SEO Tools of the Trade: What's in YOUR Toolbox?

Aug 11, 2009 - 6:00 pm 2 by

Below is live coverage of the SEO Tools of the Trade: What's in YOUR Toolbox? from the SES San Jose 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by Keri Morgret of Strike Models & Barry Schwartz of the Search Engine Roundtable.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage. You can interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed.

SEO Tools of the Trade: What's in YOUR Toolbox?(08/11/2009) 
2:58 Keri Morgret:  SEO Tools of the Trade: What's in YOUR Toolbox?
If you are responsible for your company's search engine optimization, then you know that you need all of the various tools of your trade close at hand. This session will describe the tools that will help you to accomplish your tasks including indexing, competitive analysis, site ranking, diagnosing and remedying problems, page level information, site level information, on-page optimization and much more. Speakers:
Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc.
Horst Joepen, CEO, Searchmetrics
Aaron Wall, Founder, SEO Book
Michael Gray, Owner, Atlas Web Service
Rajesh Srivastava, Principal Group Program Manager, Bing
David Roth, Director of Search Marketing, Yahoo!, Inc.
3:03 Keri Morgret:  Barry's going to upload a picture of the room. We're packed with people in here, and more keep arriving.
3:03 Keri Morgret:  Bruce Clay is the first person up. He's made Virginia promise to be nice and not throw things.
3:04 Keri Morgret:  Bruce's company does tools, but won't be showing us any of the tools. Stop by their booth for more information. His presentation is available as a pdf.
3:04 Barry Schwartz:  Here is a picture of Bruce on the podium
3:05 Keri Morgret:  SEO Tools present data, but there is a BIG difference between data and wisdom. Training helps develop wisdom and is probably the very best tool. Wisdom sometimes quits and goes to work elsewhere.
3:05 Barry Schwartz:  Bruce said the best tool is "training"
3:06 Keri Morgret:  SEO Tools have to be intuitive, easy to use, and help users form reasonable plans of action. You have to be able to do this without a data overload.
3:07 Barry Schwartz:  You must be able to justify the cost of your SEO and that comes with reporting
3:07 Keri Morgret:  SEO Program Goals. The goals of most SEO programs is to assist clients in their internet marketing efforts.

- Ranking and Traffic
- Conversion and Revenue
- Cost management. ROI. Justifying what is going on.
- Reputation and Referrals / Links-Branding.
3:08 Keri Morgret:  Tools to use. You acheive these goals through:
Knowledge Transfer-Education
Technology and Methodology
Buy-in and participation.
Execution needs to be simple.
3:09 Keri Morgret:  KPI Monitoring ( Ranking, Traffic, Conversions)
Loop, Rinse, Repeat.
3:10 Barry Schwartz:  Ever see a "we're sorry" page from Google from running these reports?
3:10 Barry Schwartz:  Aaron Wall and Michael Gray
3:11 [Comment From Carlos Redondo]
What is your best recomendation about a complete SEO tool?
3:12 Barry Schwartz:  @Carlos stay tuned, we will keep covering this session, I am sure there will be great suggestions
3:12 Keri Morgret:  Focus on what matters.
Training and Education
Powerful tools meeting technology and methodology needs
- Keyword Research
- Ranking Monitors
- Page Analysis (on-Page)
- Link Analysis (Off-page)
- Engagement Objects
- Content Creation following SEO best practices.

Traffic and Conversion Analysis - Analytics

Point of problem solutions -- 1000 monkeys. "I did it once, all I ahve to do is give it to an army of monkeys to do it to the rest of my million pages and I'll rank"
3:13 Barry Schwartz:  
3:14 Barry Schwartz:  Next up is Horst Joepen, CEO, Searchmetrics
3:15 Keri Morgret:  SEO Tools and Universal Search -- Hitting the Moving Target.
3:15 Barry Schwartz:  He normally talks about "integration" aspect of tools
3:17 Barry Schwartz:  You want an integrated SEO Tool set, with all the flavors, all integrated, all in one database, giving you a consistent view of everything.
3:17 Keri Morgret:  Integration of SEO Tools is great...But: does it cut deep enough?
3:17 Keri Morgret:  E.g. optimizing for news results, maps, videos, landing pages.
3:18 Keri Morgret:  Is Universal Relevant? Yes! Lots more results showing with universal results.
3:18 Barry Schwartz:  Universal Search distribution
  • 45% Video
  • Maps
  • Then images
  • news
  • blogs
  • books
3:19 Keri Morgret:  Is there a conflict between integration and dedicated tools? he feels no.
3:21 Keri Morgret:  Example: News Optimization

- Needs frequent keyword check (like every 15 minutes!)
- Regional View
- Alert when people start searching a new buzzword - trend watch
- Automatic monitoring: competitor comparison and charting
3:21 Barry Schwartz:  He then showed some charts of this in a report
3:22 Barry Schwartz:  He gives different screen shots of various filters of reports, sorting them etc.
3:23 Keri Morgret:  Another area for dedicated tools: SEO for Landing Pages

- Identify promising landing pages (already ranking good or have high potential for a keyword)

- Optimize them not only from a paid search/campaign perspective, but also from an SEO perspective.

- Correlate keywords with pages (screening and audit).
3:25 Keri Morgret:  Conclusions:
- Value of organic search rankings is declining
- Less predictable, SEO getting even more complex
- Tools have to take Universal Search into account
- Don't leave the "Integrated Tool" path
- You will need all data to find the relevant subset - regularly
- Assess relevance for your business (Do I have news? Do cool videos make sense?)
- Look at vendors that quickly adopt tools for new search marketing opportunities.
3:26 Barry Schwartz:  Keri and Virginia blogging picture...
3:27 Barry Schwartz:  He shows how the Google Universal Search results make it hard to determine what a specific site is ranked at. It isn't easy to tell anymore.
3:27 Keri Morgret:  Aaron Wall from SEO Book is up next.
3:28 Keri Morgret:  Rank checkers: good at giving you an idea of the pulse on your site. Helps you identify trends, monitor anomalies, monitor site growth.
3:29 Barry Schwartz:  He then discusses many of his tools
3:29 Barry Schwartz:  His tools are at
3:30 Keri Morgret:  SEO for Firefox:

Compare Site Strength

Check barrier to entry
Access other tools
Easy data export -- find strongest pages, analyze strongest backlinks.
3:31 Keri Morgret:  Power usage tips:
- Analyze top backlinks into a competing websites
- Set search results to 100 per page for max data view
- Export the data and look like you did lots of research
3:32 Barry Schwartz:  These tools are detailed, detailed, detailed...
3:33 Keri Morgret:  A member tool is the Website Health Check. More detailed tools here.
3:33 Keri Morgret:  They also have a competitive research tool that pulls data from sem rush.
3:34 Barry Schwartz:  SPyfoo, keycompete and other tools are similar to this tool
3:34 Barry Schwartz:  Google Ad Planner is also a nice competitive tool
3:35 Keri Morgret:  Analytics Data + SEO = Win!
3:36 Keri Morgret:  Aaron has a graphic about how to integrate analytics into SEO.
3:36 Keri Morgret:  They also have a tool called Local Rank. Looks at top 1000 results in Google and gives you data about the ranking. Hub Finder is another tool.
3:37 Keri Morgret:  Now Michael Gray (graywolf) is up.
3:38 Keri Morgret:  He's telling us we should be paranoid, or at least wondering what the companies behind the tools are doing with the data that we type in.
3:38 Barry Schwartz:  And he jokes that he typed in "Bruce Clay"'s name into Google Innocent
3:38 Barry Schwartz:  i.e. giving Google Bruce's name
3:39 Keri Morgret:  Automate when you can so you can sit on the beach.
3:39 Keri Morgret: is his favorite social monitoring tool.
3:39 Keri Morgret:  Good thing to run this tool on your competition, too.
3:39 Barry Schwartz:  exampel
3:40 Keri Morgret:  You can do an RSS feed for digg to see when someone submits you or your competition to Digg. Ditto delicious.
3:41 Keri Morgret:  Reddit doesn't have an RSS feed, you have to do some external tools. is a tool like that.
3:41 Barry Schwartz:  there are many similar tools to
3:41 Keri Morgret:  False positives are a problem with this.
3:42 Barry Schwartz:  the lesson with these false positives is to get the query right
3:42 Keri Morgret:  He gives an example of monitoring his name. Started out
Michael Gray
"michael Gray"
"Michael Gray" -dj
"Michael Gray" -dj -uk -police -arrested
3:42 Barry Schwartz:  Google Alerts
3:42 Keri Morgret:  Create a google alert for your site URL plus things like porn terms, so you know if your site has been hacked.
3:42 Barry Schwartz:  Yahoo answers or Linkedin or Facebook can be subscribed to
3:43 Barry Schwartz:  Also Twitter
3:43 Barry Schwartz:  DiggAlerter and StumbleUpn Alterer are good tools
3:44 Keri Morgret:  Twitterhawk allows you to target certain phrases and tweet out certain phrases. Can be powerful, but put it on semi-automatic where you have to approve everything.
3:44 Barry Schwartz:  Readers, what are your favorite SEO Tools, we will publisher your comments....
3:44 Keri Morgret:  Crazyegg is great tool for seeing mouse clicks, even if it's not a link.
3:44 Barry Schwartz:  BackType is a good tool to track comments
3:44 Barry Schwartz:  Or CoComment
3:45 Keri Morgret: lets you schedule emails, can spread out things like asking people to Digg your story.
3:45 Barry Schwartz:  EasyTweets automates and schedules future Tweets
3:46 Keri Morgret:  Look for tools that you can automate into and out of your workflow

automate automate automate

fine tune your tool queries to minimize false positives

look for tools that let you work with multiple accounts

look for tools that don't violate any terms of service
3:46 Barry Schwartz:   Rajesh Srivastava, Principal Group Program Manager, Bing is now up
3:46 Keri Morgret:  Rajesh Srivastava is going to tell us the future.
3:47 Keri Morgret:  And about Bing.
3:47 Keri Morgret:  SEO - Best Practices

Build pages for users not search engines
Use progressive enhancements in your web designs
Focus on quality over quantity
Detect, fix issues earlier in the lifecycle.
3:48 Keri Morgret:  This isn't the future, but what he talks to people about when telling them about SEO.
3:48 Keri Morgret:  Detect issues early -- really costs a lot more if you do the fix later in the lifecycle.
3:48 Barry Schwartz:  Here is a picture of the Bing Troll, I met one today...
3:49 [Comment From Rich Hill]
3:49 Keri Morgret:  Bing launched the SEO Toolkit along with the Bing launch in june. It's in Beta, good feedback from users so far. Runs on IIS 7.
3:51 [Comment From Rich Hill]
3:53 Keri Morgret:  There's a site analysis module.
- Fully-featured crawl engine
- Quick access to common tasks
- View detailed summary of web site analysis results through a rich dashboard
- Feature rich Query Builder interface exposing large amounts of data
- Display detailed info for each URL
- View detailed route analysis showing unique routes to better understand the way search engines reach your content.

Do this BEFORE you go live if you can.
3:54 Keri Morgret:  Robots Exclusion module.
- Display of robots content in a friendly user interface
- Support for filtering, grouping, and sorting
- Ability to add 'disallow' and 'allow' paths using a physical view of your website
- Ability to 'disallow' and 'allow' paths using a logical view of our website from the result of site analysis processing
- ability to add sitemaps locations
3:54 Keri Morgret:  You want to make the most of your crawl budget. Don't need login pages indexed.
3:55 Keri Morgret:  Sitemap module.
- Display of sitemaps and sitemap index files in a simple user interface
- Support for grouping and sorting
- Ability to add/edit/remove sitemap and sitemap index files
- Ability to do more stuff, but slide moved on.
3:56 Keri Morgret:  Emphasis on keeping stuff closer to the dev lifecycle, do stuff before you publish. Search engines have a memory (cache), you don't want to push out sub-prime content.
3:56 Barry Schwartz:  Last speaker is up and he has 4 minutes left until the seo session is done
3:56 Keri Morgret:  We have about five minutes left, but we love David Roth. He's going to cut straight to the chase. He's from Yahoo the website, not from Yahoo the search engine.
3:57 Keri Morgret:  Scale is their challenge. They have different businesses, different business models.
3:58 Keri Morgret:  LTV Optimization:
What is the lifetime value of a conversion?"
What is the net present value of that lifetime revenue stream?
What is the acceptable profit marging on NPV?
Keri Morgret:  Lots you c an do with an SEO opportunity report. Identify gaps, attach value to those gaps is it in a nutshell.
4:00 Barry Schwartz:  He shows some of his cool internal graphs
4:01 Keri Morgret:  They have a lot of great internal tools.
Barry Schwartz:  That is all folks, thanks for tuning in. One last session left, we have two sessions being covered next. More at



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