Tools We Use
Here at Pearl Lemon we are digital to the core, so the fact that we make use of the best software tools available to help us in everything we do should come as no surprise. Here is a look at those we use on an ongoing, daily basis that we can throughly recommend.
Technical SEO Tools
We bolster our extensive SEO knowledge with the data and insights that can be obtained by making use of some excellent SEO tools. However, when it comes to SEO tools are just tools, what’s important is how we use them, and that’s what sets Pearl Lemon apart.
SEM Rush is at the heart of all our SEO campaigns, both for our clients and for our own web properties. It is one of the most comprehensive suites of SEO tools you can buy and offers a wealth of insights in a single interface. We use it to manage client SEO campaigns and it’s one of the SEO tools we make use of most frequently. SEM Rush offers actionable data on almost everything you need to know about an SEO campaign and is a fantastic keyword research tool.
SEM Rush is more than just an SEO tool though. There is a lively community behind it and its blogs and webinars offer tons of great information and discussion about all things SEO. Deepak (our founder) has even appeared in several SEM Rush webinars and roundtable discussions.
AHREFS is our tool of choice for tracking everything to do with links. Backlinks are the one major positive ranking factor that has remained a constant in the fifteen plus years that SEO has been a recognized way to increase a website’s visibility in search, so understanding everything about them is a must.
We love AHREFS not only for the sheer volume of useful information it provides us with but also the fact that the dashboard interface makes understanding – and communicating – all that data a cinch.
A successful SEO campaign is never static, and it never ends. Understanding where a site is ranking for a given keyword or keyphrase at all times is a must and we use SE Ranking to give us a 24/7 360 degree picture of all that and more.
Having this information in real-time lets us see immediately if something is not working, allowing us to make immediate adjustments to ensure that our clients SEO campaigns are as successful as possible.
Targeting the right keywords is a must in order for any SEO campaign to be effective. Keywords Everywhere is a lightweight browser extension – available for Chrome and Firefox – that saves us a ton of research time.
Keywords Everywhere ‘follows’ you wherever you go on the Internet and offers instant insights into the keywords used on pages across the web. It’s an excellent tool for e-commerce SEO and for finding those ‘quick win’ keywords that can kickstart a brand new SEO campaign so effectively.
Moz is the granddaddy of SEO tools. We make use of it to help us find onsite SEO errors that other less comprehensive tools might have missed – Moz offers a LOT of information – and to get the definitive information on domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA). We say definitive, as these very helpful metrics were created by Moz, so theirs is the last word.
Recently the platform also added a specific and very comprehensive local market ranking tool, something we are finding very useful to help us get a clearer picture of how the local SEO campaigns we conduct for some clients are performing.
We use Buzzsumo as part of our content research process. The platform allows us to to see what was being discussed around a particular topic across the Internet as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google.
We use this information to help us determine the topics and tone of content that would resonate best with the target audience the content should reach as well as the best keywords and titles to incorporate into the content.
Serpstat is another excellent SEO software suite that offers a wide range of features. We use it in conjunction with other softwares to get more information on specific rankings and additional search and keyword insights.
Because Nightwatch offers great rank checking data that is easy to create straightforward reports from we make use of it as an extra data point and a way to help convey where they stand in terms of keyword rankings to clients who are very new to the concept of SEO as the reports the interface produces are very easy to understand.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, only its parent company Google’s has more reach. This means that we do a lot of YouTube marketing and that marketing includes making sure that every video posted is as YouTube SEO friendly as it is entertaining. TubeBuddy is a very comprehensive tool that helps us do that faster and more efficiently.
Customer experience, and the customer journey, is a large part of the success of any website’s conversion process. Hotjar is a conversion rate optimization solution, and we use it to help us better understand how visitors engage with, and interact with, a certain website.
We love this tool because it includes heatmaps, and full site recordings as well as tools that allows you to ask your visitors questions about their experience to better understand why they may be leaving, or why they aren’t following the path you hope they would.
Two of the core elements of the Pearl lemon approach are transparency and communication. We make use of several great tools that help us do both of these better.
Keeping in touch with our clients, and keeping them informed of what’s going on with their SEO campaigns at all times is one of the important things that sets Pearl Lemon apart from other SEO agencies. And because phone calls and emails not only eat up everyone’s time but are also easily missed ,we rely on the real time communication that Slack offers to keep in touch with.
With Slack we can be more productive and get work done faster and more efficiently without sacrificing the quality of the communication we promise to our clients.
SEO can be complicated. Who are we kidding. SEO is complicated. This means that Pearl Lemon team members often have to explain some sometimes complex concepts, to both other team members internally and to clients, and video is often the most efficient and easily understood way to do that.
As Loom is a browser-based video creation add on that can be activated in seconds we use it a lot, both to explain things to one another and to clients. Making use of it even lets us know when people have watched a video, eliminating the need to make a call or send a message asking if they have.
YOU CAN BOOK ME
To manage appointments, we use You Can Book Me, which is a scheduling software. It syncs with your own availability on your cloud-based calendar, bookings from clients go straight in your calendar, while personalized email and SMS notifications with programmable triggers and delays keep everyone on the same page.
This clever little software helps us make sure that it’s as easy for customers and prospects to make appointments as it is for us to keep track of them.
We use of Trello to keep track of our internal workflow. Trello is about as straightforward as it gets. The premise is simple: team members belong to boards (projects) which are populated with cards (tasks/subtasks). But as simple as Trello is, it comes with a surprising number of interesting and practical features that help our teams stay on top of their work and make sure that everything gets done.
We use YouTube for lots of things. We create informational videos, case studies, explainer videos and more. Although you can use more complicated software to do this and then post the results on YouTube we find that working in YouTube directly is more efficient and just as effective.
Consumers want more than just a contact form as a point of website contact, which is where chatbots come in. Chatbots can only do so much though, and Drift, as one of the only ‘conversational’ chat tools on the market is a ‘smarter’ alternative we make use of across all our own sites and encourage our clients to do the same. In fact, you’ll see the Drift chatbox in the corner of every page, including this one.
WP Forms offers an easy and intuitive way to add all kinds of forms to a WordPress website. We make use of it across all our WordPress web properties and usually recommend that clients whose sites are powered by the WordPress CMS do too. Creating forms is a simple drag-and-drop process and the shortcode generated can be used across all the posts and pages of a site.
Pop ups are still an effective way to engage audiences and encourage them to follow your calls to action. Changes to the way Google views pop ups especially on mobile, has made them more complicated to use. Poptin allows us to create SEO friendly pop ups that work, making it a very useful tool for boosting conversions without damaging SEO
Practical and Productivity Tools
Knowledge and creativity are hallmarks of the Pearl Lemon brand. These are some tools we use to help us make the most of the talents we have and enhance them even further.
There are a lot of content management systems out there and we can work in them all according to client needs. However, we make use of WordPress for our own sites as it is, we have found, the most flexible, economical and efficient choice.
Thanks to the huge WordPress plugin repository you can almost anything within WordPress and create and manage a website that is as simple, or as complex, as you choose to make it. WordPress is also extremely SEO friendly ‘out of the box’, making any SEO campaigns conducted even more effective and efficient.
Collaboration is the key to everything we do. Google Docs makes it easy, whether we are brainstorming ideas, sharing data or creating written content like this. Google Docs allows our teams to work together even when they are thousands of miles apart and all that work is stored securely in the cloud, so it never gets lost or forgotten!
Google Docs are wonderful, but they have some annoying limitations, especially when it comes to transferring large volumes of content filled with images and multimedia. It can take hours. Word Pigeon is a little piece of software that solves that problem and allows us to transfer even the longest, media filled pieces on content – just like this page – with just a few clicks of a mouse. It saves our content writers hours and hours a week and it is fast becoming one of our favourite SAAS purchases of 2019.
Spelling and grammar matter, both to human readers and, believe it or not to search bots too, especially now the BERT algorithm is making them so much smarter. We use Grammarly to check our work and avoid making the kinds of silly mistakes that can ruin an otherwise great piece of work.
Not only do we use Copyscape to ensure that all of Pearl Lemon’s content is 100% original but we also make use of it to protect our own content from theft, a problem that is more prevalent than some people realize. We also make use of this useful SAAS tool ensure that existing content on client sites is also 100% unique.
We use Evernote for both internal and external communications and as another collaborative tool for content creation. As it is especially mobile friendly, it is excellent for collaboration when everyone is on the go.
Search engine results are increasingly localized. As Pearl Lemon serves clients all over the world, in order for our SEO campaigns to be effective we need to see localized search results. A VPN allows us to do this, and we find that VPN Unlimited offers the most reliable connections and the best speeds. They also offer excellent unlimited plans that mean that everyone on the team sees the same results and can all stay on the same page.
Ongoing Education, Team Building and Personal Growth
SEO is ever changing, which means we need to keep learning. But that’s not all we do. Our team culture encourages every member to keep learning about everything, from improving the company culture to enriching their own personal growth. And as a company we use these great tools to help us practice collaborative learning while also growing and educationg ourselves.
Udemy’s tag line says it all; learn anything. There are some great SEO resource courses there but that is far from all Pearl Lemon team members learn via Udemy. They’ve taken courses on everything from business management to stress reduction. Every course can be taken at your own pace and there’s always something new.
Reading is great, but when time is short, it’s hard to do. By making use of the audiobooks offered via Audible Pearl Lemon team members can listen to great books on the go, which is a real boon as we are all very active people!
The Pearl Lemon team love to make every minute as productive as possible, so we were delighted to discover Blinkist. Blinkist summarizes books in an easy to digest format. It’s not a replacement for reading great books but it is a better way to kill downtime – waiting for a bus, getting stuck in traffic – than scrolling through Facebook. It’s a way to improve your information diet — a smarter “snack” when you’re looking to pass the time.
Know of any more SAAS applications?
Or digital tools we are missing out on? Let us know.