Plenty of bloggers are talking about the inevitable intersection of social media marketing and search engine optimization. Heck, we’ve been blogging about SMO since 2006! Keyword optimized social content and channels of promotion provide abundant signals to search engines for improved visibility on standard, social and real-time search.
The changing nature of social media marketing and optimization create the need for tools whether for research, marketing and promotion or analytics. Here are social media and SEO tools you might find useful:
- howsociable.com – Social visibility score
- knowem.com – Profile building tool
- Social Media for Firefox – Build a powerful social profile on social news & bookmarking sites
- semrush.com – Find competitor organic search rankings
- Google Insights – Keyword demand trends
- Page Inlink Analyzer – Analyze inbound links, their Delicious bookmarks & keyword tags
- majesticseo.com – Historical back-link tracking
- socialmention.com – Real-time social search & scoring, social keyword research
- bit.ly – Search friendly URL shortening with analytics
- analytics.postrank.com – Track social engagement with combined Google & social analytics
Below are screen shots of each tool with a more detailed description of how you might use them.
HowSociable is a useful tool to quickly gauge the social presence of a particular keyword or brand name. Agencies like TopRank Marketing will use this kind of tool (customized) to take snapshots of customer social presence metrics for social media optimization programs. For each social site polled, you can clickthrough to see specific mentions. This is a characteristic of more advanced social media monitoring tools, but for those that want a quick glimpse, HowSocialble is easy to use and the price is right, just like these free social media monitoring tools. However, if you want more comprehensive brand search and monitoring, then a paid social media measurement tool is worth the investment.
KnowEm is both a free and a paid service that will help you easily and quickly check whether your brand terms or other keywords have been registered as social profiles on a wide variety of social media web sites. Everything from blogging platforms to social news and bookmarking services are included. If you don’t want to complete all those profiles yourself, you can pay knowem to do it for you. Companies invest a lot in building their brand, so this tool is helpful both for creating off site promotion channels as well as guarding against brand name squatters.
Social Media for Firefox is the only browser addon in our list and can be a handy tool to identify upcoming news items that are gaining popularity on certain social news and bookmarking services. A big part of building a more influential user profile is to be a consistent source of submissions for articles that become popular. This addon helps identify articles that are becoming popular on services like Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon giving you a heads up to submit to other services. The logic is that if a news item becomes popular on one service it has a good chance of becoming popular on others. Relevance, timing and focus are key as is patience for this kind of tactic.
SEMRush is an interesting tool for identifying the keyword visibility, both organic and PPC, on Google for pretty much any domain name you might be curious about. Your own or competitors for example. A common question for marketers is, “What are my competitors optimizing for?”. This tool helps uncover that insight and in combination with other standard and social keyword research, can be very helpful insight in a social media optimization program.
Google Insights for Search is a handy tool to research trends in popularity of various keywords on their own or in combination. Filters for search type, geographic location, industry or topical category and timeframe allow you to refine some pretty useful information about what’s in demand.
Eric Miraglia ‘s Inlink Analyzer is a back link analysis tool based on Yahoo’s Site Explorer that not only counts and displays source links to a particular URL, but it also shows if the source links were bookmarked on Delicious and what keyword tags were used. This kind of insight can be quite useful for understanding the relationship between social keywords and link popularity. It would be nice if there was a CSV export option.
Majestic SEO is easily one of the most powerful and useful link analysis tools available. There is a free version that gives you link acquisition counts over time and if you are a site owner, you can get full reporting for your site once you validate it. If you use the paid service, you can get the juicy link details on your competition. This tools is useful for finding high impact links for standard SEO but it’s also useful for finding out which social media sites your site or competitors’ site are getting the most links from. Also, which of your own social destinations (blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc) are getting inbound links and from where.
SocialMention is a free real time and social search tool that offers an array of search options (just blogs, just forums, just bookmarks or all) and output in the search results. You can get an indication of basic sentiment and the top social keywords associated with your query. As a free service, you don’t setup an account and save your search results, but you can easily download them into a spreadsheet. This is probably one of the most useful, free social search tools online.
Bit.ly URL shortening is very handy since they’re included as a default service on Twitter and many other Twitter applications. Bit.ly is rock solid reliable with uptime, which is pretty critical when you’re relying on their URL redirect to send traffic to whatever it is you’re promoting. You can also get basic statistics for each URL that your shorten to show how productive the site is where it was shared. In today’s succinct social web with Twitter, status updates and micro-content, being able to conserve space with a reliable URL shortener is very helpful. Stats on top of that make this a “go to” URL shortening service.
PostRank offers a nice measure of engagement at the individual document level and if you pay attention, you can get that data on any web site in their database, not just your own. You can easily see what content on your competitors blogs are getting popular and where. If you sign up for the PostRank Analytics service, you can incorporate Google Analytics data with social engagement metrics. These are essential comparisons in a social media optimization program and can help you understand where to plan your time on the social web.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO and Social Media Marketing tools. What low cost or free tools have you found to be effective for social media optimization tasks?
Johan A Kruger says
Thank you this is a great list. I especially like howsociable.com. It kind of blew me away…
Personally I want tools that load online without requiring browser addons, extensions, toolbars, or downloads. That way I can continue to refrain from adding potential security holes to my personal computer. For example, Firefox always includes a disclaimer that tells users to only use addons from developers that they can trust.
I appreciate that Ann and that's why only ONE of the 11 tools mentioned in the list above is a an add-on.
Extreme John says
I would have to say I agree with Johan on this one, howsociable.com is pretty sweet. Now off to re-check out a few of the others to see which ones work best for me.
Fedtech, Inc. says
Very helpful article and resources – I've been looking into them already and they're great! Thanks for the great read.
Please stop calling it Social Media Optimization. Check out my blog post on the topic http://ow.ly/1gzxm. It should be natural and not contrived.
Hey Brad, you do realize that the term social media optimization pre-dates the post by Brian Solis by about 4 years, no? Aug 17 2006: http://bit.ly/9A6uSO
I don't care what you call it. Thanks for aggregating some good tools. The demystification continues!
Good post , especially the howsociable.com is good find. Keep it up as usual.
very effective blog post thank you
Brad Barker says
Lee, I am well aware of the history of the term. His post just caught my eye because of the relevance to SEO. Just because it has been around for a while doesn't mean I have to use it or even like it.
Of course, that's true with anything. Search engine optimization for example, is a misnomer because it's not search engines that are being optimized, it's web pages (or other digital assets). Oops, more jargon to dislike. 🙂
a very good post with so much good tools. thanks tom
Great post, and useful tools.
I was wondering if anyone else found SocialMention to be pretty inaccurate? I participate in a weekly Gen-Y professional chat (#u30Pro) and there are hundreds of posts of in the hour-long chat. After a recent chat, I went to SocialMention, and it said that the term had only been referenced something like 80 time in the previous hour, being off by probably 500-1000 tweets. I know that I personally had 30+ tweets with that hashtag, and it had only show me using it about 5 times…
Just wondering if anyone else had seen this.
Josh, I agree that socialmention isn't going to be as accurate as something like Radian6, SM2 or even Trackur, but for the price, it's still the most useful search of its kind. I would never use it for social media monitoring, mostly for social keyword research.
Very true. I wasn't expecting it to be nearly as accurate as Radian6 or ScoutLabs, but I figured it would at least be somewhat accurate.
Some free ones I've enjoyed are: Twitalyzer and OneRiot. Again, neither will replace Scout Labs for me, but for freeware, they were pretty decent.
Thanks for the response.
Joe Ruiz says
We also found problems with Socialmention we are using Howsociable index but the rest of keywords etc from Socialmention. Also found http://www.samepoint.com/
generates a great deal of volume but unfortunately stats are all but impossible unless done manually
Hey Joe, here is a list of social search engines we reviewed last year that might be useful: http://bit.ly/cTv4Vj
Love how sociable!!!! I use it to show my clients how much they are lacking in the social media world!Greg
Barbra Gago says
Just wanted to Add SEO Quake, a Firefox plugin that incorporates some of these tools in one. Social searches, seo, page rank, etc. I find it useful. Can be annoying though cause there is a frame that always appears.
Thanks Barbra, I was trying to avoid plugins but I agree SEO Quake is useful. BTW, I was just reading your posts on personas and content mapping. Well done!
Great blog with many great ideas, I also like http://www.filtrbox.com/twitter.htm which lets you check your twitter influence
Sweet! I always like posts with nice clear screenshots. I've used Bit.ly and Google Insights for a while, but I hadn't come across Trackur yet. I'll give HowSociable a few tries too.
It's a really good list! Worth trying them, althought the free ones tend to be less reliable.
Thanks Daniela. I agree free tools can often be less reliable or accurate, but most of the free tools in this list are the freemium versions of paid services. That type of free tool as part of a sales offering is often much more reliable and accurate than a pet project.
Audeliz Angie Perez says
Free is suppose to be juciy enough to get one buy premium services. So many people get by on free versions of the above mentioned services and even make SEO decisions on limited reporting, which is the scary part. For many SBOs, deciding on what to invest in is sometimes a challenge, especially if he or she is attempting DIY SEO.
Better to have some reporting than none at all at the end of the day!
Bit.ly looks good to be tried.
Great list of tools. Google Insight is a tool we use a lot to see research keyword trends.
Interesting list, you've gathered up a lot of useful information. For further info on the use of social media and social media marketing and PR this might be useful: http://contemporarypr.blogspot.com/2010/02/soci…
As others have said this is a very helpful collection of sm tools and these many comments and remarks have also been insightful. Meaty post! Even to find what does or does not work for our strategies is valuable. Thanks!
Rob Buti says
The only tool I’ve never used was HowSociable, it is cool but it would be nice if it worked for smaller brands.
Just starting out, and felt I had learned quite a lot already, but see several tools, I haven't yet used… back to work I go.
HitsLink is my favorite for tracking referrals and overall traffic & conversions. Not free, but reasonable at $39/month.
Google Analytics does all of those things and it is free 🙂
This is great information! For just basic back link checks I use Yahoo Site Explorer. But these are great sites when more analytics are needed.
Blayne Beacham says
This was really cool. I learned about your site yesterday at the leading RE conference. I love all the tools 🙂
What’s your favorite one that you use all the time?
Top tools for me are WordPress, Email, Twitter, Facebook and of course Google.
All the TECHNICAL INFO is very simply yet promptly put.
Must read for people who have the notion that SEO can just be done by Tecchies:)
Claudia Guzman says
Great post! Thanks for sharing social medial tools you know. It seems like more and more tools are coming out for social media. I could only say that the phenomena continues! Thanks.
Bala sundaram says
Great list of collection.. I will follow and implement in my work.. Thanks for the useful list..
seo for home builders says
i think it is so great site for seo, and so many tool which is help for any one, i like it.
Really informative article. Didn't know a few of these even existed.
Howsociable.com is what am gonna try out next.
Very handy tools but i think Google Analytics is best if we compare it with all other tools, anyways its my personal experience. I really enjoyed postes on this blog.
Tessa Carroll says
Thanks for this list, Lee! Even if you are a staunch user of Google Analytics or any other SEO measurement tool, it's always interesting to explore what's new. You never know what you might find that could be supplemental to the tools you already use.
I, for one, can't wait to give some of these a try.
BW Marketing & Design says
Thanks for posting these are very useful SEO tools. I really like the new Google insights for search. Here is a link to some additional handy tools that are right in your browser:
Create a Website says
Thanks for this post Lee 🙂
On my personal experience i think Google Analytics is best because didn't know a few of these even existed. 😉
Rudi Shumpert says
One of the best, Twitalyzer (also free) is missing. Have you looked at that?
Erwin Hendriks says
Hi Lee and all other visitors of TopRankBlog,
Could you please review my new social media monitoring tool. I have just released the first BETA version of this free social media monitoring service. This free SMM / SEO tool will crawl the top 20 social media websites for your URL exposure and will make an online profile. Although I hope you just want to review it, it could be good for SEO too as it contains a backlink to your website .
Please testdrive it yourself at http://www.socialwebsiteanalyzer.com
Thanks in advance and please reply me your thoughts, desired features, add-ons. I want to add more features to this free tool.
Erwin Hendriks says
Thanks Wristmarketing! Let me know if you know some nice add-on features for this tool.
I just used it to check for mentions of my jewellery site, http://www.didihandmadejewellery.co.uk and found it very comprehensive. It also told me I need to promote it on more sites! But not today. Today I am working on my market report on using social networking sites for marketing. I should practise what I preach.
Thank you for this post, great value.
Custom Lanyards says
This is a great post. I've been frequenting social media sites, for personal and businesses use, for several years now and it never occurred to me to actually pay attention to the numbers associated with these sites. I will bookmark several of these sites right away. Thanks!
Cool tools !
Thank you !
I love bitly and also use SEOBook to track backlinks as it sits handily on my firfox browser toolbar.
Really useful post. Bookmarked.
just have a look
very good article
thanks for the nice information
Antti Aapakari says
Great overview and insight on some very useful tools. Thank you for sharing.
Antti Aapakari says
Great overview and insight on some very useful tools. Thank you for sharing.
I just discovered your blog through Adam Vincenzini's 40 tools:)
Really useful post thank you! It will be of great help!
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great practical post – thank you!
this is a nice list , i just want to say thanks for this , i have a blog http://social-catalog.com for which i want stuffs like that .