A Google search yields pages and pages of results — and sifting through them all seems like a fool’s errand. Having scaled various peaks of content marketing ourselves, we’ve experimented with countless web tools and apps that have promised to help us with everything from grammar to advertising to optimization. After quite a bit of trial and error, we’ve narrowed down the list to our top ten favorites.
Moz Open Site Explorer is one of our favorite tools for researching inbound links, domain authority and other linking data that surrounds our sites — helping us to keep track of our online influence. We primarily use Moz to research other websites that have backlinked (inbound links) to our sites. The more backlinks our sites receive, the higher domain and page authority they accrue. Because domain authority hinges partially on how many sites link back to your own website, these numbers are extremely helpful to track your success.
Edgar is our go-to social media scheduling and posting tool. Manually posting content across all your social media platforms is exceedingly time-consuming and unnecessary, so we use Edgar to schedule our posts days, weeks and even months in advance. Edgar allows us to sort our content into specific categories and to post on our preferred social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Edgar boasts a social media schedule within, which enables it to pull your content from designated categories and post them at your scheduled times. One small drawback: Edgar doesn’t (yet) let you pre-schedule within-event Facebook posts, so we use TinyTorch for that.
The Hemingway App is a great tool to help you hit the mark with your content. The app assesses your writing by highlighting text in various colors to denote different grammar, word choice and sentence structure errors. Hemingway also grades your writing on a “readability scale,” meaning it shows you what education level your audience will need to understand your text. Follow Hemingway’s lead, and watch your writing become more clear and concise for your audience over time.
SERPs is our favorite tool for SEO and keyword research — letting you search and track “high-value” keywords across multiple search engines. It does so by sorting through over a billion terms and populates keyword lists based on search volume, estimated CPC and value scores. Another cool function is keyword trend tracking in which SERPs automatically corrects for daily fluctuations that could be misinterpreted as trends themselves.
For quick photo editing projects that don’t quite require heavy artillery (such as Photoshop), we really like using Canva. The site offers a broad library of templates (both free and for purchase) that make designing and formatting images easy — particularly for social media. One Canva feature we love, Canva for Work, allows you to tailor templates to your brand, by uploading brand assets such as colors, fonts and logos for your team to quickly produce on-brand marketing content.
To help analyze and optimize our content promotion on Facebook, we use AdEspresso. You can think of the AdEspresso as an extension of Facebook’s Ads Manager but with more functionality. AdEspresso lets you test your ads in a more flexible and rigorous way than Facebook’s Ad Manager allows, such as launching individual ad sets on their own and auto-optimizing ads based on pre-set if/then rules. A feature that puts it ahead of other tools like it, AdEspresso University offers a searchable library of real-life social media ads and Landing Pages from which you can draw inspiration for your own ads and see what’s working and what’s not in the ads of your competitors.
BuzzSumo is the ideal platform for keeping tabs on the performance of your content while providing quick and actionable guidance on improving your content promotion. The tool also helps you increase viewer engagement with your content by categorizing trending content from the last 24 hours so that you can easily share it across your social media platforms. This Trending tab shows you what types of content are performing well in relation to a specified topic so that you better frame your future original content for your target audience.
To make our copy-editor’s life a lot easier, we choose Grammarly. Grammarly is a web-browser plug-in that corrects your grammar across the various websites that you use. Rather than merely auto-correcting your writing, the app highlights spelling mistakes and syntax errors in red, and offers helpful suggestions for you to either accept or ignore. It also features a contextual spell checker, notifying you if you’ve improperly used a word in a sentence. The only downside: Grammarly’s functionality doesn’t extend to Google Sheets.
CrazyEgg gives you a ton of information on how your web pages are performing and what can be tweaked for higher engagement. One of our favorite features is HeatMap, a detailed visual breakdown of where visitors are spending the most time on your page(s). This gives you valuable insight into which content or page elements your viewers find compelling and whether or not your CTA’s are on point. We use it on a daily basis to see how our viewers are engaging with our blog and which posts our audience prefers.
We use ONTRApages — our very own web page builder — to quickly and easily build every type of webpage we need. From opt-in pages to event pages to content pages, ONTRApages lets you choose from a library of fully functional templates for quick page creation with the option to design a page from scratch. Its performance boosting features are another area where it really shines — allowing you to measure page visits with automatic tracking and split-testing options to optimize your pages for max conversions. Best of all, there’s no code required, meaning you can build beautiful, high-performing pages without hiring a designer or developer.