SEOs like me tend to use a lot of different tools because they improve efficiency and help us get our jobs done more expediently.
I tend to use a lot of tools and one of my former teammates even when so far as to call me a “tool hog”, so to counter that I wrote a post on the Portent blog with a list of useful SEO and other tools I like to use.
But I don’t just use SEO tools to make my day-to-day SEO tasks easier, there are some SEO tools that I also use to get around common scenarios on the web that are a source of frustration.
I’m going to tell you about 3 of those tools right now, and show you how I use them in the hope that these will also make your life just a little bit easier and less frustrating.
Even a 1% life improvement makes a difference!
Frustration Buster #1
Have you ever found a cool website with a ton of great info and resources, but the navigation just sucks to where it’s frustrating to try and find what you want? And/or there’s just so much information it’s daunting to find the gold amongst the dirt?
Sure, you could just do site:whateverwebsiteyoureon.com “whatever topic here in quotes” and one by one see if you can find the topics you’re interested in.
But that’s not very expedient.
And the fun factor is low.
Let’s make this more fun.
Here’s a real-world example that happened to me recently to illustrate this technique:
I’m a guitar player (I’ve always wanted to play guitar so badly, and I can tell you that dreams really do come true, because I can now play guitar so badly) and one of my favorite musical artists of all time is the unsung (pardon the pun) musical genius of our time, the most famous person you’ve never heard of, The Great Todd Rundgren.
He’s an amazingly creative axe-man, and sometimes his guitar stuff is really hard to figure out by ear.
So lucky me, I found a website where some dude recorded and posted a bunch of videos demonstrating various songs by Todd R, playing them on guitar right before my eyes, and I was blown away and wanted to see more of what this guy posted.
But it was a bit frustrating to navigate and find what I was looking for.
So, Screaming Frog SEO Spider to the rescue!
I crawled the site, exported the crawl, opened in Excel, and whammo! – I could use CTRL+F to search, or sort and filter the columns to my heart’s content, add a little conditional formatting, and boom! I could quickly find the videos I was looking for:
On my own, I never would have figured out that amazing song Fade Away, thanks awesome guitar dude!
You can do the same thing with whatever site you encounter to then quickly get the info you want, and maybe best of all, you can save your Excel file for later so you don’t have to bookmark anything. Save it to a Google Sheet and access it from anywhere you have an internet connection, super convenient!
Let’s keep going.
Frustration Buster #2
Some sites really blast you with ads.
Some sites blast you so hard with ads, it feels like a commando mission trying to read the content – I’m ambushed by pushy popups I must neutralize, sneaky sliders that must be eliminated, and intrusive advertising attacking unexpectedly & materializing out of nowhere pushing the paragraph I’m reading down and out of my sight causing me to take evasive actions – quick!, scroll! scroll!! scroll!!!
I hate that. So intrusive. So frustrating.
So, here’s what I do.
I use this text-only cache bookmarklet I found on the ever-excellent AJ Kohn’s site here, and now the popups and sliders and other enemies of my undisturbed reading don’t even stand a chance.
This bookmarklet is super-cool – drag that puppy up to your bookmarks bar, and at the push of a button you too can enjoy content distraction-free.
Life just got that much better, am I right?
Frustration Buster #3
This is one I learned from the late, great Eric Ward, AKA Link Moses – here is a link to the YouCaring page that Danny Sullivan set up in case you want to help out his family, they’ve reached and slightly exceeded their goal, but you know, every little bit counts.
There are probably times where you, like me, like to open a bunch of SERP listings you found, so maybe you hold down the CTRL button on your keyboard and mouse click, mouse click, mouse click… it’s enough to give someone carpal tunnel syndrome.
There must be a better way!
Yep, there is.
Link Clump Chrome extension to the rescue!
This lovely little Chrome extension, to quote them, “Lets you open, copy or bookmark multiple links at the same time.”
What a time saver!
After you install the extension, just hold down your right mouse button and drag across the SERP listings – here’s a screenshot of what that looks like:
After you let go, all those links will open in new tabs.
SEO tools are great, they help us to be more expedient. But there’s lots of other cool things you can do with them that have nothing to do with SEO audits, recommendations, or client work.
You can use them to make your life 1% better, starting right now, and for free.
What are some cool uses of SEO (or other) tools that you use to make life easier, faster, less frustrating, and just plain better?
Don’t hold out on us! Please share your cool use cases in the comments right now.
David Portney is a published author, an experienced speaker & trainer, and proudly served on the SEMpdx Board as Charity of Choice and then Sponsorship Chair 2013-2014. David started doing SEO as a hobby in 2008 and became a professional SEO in January 2010 working for a Vancouver, WA company which focused on SEO for small businesses. He then moved to enterprise-level SEO work with Portent, Inc. headquartered in Seattle 2 years later. After 3 years with Portent, David now works as SEO Lead for 3Q Digital based in Silicon Valley. Quote: “Yes, I’m very into SEO but let’s call it passion and not obsession, okay?” Follow David on Twitter @dportney.