15 Famous Bloggers Share Their Best SEO Helpers

How to make your blog successful? Of course, quality content and the blogger who runs this blog. But we should include our own set of tools and services that help you stand out. I am, as a blogger, always searching for valuable tools that can make my job much easier.

I decided to ask 15 famous bloggers about their favorite tools and I am interested to share their lists of tools with you here.

Vick Parchani

Vick Parchani is a marketing specialist and founder of Magicdust Pty Ltd. You can contact him at Twiiter @ magicdust.

Here is the answer:

  1. Moz Pro tools
  2. For ranking – Rank Watch
  3. For back link analysis – Ahrefs

Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider is a co-founder of blogger outreach software NinjaOutreach and manages his own blog called as Selfmadebusinessman about a successful online business. You can find him at Twitter @ SelfMadeBM.

Here is the answer:

The must have tools I use to manage my campaigns are NinjaOutreach, Google Docs, and HootSuite.

Sue Anne Dunlevie

Sue Anne Dunlevie is a website owner of Successful Blogging and a blogger who helps beginning bloggers make money online and get a success online with their blog. You can connect with her at Twitter @ SueAnneDunlevie.

Here is the answer:

I’m a huge follower of Backlinko.com and have taken Brian’s "SEO That Works" course and wrote up my own case study here on how I increase my traffic by 300%.

I also build quality links with fellow bloggers through blogger outreach. And I make sure to do on-page SEO tactics like this infographic explains.

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is a founder of TechTricksWorld and has been blogging since 2010. You can find him at Twitter @ atishranjan.

Here is the response:

When it comes to SEO helpers, I mean SEO tools, I am very selective in this regard because we cannot trust each and every tool that we find on internet.

Here are 3 SEO Helpers of Atish:

  • Long Tail Pro (LTP): I don’t see any other tool for keyword research when I have LTP. It is more than amazing to do extensive keyword research and beating the competition. I use LTP every day.
  • Ahrefs: When it comes to link analysis of a site, I cannot find any tool better than Ahrefs. I use it to analyze my own blog’s links, and even I use it for analyzing the competitors’ sites as well.
  • SE Ranking: I have been using SE Ranking for more than 6 months now, and I am very much impressed with its reporting. I mainly use it to keep a track of the keywords ranking of my blogs. I have just set the keywords and search engines, and I get updates in my email in the form of a PDF file with detailed report.

Razvan Gavrilas

Razvan Gavrilas is the Founder & Chief Architect of cognitiveSEO & BrandMentions, tools to help you monitor, research and improve your digital marketing. Razvan has over 15 years of internet marketing experience and has improved the digital marketing strategy for both small businesses and large enterprises. You can find him at Twitter @ razvan_gavrilas.

Here is the response:

" One of our strategies at cognitiveSEO is to publish amazing content on our blog and on others.

To do this correctly, it’s important to understand what type of content works in our niche at a specific moment in time. One technique I use to generate ideas is to track the fresh content that appears on the web. Let’s take the example of "content marketing". I track this topic on a weekly basis.

I focus on the most shared posts.  Using this method I can understand what the market is looking for at a specific moment in time. This method helps me to generate new & relevant content ideas.

One I identified the successful content I try to create better & remarkable content on the identified subtopic. For tracking fresh topic mentions I use Brand Mentions. ( it’s great for tracking our brands mentions also ). After I publish the new post I track it’s efficiency over time. I use sharedcount.com for tracking the shares of all my posts (most useful on guest posting where you do not have access to traffic data). This can be automated using Google Sheets and their API in order to extract the counts every-time you look into the sheet. It’s also important to do A/B testing to increase visitor satisfaction and decrease bounce rates. For this I use Marketizator.

For Twitter outreach I use ContentMarketer.io. It’s helpful when I have to outreach to more than 10 people because the manual process is time consuming.

The last but not the least: I massively use cognitiveSEO ( eating my own dog food ) to track the evolution of the link profile, the rankings and the content on our site. I stay up to date with critical SEO issues that might appear for our sites with the email alerts that the system generates."

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, copywriter, content marketer and business blogger of Kikolani.  She helps creating high-quality blog content, ebooks and web copy for your business. You can connect with her at Twitter @ kikolani.

Here is the answer:

I’m loving Impactana lately! It’s the fastest way to find the most popular content for outreach purposes in terms of social popularity, link authority, and traffic. It also helps when I’m looking for great places for my ghostwriting clients to guest posts as I can assure them they are truly authoritative sites all around.

Simon Kloostra

Simon Kloostra is a web designer, SEO specialist and website owner of Joomla SEO. He provides SEO Audits for Joomla sites. You can contact him at Twitter@ simonkloostra.

Here is the answer:

My favourite tool is the Search Analytics part of Google Search Console, as it already helped me discover keyword opportunities that I would never have thought of myself. Sorting the tool on Impressions often brings up very interesting keywords that you already rank for without actual clicks yet. Some simple improvements on the page or metadescription can already significantly increase CTR then.

Another great tool I like is Onpage.org. I often perform technical SEO audits for clients and Onpage really helps me to find the most serious issues around this. Of course I also still use Screaming Frog SEO Spider for this, like almost anyone in the SEO field.

As an overall SEO tool I like SEMRush, as it helps me find information about keywords, but also quick domain overviews, while they also offer Technical SEO Audits and Rank tracking.

For dedicated rank tracking I also recommend SEranking, as it tracks rankings very accurately in multiple search engines on a daily basis. Especially the option to re-check on request is very nice for projects that I am focussing on.

Adam Connell

Adam Connell is the founder of Blogging Wizard and a marketing director at UK Linkology. You can find him at Twitter @ adamjayc.

Here is the answer:

  • SEMrush – This tool manages a lot of different tasks, but it’s competitor research functionality is excellent. It tells you exactly which keywords your competitors are ranking for.
  • BuzzStream – If you want to manage outreach campaigns, this tool will do it. It’s perfect for teams or individuals. Strangely, I find it works equally well as a CRM and it fits my workflow better than any other regular CRM tool.
  • Ahrefs – Backlinks are still a big part of SEO. With Ahrefs you can do a lot more than finding which backlinks are pointing to a website/specific page. There’s now a big cross over between SEMrush, but I still prefer Ahrefs for checking backlinks & SEMrush for site auditing & keyword research.

Jordan Kasteler

Jordan Kasteler is a digital marketing strategist, social media marketer, speaker and blogger of Jordan Kasteler site. You can connect him at Twitter @jordankasteler.

Here is the answer:

  • SEMRush – for organic ranking history
  • SpyFu – for Paid Ad intel
  • Majestic – for link Intel
  • Linkdex – for client reporting
  • Screaming Frog – for site crawl intel
  • URL Profiler – for various site intel
  • BuzzSumo – for social share and influencer intel

Wayne Barker

Wayne Barker is the head of Boom Online and specialist at SEO, analytics and link building. You can connect him at Twitter @ wayneb77.

Here is the answer:

Day to Day

  • Liquid Planner – this is where we keep all clients work organised across the entire company. It goes that little but further than basecamp or asana, it helps us track time and keep clients on budget and staff at the right levels of work.
  • Trello – we use this for more specific campaign management, that might be a content calendar or tracking technical changes to a site.
  • Buzzstream  – organising contacts for outreach is a mammoth task and Buzzstream is the bees knees for this.
  • Advanced Web Ranking – despite what you may have heard rank tracking is still super important and AWR has it nailed. In the last year that have added loads of features that make it essential including research functionality similar to SEMrush.

More recent additions:

  • Botify – this is like Screaming Frog on speed in the cloud. Incredible software for identifying and isolating technical issues. You can crawl on set dates and compare crawls. You can set up segments for each of your sites so that you can identify problems in certain areas. Brilliant.
  • Sistrix – the original visibility tool and one that we have only recently added to our toolbox. Quickly becoming essential for finding canonicalisation issues, ranking issues, market visibility, competitor research and pitching.

Joe Williams

Joe Williams is the founder and Chief SEO Trainer for Zen Optimise. You can connect him at Twitter @zenoptimise.

Here is the answer:

Technical

  • Google Analytics and Google Search Console: ideally these should be linked together and this helps in identifying the "low hanging fruit" keywords which you already rank in the first two pages but not in the top three positions.
  • Screaming SEO Spider: great for doing a technical SEO audit. Although I find the Inlinks and Levels particularly useful as you get an idea of how link juice is flowing around a website.
  • Yoast SEO WordPress plugin: if you use WordPress it just makes your SEO life easier and it has many feature updates enhancing it further.

Keywords

  • Semrush: I’ve been a long time fan and have written an in-depth Semrush review before. I love the competitor keyword research it offers and if you can afford the Guru package, the historical keyword ranking data can be a god send for diagnosing SEO penalties for client work.
  • Positionly: a keyword ranking tool. It’s not the cheapest or most expensive but it has a good level of features while maintaining an Apple like level of simplicity. 
  • Google Keyword Planner: if I could only have one tool for keyword research, it would have to be this tool. You have to think creatively to get the most out of it and not just rely on keyword ideas from a few seed keywords.

Content and Social

  • Buzzsumo: with so many backlink analysis tools it surprising one wasn’t created for content and social shares earlier. This tool is great for researching successful content marketing campaigns and identifying key influencers in your industry.  
  • Buffer: a simple but effective free way of sharing content with your social followers.
  • IFTTT: it’s great for social media and content marketers because it can post, save and do lots of clever things with content on all of the major social platforms.

Backlinks

  • Open Site Explorer: more aimed at beginners and intermediate level SEOs but I often find myself using it for light backlink analysis research because it’s so easy and quick to use. I also find its Page Authority and Domain Authority generally pretty accurate and useful.
  • Majestic SEO: if I need to go more in-depth for backlink analysis, this is my go to tool.
  • Ahrefs: much more than just a backlink analysis tool these days but close on Majestic’s heels as one. I don’t believe there will ever be an all in one SEO tool that is great at everything, but Ahrefs is trying to to prove me wrong and is having some pretty good success in doing so. Definitely one to keep an eye on if you’re not already.

Brittany Berger

Brittany Berger is the Content and PR Manager at Mention. You can connect here on Twitter at@bberg1010.

Here is the answer:

My favorite tool for managing campaigns is BuzzStream. At least for me, the hardest part of the campaign is keeping track of everything once we’re in the thick of it. Keeping straight who’s responded, who hasn’t, who said ‘no,’ who we need to follow up with, etc.

So our content team uses it as a CRM/contact manager for all marketing outreach – from linkbuilding to planning webinars. Since it’s built for marketers, it has features specifically for tracking SEO and content, which is really nice, and a Chrome plugin makes it really convenient.

Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson is a well-known entrepreneur and online marketer with nearly 20 years of experience and runs his own blogs like Blogging and Zac Jonson.

Here is the answer:

Three must have tools that I use for nearly all campaigns and websites are:

  • LongTailPro – Great for quick reports on keywords I might not already be targeting, while also keeping an eye on the competition.
  • SEMRush – A wide range of tools underneath one platform. Great for picking out keyword movement, keeping an eye on the competition and also for running SEO site audits.
  • MonitorBacklinks – Another advanced tool for keeping your competition under the microscope and seeing where they are creating new backlinks. Also good for your own link management as well.

Chris Evans

Chris Evans is a trained SEO and marketer who blogs for a living. He runs his marketing website Passiveresidualincomeideas.

Here is the answer:

My two main tools that I use on daily basis are Jaaxy and Scrapebox, they cover all my SEO and research needs. On occasion I use Google Trends to see what ideas are proving to be popular in my chosen niche – always full of good ideas if you are hitting writer’s block. 

I don’t opt to use any of the ‘online’ autoresponders as they tend to be a little bit too fussy these days with links etc. Instead I have been using Atomic Mail Sender run off my own SMTP server over the last year and I can’t find any complaint with it!

For social media campaigns I always use Buffer – for such a small monthly fee you can’t really go wrong and once again, they have never let me down. 

And finally WordPress – all my sites are built on this website builder. The choice of themes and plugins are second to none in my book. 

That’s it really! That’s all I need to run my online businesses successfully. I do also use the more typical services like Google Analytics and Adsense but I didn’t think it was worth mentioning them ( everyone uses them! ) 

Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is a digital marketing specialist, speaker and the co-founder of  E2MSolutions.com or MoveoApps.com.

Here is the answer:

  • Ahrefs.com – I use their site explorer quite often to analyze backlinks profile of any website.
  • Moz Tools – All the tools by Moz are fantastic and I do use Open Site Explorer, Moz Analytics, Fresh Web Explorer and Followerwonk on a regular basis. They all help in easing my analysis and data research process for different types of work I do.
  • AdvancedWebRanking.com – This is my go-to resource to track rankings of all the campaigns I look after. Very user friendly and I’m in love with their interface.
  • BrandWatch.com – This helps me staying updated with all of my personal mentions on the web and the mentions about my companies as well.

These are my top four tools but at E2M we use multiple tools to execute our clients’ campaigns smoothly. I wrote a post about it which can be found here.

Conclusion

There you have it! This is quite a huge post with the best helpers used by SEO experts. I want to thank everyone who helped to create this list of awesome SEO tools.

Let’s quickly review the best SEO tools according to the recommendations of our professionals.

Now your turn.  Do you find any SEO tools helpful? Could you recommend anything better? Please, feel free to share your point of view below.

Expert Interview with SEO and SEJ Contributor Ben Oren

ben-orenWith over 10 years of experience handling SEO at the highest levels, Ben Oren has seen it all and done it all, twice. He has worked in medium and large agencies managing the internet marketing strategy for super brands like WSOP, Babylon and more, which he now combines with consulting and strategy for various medium and large clients after co-founding an internet marketing agency. Ben has also tackled marketing under start-up conditions, as he is the co-founder and CEO of an innovative e-commerce app.

Ben has truly tackled online marketing from every angle – conversion, SEO, PPC, E-mail, UX, content, and more – and the insights he’s accumulated have made him a regular contributor at leading industry publication Search Engine Journal.

Q: Over the years, you’ve worn many ‘hats’ and fulfilled different functions for different clients: in-house, agency, consultant, auditor. How do you feel that has contributed to your professional development?

A: I believe anyone interested in ascending to the top of their field today can’t settle for only one type of working experience, be it in-house, agency, consultant or other.

Personally, this variation in work type has greatly contributed to my professional development, and particularly, enhanced my ability to adopt a broad perspective when assessing problems and ways to tackle them.

There are usually two main variables to consider when faced with a business dilemma: the first is the industry itself, which in our case is internet marketing. It’s dynamic by nature and constantly evolving, meaning that there are countless solutions to every problem.

The second variable is the client’s niche, and everything having to do with their positioning within it – company size, marketing budget, online readiness, online state (penalties, priors, filters, etc).

Every single stakeholder has their own interests, limitations and special considerations when facing a business decision, and having an in-depth understanding of these can only help communicate and strategize better to reach an optimal solution.

Q: As an experienced marketer and entrepreneur, what is the greatest misconception you’ve come across among start-ups trying to use social media in order to ‘break’?


A: I can actually think of two basic assumptions which are misconceptions that lead start-up heads to choose social media marketing.

The first wrong assumption is that it’s free, and if we invest efforts into building a large audience then it’ll be free to advertise to said audience whenever we’d like to push our product and company. The second wrong assumption is that building a large, loyal follower base is relatively easy.

To address the first assumption, social media marketing is far from free, both when considering (1) the cost of producing high quality content by a dedicated content professional, and (2) the drastic downsizing of organic post reach in favor of paid advertising, carried out by social networks such as Facebook.

The current trend is to move towards a paid model, whether it’s by impressions or clicks – meaning that posts on a business page will only reach a very small percentage of that page’s followers unless you pay – ending up in a miniscule chance for a positive ROI.

As to the second assumption, a truly engaged, sizable, real audience that’s interested in a product or service rather than only having followed in exchange for a one-time offer, is challenging to achieve. Community growth takes time, resources, clear strategy and long term commitment towards gaining potential customers through social media, and retaining existing customers through social media. It necessitates a level of social media presence that not every start up realizes: real time response, professional outputs and engaging storytelling.

Unfortunately, time and again I see start-ups entrust no-one with the task of maintaining social accounts, ending up with deserted business pages that never took off and serve as a sad, outdated reminder. In the worst examples, the page is also flooded with questions and complaints that go unanswered, several damaging reputation.

In short, my recommendation to any start up interested in using social media is to build a sustainable strategy and be realistic about what it entails in terms of budget and man-power. Social media is a tremendous, powerful vehicle with many advantages, but for those to materialize it takes serious performance, patience and persistence.

Q: In your early days in the online marketing industry, you mainly handled SEO, but now you’ve branched out into content, user experience, conversion and a well-rounded understanding of marketing for large organizations. Do you believe that SEO’s future is questionable, and is that why you’ve distanced yourself from it?

A: I didn’t leave or distance myself from SEO. SEO is here to stay and will be around for a very long time; it’s just changing and developing, requiring us to adapt our methods and practices accordingly.

In my career development, I chose to expand my knowledge by tackling different aspects of online marketing, never neglecting SEO. I don’t think the future of SEO is questionable, but I don’t think it’s necessary or appropriate for any business.

SEO has undergone a transformation both in the way it’s performed and in the way it’s perceived. It is no longer regarded as a stand-alone channel, but rather as an integral part of a holistic marketing strategy. As a result, an SEO professional needs to be considerably knowledgeable about content strategy and social media, otherwise effectiveness will be hard to assess or measure.

Another component that’s constantly changing is Google’s algorithm, growing more and more sophisticated with every passing day. Links don’t behave as they used to, relevance is no longer measured the way it was, and engagement level holds greater weight, leading to the marginalization of spammy practices. If one fails to keep up regularly with all of these changes, it can be impossible to move forward and understand exactly what works and how.

Q: You’ve started and managed a start-up; do you have any tips to share from your experience, particularly regarding marketing a start-up?

A: Co-founding and managing my start-up, I encountered three main limitations:

  1. having a limited budget
  2. limited man-power
  3. limited time
On one hand, you’re constantly feeling like you’re behind and that, any moment now, you’ll stumble on an article about an unknown competitor doing exactly what you’re trying to do, but better. On the other hand, you lack the budget and financial justification to recruit more personnel in order to accelerate development. These two lead to a shortage in time – there’s never enough time when working on a start-up!

This is shared by all start-ups I know, and it often leads to the irresponsible misplacement of valuable funds in dubious marketing shortcuts publicized in who-knows-where. The combination of lacking real marketing know-how and not investing in expert guidance, is a sure way to throw time and money down the drain without any results to speak of. Therefore, my best recommendation is to hire a marketing consultant – someone with rich, varied experience and results under his/her belt – to guide the existing team on the best uses for their time and money.

Marketing efforts will still be carried out by the existing team members; however, they’ll be monitored by a professional and form part of a strategy that’s been tailored to the start-up’s niche, state, budget and competitors. Sure, it’s an expense, but it yields results and, more importantly, it can be thought of as an investment: empowering the existing team to handle marketing and slowly decrease dependency on external consultants and agencies.

Q: Outside of your experience with start-ups and small businesses, you’ve handled online marketing endeavors for enormous, international corporations such as WSOP, Caesar’s Entertainment, Babylon, Bouclair Home and more. Please highlight the professional methodological and executional differences when working with both types of companies.

A: Methodologically, surprisingly enough, there isn’t much of a difference. The difference lies in the ability to execute more advanced methods, and the subsequent quality of said execution. Larger companies have a clear advantage thanks to their budgets and recognizability, lending them greater possibilities that small and medium businesses don’t have access to.

For instance, if a large, leading corporation is interested in a partnership with a well known figure, its clout and deep pockets mean it’s likely it will come to fruition as long as there’s agreement between both sides. Small and medium businesses often don’t have the means or access necessary to even garner initial interest.

On the other hand, small businesses benefit greatly from a shorter decision process and a quicker, more efficient turnaround time. Corporations often struggle with miscommunication between different departments, sometimes yielding mediocre execution for otherwise brilliant campaigns. For example, the content and marketing department may not have direct, ongoing communication with the sales department, ending with a marketing campaign that isn’t optimally geared towards the company’s actual end clients.

Choices in How to SEO a Multilingual Site

While growing businesses by expanding to additional countries or languages is a great way to increase your income, it is more complicated than you may realize – especially when it comes to SEO.

This site for a southern California criminal defense attorney has content written in English using Google Translate to create pages translated into Spanish. Notice the choice in the top right corner for English – Espanol. Click on the buttons and you’ll see that the pages change between English and Spanish.

In this example, a separate site is not needed because both languages are targeted at ranking in the U.S. If this attorney had a second location in Spain, then ideally he would have a separate domain registered with a country code TLD and hosted in Spain. With locations in two countries, the easiest way to rank is on separate domains.

How much effort is the company willing to invest in ranking in separate countries? Will you register a country specific domain for each language or use languages in directories?

More expense and work is involved with separate domains:
  • Building additional sites
  • Paying to host multiple sites
  • Renewing multiple domains
Even international sites as large as Wikipedia do not necessarily use separate domains. If you look at Wikipedia.org you will see that when you click on a country you are taken to a subdomain that uses the country code as the name of the subdomain. For example:
  • es.wikipedia.org for Spanish
  • de.wikipedia.org for German
  • it.wikipedia.org for Italian
These subdomains use the same letters as country-code domains for Spain (es), Germany (de) and Italy (it), but they use en for English rather than us for U.S. or uk for the U.K.

Read How to do Multilingual SEO for WordPress Sites to get a better idea of your choices. The WordPress multilingual plugin available on that site makes translating and doing SEO for multiple languages much simpler.

How Search Engines Recognize Languages

While search engines can detect languages, it is best to use the <html lang=”xx”> tag to indicate the language a page is in. For more details, read Multilingual Sites and Search Engines: Part 1.

According to that post, “global corporations as a rule have separate sites (and most often separate domains) for the countries they operate in.” While that is the most effective method, it does require more work to create and maintain.

SEOChat Supermod GabrielG suggests you can even “get sophisticated and detect a user’s language, geolocation, or other characteristics and serve the appropriate language site, in case Gooogle doesn’t do that automatically.”

Why Machine Translation is NOT Good Enough

While using Google translation or some other machine translator is the least expensive way to go, these translations are very inaccurate and sometimes impossible to even understand. While there are translation plugins, do not use them unless you just cannot afford a human translator.

Do not sully your brand’s reputation by skimping on content in additional languages. Using human translators is a must. If you do not have someone within your company capable of accurately writing in the language, contract with a company that specializes in language translations for business.

Keep in mind that being able to speak a language does not guarantee a person can write well in it anymore than assuming that everyone who speaks English can become a paid writer or editor.

If you use machine translation, you will end up with major brand reputation issues. See this infographic from Understanding and Avoiding Communication Blunders.

Poor translation communication blunders Hopefully you now understand why machine translation can never take the place of using the best human translators who are excellent at both translation and content development.

Duplicate Content on Multinational Websites

If the languages involved are totally different (English and German, for example), there is no duplicate content issue. Having the same content on pages written in languages that are closely related – such as UK English versus US English – would definitely create a duplicate content issue.

See the Brick Marketing post Duplicate Content on Multinational Websites for more details about duplicate content. Nick Stamoulis wrote:

“If your site takes a massive hit in visitors and rankings for at least three months (enough time to call it a trend), your site might have been flagged for duplicate content.”


The goal is to SEO a multilingual site so that it will rank in each location. For that, separate sites are best, but even with one site your goal should still be to rank each page if at all possible.