Beginner Guide

3 Essential SEO Tools for Any Marketing Consultant

3 Essential SEO Tools for Any Marketing Consultant Written by John Jantsch Read more in Duct Tape Marketing

To manage a strong SEO strategy, you have to keep a lot of balls in the air. From extensive keyword research to tracking competition to tracking backlinks, you need a great set of tools to help you manage it all.

We use a suite of tools to help you manage many aspects of SEO. These three are the ones we use every single day to stay on top of SEO for our customers and ourselves!

Best Overall SEO Tool: SEMrush

SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO platform with dozens of tools and crystal-clear reporting, and that’s why we partnered with them.

SEO can get confusing quickly. You’re running more than one report, and when it’s on a handful of platforms, you can lose track of the through-line on your data. Because SEMrush has so many features and services under one roof, it makes it very easy to keep track of your reports and data.

SEMrush provides the following tools and reports:

  • Domain Analytics: This includes overview, organic and paid research, backlinks, traffic analytics, display advertising, and PLA research. Also, you can see domain vs domain and overall ranking.
  • Keyword Analytics: From their Keyword Manager to Keyword Magic tool, you can dive deep into existing keywords and discover new ones that can make a net profit.
  • Marketing Insights: These include traffic rankings and analytics, which provide insight into your audience, their geographic location, and what channels people are searching through (direct, search, or social media).
  • Gap analysis: To identify gaps in keywords or backlinks, you can compare your domain with competitors to see where there is overlap and where you can outdo the competition.
  • Topic Research: Enter any content topic and get a list of ideas for titles that competitors have already published on their sites.
  • SEO Content Template: By entering a set of keywords you want to use in a particular piece of content, SEMrush will give you tips on how to optimize for those keywords based on the current content landscape on Google.
  • SEO Writing Assistant: This tool will analyze your writing for SEO, readability, tone of voice and originality.
  • Lead Generation Tool: SEMrush’s Site Audit Widget allows you to add their code to your website. Prospects will have the option to audit their website content for free, and a report will be delivered to you in their inbox. This helps marketing consultants to acquire new leads.
  • Listing Management: Distribute business information, manage reviews, and keep all local listing pages up to date.
  • CPC Map: View CPCs broken down state-by-state and industry-by-industry. Also, see CPC cost versus demand for each industry.
  • Projects: This is important for marketing consultants; You can save and manage your clients’ SEO data from the Project Dashboard.

As you can see, SEMrush has you covered, no matter what kind of SEO research or work you are trying to do. It’s still best practice to use Google Search Console for each of your customers, but Google Search Console requires that you link to each individual customer’s website. With the Project feature on SEMrush, you can easily switch between SEO reports for all your clients.

Best Tool for End-to-End Tracking: CallRail

SEO only happens online, right? not enough. While your position in the SERPs is determined by your online presence, the effects of a strong SEO strategy spill over into the real world. Once people find a business online and decide they like what they see, they usually reach it offline. This is especially true for small and local businesses, where the phone is often the first point of offline contact between a prospect and your employees.

CallRail is a tool that lets you know where the call traffic is coming from. Basically, the tool allows you to insert a single line of code into your website so that you can clearly see the link between offline and online interactions with prospects. You can also create a unique phone number associated with each ad campaign you run. Then, when you get a call to a certain number, you know the prospect learned about you from that particular ad. They apply the same techniques for creating submissions, so you can clearly see the relationship between online form filling and in-person interactions.

An overview of CallRail’s features, as described on their website.

Why does this matter? First and foremost, it gives you additional insight into your marketing efforts. When you’re only tracking online responses to ad campaigns, you only get half the story. Perhaps you’ve created a campaign that’s so compelling, many readers come to their phone to call your client. If you’re just tracking responses online, you might think you’re getting crickets in response, when in fact the campaign was so successful that people jumped right in to contact the business.

Which leads to the second point about the importance of call tracking. This allows you to display your full value to customers. When they can see that X number of customers are calling their store because of your marketing strategy, they feel more comfortable paying you the rate your work is worth.

Best Tool for Local SEO: BrightLocal

What works for a Walmart or Salesforce SEO strategy will never apply to a local business. Local SEO comes with its own unique set of tactics and strategies, and BrightLocal is one such tool that has been designed to meet those local marketing needs.

Some of their SEO tools overlap with SEMrush’s offerings. They provide information about keywords and search rankings, but the difference is that all their reports and information are localized. So if you have a client operating out of the St. Louis area, all data provided by BrightLocal will pertain to that geographic area.

Plus, they have tools that focus specifically on the two biggest SEO hurdles for small businesses: local listings and reviews.

Local listing sites like Yelp and Google My Business are critically important to a small business’s survival. That’s where prospects go to learn about local solutions, read reviews, and get directions and contact information. BrightLocal makes it easy for you to make sure that your clients are listed in all relevant local directories, which promotes them in backlinks and ensures they can be discovered by prospects who search specifically rather than in general Google searches. Rely on local listings. , to find local businesses.

BrightLocal Reputation Management Dashboard

A screenshot from BrightLocal’s website, with a sample version of their reputation management dashboard.

They also make reputation management easier. Online reviews are especially important for small businesses. With household name brands, people usually already have a sense of whether they are well regarded by others. For local businesses without name recognition, however, people will go online to see what the consensus of existing customers is about the business. If your clients don’t have a strategy for asking for reviews from happy customers or handling negative feedback from unhappy ones, BrightLocal can help you stay on top of all the reviews posted on various local listing sites.

It is quite difficult to handle SEO for yourself or a client. When you’re managing SEO for multiple businesses, things can get cumbersome, fast. When you have the right tools on hand, however, it’s a lot easier to manage the many moving parts that come with building a great SEO strategy.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to SEO.

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