Jordan, Earned Media Consultant: Pitchbox
Pitchbox is a link building platform. It allows you to find websites and influencers across industries through intuitive keyword research. Top SEO tools are pulled through to the platform such as Moz, Majestic, SEMRush. This means that we can compare metrics and approach the most authoritative publications.
You can set up multiple folders for clients with focussed campaigns. The best part is that you can customise each outreach email to target opportunities, without manual input. You can set up automatic follow-ups for those who haven't responded. This automation saves us a lots of time so we can work on other outreach priorities.
Another great feature is the reporting side of Pitchbox. It allows you to monitor and tweak your outreach emails and subject lines. This ensures you’re always creating the most relevant pitches to journalists and publishers, maximising ROI for your clients.
Brendan, SEO Account Manager: Hemingway Editor App
I'm a big fan of the Hemingway Editor App as an editing partner for copywriting and content creation. Although Hemingway-quality fiction isn't always what we're aiming for as digital content writers, the tool is leagues above Word (for example) in terms of providing useful editorial suggestions.
Not only does the app calculate a readability score, it also uses colour coding to highlight opportunities to shorten, simplify or tweak your writing to add impact.
As someone who's always had a high reading age and a tendency to wax lyrical at the detail level, I'll regularly dispute some of the changes the app suggests to me. Yet, I still find it invaluable for curtailing some of my worst (or less customer-friendly) instincts as a writer.
Emily, Content Marketer: Google Analytics
Google’s Marketing platform is a powerful tool, with more capabilities than I have the space or time to write about here. So I will talk about Analytics very briefly from a content point-of-view.
Often, content marketers will focus too much on planning and production and neglect the measurement and refinement part of the process. This is paramount to getting the best ROI out of your content marketing efforts.
I use Screaming Frog’s crawler with Majestic, Buzzsumo and Google Analytics to audit the performance of content. This helps to prioritise updates, identify what’s working and any content gaps. You can also spot opportunities to boost content by merging or editing pages.
Google Analytics gives you insights into who those visitors are, what they care about and more so that you can target your content effectively.
You can also identify your top landing and exit pages, find out which pages are converting, analyse how people use your site and much more. Armed with this information you can target your ideal customer and guide them through the customer journey to the purchase stage.
Seb, Search Marketing Manager: Screaming Frog
My favourite tool is Screaming Frog. While it looks pretty simplistic on first glance, it's actually one of the most useful and cost-effective tools in an SEO's arsenal. Yes, it can be used to crawl your site and give you a list of pages, redirects and errors, but there's also a lot more to it. Use it to identify a site's structure, create sitemaps, test whether a list of redirects are working, find exactly where any broken links may exist, and more.
Screaming Frog also has integration with Google Analytics and Majestic, meaning you can pull in traffic and link data in an instant. Previously, this took a long time to collate and required strong Excel chops, so this addition is a brilliant time saver for content audits, where gaining this extra detail is really handy to answer more complex questions like whether the site's structure is hindering traffic levels for deeper pages.
Shima, Digital Account Manager: Mailchimp
Not only does it come with a very generous free plan, but it’s a joy to use. If you’re sending less than 12,000 emails a month and have less than 2,000 subscribers, the free plan works brilliantly.
With Mailchimp you’re able to create and manage mailing lists, newsletters and automate your email campaigns to collect leads. On top of that, you can easily integrate it with your website, no coding is involved and you can create customised templates with ease.
I’ve found that I’ve been able to grow my clients’ mailing lists while further improving their customers’ experience via email by providing tailored messages and offers to them.
Chris, Paid Search Manager: Keyword Wrapper & Phrase Builder Tool
Keyword Wrapper and Phrase Builder Tool are little-known time-saving tools for paid search account creation.
The first allows you to paste a list of keywords into the tool which at a press of a button are converted into every different keyword match type. This seems like a simple task but it saves a huge amount of time when populating an account with different keyword match types.
The second tool allows you to automatically build a list of combinations of keywords and phrases. For example, if you have a list of locations that you want to prefix with a keyword, like "Italian food London", this tool will automatically build a list of phrases saving you masses of time.
Iveta, Digital Project Support: Hootsuite
Hootsuite helps me to schedule posts or identify trending hashtags based on location on different platforms.
I particularly like the streams function, which organises content to show me when someone tags us in a post or uses of a particular hashtag. I can also see what other brands are sharing. This helps me to stay organised and keep up to date with trending topics.
You can set up content approval workflows for each social network. If you are putting together a social media team, this can help you stay organised, allowing different users to comment, approve or reject scheduled posts before they go live.
Louie, Content and Outreach Executive: Slink
Slink is a brand new Chrome extension that Selesti have created to reduce the amount of time taken to carry out audits. Instead of the manontonous copy and paste cycle from a spreadsheet, I just upload a whole list of URLs to Slink and click through them in your browser. It remembers which ones you visited already too.
This has massively streamlined completing competitor analyses, content audits, backlink audits and anything that involves viewing a number of URLs in quick succession.
Jamie, Senior Solutions Architect: SSL Labs
As everyone knows, ensuring your website has an SSL certificate is vital. Installing and configuring an SSL though can come with its own pitfalls and can actually make your website insecure if done incorrectly. This is where my favourite tool SSL Labs steps in. This project allows you test any public-facing SSL installation and configuration and gives it a ranking so you can see how to improve any security concerns.
Owen, Lead UX Developer: PHPStorm
After what feels like a thousand years trying out every new code editor on the block, from Sublime to Atom to VSCode, I finally bit the bullet and got a copy of PHPStorm.
Well, what can I say? After fighting the key bindings I sought after from Sublime, I decided to just embrace its true nature. I was in love! It provides every feature you could need at surprisingly high speeds. It works beautifully with PHP, JS, CSS, HTML etc. with great shortcuts, code insights, refactoring, test runners, composer analysis, git integration, linters and so much more!
I never thought I could enjoy a Java app, but PHPStorm has changed that! I would recommend 10/10! Bonus tip - If you join the EAP you get free access to the software indefinitely!
James, Developer: Regular Expressions
Regular expressions are a way of querying and parsing text to identify patterns and formats. They are can be tricky to get right with a unique language all their own.
This tool provides a great way of visualising them and showing what the results are in real time. It also provides human readable descriptions of the code you are writing and a full list of the possible parameters if you aren't sure of what one is.
Matt, Developer: Tailwind
Tailwind is a utility-first CSS framework. Unlike other CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap or UIKit, Tailwind doesn't come with any pre-built components like buttons or cards. But, instead provides low-level atomic CSS classes to allow for rapid and flexible development.
It comes with a config file where you pick your colours, fonts, font sizes, paddings and margins, and various other CSS attributes. Tailwind creates a class for each one, giving you classes for every text, background and border colour you need, and everything else you've configured.
Atomic CSS frameworks like Tailwind mean you move your styling responsibility to your HTML, which is a highly controversial topic in the web development community. In my opinion, it leads to quicker development and a clearer idea of what your page will look like just from reading the HTML without having to think of a class name to target every component of your website.
James Cook, Developer: Google Chrome Remote Device Inspection Tools
If an issue is ever reported which only affects mobile devices, this tool can provide great insight by allowing you to screencast content from a device onto your development machine. The tool allows a developer to control a webpage in order to inspect and debug live content which is usually not available.
It is particularly useful when a virtualised mobile browser is reporting no issues on a page, yet it is not working on physical devices.
Bonus: Check for Cloudflare
We created Check for Cloudflare to help web developers and SEOs check whether a site is using Cloudflare — so whether you're doing a technical audit or just checking you've set it up correctly, you can find out in seconds. Just enter your URL and we'll tell you whether or not Cloudflare is correctly implemented on your (or any) domain.
Susie, Senior Digital Creative: Pinterest
I’ve always loved collecting inspiration to use in future projects. From the early days of art school with visual diaries and scrapbooks, through the various digital methods I tried over the years, then around 6 years ago I finally found my true love for visual bookmarking, Pinterest.
Pinterest has solved all of my categorising woes. I have pin boards for every aspect of UI design, from buttons to entire page layouts, so when a new project comes in I have a vast source of relevant inspiration at my fingertips. It’s also a great source of new inspiration, with its huge searchable catalogue of images, all sourced by other users. The ability to share boards with friends and colleagues makes it a valuable collaboration tool too.
Just try to avoid spending too much time looking at cakes and cats, when really you should be working…
Kerry, Designer: Sketch
There’s a well-known adage that says, ‘you often find love once you stop looking.’ My past relationship with Illustrator was brief and frustrating and, in the end, it turned out that we were both happier apart. I moved on with the help of my old friend Photoshop.
Then one day, a different friend introduced me to a vector graphics editing application, named Sketch. My life hasn’t been the same since.
Sketch brilliantly combines the sleek mathematical shapes of Illustrator with the familiar usability of Photoshop. Its unfussy, minimal appearance allies with a user interface that makes a Tamagotchi look technical. Not only that, all its tools work exactly as you would hope and expect them to; I don’t really use anything else anymore.
So yeah, just when I thought I wasn’t searching, Sketch found me. I don’t look back anymore, only forward. I’m sure we will grow old and happy together.
Kelly, Digital Account Executive: Selesti Exchange
Selesti have built the Selesti Exchange tool to enable us to send and receive data securely. Before this tool was built and before GDPR, we may have sent or received personal data in a blank email, which could be intercepted.
Now, we send the information in a secure link which self destructs (not literally) after 1 hour, making it much more secure.
We can also request information from a client or third party and ask them to input the data into the link, which then reveals on our end when entered. This will also only last 1 hour. As a result, it is much quicker and easier to send and share data between one another.
Ollie, Group CEO: Google Keep
I've probably tried 100 productivity apps over the years. The one I use the most and works the best is Google Keep. It's so simple. But used well, it's immensely powerful. It allows me to make, manage and plan multiple projects in many places, with lots of people with ease. I love that it now integrates into Gmail too.
Liv, Senior Account Manager: Screencastify
Screencastify is a tool I use when a client is experiencing an issue with their site that might be down to user error. I will use Screencastify to replicate the journey they're attempting and then share the video with them — usually they see a step they were missing and voila, issue fixed. It's also useful for showing clients how a new piece of functionality works, and they then have the video shared and can keep it bookmarked for future reference or to share with their team.
I also love using 1Password. It saves a huge amount of time as we can store logins and passwords securely. It means I don't need to worry about remembering lots of the passwords and am safe in the knowledge that they are secure.
Georgina, Account Manager: Evernote
My favourite tool is the very exciting, Evernote. I always find myself coming back to it, for even the shortest of notes — I’m looking at you conference line number note.
It’s is so much more than a simple notebook. You can annotate your notes and add reminders for you to follow up on things. You can also share your notes with the team even if they do not have Evernote, and their edits all pull through.
It lets you arrange your notes in a nice visual way as cards with small excerpts, helping you find the one you need quickly. You can then arrange your notes either in their own notebook or in stacks of notebooks, adding tags to highlight helpful notes and those that are incoherent brain dumps.
Clare, Account Manager: The kettle
An integral tool for all members of the web development and digital marketing teams, the kettle constantly delivers above and beyond for the office's hydration requirements. This necessary tool consistently showcases its agile approach to hot beverage production and can switch between coffee and tea development without affecting the office's thirst deadlines. The kettle's clients are always happy with its delivery time and the final product is always completed to a high standard.