Four tools to build a smarter and more up-to-date in-house marketing team

The SEO community has been fighting with low-quality, outdated and simply incorrect content for ages. How can you educate yourself as well as your team in this abyss of misinformation?

It can be overwhelming to be a new SEO because there’s no way to tell a trustworthy article from a misleading one. In many cases, new SEOs are being guided by outdated advice and get themselves intro trouble.

The other problem is the SEO information overload. There are so many click-baiting articles that keep retelling the same advice again and again. It’s really hard to find really valuable guides these days – it’s usually the same repackaged advice over and over.

Here are four tools that can help solve these problems.

1. Zest

What I’d been usually doing to overcome these two problems was creating my own feed list and only reading what those selected bloggers had to say. There are two problems with that method:

  1. You limit yourself to a certain circle of voices and you are very likely to miss new and exciting ideas from emerging bloggers
  2. The quality of many blogs I added 5 or more years ago have deteriorated

I had pretty much lost hope of finding a decent solution to recommend my team members until I came across Zest.is.

Zest.is is a marketing community of curators, moderators and administrators who select marketing content to only publish the very best of it.

It works through a Google Chrome extension: just have it installed and give it a try. You’ll be impressed by the quality of content there. Every single article is a gem! Katya Rozenoer did a good job describing the Zest content quality assurance process here.

You can:

  • Search and filter content by tags
  • Filter your feed by media types to show only Video or Audio content
  • Sort your feed by most recent, clicked, or shared articles

Furthermore, you can share each and every article you come across there on social media (your followers will be thankful) and even add articles to Slack discussions and Trello boards (I found that option especially useful: Read the rest of the article to get a better idea how this option helps team collaboration).

Zest trello

From now on, I am going to recommend Zest to anyone looking for no-fluff marketing content.

2. Serpstat

I have a confession: I don’t believe in learning without acting/playing. You cannot learn anything by just reading; you need to start implementing that advice into action right away. Therefore I love tools so much that I have spent 80% of my blogging career finding and reviewing SEO tools.

I had started using SEO tools prior to learning what SEO really was, and I still think that’s the only way to go.

There are lots of great SEO tools out there; I won’t overwhelm you here with trying to list all of them. What you really need for your new in-house SEO team is something that:

  • Can help with multiple aspects of SEO process (keywords, backlinks, on-page, competitor research, etc.)
  • Can enable productive co-working and collaboration for your team to work on a project at the same time
  • Isn’t too overwhelming (Your team members should be able to figure it out without additional training, because that’s the point of it)

I’ve tried different tools that satisfy the above criteria, Serpstat being the most recent one.

Serpstat tool

You’ll find their…:

  • Overall toolset pretty huge and comprehensive
  • Their keyword and competitor research tools absolutely awesome. I simply love the selection of keywords I get there as well as the data and filters I can play with.
  • Their on-page report pretty basic but it will work great for newbies because they will be able to see SEO errors in action
  • Their rank tracking and backlink tools quite reliable and well-designed

Overall, it’s a must to have a tool like this to let your in-house SEO team play inside daily.

3. Buzzsumo Trends and Alerts

While Zest will help your team access the highest-quality SEO guides and tutorials, Buzzsumo will help them monitor trends and news.

  • You can set up alerts for common words like “SEO”, “Content marketing”, etc. to get those links delivered to your inbox
  • You can use Buzzsumo’s “Trending” section to see currently hot articles on any topic

Buzzsumo trends

Buzzsumo is using their “Trends score” metric allowing you to spot popular content even before it gets hot.

I wouldn’t offer it to my new team on day one though. They will find too many click-baiting headlines there and will quickly get overwhelmed. Once you have a well-read team who can tell real news from click-bait, it’s time to get up-to-date. That’s when they can start using Buzzsumo Trends.

4. Trello

Finally, it’s important that your team can share links, concepts and ideas in a productive way. Furthermore, it should be encouraged that your team share their findings with each other because it’s in proper communication that true knowledge is born.

I tried using Slack, but somehow the point gets missed in long communication strings there. It’s like a never ending chatroom. Trello is much less entertaining, but it’s much better organized and much more productive.

I like to have a separate Trello board running where all the members can add their must-read URLs as new tasks for anyone else to go through. To keep that list from growing enormous, we keep tasks in the “To read” column for a month before we move them to the archives.

We also keep a separate column for “To-do” items, i.e. articles that inspired some form of action (be it playing in Trello or a quick fix on a company blog). Actionable guides are my favorite articles.

If your team uses Zest for marketing reading, you can add articles to Trello right from your Zest dashboard, which is pretty awesome.

I know Trello is not for everyone. I’ve seen plenty of people who don’t like using it for anything. There are plenty of other productivity tools listed here, so you can pick an alternative.

How do you build an inspired and educated digital marketing team? Please share your resources!

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