SES Toronto 2010 Live Blogging: SEO Super Tools

Ian McAnerin, CEO, McAnerin Networks Inc.

Jon Henshaw, Co-Founder & Product Manager, Raven
Constance “Connie” Stack, VP, Sales & Marketing, WordStream
Jeff Jones, Senior Product Manager, gShift Labs

Jon Henshaw  started the talk and went through a long list of SEO super tools. He defines a tool as having multiple features. Here are his picks:

Onsite SEO:

SEO Automatic


SEO Browser

Keyword Research:


Keyword Manager:


Website Research:


Open Site Explorer


Henshaw mentions that MajesticSEO is great for backlink discovery over time,  offers deep, complex views,  and has a strong dashboard.

Research Mashups:


Xinu Returns




Link Management:



Second Step Search


Content Optimization:


Rank Monitoring:

Google Webmaster Tools

Authority Labs

Raven SERP Tracker

Campaign Reporting:


Henshaw says Raven offers research, management and monitoring, and of particular interest to me as an Account Manager, comprehensive, automated reporting neatly presented in a branded PDF!

Next up was Connie Stack, who heads up Sales and Marketing at WordStream:

Connie used her own comnpany as a case study for SEO. She highlighted which tools were used to bring from a PR 0 to a PR 6 in under a year, in an extremely competitive space.  For Wordstream, the most important keyword is keyword!

Stack says content is still king. So, a strong Content Management System is extremely important! Top CMS platforms include WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, but WordStream chose Drupal for its flexibility, platform and UI.
Stack then gets into her choices for SEO Super Tools:

Keyword research and keyword organization: Stack says to use a relational database for keyword management.
Keyword Research:







WordStream free keyword tool

Stack mentions that the problem with automated/free tools  is the results are usually very short tail and don’t include enough mid and long tail results.

Stack then goes on to discuss continuous keyword discovery and optimization, which she says is extremely important. She mentions search query capturing analysis, which informs new keyword categories and content optimization used  internal linking like crazy as an SEO strategy.

Stack suggests the Wordstream SEO plugin for FireFox for content creators –creates keyword themes around topics, and longtail keyword variations to integrate into content while creating.

Stack mentions other SEO tools that are mentioned repeatedly by all speakers: Raven, BuzzStream, Linkscape, Rankchecker, SEO for firefox, and Xenu.

Raven: good for link intelligence, link alerts (broken links, added nofollows)
BuzzStream: good for reputation management
Rank Tracker: good for rankings
SEO Toolbar: from SEO book, good for onsite analysis

The last speaker was Jeff Jones – Product Manager at gShift Labs, an SEO platform startup:

Jeff says Super Tools used should be  based on role: he lists tools for the SEO pro, the Marketing Manager, the Agency and the C level exec.

Jones says the SEO pro wants to increase effectiveness, spend more time doing then reporting, focus on client goals, and serve more clients.

The Marketing Manager may not understand SEO, but understands the need for it, uses analytics for reporting, needs more leads for sales team, and must prove marketing effectivenss to CEO.

Agencies understand SEO, have limited analytics use, want to spend more time doing, focus on client goals, and wants more clients.

The C-level exec is not techy,  wants simple reports telling her that SEO is up or down, nothing more. She’s not involved in process, but want to see progress and she’s key in buying decisions.

Other SEO Super Tool users include developers, IT,  and content creators.

Jeff discusses the difference between individual SEO tools and multi-function tools. He says individual tools do one task well, require the user to go to multiple spots and offer a repeatable process.
Here are Jeff’s tool picks:

KW Research and Analysis:



Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Google and Bing Webmaster Tools

Trellian Keyword Discovery

Competitve Tools:


Yahoo Site Explorer for backlinks

DomainTools for authority and trust

Keyword Positioning Tools include:

Google, Yahoo, Bing



SEOMoz Crawltest

Hubspot Website Grader

Backlink Building Tools:


Yahoo Site Explorer

Analytics Tools:

Google Analytics

Piwik (open source)

Awstats (log analysis)

Integrated Platforms Include:

Raven Tools

gShift labs
eightfold logic

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