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It is no longer debatable that SEO plays a major role in the success story of a modern company. This is doubly true for Digital Agencies. The question has always been, what is the best way to distinguish your brand voice and provide value to your clients in an over-crowded marketplace?

Do you go with interruption marketing (outbound) to secure new leads and shout with the loudest bullhorn hoping for the best? Or do you go the permission route (inbound marketing) where you position yourself to be found by a smaller audience and tailor your message to specific needs?

These questions are valid if you are interested in generating new leads and there are a plethora of tools that help frame your conversation with a prospect…

  • Subscription-based email marketing

  • Content/blog marketing

  • Keyword targeting

  • Social media/brand awareness

  • Landing page implementation

  • Webinars

...And a few more which we will explore further in this article.

Any route you take, or whichever tool(s) you decide to use, the end results are the same. Prospects are interested in how you can help their bottom line — right now. You need to be able to demonstrate your prowess through in-depth research and analysis in such a way that will make hiring your agency less like a leap of faith and more like a sound business decision.

Let us introduce some audit tools we at Greenstone Media use and highly recommend.

1. SEMRush

SEMRush provides you with several SEO auditing tools that will help you not only to monitor important data for your existing clients, but will also help to generate new clients and retain them. They offer:

  • Keyword Research: This is immensely useful in uncovering which keyword phrases your prospects are likely to use in Google or other search engines. Not only that, they also track keyword strategy used by your competition.

  • SERP Monitoring: Google’s unique algorithm determines how different listings are ranked in the SERP. Utilizing SEMRush, you can monitor current positioning on various keywords and keyword phrases. Also, it is no longer enough to occupy the top 10 in the SERP, you now need to know what SERP Feature keywords are stealing eyeballs from you. SEMRush recently introduced a new tool called Position Tracking which does exactly that for you.

  • Ongoing SEO Reporting: SEMRush also generates continuous SEO reports and analysis for you on the fly. They analyze your competitors’ best keywords, help you discover new organic competitors and observe position changes of domains among other things.

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a predominantly data-driven company which boasts the second-most active web crawler after Googlebot. Among many other awesome stuff, they can help your agency do:

  • Backlink Tracking: Analyze and process backlink profiles and discover new link opportunities.

  • Competitor Analysis: They offer a feature called Content Gap which helps you find the keywords your competitors and clients rank for. This is extremely useful especially, for instance,  if you take all the keywords your competitor ranks for and subtract the keywords that your own website ranks for. What you’ll get is a list of keywords that you should be targeting.

  • Domain Authority: Ahrefs provides you with a great metric for picking websites to build links from. As a general rule, you need to aim to get backlinks from high-authority websites because they carry more "weight" or “link juice”.

  • Toxic Backlink Audit: The opposite of high Domain Authority links. What if you don't know about backlinks that will actually harm your reputation and subsequently cost you and your clients money. Google penalizes certain links from spammy sources or link farms in order to maintain the integrity of their results.

  • Top Content and Pages: With Ahrefs' Content Explorer, you can discover most popular content for any topic by backlinks, organic traffic and even social shares.

3. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog provides in-depth and innovative SEO and PPC advertising monitoring services.

  • Technical SEO Audit: If done right, a technical SEO audit will not only help you discover the untapped potential of your website, but will also help put your clients in Google's good graces. Screaming Frog gives you all the data you need for your entire website to help with keyword & market research, site migrations and even recovery from penalties like Google Panda and Penguin.

  • Analyze 301 redirects or 404s: With their Bulk Redirect Checker, you can check for changed and broken links on your websites.

  • Indexability: This refers to the ability of search crawlers read a website or page. If this process is hampered in any way, it will hurt SEO. However, with Screaming Frogs flagship product: SEO Spider, this is a cinch. It helps you identify a website's on-page SEO mistakes and offers suggestions.

  • Accessibility: Do you know if search bots are being granted access to a website? What if you are waiting endlessly to show up on search results, while you dont know that search engines don’t even have access to your website? Screaming Frog will let you know what’s going on and how to fix it.

  • Internal Link Structure: Do you know how to structure your internal links? How deeply embedded are your most important pages? How many 404s? Screaming Frog's SEO Spider will help you find out.

4. WooRank

Would you like to evaluate the SEO-friendliness and other aspects of your website on the fly? Then welcome your new best friend: WooRank.

  • Meta data and HTML structure: WooRank  instantly checks every part of your page and evaluates each piece to return an overall SEO score for your website. Keyword density? Mobile friendliness? Are meta titles, meta descriptions, heading tags and other html structures implemented? All these and more are the sort of questions that WooRank provides answers to.

  • Social Presence: WooRank will also help you generate a solid social media plan. They will show you how best to promote your brand across social media channels and also how to optimize your posts to maximize engagement and traffic to your website.

  • Indexability: Can Google find and crawl all of your pages? Is a robots.txt and a sitemap present? WooRank digs deep into your code to make sure there’s nothing standing in the way of your website performance.

  • Marketing Checklist: WooRank developed an in-house tool to automatically generate a comprehensive Marketing Checklist which helps position you for current and latest SEO best practices. It also presents impact and solvability scores for each item so you know what to prioritize.

  • Uptime Monitoring. Guaranteed, downtime occurs, but you can quickly help your clients navigate through a potentially disastrous situation if notified on-time. There are tools that will help you do this easily. Like uptime.com and uptimerobot.com just to mention a few. These tools can provide alerts and notifications in form of SMS and emails within 2-3 minutes that downtime occur. Not just that, they also monitor response time between uptime and downtime.

Try These Tools to Improve SEO Business

In conclusion, this myriad of tools may seem daunting and even overwhelming at first, but once you accept their usefulness and understand how they can help you generate value to your clients, you will see them as necessary a part of your arsenal.