Top SEO Apps

SEO Goes Mobile

For many SEO professionals mobile devices have become important tools allowing them to work anywhere anytime.  Mobile apps for SEO are empowering SEO professionals to utilize their mobile devices to gain insights into site SEO metrics from anywhere.  And with the ever changing SEO world it is more important than ever to utilize all the applications available to get the most out of your SEO time.

All about the Apps

There are a number of SEO applications out there that currently offer some form of SEO analysis and reporting.  Many desktop SEO applications have begun to create mobile app versions that either encompasses all or some of the desktop version’s capabilities.  Many of these apps are Free or their pro versions are at a very low cost to download while others require subscription to their desktop versions in order to operate.  Obviously some are better than others and although none are truly all encompassing a combination of some of these apps can cover most of your SEO reporting and analysis needs through most mobile devices.

  • SEO Automatic app – Is an app made for both iPhone and Android that generates reports on organic ranking factors for any web site.  Running web page reports analyzing on page and off page ranking factors such as site speed, meta data and inbound links as well as detailed recommendations for improvements.
  • SECockpit (Search Engine Cockpit) is a keyword research tool available for both Desktop and Mobile (only for the iPhone).  SECockpit generates keyword ideas and automatically gathers and combines keyword mining data with the competitive analysis necessary to make keyword research decisions easier.
  • Website SEO Analyser app – Is a SEO tool set available for free through iTunes for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.  This SEO app automatically analyzes websites and creates a report with a breakdown of both on page and off page SEO factors such as site speed, meta data and inbound links.  The SEO diagnostic analysis generated creates a detailed list of recommendations for improvement of your website.
  • SEO Search Ranking – Is a SEO ranking app available through the iTunes app store for iPhone and iPad users.  The app allows you to easily monitor the position of your site’s search engine rankings (SERP) for specified keywords.  You can analyze rankings for an unlimited number of keywords for as many websites as you’d like.  Allowing you to quickly access your Search Ranking information anywhere anytime for quick and easy analysis necessary for optimization recommendations.
  • WebRank SEO – Is an Android app that offers a free SEO competitive analysis of websites.  The app reports back website ranking, sociometrics as well as on page and off page such as site speed, meta data and inbound links as well as other SEO variables to give you a holistic view of your site’s total SEO rankings and unlike many other ranking tools it analyzes ranking across Google, Bing and Yahoo instead of just Google.
  • SEO SERP Tracker – Is an Android app that tracks your site’s website rank in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).  Running analysis of keywords and their resulting website rankings are returned in the tool in a report that will allow you to get first hand quick results for your site’s search results.
  • SEOStats – Is an app available through the iTunes store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.  The SEOStats app provides quick SEO audits of any website for SEO ranking factors for both on page and off page factors such as site speed, meta data and inbound link.
  • SpyderMate SEO Scorecard – Is a Free Android app created to allow you to score any domain based on SEO ranking factors based on Domain Authority, Domain Back links, Traffic Value, Keyword Rankings and Sociometrics.  The SpyderMate SEO scores websites’ performance giving you a snapshot of your site’s overall SEO stats and identifies competitive advantages and weaknesses.
  • SEO Manager – Is a Free keyword analysis app that gives real time keyword rankings.  Unlike other rank checkers this one works for not only Google but other search engines as well.  The application allows you to track your keywords graphs and reports.

This list could go on and on but these key apps seem to cover most SEO reporting and analysis needs across the widest variety of platforms.

With the myriad of SEO tools available across multiple mobile operating systems it has become easier for SEO professionals to monitor and analyze SEO data for their websites anywhere any time day or night on the road or at home.  The changing face of the mobile is empowering SEO professionals to work no matter where they are.

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Top Web Analytics Apps

In this fast passed industry it is imperative to do a lot more while on the move.  That is no truer than in online marketing where web site analytics are vital to the lifeblood of online marketing.  Being able to access site analytics from any device at any time has spawned a variety of apps for both iPhone and Android markets.  Most are integrated with your Google Analytics account(s). Obviously some are better than others and although none are truly all encompassing apps a combination of them can cover most of your Analytics needs through most mobile devices.

  • Google Analytics – Is a Free Android app giving access to your Google Analytics profiles for real time statistics, customized dashboards and intelligence and reporting to your mobile device.
  • Analytics App – Is a Free application allowing instant, mobile access to Google Analytics for iPhone and iPod Touch users.  The Analytics App interface makes it easier to check and analyze site stats in your Google Analytics account.  This Analytics App gives you access to overview and detailed reports for deep analysis as well supporting multiple accounts, sites and logins.
  • mAnaltics – Is a Free handy Google Analytics app for Android users featuring easy to use login allowing you to view your website Google Analytics stats from any Android device.  Supporting multiple accounts and profiles to give access to Stats and charts and daily statistics.
  • Applidium Analytic – Is a Free iPhone app that allows you to monitor traffic to your various web sites through your Google Analytics Account(s).  Giving you access to summary information in graphis and charts form.  This give you a quick view of your site’s key performance indicators such as visitors, page views, bounce rate, etc.
  • Analytics Widget – Is a Free Android app available for online marketing professionals to track Google Analytics, Twitter and Facebook data.  Able to track key performance indicators through Google Analytics as well as aggregating Twitter and Facebook numbers.
  • GoAnalytics – Is a Free Android app for viewing Google Analytics stats on your mobile devices.  The client allows you to view your website Google Analytics stats across multiple accounts and profiles.
  • Desktop Web Analytics-Mobile – Is a Free Android app designed to visualize Piwik Analytics data on your mobile devices.  Able to support multiple accounts and create most reports available through Piwik.
  • I Spy Analytics – Is a Free Android app brings Google Analytics reports to your fingertips.  The tool tracks website metrics and real time information on the go.  The simple traditional reporting platform is easy to use with instant data on all your Key Performance metrics including Visitors, Traffic Sources, Goals, and Content.  The app makes it easier to access your statistics in a configurable dashboard across multiple accounts.
  • Analytix for Google Analytics – Is an Android app available for the modest price of $1.99, for visualizing Google Analytics Data in near real-time (hourly view).  Analytix visualizes Google Analytics data with graphics and charts allowing you to compare today’s results with yesterday or last week quickly and easily.
  • gAnalytics – Is a Free Android app that allows you to check your Google Analytics stats anywhere.  The gAnalytics app plugs into your Google Analytics account for easy access to your Google Analytics statistics and reporting.  Access to your Visitor, Content, Goals and Ecommerce data through your Android device for any set time period.
  • Analytics Agent Pro – is an applications that comes in a lite (Free) version as well as a modestly priced ($2.99) Pro version.  This app not only gives you the ability to check Google analytics but also your Adwords and Adsense data and tracks all your organic traffic.  Because Analytics Agent Pro is developed based on the Google Analytics’ API you are able to manage your Google Analytics from this app available for iPhone or iTouch use.
  • Analyics  – Is a Free iPhone app that supports multiple Google Analytics profiles with remote access that allows you to access your Google Analytics account anywhere, anytime.
  • Clicky Web Analytics – Is a Free iPhone app that allows you to monitor, analyze and report your web site’s traffic in real time.  The interface makes understanding your site’s traffic data simple.

This list could go on and on but these key apps seem to cover most website analytics and applications available across the widest variety of platforms.

Google Analytics has become the most valuable tool.  And with the availability of so many tools operating on multiple mobile operating systems it has become easier for to monitor and analyze website data for their websites anywhere any time day or night on the road or at home.  The changing face of the mobile is empowering online marketing professionals to work no matter where they are.

PPC vs. SEO The Bigger Picture

Upon reading today’s White Board Friday on SEOmoz.com I had to respond with my own opinion on this sibling rivalry between these two forms of Search Marketing.  PPC and SEO should not be seen as such separate channels for search marketing programs but as symbiotic entities that need and feed each other in order to create and maintain a well optimized search marketing program.

Danny states “The downside to PPC is that it cost a lot of money as compared to traditional SEO.”  This is a total misnomer.   In my experience SEO costs can be far higher than that of PPC.  Yes PPC takes a outlay of cash to pay for clicks but SEO takes TIME.   

He goes on to say, “With SEO it has a slower start-up. So, in fact, SEO can take a long time to start working. But it is essentially free.” SEO takes time and a large amount of sweat equity thatis used to create, maintain and implement SEO strategies over the long term.  That time costs money too and can be a huge chunk when added up over time.  That isn’t even thinking about development costs that can be incurred or third party agency or consultants that one might utilize for recommendations. 

SEO can actually benefit from PPC testing, analytics, and reporting.  By testing different landing pages for keyword conversion in PPC you can optimize that same page for SEO purposes.  And yes utilizing SEO best practices for content will improve the quality score of keywords used for PPC therefore aiding in PPC placement and conversions. 

So yes I agree share the research and work together to build a better branded, optimized and converting search marketing program.   By utilizing both channels you can compliment each other’s programs and reach more traffic. 

PPCers are NOT big dum-dum heads…they are the pioneers who push the limits and build a brand in a way that SEO can’t.

Landing Page Optimization

Yesterday I attended a webinar “Conversion Ninja Toolbox with Tim Ash” which was extremely helpful.

Some great inexpensive tools for analyzing and helping to create better optimized landing pages were discussed.

But the most compelling part for me was in the end of the presentation when Tim critiqued landing pages that attendees sent in before the webinar.  The landing page I sent in was the first, it was difficult to watch but I had to keep reminding myself I hadn’t built this page I knew what was wrong with it but I really needed and wanted more input on what should be done to make it better.

As a result I think I’m going back to the drawing board.  I had begun building a few other possible landing pages that are awaiting approval but I’m now going to apply the techniques and suggestions from this webinar and take a stab at making a better landing page.

Marketing can lead people to your site but that doesn’t make them leads

Clicks, visits, visitors, unique visitors, page views, time on site, etc. don’t really mean a whole lot if they are converting!

Organic, and Paid search along with social media can create traffic to any site but the site must lead the users through the conversion process in such a way that the convert.  Whether that is by filling out a form for a case study or white paper, signing up for a newsletter or blog rss feed, or registering for a trial membership the most important thing is to capture that conversion!  At the end of the day we’re all measured on that end resulting goal of the all might ‘Conversion’.

So I ask myself time and time again how to get that person to that form and how to get them to WANT to fill it out?  Not just using calls to action…not dangling more information in front of them…but make them WANT to be a part of that end result?  I believe that it is going to be by giving them the user experience they need to lead them through the research, sales process, and eventually the sale.  The one thing that is lacking in so many marketing and sales strategies is the user experience.  utilizing landing pages and A/B testing to build a better experience that will convert traffic into customers.

Site Audit Time Again

When starting a new SEO project for a site you’ve never worked on before?  How to get started?  My first step is always to Audit the site.  I take the site pages one at a time, in order of importance of course, and build a spreadsheet of important info I need for on-page optimization.

Page Name	URL	Keyword(s)	Current <TITLE>	Optimized <TITLE>	Chars	Current Meta Desc	Optimized Meta Description	Chars	H1 Titles	Optimized H1 Titles	Content 	Optimized Content

After I have the current site’s information I can then see what I want or need to edit.  It also helps me track my changes over time and see how my optimization changes worked in the long term.

I then run base-line reports to get a perspective on the site’s current performance.  Key site information such as number of inbound links, pages indexed, current keyword SERPs, and of course a spider simulation to see how the site looks to the search engines are part of my long term planning and goals assessment.

SEO Competitive Statistics

As well as looking at the inbound linking

link popularity of web site

Next I analyze the analytics, and reporting information to get a full picture of how well the site is converting.  Looking over the background data for 3 – 4 months of the key performance indicators such as visits, page views, leads, conversions, etc.  are a good indication of how the site has been performing and an idea of where to put your ongoing goals.I also build a competitive analysis so that I can see how the site looks against the competition.

Finally, and possibly the most difficult is the acceptance and implementation of optimization changes and all the hard work ahead.   It is a challenge but the reward of optimizing an existing site to create better performance is ‘priceless’.

The end of Meta-Keywords

For years the meta-keyword has been on the way out but now the final large search engine to still use meta-keywords for page ranking has dropped it.   Yahoo Drops The Meta Keywords Tag Also announcement that Yahoo is following the crowd and dropping the Meta Keyword tag.  But this doesn’t mean that keywords aren’t important anymore. Keywords are still important, optimizing landing pages for specific keywords is still very important.

Dropping the meta-keyword tag means that the search engines are no longer using that tag to decide on ranking of a page.  But the use of the meta-keyword tag is still important as an optimization tool in creating, maintaining, and monitoring landing pages.   In my case even though the search engines don’t use the meta keywords tag for ranking I have an will continue to use the tag as a record for myself and other interested parties such as website producers, content writers, etc.  Keeping this tag logs on the landing page what keywords that page is being optimized for and is helpful for content producers, PPC management, and optimization reporting and monitoring.

Web Site Designers & SEO

I’m seeing a lot of web site design firms that ‘say’ they do SEO to the sites they build but from what I’m seeing after they launch the sites, they really aren’t doing any SEO work on the sites.  Many of these companies really don’t know or understand what SEO is and trust these design firms to do it all for them.  Unfortunately, I’m seeing a lot of wonderful sites that don’t even have basic SEO elements.  

Recently a friend’s company had a Web Design firm do a much needed new web site design for the company.  The site went up Friday and the site itself came out beautiful I have to say it’s a great look and feel, the usibility is simple and stream lined.  Really wonderful ‘design’.

 Unfortunately, the SEO quality of the site which the design firm promised leaves much to be desired.  They really dropped the ball on even the most simple and easiest SEO elements.  Looking at the meta-tags they used the same tags for every single page!  The same title, meta-description and keywords.   They re-define ‘keyword stuffing’ in the meta-tags as they used the same 30 keywords for every single page!

 I’m afraid that this beautiful site is just not going to end up cutting it and getting the company what they really need to succeed.  It took a great deal of convincing to get the company to see the need for their web presnce and now they have this fantastic site but how is anyone going to find it?  Unfortunately the web just isn’t ‘Build it and they will come” anymore.  And they are in an EXTREMELY competitive market that their company has never tapped before.  They have HUGE potential here but without even the SEO basics being hit I’m afraid that they are going to give up on the internet and its potential.  

As I speak to other small businesses they seem to have the same idea, get a great site with lots of flash and pretty pictures and they will come…SEO is too time consuming for them to deal with so they aren’t even going to try or start their site on the right foot with the search engines 😦

SEO and Marketing Strategy

An interesting conversation came up on twitter today concerning SEO in an overall site marketing strategy and I don’t believe that I was able to communicate my thoughts in the short medium of 140 characters that twitter gives me.  So I wanted to expand upon it here.

I’ve been doing SEO for 7 going on 8 years now.  I’ve seen it evolve from doorway pages and redirects, keyword stuffing, and whited out content, to inbound linking and off page optimization.  The works.  The one thing that doesn’t change is ‘Content’  Content is king, after all that’s what the search engines and the online audience is looking for.  So if you have the content they want in a form that is readable for the audience and the search engines can scan it you’re there.   Yes there are many tweaks and things that can be done to a site to better optimize it.  But in the long run they pale in comparison to having content the audience wants to find and will actuall consume and that along with your site design will lead your audience to the overall conversion point you want them to get to.

You see SEO, PPC advertising, Social Media, email marketing, inbound marketing these are all tools we need to be balanced in order to get the best results.  For me those results are to get the audience to that content, to that funnel that will eventual cause them to convert in some way, either to be an impression on an ad, a lead for a product or service, or to buy.  Without that content for the audience to trigger on and instigate the reaction you want nothing is going to be successful.

Sites that succeed are built around their conversion need and the programs and tools used to market them to the audience need to bring them to the content and eventually the conversion point.

Happy Holidays

Christmas Eve and I sit in the dark office all alone.   I’m quite happy to see that my traffic yesterday did not suffer from ‘holiday’ fatigue.  That’s what I call the lull in traffic that happens around holidays.  Each year I’ve made adjustments in my forecasting to account for traffic erosion during the holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, 4th of July, and Labor Day.  I was expecting that this week would have a larger then usual lull due to all the holidays hitting basically on weekdays.  So I have to say I am pleasantly surprised that so far this week we’re running around average.

Planning for holiday fatigue in your traffic numbers is very important in order to meet your goals you will need to plan accordingly.  During months that these holidays occur I try to focus my major traffic building exercises during the rest of the month.  For instance, this month instead of holding a Webinar near the end of the month I held it at the beginning of the month to drive as much traffic as early in the month as possible.  It has paid off, I’m running close to my goals for the month and I’m seeing much better then expected conversion numbers this week.

Meanwhile, I’m also seeing better social networking results that I expected.  I had expected their to be a bit of a lull in the social media sites during this holiday week as well, but I guess not as many people are taking this week off as I’d expected.  I’m seeing a much better then average amount of social media buzz this week for my clients which makes me and them very happy 🙂

So Happy Holidays Everyone!