More links… more traffic… better rankings… more money.
That’s what you really want but it’s not happening is it.
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?
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.
Get a handle on your Outreach
It is quite surprising to find how many people still use shared spreadsheets and other rudimentary systems for email outreach. Once you actually begin to use a dedicated CRM system which keeps a track of all the latest conversations that your team are having with webmasters, bloggers and journalists.
For me I have been using Buzzstream for over two years now and I can’t think of going back. The fact that I can easily classify my link prospects, find contact information and correspond with people all within one tool means that all those random spreadsheets and notes are a thing of the past.
Check your Links and Audit Content – Fast!
In the past couple of years SEO’s have become much more involved in two key areas of activity.
1. Link Audits
Thanks to Google with the roll out of Penguin and the webspam team’s efforts at communicating manual actions more frequently SEO’s have had to audit more link profiles than ever before. Tools such as ahrefs and MajesticSEO are great but sadly Webmaster tools data is useless as it does not tell you three basic facts that you need:
- the linked to page
- anchor text
2. Content Audits
Whether you are trying to get a handle on a possible Panda issue or you’re trying to find gaps in your site’s content SEO’s need to be able to look at lots of different variables such as traffic to landing pages, titles, meta descriptions and even readability.
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.
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.
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.
Find Keyword Opportunities Faster
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”.
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.
Crawl Sites for Errors with Ease
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:
- Post your job on oDesk
- Hire the best three who applied
- Give them a simple research task
- 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?
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