Scale SEO – Tools to Get More Done

More links… more traffic… better rankings… more money.

That’s what you really want but it’s not happening is it.

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Just take a second to stop and take a long hard look at your current business.

Clients continue to give the lion’s share of the budget to lower ROI acquisition routes, your SEO processes are taking up more of your team’s time, your to-do list is just getting longer not shorter, you’re having to prove the value of your work more often and your margins are being squeezed with every Google update.

This isn’t how it was supposed to be was it?

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I spend a lot of time working with clients in finding ways that they can do more with less. Scaling their SEO processes and improving or creating new processes we can use to help them to be more productive, reduce the volume of low profit work and reduce costs caused by errors.

Automation of Processes

Sometimes businesses invest tons of time in analysing and modeling their processes. And they end up with a collection of process models on lovely documents but still don’t know which processes should be automated and what controls they need to implement. For example, should they tackle the simpler processes first or should they tackle the biggest and most complex process first?

For larger clients there are often the skills or budget to build specific tools for the processes we define to speed up and automate certain tasks. For smaller clients or clients with a limited budget then we will often look for off the shelf solutions they can implement to help them.

In this post I’ll give you a few tools I use regularly and a couple I have begun to use recently and how they have transformed the  way I work. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now – not another SEO Tools post. However, a lot of blog posts will just list 101 tools with a one or two sentence description and no real application for the tools they cite.

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Speed up your Monthly Reporting

As you are aware client reporting is a huge piece of work every month and having a reporting suite that can handle all the different data sources for a bunch of clients means it more than pays for itself each and every month.

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Take a look at how much time you and your team are currently spending on producing the same reports for clients every month and think about how much reducing that time by at least 50% would mean for your bottom line.

One of the best things I ever did was buy a license for Raven Tools, and I am sure there are many others who will agree. The first month alone I earned back 20 hours, if that isn’t worth the $99 per month subscription then you obviously aren’t charging your clients enough. I mean just look at their huge list of data partners.

Buy a Copy of Scrapebox

Scrapebox really is the Swiss army knife of SEO, it may have a bad name in some circles but don’t believe the propaganda.

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Not only will you save a huge time with scraping the SERP’s for link building opportunities, but Scrapebox can help you with bulk checking if your links are still live, what your current rankings are across a huge number of keywords and help to discover new keyword ideas en masse.

If you just think about process of link prospecting alone it makes little sense to have a highly skilled staff member running multiple search queries and collecting a few hundred link opportunities at a time with something like Link Clump.

If you want to learn more about Scrapebox then do yourself a massive favour and read Jacob King’s ultimate guide.

Please for $57 just go and get yourself a copy.

Automate Link Monitoring

This is a new tool I have been using for the past few weeks. I initially picked up a copy of BacklinksXray to help me with link removal work for clients as I wanted to check lots of different information at once.

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BacklinksXray will check whether links are still live, whether they are nofollow, anchor text, meta data title of the linking page, Google cache date of the linking page, PageRank, return the HTML code surrounding the link and much more.

Of course you could run similar checks with Screaming Frog in list mode or even Scrapebox, but BacklinksXray is specifically a link monitoring tool and having it means I can still run Screaming Frog and Scrapebox at the same time across my setup.

You can buy a copy here for just $67, which is cheaper than an extra Scrapebox or Screaming Frog license ;)

Find Keyword Opportunities Faster

Another tool I have recently added to my toolbox is Keyword Snatcher 2.0, after Nick Eubanks shared it within a recent link club webinar.

Keyword Snatcher uses the Google, eBay, Amazon, Bing and Yahoo search suggestions to create a combined list.  Even though Keyword Snatcher doesn’t display the actual number of search requests for a keyword, that doesn’t really matter as you can use your keyword research tool of choice to gather that intelligence fairly quickly. For example after just 2 minutes I had over 1000 keywords relating to “link building”.
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Think of Ubersuggest only juiced up on steroids. Of course, you could use Scrapebox for this task however an extra Scrapebox license, proxies and perhaps another VPS will be more expensive than the $47 you need for this tool.

Outsource the Easy Tasks

There are a lot of horror stories where people hired SEO freelancers via oDesk or Elance, but I am not talking about hiring people to carry out high value tasks here. Think about things such as tracking down contact information for bloggers or collating research for an infographic idea, which could be done at the fraction of the cost of a highly experienced staff member.

There are many posts about outsourcing tasks on oDesk, a lot of the information that is out there suggests long hiring cycles, difficulty in finding the right person or an expensive interview process. This is just a lot of rubbish.

Here is the TL; DR version of my outsourcer selection process:

  1. Post your job on oDesk
  2. Hire the best three who applied
  3. Give them a simple research task
  4. Fire the lowest performers

And just think if you found a decent VA and trained them up then you could probably get her to handle this process for you. :)

What would you like me to cover next? Are there systems and processes in your SEO campaigns that you would like me to write about?

Sign up to my email list and ask me a question.

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  • Gordon Campbell

    Great post, actually just bought Keyword Snatcher today after having a play about with it. I’ve started outsourcing tasks again such as content creation for personal projects which works really well and pretty much used the technique you mentioned of hiring a few people, keeping the best and getting rid of the ones that don’t perform very well.

    Another great tool for saving time, possibly a bit too obvious to mention, is Screaming Frog. I love that tool!

    • ChrisLDyson

      Screaming Frog – don’t leave home without it :)

      Thanks for the support

  • Benjamin Beck

    Chris, This is awesome! Thanks for the software tips! I like Buzzstream because it will email you each month what links you gained & lost. I will have to check out Backlinks XRay

    • ChrisLDyson

      Thanks Ben

      I’ve never really gone too deep into Buzzstream but I do keep getting told off by Paul May :)

  • Hank M.

    Why do you feel Raven is better than Moz, SEMRush, or AWR?

    • ChrisLDyson

      I use SEMRush & AWR everyday

      I just think as an allinone reporting package Raven is the mutts nuts

  • http://www.thewriteprovider.co.uk/ Shaun

    Hi Chris. Some great tools. I can see myself using Raven tools soon. I’m always jumping between Majestic and Moz. I’ve used scrapebox through a VPS along with a few tools that don’t really have a place in SEO any more, but I might resurrect a few of them.

    By the way, you’re link to Jacob King’s guide is a 404.

    I’m another Buzzstream fan, although Raven tools has similar features.

    • ChrisLDyson

      Thanks for dropping by & thanks for noticing the broken link to Jacob’s post although if he’s a decent SEO he would have 301′d it :)

      • http://www.thewriteprovider.co.uk/ Shaun

        true

        • ChrisLDyson

          :) the countdown is on – tick tock

  • James Norquay

    Why cant one tool just do Keyword Snatcher, SEM Rush, Raven, Majestic, ahrefs, Scrapebox all in one lol….but yeah good tips regardless.

    • Charles Floate

      I think that’s what Raven Tools ultimate goal is.. Bare in mind that “All in one” tool would be ridiculously expensive per month (I’d go with $499/month or so) and it’d be a hard choice between Desktop or Online programs..

    • ChrisLDyson

      Who ever does will be the master :)

  • Trackpal

    Great suggestions.

    A useful tool we use is Tick (www.tickspot.com) for monitoring your tasks and working hours. It’s been key for us to monitor our processes and diagnose areas to improve efficiency. It takes a while to get used to logging your time but the insights and benefits are well worth it.

    Also for automated reporting checkout our service – Trackpal. We’ve helped many SEOs and agencies ramp up their efficiency and turn reporting into a profitable process :)

    Chris,

  • http://www.clayton-nichols.com/ Clay

    Excellent guide, I’ve seriously considered going and giving into a scrapebox account.

    • ChrisLDyson

      Do it!

  • Brandon

    Hi Chris

    Do you think Keyword Snatcher outperforms Scrapebox Keyword Scraper??

    At first glance the second one has more sources to scrape from!

    • ChrisLDyson

      Great question – personally I like Keyword Snatcher as it has a very easy to use interface and means that I’m not having to run another instance of Scrapebox, that being said you are right Scrapebox uses more sources and therefore can return more results.

      It comes down to budget and personal preference at the end of the day.

  • http://www.mybusinesscentral.com.au/ Mybusinesscentral

    Informative topic.My big personnel thanks to you. I have learned a lot just by reading this article like Scrapebox account.

  • Spook SEO

    This is really an awesome share, Chris! Indeed, automation is important and it’s good to get familiarized with the best available tools around. Hiring freelancers is vital nowadays especially for tasks that require more human judgment.

  • http://www.inmediaconcepts.co.nz/ William John

    This is a great post, with automation much can be done for manual work. prospecting via scrapebox/ontolo will give great results.