Getting many of the SEO and social media experts of today in one place is a great way to compare thoughts and figure out what direction to take your business in the coming months. We asked eight industry leaders the following question:
What new SEO or social media tool (or new feature of a tool) are you most excited about using in 2013? Tell us a little bit about what makes the tool unique, how you plan to use it for your specific business, why it's going to be important, etc.
Below are the expert opinions including tools about social sharing and reporting, gmail tricks, and even some of their very own tools that they are excited about using this year.
Ann Smarty: Owner of MyBlogGuest and SEOSmarty.
This year I have been really digging into Google's Author Stats within the Webmaster Tools Labs. Google's Authorship is something I've been paying closer attention to this year (as I am an active content creator) and I believe it's the hugest web-marketing trend nowadays. The click-through for some of my authorship-articles is amazing: Some articles rank #8 and still get ~30% click-though! Could you have imagined anything like this back in the days when none of the positions really mattered except #1?
The tool gives some deep insight into how Google determines authors when authorship is not set as well. I have described some of my most interesting findings here as well: Google Trying to Identify the Author: Fails and Puzzles. The tool is very new and it will be interesting to see how it is going to evolve!
John Rampton: Managing Editor for Search Engine Journal
Serps.com. It's a pretty sweet tool that tracks your rankings and gives you personalized reports that you can customize for different clients. I love their reporting functionality. Ever since Raven stopped showing some of the data I have relied on Serps.com. You can get a full demo here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdgiAqNI_Lg
I think especially for agencies, you can CNAME the app to your own domain, so dashboard.highervisibility.com<http://dashboard.highervisibility.com/> for example, and fully white-label the app in just a few minutes. Makes it look like I've got some sweet custom software for them (at no extra charge)
Something else that really sets it apart from everyone else is their alerts function. If they detect a higher than normal amount of rankings shift for my site, they send me a detailed alert with everything I need to know about it. It's awesome so you're not caught off guard. It's little things like that, that give me a competitive edge above my competitors.
Gerald Weber: Founder of SEM-Group.
The tool I'm the most excited about is Viral Content Buzz (disclaimer: I'm VCB's co-founder). That being said, it really IS the tool I'm the most excited about, and the main reasons for my enthusiasm don't have to do with me being a part owner.
Since I've been heavily involved in social media sharing for quite awhile now, I know firsthand how much time, energy and effort it takes to REALLY promote a great piece of content well. Although it can be very satisfying, it can also be a resource drain. So after looking for a more scalable or efficient solution and realizing there wasn't one that was fully committed to quality, I decided to help build it!
We use VCB internally to generate "social buzz" on our blog posts and all of our client guest posts. If you want to see exactly how we're helping bloggers and content marketers get more social shares for their best content, be sure to check out this two-minute video overview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAVBEr2YgWo
Ashley Moreno: Marketing Analyst at Volusion
Here at Volusion, we're very excited about launching with Radian 6. The tool not only enables social media reporting across most platforms, it also enables us to complete new benchmarking while leveraging the voice-of-the customer to improve our product road map. For example, with Radian 6 you can tag content as you read through and respond to different posts. We've begun tagging content across multiple platforms (Twitter, blogs, etc.) for review by different departments within our organization, including sales, customer service, technical services, and product. In this way, we can both ensure expert responses to posts, and we can compile customer feedback in a manner that allows decisions-makers within our organization to act on the posts.
In addition, to processing individual social posts, via the tool, we also measure and benchmark what we call "share of voice" on various industry topics relating to our competitors and us. When people talk about topics related to SaaS-model e-commerce solutions, we aggregate that content by company, answering questions like: How often are relevant, community discussions in reference to Volusion vs. one of our competitors? What is the sentiment of those posts? Does Volusion appear in a high percent of posts related to key product features?
The only catch with the tool seems to be price. Radian 6 might be cost-prohibitive for some smaller organizations or newer social media programs. For more info on social media reporting using free, platform-specific tools, like Facebook Insights, check out our blog!
Jon Henshaw: Chief Marketing Officer at Raven Tools.
The tool I'm most excited about using is Raven's new Site Auditor. I've dreamed of making this tool for years, and it finally became a reality in February.
It's the first tool that automatically crawls and checks everything that I think is important to an SEO, including elements like malware, page speed and schema.org microdata that you don't see in other tools. There's one-click filtering to view specific site problems, and all of the data is cross-referenced. For example, if you want to view all of the pages related to a specific error, it's only one click away.
I plan to use Site Auditor like most of our customers do: to automatically monitor and alert me to problems with all of our sites. When I find them, I'll use the built-in reporting to send my Webmaster a list of the issues that need to be fixed. Site Auditor's monthly crawl history report, combined with our Site Performance report, is a great way to see how changes made over time are improving a site overall.
Alexis Grant: Editor of the Brazen Life Blog; Blogging at AlexisGrant.com
Rapportive's MailChimp integration with my Gmail helps me see what emails readers have opened, which ebooks they've bought, which webinars they've attended - and all of that information helps me grow my newsletter community and sell more guides and courses. It's definitely a social tool that's worth paying attention to, especially if you're in the ecommerce business.
Viktar Khamianok, CEO of Link-Assistant.Com
I'm really excited with BuzzBundle, its functionality, progress and customer feedback. BuzzBundle is a new tool, we released it in November 2012 in beta, and since then we've gradually updated it with advanced features for efficient social media management, reputation monitoring and combining SEO and social.
To date, BuzzBundle is integrated with the broadest range of social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, thousands of blogs and forums. It is the only small business class social media tool to allow updating not only Google+ biz pages, but personal Google+ profiles as well. If you're looking for a multi-functional social media management app, the recently-out BuzzBundle is your best bet. You can download BuzzBundle for free from our official website.
Tyler Shannon: Brand manager for TechWyse
As Facebook advertising continues to grow, the need to expedite ad creation and deployment will, too. I have been focusing my attention on the recent push in new Facebook advertising options, specifically promoted posts that target the newsfeed. Since Facebook does not allow more than 20% text in Promoted Post images and guessing just isn't an option for a busy advertiser, my company created a unique tool that allows page managers and advertisers to easily determine whether their image for a promoted post meet Facebook's text policy guidelines.
Our Facebook Image Text Detection Tool is a fast, easy way to check your images to ensure that they meet Facebook's guidelines. We had developed this originally for internal use, however recently opened it up to other agencies and the public. No longer will page managers and advertisers need to keep their fingers crossed, worrying about whether or not their promoted post will be approved! Insuring your promoted post meets guidelines helps speed up development times and ensures campaigns do not get delayed by disapprovals.
Check out our innovative tool on the Chrome App Store!
Scott Langdon: Managing Partner for Highervisibility
The tool that we seem to be using more of is Panguin Tool from Barracuda. We have clients joining nearly every day that have had issues with Google updates. Sometimes they have had a bad experience with another firm and other times it is something that the client has done on their end. This tool will access a client's Google analytics account and match up visitor patterns with specific algorithm changes (Panda, Penguin, and Other). It saves us some time diagnosing which change most likely impacted their website so that we can quickly reference that update and develop our plan of attack on fixing their issues. We get excited about any tool that can save us time on diagnosing issues so that we can spend more time increasing the search rankings for our clients!
Have you tried any of the tools these experts are excited to use? Let us know your experience or teach us about another tool that you're excited to use in 2013.