Ch. 8 – Your Tools – Critical Thinking

Your Tools


There are tons of tools available for KW research and analytics, many of them free, some a one-time purchase and others a monthly subscription. For those still learning, a free tool is probably the wisest choice, at first, in order to learn what can be accomplished with tools. Then, you’ll be better able to select the tool that best suits your needs.

Much depends on the nature of your work, too. For instance, some sites will require a very granular analysis of referrers while others might be more interested in less detailed data. Many tools do a great job in one area, and fall short of the mark in another.

That’s why many SEOs will have a number of different tools that they draw upon, depending upon what their immediate goals are. I know several that use a handful of tools on each site audit, in order to extract the information they want. Others may stick with nothing more than Google Search Console and an Excel spreadsheet to drill down to the necessary level.

Unfortunately, the majority of the tools out there have a lot in common. In fact, some are nothing more than copies of others, offering nothing new. Most of us will go through a long array of tools before we finally settle on a collection that we feel comfortable relying upon.

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Ch. 7 – Foreseeing the Future – Critical Thinking

Foreseeing the Future


For as long as man has been around, he’s had the desire to see into the future, but after centuries of failure, seems to have finally accepted its impossibility (except for a few fringe-riders, anyway). Still, there are ways to foresee possibilities and probabilities, and those that do so successfully often reap significant benefits.

One way this can pay off for those of us in the SEO/IM fields is in future-proofing our sites. That may sound difficult, but it’s actually quite a lot easier than picking a winner at the track.

I look upon future-proofing as having two facets. One is not using any techniques that may have a negative backlash in the future, and the other is being an early adopter of techniques that have (or will have) a positive effect in the future.

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Client Relationships: When the Honeymoon’s Over

We’ve all had clients that try our patience – different personalities, cultural differences, an unwillingness to listen to our advice… these are normal issues that professional consultants have to deal with. But sometimes, a client relationship can become a liability. That’s when we have to take a tough look at the situation and decide what, if anything, can be done to salvage it.

Like a marriage, a client relationship involves a number of aspects that determine how successful the union will be. Let’s examine some of the extreme similarities, and compare how our reactions might or might not differ.

client-woesThe Cheat

  • Your sweetheart is seeing someone else behind your back, because you’re not paying them enough attention.
    Result: You end up contracting a second-hand STD.
  • Your client has hired an off-shore link-builder “to help” rank their site, in spite of you having explained the dangers of exactly the sort of links they end up buying.
    Result: The site receives a manual penalty and loses 70% of its traffic.

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