At 97th Floor, we constantly get asked the question, “What tools do you use to do that?”
Whether it be finding actionable data for SEO strategies, website audits, designing landing pages, or writing a fresh piece of content, my team uses a myriad of tools and hacks. To save you air from asking the question, or simply spare you from asking good ole Google, here is a list of 19 tools that my team uses on the regular to get results. Use them and you’ll become the tool titan at your organization.
- Website Auditor: We use this mainly for page optimizations and semantic analysis reports. Don’t know what “semantic analysis” is? No worries, check out this post. Back to Website Auditor: the formatting of the tool gives an excellent view of related keywords that our landing page(s) are not using. The tool also features a site structure tab where you can view the domain from the back end. It is super helpful for learning more about site audits and how they work from an SEO standpoint.
- Ahrefs Chrome Plugin: When looking at a SERP in Google, it is really helpful to see the page's stats right in front of you, without that extra tab or click or copy and paste (You get the picture, right? It saves time).
- Linkclump: When gathering site data for hundreds, if not thousands, of landing pages, it is nice to have a tool that can copy all the links from a Google SERP and paste them on a spreadsheet instantly.
- Hack help: to make this tool even more effective, change your Google search settings to display 100 results rather than 10.
- Ahrefs: With this tool, gathering keywords for new content or optimizing existing content becomes a breeze. The team spends hours in the tool every day. It provides the most accurate keyword data on a page level and has the most expansive keyword database of any tool we’ve used.
- Heck of a Hack - Use Ahrefs to conduct awesome competitive keyword research. The tool makes it super easy to plug in your competitors URLs, download their top ranking keywords, and compare them to your results. Ahrefs can even build your content gap strategy all in one nice spreadsheet (and we all know digital marketers love their spreadsheets).
- Just not sorry plugin: A huge part of my job is emails. This cute lil’ plugin keeps my emails “filler-word free” and to the point.
- Screaming Frog: I love the name, but I’m even more in love with what this tool can do. It's by far the fastest way to identify major site issues across multiple pages, including metadata, redirects, and low content pages.
- Screaming Hack: Use the redirect chains feature for quick wins when it comes to link authority. You can identify long link chains of multiple pages and break them out to disperse link authority to the pages you care about most. Talk about instant link juice!
- Google Analytics: This is a “well duh” tool, but I am always caught off guard by how few people leverage the insights within GA. For us, it provides accurate data on how the website and specific pages are performing and it also helps us identify major issues that show up in real-time.
- Oogle Through Google Hack - Use Google Analytics to easily identify the top landing pages that could use improvement.
- Dribbble: The online family of designers, Dribbble is a fantastic place to get inspired, connect, and learn cool new elements in design. I love the “shots” section, which is a quick drink of design delights along with good explanations of how each project came to be.
- Creative Bloq: If designers want fresh news on the industry this place has it covered. The site features a candid reviews section that gives honest feedback on tools, books, and methods.
- Pinterest: Yep. Oh, if you need a confidence booster may I introduce you to Pinterest Fails.
- Creative Market: They give out freebies! Yes, it’s as good as Costco. The freebies include fonts, vectors, and illustrations that you can leverage.
- Shutterstock: This is a great library of photography and designs we use or take elements from.
- Photoshop Hack: All designers use photoshop. But this little hack saves time on the boring sizing process and allows you to have more time to get creative! The batch tool allows you to resize about 40 images in one action. Instead of going photo by photo, simply batch it all and keep the highest resolution possible.
- ImageOptim: This one’s a nice desktop app where you can put pretty much any type of file and it'll reduce the size of the file up to 95% and keep the resolution. It's just another quick thing to make images or PDFs smaller for the web.
- Ahrefs: It’s so nice, we mention it twice. For writing, we love using it to find related content. For example, if we have an idea to write about X, chances are good that's been written about a thousand times. But we can plug X into Ahrefs and it will give us a bunch of adjacent ideas that we can then use as springboards to something unique.
We can also use Ahrefs to find other sections of content that might be worth including in an article. Maybe we’ve thought about sections X, Y, and Z but it also says idea A gets a lot of clicks. Without Ahrefs, I may never have thought of A.
- Hemingway Editor: We use this on the reg as well because it gives a very big-picture idea of what a piece of content looks like. It makes it obvious where to trim down or simplify the language. It helps get rid of unnecessary adverbs—which our writer Matt hates. One of the first things our writer does with content is throw it into the Hemingway App, especially if it's someone else's content. From there we can make edits in the app and make suggestions on the Google Doc. That way, when we throw it into Grammarly or the TTS reader, it's not reading all of the messy suggestions, but instead, it's reading clean copy. Basically, it helps separate messy suggestion copy from a clean, final draft.
- Ryte: Similar to hack #2 for Ahrefs, Ryte lets anyone know what words other people are using in their blogs. From there it's easy to see how their article is broken down into sections. This helps us make content that is at least on par with the competition’s.
- Power Thesaurus: This is the best online thesaurus in our opinion, and it gives you useful suggestions that actually mimic human language.
The final tool of the team is…
- Reddit: Considered the front page of the internet, this is a gem for several reasons. Anything that goes big online almost always starts with reddit. It’s a fantastic place to get a pulse on any niche or community and find out what they actually care about. If your company or client is in a specific niche, I almost guarantee there is a subreddit (sub-community) focused on that niche.
There you have it. 19 tools, hacks, and tips to elevate your work. I would love to hear any other tools you use. Feel free to drop me a line at @jonnyham_ on Twitter.