Archives SEO Strategy

10 premium SEO tools that you can try for free (or cheap)

If you don’t do SEO for a living but want to do some major search marketing work with your website, you’re in luck. You don’t need to pay an expensive monthly fee if you need to do one-time research. The following are awesome SEO tools you can use for free or cheap for a limited time to do your search marketing research.

Premium SEO Tools with Free Account Options

First off, let’s start with premium SEO tools that offer free accounts for basic functionality.


MajesticSEO Site Explorer

MajesticSEO is a link research tool that offers a free account option that allows website owners to run detailed reports on their own websites and limited access to the following tools.

  • Site Explorer – Site Explorer lets you explore a domain’s backlinks. It offers a summary of a website’s backlink profile (number of backlnks, referring domains, .edu backlinks, etc.).
  • Keyword Checker – Search our index for a Keyword or Phrase and see how many times it appears, as well as getting the Search Volume for each keyword.
  • Link Profile Fight – Compare the backlink profiles of two sites graphically with our enhanced link profile “fight” tool.
  • Backlink History – Our Backlink History tool allows SEOs to determine the number of backlinks detected by our sophisticated web robots for given domains, subdomains or URLs.
  • Bulk Backlink Checker – Our Bulk Backlink Checker is a valuable time saver when all you want is backlink counts for many domains. Using the simple form, just enter a few domains and we return the external backlink counts.
  • Majestic Million – The top one Million Domains* on the internet – listed by TLD and updated frequently. Explore the top one Million Domains* on the internet with the Majestic Million tool.
  • Comparator – Compare headline stats for up to 5 different domains with the site comparator tool.
  • Neighborhood Checker – The Majestic SEO Neighbourhood checker tool presents a list of “neighbours” – or, in technical terms, the sites hosted on the same IP.

They also offer a tool called Clique Hunter that can find all of the ‘cliques’ that link to a list of domains, but it is for paid subscribers only. Paid subscriptions start at $49 per month.

Premium SEO Tools with Free Trials

Next, let’s look at services that give you a free trial to use their tools. These are in order of the tools that offer the longest to shortest free trial periods.

Social Media Strategy

How to Beat Facebook EdgeRank and Never Miss Your Favorite Updates

By now, you’ve all heard about Facebook EdgeRank. For those who haven’t, it is Facebook’s algorithm to determine what status updates are displayed in each user’s newsfeed.

Blogging Strategy

Premium WordPress Themes – What Do People Buy & Why

Last year, I wrote a huge comparison post on Thesis vs Genesis from DIYThemes and StudioPress. It’s been almost a year, and I thought I would share some stats of what people decided to buy after reading the post. Here are the results.

Number of Clicks


Here, you can see that the number of clicks to the StudioPress (Genesis) website is almost equal to the number of clicks to the DIYThemes (Thesis) website from both the post and the buttons on the sidebar.

Number of Sales


But when it comes to sales, StudioPress is the clear winner with 109 out of 124 sales. DIYThemes only received 15 sales.

Archives Blogging Strategy

3 Forums with CommentLuv-Like Functionality

One of the ways that I promote my most important blog posts, like my massive post on 40+ Tips on How to Become a Social Media Rockstar, is through commenting on blogs enabled with CommentLuv.

There are a ton of awesome lists of CommentLuv enabled blogs out there. But what about forums?

Sure, you might be thinking CommentLuv only works on WordPress, so how can there be CommentLuv enabled forums?

Archives Blogging Strategy

How to Set Up Blog Comments as Goals in Google Analytics Using WordPress Hacks

Google Analytics WordPress Hacks As many of you know, I love writing about Google Analytics. I’m a data junkie, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than learning more about the visitors coming to my blog. One of the best ways to get actionable data out of your Google Analytics is to set up goals.

Setting up a goal in Google Analytics tells it that someone has completed something important on your website, such as buying product, signing up to your email list, or similar. For those who aren’t interested in selling products or capturing mailing list subscribers, is there anything else you can count as a goal on your blog? Absolutely – you can start with your comments!

What You Can Learn from Setting Up Blog Comments as Goals

Here are a few things you can learn from setting up comment form submissions as goals in Google Analytics.

  • Discover what referral sites are sending the most commenters. This will let you know what social media sites, guest blog posts, or other referrers are sending traffic that not only reads your posts, but also gets engaged. On the flip side, if you are getting a lot of spam, you might discover the sites sending spam traffic to your blog. This could lead you to finding lists that are sending you nothing but spam and, if that is the case, you can ask them to remove your blog from their list.
  • Learn the difference between commenters and regular traffic. On my blog, one interesting tidbit is the average time on site for regular visitors is 1:23 vs the average time on site for commenters is 10:31! A good reason to encourage comments!
  • Find out what content on your blog your most engaged audience enjoys so you can produce more of it.
  • See what part of the world your commenters are coming from. If you are targeting a specific region, but your commenters are coming from somewhere else, you might want to look into the reasons why.

So now that you know just a few reasons to set up comments as goals, let’s look at the ways you can set up your WordPress and Google Analytics to track your blog comments as goals.

Blogging Reviews Strategy

Thesis vs Genesis – Comparing Premium WordPress Themes

Over the Labor Day weekend, I had the pleasure of working on my first website using the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. I say pleasure because it happened to be my husband’s new photography site, and it was the first theme he’s chosen that didn’t lead me to using a string of obscenities that might actually shock people who regularly watch HBO.

JH Photography

His previous choices of themes have included several from ThemeForest, and I must say that while they did have beautiful designs, they also had some of the worst set of installation and setup instructions I have ever seen. These led to the previously mentioned string of obscenities, but I digress.

One thing I found very exciting about working on his site was that I got to know the Genesis Framework a bit better. I have seen a lot of well-known bloggers make the switch from Thesis to Genesis since it was released, so I have been curious what the fuss is about.

Thesis vs Genesis

Over the last few months, I’ve been asked what I thought of both themes, and now that I’ve had a bit of experience with both, I thought I’d share the head-to-head comparison of both frameworks.