to be easy to distinguish from the rest of the crowd.
You should be conducting a competitor audit at least once every few months. It just lets you keep an eye on rival sites, as well as find opportunities to connect with others, or get warning when something on your own site needs to change. As you can see, the positives are endless.
Do you have any tips for conducting competitor blog audits? We would love to hear about them, so let us know in the comments!
I am sure a lot of our readers and members provide some sorts of online marketing services and thus they are facing with the well-known dilemma: How to measure and charge for the service? How to make your pricing competitive and clear while not under-pricing yourself.
[There’s also a follow up to this article on how to manage your own time more effectively]
With these questions we came to some of companies:
David Leonhardt from THGM Writing Services
“…estimate how much effort is involved and charge by the project”
First, let us draw a distinction between time-management and client billing.
For time management, that being my own work and work for clients combined, as well as any personal/family/household chores to get done, I work from a to-do list. I try to get the most important things done first, then I usually panic because the list is not shrinking very fast, so I turn my attention to quick things that I can tick off… then, being able to breathe more easily, I turn my attention to whatever is most important among what is left.
When it comes to client work, I estimate how much effort is involved and charge by the project. I really don’t want to watch the clock, and a lot of client work cannot be done in a single block of time, but rather needs to be interspersed with other work.
Tat Apostolova from Mum in search
“Charging for tasks keeps me motivated”
Back in the corporate world, when I was working in a job that paid for time spent in the office, I always felt undervalued. I’m a hard worker and I loved my job, so I was putting my heart into it when other people around me would just do the bare minimum and get paid a similar wage.
It just didn’t seem fair. I was a lot happier when I switched to a commission based job (in fact, this is exactly the reason I switched to a commission based job – I wanted to be paid fairly for my effort). Now that I’m running my own business from home, I charge for tasks. It keeps me motivated to work more productively.
Ashley Faulkes from Mad Lemmings
The future of work is task based
When pricing and measuring my work I try, or am still trying, to bring the cost of a service to task based. Basing your work and ultimately your value on a commodity is old fashioned and not useful. And after seeing many a worker waste time in the office and still get paid, I am sure is a pointless system.
One of the biggest issues with this idea is that people still see many services as commodities. So it is hard to sell, for instance, a website when there are so many competitors undercutting your services. Even if you are delivering a better product. So you have to sell your service based on a result, rather than on a service which can be evaluated on the number of hours you work.
One way to do this is to add things others cannot offer in the same service. Even if these things are not time intensive. That is where in my area marketing combined with web design comes together. Most people cannot do both well. Most web designers barely know SEO and cannot write at all. So by offering customers expertise that is not a commodity, you are able to sell a value based package.
I am not saying it is simple to achieve, but it is the future and we should all work towards it. Otherwise, we are doomed to work 9-5, only perhaps at home instead of in an office!
Task based + Pomodoro
I’m a big fan of task based tracking. Not only does it focus you on getting one thing completed but it also puts halt to the temptation to multitask which has been proved to reduce productivity. I’ve used task based tracking for a while now for my freelance business and I’ve found that it works particularly well with the Pomodoro technique to keep you focused and productive.
What are your tips for measuring your work and charging for it? Please share below!