Must Have SEO Software, Tools & Browser Extensions

Must Have SEO Software, Tools & Browser Extensions

Must Have SEO Software, Tools & Browser Extensions

Episode 012

If there’s one thing the SEO world loves it’s software tools, so this week we chat about the tools to make your SEO life easier.

Lockdown Update – Due to the Sydney COVID lockdowns we’re not recording in the studio this week (or for the next few weeks at least) – instead, we’re recording from our home set-ups. Apologies the sound quality isn’t what it usually is!

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Local Digital 0:04
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your host, Michael and Arthur.

Michael 0:23
Welcome to Episode 12 of the SEO Show. I’m your host, Michael. And I’m joined as always by Arthur, how are you going?

Arthur 0:29
Good morning, Michael. I’m good. I’m good. working away from home like everyone else. Yeah,

Michael 0:35
yeah, the same. Yep. We’re basically locked in our little home offices having to do the show from home. But it is what it is, you know,

Arthur 0:43
it could be a lot worse,

Michael 0:45
it could be exactly. Could be worse, you know, we could not be able to do SEO at all. Imagine if like that, what a nightmare. No internet or something like that. But we have it, we have the internet. And we can keep doing the show. And we can keep talking SEO. So that’s what we’re going to do. And this week, we are talking about the must have seo software tools and browser extensions. Because if there’s one thing SEO nerds, like it’s software, and stuff to get the job done, right.

Arthur 1:15
App software, extensions, anything that can make our lives easier.

Michael 1:19
Exactly, and there is quite a lot of stuff that we use. So we thought it’d be pretty cool just to run through it and cover off the different tools, the different browser plugins, different things we used to get the job done. Some of this stuff is free, some of this stuff has a monthly subscription, you know, ranging from, as I said, $0 through to many hundreds of dollars a month. So it’s not going to be applicable for everyone. But we figured having a chat about it all would be interesting. And you can pick and choose what you think is going to help you get the job done. So getting into things we thought we’d start with SEO Tools first. And the big daddy of them all is

Arthur 1:54
H refs. H refs, as you like to call it, sometimes

Michael 1:59
HS verse H refs? Yep, H those H R E, F for Fred s for Sam h ref?

Arthur 2:07
Yeah, there’s a lot of debate online how to pronounce it. But yeah, I think phonetic phonetically. It’s H refs. And that’s how I said, Sir,

Michael 2:13
I think they they say you can say whatever like that, or, or you can say whichever one you want. But anyway, no matter what you call it, it’s

Arthur 2:20
a great tool.

Michael 2:21
It is a great tool. It’s a tool we use daily, even hourly, you know, at our agency. And it really makes a lot of different things in SEO much easier. So why do you love it so much?

Arthur 2:35
Um, look, I’d say it’s probably the most universally used tool in SEO. I’d say most SEO to be using it. But the reason I love it, it’s just because it’s so feature packed. It does everything, sir. I mean, if you just look at logging into it, now I’m having a look at it, you go to Site Audit. So basically, you can do a whole tech audit on your site. And hrs will spit out recommendations on how to improve your on site SEO. Sir. It does all that technical things for you. It’s got a Site Explorer, so it monitors all your backlinks referring domains. So if you ever need to do a backlink audit, or if you if you want to keep an eye on the competition, you can using H refs. It’s got Keyword Explorer, sorry,

Michael 3:12
guys gonna say the backlinks is really where Yeah, started, right. Like I remember years and years and years ago using it, and it was just pretty much backlink focus. So that’s where it, it built its name and reputation in the industry, because it’s basically like a crawler like Google itself. It goes out and tracks all the backlinks on the internet, in a big database. And then you can search your site, your competitors site, you can see what links you have, what links they have. And then you can use that to go, you know, find new links or get rid of links that are bad. Like there’s all sorts of use cases just for that link building. And they’ve added all these other features over time. So yeah, just thought I’d chime in on the link building side of things.

Arthur 3:49
I could be making the setup. But are they not the second most active crawler on the internet behind Google? I’d say they’d be up there. Yeah, I’m hearing that maybe at a conference or something? Yeah, well,

Michael 4:01
actually, there’s a site on the there’s a page on the href website where they talk about how big their database is, and how you know, the setup for their crawler and their servers and all that stuff. And it seems pretty momentous.

Arthur 4:14
Yeah. I think that’s where I read it. Yeah, yeah, very active on the internet.

Michael 4:18
They even spoke about creating their own search engine at one point, just because they’ve got all of that, you know, they basically have all the infrastructure of a search engine there. And I don’t know where what happened with that, because the discussion was a couple of years ago, maybe or maybe a year ago. So imagine trying to go against Google. Yeah, I think what Daisy their model was going to be like they pay websites in their data, like they pay people in it publishers or something. I can’t remember. But anyway, people won’t use it. They’ll use Google like they do for everything else.

Arthur 4:49
Whether they like it or hate it. Yeah.

Michael 4:51
But the thing is, SEO is definitely used a test to get the job done. So moving on, you know, like the, the links is a big thing. But yeah, I’ll let you get back to live The things you like about it.

Arthur 5:01
What else? Can you remember? Now? Check. It does rank tracking Yeah, smooth touch more on rank tracking later on. But it’s pretty handy to kind of get a glimpse as to how competitors are doing how your website’s doing. It’s got a Keyword Explorer. So really handy when you’re doing keyword research.

Michael 5:18
Yep, shows you the difficulty of them, like how hard they be to rank how many links you’d need. Yeah, that’s it. So that way, you’re not wasting your time going after keywords that are really competitive when you’re not quite there with the strength of your site. The other thing I like in the content explorer, where you can maybe you type in like a keyword idea. And you can put all sorts of different filters on. So you might say, you know, show me our pages that have 10,000 visits a month, that’s der is less than 20. So you know, a lot of traffic, but not that strong a domain, and you put in a seed keyword. So it might be SEO, for example. And then it’s going to show you all the pages on the web that are generating a tonne of traffic with a weak domain. Now, this is really good for content creation, I guess ideating because you can go out and create content around easy to rank for themes. So that’s really good for that sort of stuff, too.

Arthur 6:11
Yeah, I was doing that full 3d printing yesterday. Really, really handy.

Michael 6:15
There you go. Exactly. So if your website is not so strong, you can you can go for that low hanging fruit, you know, the real longtail traffic with that tool. So, look, it does a lot of stuff really, really well. It’s a must have tool in the arsenal of every SEO, I’d say even, you know, businesses are doing SEO in house, it’s worth paying for it, it is you know, you’re looking at 99 bucks a month minimum, us to get this tool. And then it goes up to as high as 1000 bucks a month, depending on the features you want. So is there a free version of it or like a name, you can get a trial, that’s like seven bucks, but there’s no free version of it. Okay, so look why

Arthur 6:56
I believe it’s well worth the $99 price tag, you’re not doing SEO,

Michael 7:01
you probably want to spend the you probably want the more Feature Pack runs like 190 bucks a month also, so But even still, if you are serious about SEO, even if you just running one website, and you’re trying to really improve it, that is an investment over the year that should pay for itself in terms of saving time and, you know, giving you insights and where to create content so that you can have some wins and it’s just, uh, you know, it’s a good tool. So, let’s say tariffs, tariffs, check it out. And

Arthur 7:30
I was gonna say there is sem rush as well, I guess. Yeah, it is. But that’s geared more towards Google ads, sem rush or SEMrush? SEMrush. Same same debate. Yeah. Funny how they have to adapt to be more clear and how they name the product.

Michael 7:45
Maybe it’s deliberate, you know, sort of a talking point, possibly. But yeah, that’s, uh, you know, SEMrush, sem Rush is there is a free version of that. Probably, yeah, we don’t use sem rush as much as that truss. But it’s a big, you know, it’s a public company. Now. Did you know that? Yeah, they’re on the stock market. And it’s, it’s bigger than Ahrefs in terms of the number of customers and stuff that they have. But we just find Ahrefs? Traditionally, the data has been better. Although, you know, I would say of light things like traffic projections in Ahrefs are probably a little bit under reported, whereas sem rush seems a bit more accurate in terms of traffic projections. But the link database in Ahrefs, I feel is is the best. Agree. Yeah, cool. So look, either one of those tools are going to help you get the job done in a wide range of different aspects of SEO. So well worth the time and investment. Alright, moving on. Now, let’s, let’s look at, you know, auditing sites and crawling sites. What sort of tools do you like to use to get that side of things done?

Arthur 8:55
For web crawling, there’s two that come to mind. So Screaming Frog and Seipel. Both are both similar in the fact that they will crawl your website, crawl the pages and all the files. But I think sitebulb is probably the one we’ll talk about today. Just a bit more comprehensive. So sitebulb. Basically, it’s just a website crawler and auditing tool. So the way it works, it will crawl all the pages and files on your site, and then analyse all the data from an SEO perspective. So not only does it provide you with a crawl of all the pages of your site, it will find any sort of crawl issues. So for a Forbes 500, all the redirects, you can export all that and have a big list of all the pages all the redirects. But I guess the most exciting part of this tool is that after the crawl, it provides you with a SEO school. So basically, at the same time does an audit of your website. So what it does is it looks at all these different elements of SES, like you’re on site, your metadata word count. Looks at internal links, internal links. Yeah, security. Like it’s good. It’s comprehensive. Yeah, it’s really, really good. So and even even better than that, it gives you a prioritised list of issues that you can go and action yourself to improve your website. So it’s a really, really handy tool. It’s yeah, it’s a game changer.

Michael 10:14
Yeah. And that that is where it sort of beats. The other tool, we spoke about Screaming Frog Screaming Frog, like both of these tools will crawl a website and pull out all the data. But it’s that prioritised list of fixes that slept both gives, that is really handy. It just saves so much time, like, we used to do this stuff manually. Now with this tool, it’s super comprehensive and fast and spits out a prioritised list. So like, any really critical, obvious stuff, you’ll find right away with this tool, and then it’s a matter of fixing it, you know, you either do it yourself, or you just hand it to a developer and say, make all of these things better, please. And, um, you know, in doing so you’re going to address a lot of the technical SEO requirements for your site. So that’s it again, that is, I think that one has a free trial,

Arthur 11:01
that does have a 14 day free trial, I think it’s not that expensive,

Michael 11:06
just on their site analysis, 35 bucks a month for one year. So it’s well worth it. Or actually, it depends how much you want to audit like, um, you know, if you if you really want to just go simple 10,000 URL site, it will cost you 10 bucks a month, but that one actually gives you less, less content in the reports and stuff. So you know, like most of these things, the more fully featured tools the way to go. Like anything in life, you get what you pay for exactly said 35 us bucks a month, but like, you could use it for one month, crawl your site, run the report, fix things, run the report again, then maybe turn it off. So it’s not like you have to keep paying month a month. No.

Arthur 11:44
And Screaming Frog has I think it’s about $300 a year or something as well said no, no crawl is going to be free.

Michael 11:51
Yep. Yeah. And so that’s a funny like this thing is it’s software, it sits on your computer, and it uses your computer’s computing power to crawl these sites. So they’re sometimes you know, if you crawl a massive website, they can actually crash your computer, depending on your computer. Yeah, it’s happened in the past with Screaming Frog. Yep. They were to throw your RAM and just yeah, he computer unusable.

Arthur 12:15
They were little hacks you could do to up the RAM that it uses. Yeah. And the back in the day. Yeah, sitting at the GM is to go in there and change the card. Yeah, bet. Yeah, when you’re crawling a massive ecommerce site, there were so many times where I would just keep crawling and getting stuck in a crawl lip and you can get it would be unusable. Man would sound like a computer’s about to take off

Michael 12:34
yet. So there is a tool called Deep crawl, which is a web based crawler where you can use all of like the sort of cloud resources for really big sites. But you know, most of the people listening to this, that’s not going to be necessary. sitebulb and Screaming Frog are the ones to check out. That’s it. All right. Moving on. Let’s talk about rank tracking. So rank tracking. Let’s take a step back. SEO obviously, is all about getting rankings and Google ranking at the top getting visibility. So you can get traffic to your site and get leads and sales and all that good stuff. So how do you know that your SEO is having an impact? Well, you can track the rankings of keywords to see you know that your positions are increasing, and that you’re at the top of Google rather than deep on Google. So how do you do that? Your software? What software do you use? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about next. What software do you like out there when it comes to rank tracking?

Arthur 13:28
So the software that I we use internally is a tool called Nightwatch. So it’s a really, really cool tool, like you said, it’s a rank tracker attracts all the keywords that you want. Um, basically, the reason I like it so much is because it’s very accurate. So I’ve used a bunch of different rank trackers in the past where, you know, the results haven’t been that great, the accuracy hasn’t been that great. And there’s a lot of things that can secure the ranking. So for example, the local pack or the snack pack, or whatever you call it, some rank trackers can’t differentiate between local listing and a regular organic listing. So it will basically throw all your rankings out of whack. People also asked questions as well that come up in the SERPs that can throw throw it out of whack sir. I found that after many years of using different rank trackers Nightwatch has been by far the most accurate it’s it also uses various different data centres Google data centres, rather than just sticking to the one so you get a lot more accurate results depending what area you’re in. So you can actually set the location where you want to track the keywords from. So we can track keywords in different parts of the world. So if we’re working in a client in New Zealand, we can track keywords from Wellington. If we’re working with a client in you know, Singapore, we can track keywords from there. So it gives you that kind of flexibility.

Michael 14:49
And um, like with like, like all of these tools, they basically, you load your keywords in and it will check at a different cadence. So you know, daily, weekly, monthly or whatever to see how your rankings are. So Nightwatch is good at tracks daily. So you’ll see him refresh every day. Other tools, maybe sometimes go weekly, or, you know, as we touched on before, it has a rank tracker built in. But it’s a bit like, it could be monthly. So you have to sort of manually go and request certain keywords update when you want it. It’s not as sort of robust as the Nightwatch. Yeah, another one we’ve used in the past at another agency was stat, get stat calm, or have an enterprise tool, you know. So it again, it was pretty accurate back in the day, I haven’t used it in a while, but um, it was accurate, but it was a bit more expensive. So horses for courses, you know, there are tonnes of other tools out there as well, you know, like, I kind of remember names like rank Ranger and advanced, advanced web ranking or something like that. Like there’s a lot of tools, but we just find Nightwatch really does a good job at a decent price. Yeah, most of these tools will charge you based on the number of keywords you’re tracking, as well. So the pricing scales as you track more keywords.

Arthur 16:08
Yeah, I can definitely creep up like all of the tools. Be careful. Yeah. All

Michael 16:12
right. Well, look, there’s no point drilling on rank tracking too long it is what it is. But another thing that we really do a lot of in the SEO world is on site optimization, we of course, have a couple of tools to help with that, you know, sitebulb. Before it, when it audits, a site gives recommendations around title tags, and that sort of stuff where they’re missing. But on site optimization specific tools will give much more, I guess, comprehensive recommendations around what you can do to your website content, to make it more similar to the competition. So the mentors in this space page optimizer, pro and surfer SEO, they both do the same thing, right? You know, they’ll crawl your site, they’ll crawl the competitive. So your let me take a step back, you’ll put your site in, you’ll put the target keyword you want to rank for. And this tool will crawl your site, and it will crawl the main ranking sites in that space for that term. And it will tell you what they all have in common and what your site you know, maybe is missing in terms of h1 tags, h2 tags, body, copy, the keywords that need to be included internal linking, bolding, text, all that sort of stuff. And we find you know, these tools are a bit hit and miss, you know, often, you can make changes and results might go backwards, but other times they make a dramatic impact on your rankings.

Arthur 17:33
Yeah, they’re a good starting point, especially if you don’t have content on your site, you can audit the competitors. And I guess the theory is if if a page is ranking first, and obviously it’s done something, right. So replicating that, or replicating at least the structure and the way that they’ve written the content is a good starting

Michael 17:50
point. So it really is, yeah, it’s just an average of all the top sites in terms of the recommendations essentially. But definitely worth using and testing just to see if you can get some, you know, decent results with it. Particularly in competitive spaces where you know, sometimes your final, just a little tweak to a title tag, or, you know, the addition of a couple of keywords in your body copy, surprisingly, can make a big difference to your rankings. So again, these tools, they have a monthly cost, you’re looking at anywhere from 60 to a couple of 100 bucks, US a month, it all adds up. So you know, at our agency, we’re spending many, many, many, many 1000s of dollars a month us across all these different tools. That’s just the cost of doing business, you know, running an SEO agency. But if you want to do this yourself as a business owner or someone running your website, you do need to be prepared to put your hand in your pocket and pay for these tools. I think Pop’s a bit cheaper than surfer. But you know, it too, has a monthly fee. On the on site optimization side of things, as well as probably a good chance to have a little chat about nach which is our own tool. It’s something we’ve developed in house, it’s not really available to the public. Now, or maybe ever, you know, time will tell, but it is a tool were using. So maybe do you want to give a little bit of a background about what Nakhchivan does. And we’ll explain I guess, I guess the principles behind it so that people can maybe go and look into that.

Arthur 19:27
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think we should get Robin here one day do a deep dive. Yeah, why not? He created it from the ground. Yeah, it would make sense. But basically what nach is it’s it’s a tool that we created. And basically what it does is it uses Google’s natural language processing. So the API that we plug into the tool basically gives us a window into how Google interprets the copy that we input. So to give you an example, if we’re working on a page on our website, we can copy and paste the text and we can can see how Google interprets the copy on the page, all the different entities and keywords, and then assign scores, sentiment and magnitude scores. And the idea is we, the idea is that you want to push up the entities of the keywords that you want to rank for the top. And the way you do that is by constantly auditing the content. So tweaking it optimising you’re adding keywords here and there. And basically, it’s just a long, long drawn out process of trial and error. But I guess we’ve seen really, really good results in the past by using this process. So previously, we were using Google’s preview tool on the page, which is no longer there yet noticed. Which is, which is great for us because now we’re only early SEO agency that has access to it from from what I know. But yeah, previously, it was just a very manual process of us having to copy and paste bits of text, rerun it, it only gave you a certain amount of runs before you had to start using a VPN. And it just became a pain to do. So we develop their own tool. And now we have a fancy schmick dashboard, which allows us to edit content on the fly, we can test run content and compare it to different test runs. So we can see how the changes we have made to the content has impacted and improve different entities improve different scores. Yeah, I mean, without going any deeper, that’s basically

Michael 21:24
I’m not sure I look, I guess, with surfer SEO and page optimizer Pro. They’re looking at keywords, like just keywords on a page basically. And Google’s traditionally always used keywords to understand content. And so keywords are still super important. But Google is sophisticated these days. And with the use of its, you know, natural language and machine learning and the like. It’s much better at understanding things, you know, things in inverted commas and the relationship between those things. And the way it does that is through entities. So you know, it will understand people, places, events and organisation stuff. So that’s what our tool does. So you know, we use page optimizer Pro, we use surfer SEO, but we also use nach and we combine the two, and we just get a really good understanding of how Google interprets our content, but then also the top rank websites content. So that’s what that tool for. It’s pretty cool. It’s something that we use internally, it’s not available publicly. But that concept of entities and natural language, Google’s natural language processing is a big part of SEO, we, we don’t believe we know because we, we use it every day. So it’s something to consider as well do some reading on articles around entities and natural language processing and the like and figure out a way to use it without having to build a tool would be cool. If not, maybe one day, our tool will be available to the world. But um, yeah, let’s move on from tools, because I think they’re the main ones we use right day to day.

Arthur 22:59
I think there Yeah, that I can’t think of any other tool that we use, as frequently as those that we’ve talked about.

Michael 23:07
browser plugins, oh, that’s another big part of getting the job done. You know, you live in your browser as an SEO. So you can add a lot more functionality to Chrome, you know, most people are using Chrome, you can add a lot more functionality through the use of plugins. So these plugins will basically add a bit of code to your your chrome setup, so that you can do different things. So a few examples of browser plugins that we like to use day in day out as part of our SEO. The first one is a plugin called redirect path. So what is redirect path? Basically, it is a plugin that sits in Chrome. And when you load a website, it will tell you if that that page has been redirected to be loaded. So it might show you that there’s, you know, a 302 redirect when you load that page, which is a temporary redirect, redirect, sorry, you want to see a 301 a permanent redirect. So in that case, you would need to fix the redirects. Or you might see that there’s lots of redirects being chained together to load that page, which are just needless steps that you could maybe remove. So having that easy plugin in your window is very quick to tell, you know, if your redirects are the way they meant to be, or if there’s opportunity to improve them or any problems with them. So pretty simple. That’s it pretty simple tool there.

Arthur 24:31
It cannot show show your JavaScript redirect, which is not ideal. It can also show you different errors. So there used to be like I’ve worked on sites where it would show a four a four but it would actually return 100 So it’s handy to pick up all the other kind of status codes as well.

Michael 24:45
So another one we like is word count plugin. Pretty simple.

Arthur 24:52
Pretty simple. Highlight the text and right click on it and it tells you any

Michael 24:56
word and this is good for when you know creating content Let’s say you are looking at another competitor site and they have some FA Q’s. And you just want to see how many words are in there FA Q’s. As Arthur said, highlight, right click, and this word count plugin will add in that right click menu that pops up, it will now have the the count of those words included. So pretty simple Image Size Info, that’s another one like that, where image size is a really, if you put big images on your site, it’s going to slow it down. If you have smaller images, it’s gonna be quicker. So it’s a really easy way to have quick wins on the speed front. But the pain is that when you’re looking at a website, and it’s got all images all over it, you don’t know whether they’re necessarily a massive file or a small. And traditionally, what you’ve had to do is right click it, save the file to your computer, and then go and look at that file properties and see how big the file sizes. Pain really annoying. what this plugin does is allow you to right click the image and see how big the file sizes. And you know, in a matter of you know, four or five clicks on a page, you might find that a couple of them you know two or three Meg’s and you can then go and compress those images in tiny re upload them and then you’ve just made your website that page much, much smaller and faster loading. So that’s you know, a really invaluable plugin right there. Another one that we like is detailed plugin. So the detail plugin is created by a guy called Glenn Allsop who’s been in the SEO industry for quite a while blogging on different sites and the like. So he’s got quite a good rep in the space. And he created this plugin that is basically, you know, you go visit a web page, you click the detail plugin, and it gives you a bit of information about that pose. So you know, the title tag, the description, tag, the canonical tag, what the robots tag is like, and the word count for the page, and you’re heading them the links on the page, internal, external, all that sort of stuff, the schema data on the page. So really, you know, it’s like doing a really quick SEO audit on a whatever page you’re looking at. And it’s kind of similar to another one that we like to use sem minion, right. That’s one that that you use a bit that does much the same?

Arthur 27:12
Yeah. Much the same. Yeah, analyses the on page SEO. So just clicking through it. Now it looks at things like like you mentioned, the title description, or the headings on the page, which is really handy. So it will scrape all the headings, and you can sort it by type, or you can have it not sorted. So that’s really handy. Looks at OpenGraph. What else it looks at all the broken links highlights all the links on the page. Patric Lang checker. So like, yeah, like the tool that you’re speaking about. It’s just like an all in one little plugin that you can utilise on the page and get all that information real quick.

Michael 27:47
Cool. All right. Well, another one that we use a little bit is user agent switcher. So basically, you know, some websites will block certain user agents. So when I say user agent, that is, like when a bot goes to a website and crawls it, it has like a, I guess a name or an identity, its user agent. Some websites will block certain user agents. So a website might block the H refs bot, because it doesn’t want its website being crawled and its resources being used by address. So it will block that, but it will allow the Googlebot through because every website once a Googlebot on it. So what the user agent switcher plugin does, is it allows you to basically change your, your, your web browsers user agent to appear to be one of these other ones so that you can load pages in the way they’re shown to different user agents or bots, and, you know, maybe Bypass Blocks that they put up or see things see the site, the way they show it to certain bots. So that can be really handy from an SEO point of view for all sorts of different reasons. So that’s another plugin that we like to use in the day to day, of course, Ahrefs riffs so truths, they have plugins that we use quite a lot, you know, it’s an overlay with a a truss, you need to go to their website, usually and login and do all your work within that. But with the plugin, it’s just an overlay that yeah, you need an account. Yeah, which is worth mentioning. So you can’t just use it you need to be logged into your account to use it but instead of having to go back to our trips all the time, you can easily see on an overlay on every page you go to you can see the DAR the links to the domain the links to the page, the estimated organic traffic and the like that it has straighten in from the overlay and then it also puts an overlay in the search results too Right?

Arthur 29:44
Yeah, it does. So you can compare search results you can have a look at a client’s and see all your competitors Dr. All the Keywords search traffic within

Michael 29:54
the Google search results. Straight with and really easy to see you know, like let’s say you search a keyword in your space So let’s say you’re a carpenter, Sydney. You can see all right, well, the top rank carpenters, they all have 400 links pointing to their domain. And what does my son has odd has five? Well, I probably should get closer to 400. Like it makes it really easy and quick. So that’s sort of analysis. Yeah. So what else do we like to use?

Arthur 30:22
I’ve been using the core sup vitals plugin recently. So that that’s very much like the H refs overlay. It’s just an overlay that Google’s created, which pulls in the different core web vitals metrics, so LCP fid CLS, and now that the focusing more on that it’s really handy to see where your competitors are, where the pages are. So like, like you mentioned, with H refs, you can kind of get an idea, alright, these competitors have LCP of two, I’ve got LCP or five or six, which is significantly worse, I’m gonna need to improve that score in order to outrank them. So that’s a really handy tool. Another one I’ve been using recently is on not recently, but one that we use all the time is Google Tag Manager, or sorry, Google Tag Assistant. So that’s a great tool to kind of see all the Google scripts and tags that are on a page. So anything from GTM to Google, optimise the GA is really handy. Yep.

Michael 31:21
And I guess on that funnel built with as well, another one that we use quite a bit.

Arthur 31:26
Yeah, really handy to find out what the CMS site is using all the different plugins, you can find out hosting information.

Michael 31:33
Yeah, so this tool, basically, it’s a bunch of other people crawl the website and figure out the CMS and the advertising software and like, plugins, like JavaScript plugins that they’re running on it and all sorts of stuff. So if you see a competitor that’s got a really cool site or cool functionality on their site, you can run that tool through it, and basically, quickly identify what that is, and then go investigate it, maybe use it on your own site. So

Arthur 32:00
yeah, I find scripts as well, like I can see here like call tracking metrics, GA GTM, Facebook, Facebook pixels, lets you know what builder they’re using, if they’re using WordPress, or if they’re using Elementor different plugins, what forms they’re using. So super comprehensive,

Michael 32:17
really handy. Yeah, cool. Well, um, the other, I guess stuff outside of browser plugins would just be, you know, I guess what we’d call miscellaneous tools or things that we use every day, which are as simple as Chrome browser and going incognito. Right? Why do we do that?

Arthur 32:36
Hmm. Just because it removes all the personalization logs you out. So you’re doing a more, I guess you’re doing a neater set. So you’re not getting any personalization? Yeah,

Michael 32:46
it’s like keeping a log of the history and all that it shows you a more clean version of the search, as opposed to when you do it in your own browser that has all sorts of cracking and stuff going on. Yeah, VPN, as well, we use quite a bit. So VPN just allows you to basically connect to a different server in another location, and then it makes your computer look like it’s in that location. So this is really good for you know, if you’re working on an SEO campaign, in another state or another country, and you want to check rankings or see how Google is looking at your site, you would connect to a VPN server in that location, you’d then go to Chrome in in incognito and do a search, and then you would be able to see the search results and how you’re really performing them.

Arthur 33:34
Yeah, I mean, even with us being located in weather Apoc, we get served different results. And someone that would be in the CBD. So we use that even here. So just to search for clients to see where they’re ranking in the closest Yes, CBD. Cool. What else do we use PageSpeed. That’s a bit more in depth. So there are a bunch of different tools that we use are starting with GT metrics. So basically, what you do is you plug in the domain, and it will crawl the site and tell you how quickly the site loads. And it will give you recommendations on what you can do to improve your page load speed. Because as we all know, paid speed is a ranking factor. And we want to get our sites as fast as possible.

Michael 34:21
Yep, yep, that pretty GT metrics. This one, there’s Pingdom, there’s web page, Google PageSpeed, insights, they all different do the same thing. They same thing. Yeah. crawl your site. So don’t don’t hammer your site with all these tools at once during the day because it might slow your site down, depending on the host that you’re on. But um, it is a good way to get a benchmark for how your site’s performing in terms of speed and then go fix things and then maybe test you know, once you have done some changes, test and see what the improvements are.

Arthur 34:54
Yeah, I guess we could also I guess, Google PageSpeed Insights would sit under that number. because it does the same thing, it doesn’t give you like the actual title, I guess it does give you the time as well. So it’s like

Michael 35:06
it’s not as in depth as the other tools in terms of recommendations. But um, you know, it’s good to see what Google thinks of your site speed. In any case, because obviously, it’s the one that ultimately ranks in Google. So having a higher score in PageSpeed Insights just makes sense from a, I guess, a logical point of view, right? You, yeah, Google would value sites that it thinks a fast.

Arthur 35:31
Yeah, I like to use a bunch of them, I use GT metrics, and PageSpeed Insights together, because sometimes they can contradict each other, for whatever reason. So you might get a really poor PageSpeed Insights score, but when you run it through GT metrics, you’ll get, you know,

Michael 35:46
that is annoying, which is cuz in that way, right, like the PageSpeed, insights gets things wrong compared to, you know, you using the site yourself saying it’s fast and other tools thing, it’s fast. And then PageSpeed Insights can be a bit off, it’s not always necessarily 100% correlated with a fast loading site, some of the stuff that PageSpeed Insights is saying. The other thing that we use a lot day to day everyday is Search Console, Google Search Console. So it’s a free tool from Google. You plug your site into it, and then it gives you a lot of data and information about the site. And it also allows you to interact with Google on behalf of your site, I guess, you know, like submitting pages that you want Google to come and crawl and the like, so um, yeah, what are you using Page Site Search Console for?

Arthur 36:34
in Search Console? Ah, look, it does everything. It lets you know the keywords people are using to get to your site, you can see the clicks, the impressions, the click through rates for different keywords. We use it a lot for crawlers. So if there’s any issues with your website, if you have any broken pages, or, you know, 500 areas or things like that, they’ll all be listed within search console. We also use it to see and look at the page experience metrics. So like we touched on previously COVID vitals, we can see if there are any pages which are failing, or are giving users a poor experience. It does basically everything. It’s a free tool. So the way you set it up is basically you log into your Google account, you go to Google search, or whatever the URL is, and you start setting up your domain, you put your domain in, and then it’ll ask you to verify it. And there are a bunch of ways you can verify it. But the most simple way is by adding a small snippet of code to your site, you add it to the head of your website. And once that’s verified, it will start pulling in all that data. And basically, it’s just something you should be checking in on, you know, every day to every couple of days to make sure that your website health is up to scratch, and that you’re not missing anything that you might miss on face value. So yeah, super handy, free tool that every website owner should be using.

Michael 38:00
Yeah, nice. Well, look, they’re the main tools that we use. Like, as we said, at the start, in the SEO world, there is a tonne of tools that you could use. There’s, if there’s one thing SEO is like it is their tools, but these are the ones that are going to get you really, as far as you probably need to go in most use cases. So

Arthur 38:23
I’ve got a question though, before we go, if you were to pick one of these tools, if you were to recommend just one of these tools to someone that is interested in learning SEO and wants to improve the website, which one would you recommend?

Michael 38:35
So out of the paid tools?

Arthur 38:39
I’d say I’d say h refs,

Michael 38:41
yeah, paid H refs, and then I’d combine that with Google Search Console. And then you know, some of those browser plugins are free. But yeah, if you have a refs and Search Console set up, that’s, that’s going to be enough to do a lot of good work with your SEO, what would you most

Arthur 38:58
Do you agree with that? Or I know 100% Agree, because like, like we touched on, I hate refs does a lot of the things these other tools do, maybe not as well or as comprehensively as a standalone tool, but it has a Site Audit. So it does, you know, similar similar things that Seipel does in terms of giving you recommendations. Yeah, you know, it’s got the Site Explorer, it monitors all your backlinks, it’s got the keyword Rank Tracker. So although it’s not as accurate as some of the tools like Nightwatch, it’s still there. So if you were to choose one tool to start with, I definitely recommend signing up to h refs.

Michael 39:35
Yep. And that’s not a sponsored no commendation there are those views are 100% his own he cannot be bought or paid for.

Arthur 39:43
What do you remember correctly? I used to be sem rush guy. Yeah, not too long ago. Yes, sir. Yeah, God’s definitely changed.

Michael 39:51
I used to be a mosque guy way back in the day, but like most Yeah, and on the same level as their trips, that’s for sure. Awesome.

Arthur 39:59
Good day goes on. sponsorship from down the track

Michael 40:03
guy I don’t think most of fooling themselves to sponsor us so, so good, so good. But look, I think that wraps things up nicely for the tools episode. So thanks for listening in to another lockdown edition of the SEO show. We’ll be back next week with another episode. So until then happier flowing. See you later. See you later.

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Arthur Fabik


Michael Costin


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