8 of the Best Content Marketing Tools For Faster Rankings

Learn about the tools we use in-house at our content marketing agency to rapidly scale our websites. 

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Blackship One is a content marketing agency focused on helping space, robotics and hi-tech companies grow. Interested? ⚡

Content Marketing Tools to Help You Rank

As a content marketing agency, we need to find ways to systematize and optimize complex content production processes. Once our content is produced, we also need to find ways to efficiently distribution the content we’ve completed.

In this article, I’ll outline 8 of the content marketing tools we use to product high-end content that ranks quickly and efficiently in Google.

1. Marketmuse

Marketmuse is one of the more popular content marketing AI tools online. Essentially, it monitors the rankings of websites within Google for a particular search terms and reverse engineers what’s working. Although Google’s algorithm isn’t made public, we can get a good idea of how it works by looking at top ranking websites and deconstructing the various signals on those pages. This allows you to shape your content based on what we can prove is already working for others. One of the best features I like about Marketmuse is how it gamifies the process of content improvements. It will give your content a score as well as give you a target score (based on the results on the first page of Google). Their AI will read through the other pages ranking for your desired search term and be able to identify common threads between the content. It will show you which outlier keywords you’re missing and your total word count as it compares to your competitors.

2. Content distribution spreadsheet

While not a software tool, this free content distribution spreadsheet can be used to help you organize and streamline your content distribution efforts. Using this exact spreadsheet, we scaled a web property from ZERO to over 10,000 page views in only 30 days. 

3. Clearscope

Clearscope is similar in a lot of ways to Marketmuse. Like Marketmuse it will show you who your top content competitors are and it will show you your content’s strength relative to theirs.

Like good SEO tools, Clearscope helps you identify which keywords you’re more likely be able to rank for quicker.

With Clearscope, you can write your articles directly within the application and the app will show you which areas of your article require improvement. As you make improvements your content grade will improve. Both you and your competitors are given a letter grade (eg, C-, B+, A etc) on your content. Again, this helps give you clearly defined benchmarks to hit. If your competitor has a B+ piece of content, you can focus on beating them by creating an A+ piece of content.

Clearscope will also help you with keyword density, not only of your primary keywords, but also close match or outlier keywords by telling you how many times you should use each keyword. This tool helps you not only optimize your article’s main body content, but also your article’s title.

This content marketing tool will also help you see how your word count and grade level score stacks up against the pages who are already ranking for this keyword.

4. Page Optimizer PRO

Next, let’s look at Page Optimizer Pro (POP). What I like about this tool is that it not only gives you optimization benchmarks to hit, but it also gives you a visual indicator of how over or under-optimized you are for different parts of your page. For example, it will look at your exact match keywords, keyword variant and LSI keywords and benchmark your page against top ranking pages.

I like that this tool shows you a minimum and maximum range of enhancement so if your more conservative by nature, you can first target the minimum numbers required. If you’re more aggressive you can target the max targets.

I also like that this tool not only focuses on highlighting any areas where your page might be over-optimized or too aggressive. This helps you see where you need to dial down optimization.

Page Optimizer Pro not only gives you access to data designed to give you actionable insights, but it also gives you “suggested recommendations”. It looks at everything from your URL, H1 tags and page length and it gives you recommendations based on how it sees your competitors ranking. It also prioritizes these issues for you by marking them as mid-level issues, mid-level issues or urgent issues.

5. Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO is a great content marketing and SEO tool. Some of the other tools on this list prioritize content quality over everything else. However, the truth is, if you’ve spent any time at all in the world of SEO, you’ll know that the best content doesn’t always rank in the top of the results page. As mentioned in previous tutorials, Google has a domain authority bias and therefore, you need to look for a combination of factors when deciding to target a specific keyword. The truth is, some keywords are near impossible to rank for for newer brands.

Many content marketing tools give your content a score and a high score may lead you to believe that you’re now a condenser for that keyword. However, content scores don’t paint the whole picture. Google will look at many different signals when determining your organic placement. Surfer SEO lays out these metrics in the same row making it easy to make snap decisions about what’s possible and what’s not for any given keyword.

It can also help you determine when to stop optimizing the content on a page. You might make your way to position #3 in organic search. In Surfer SEO, you’ll be able to see what’s stopping you from being #2 or #1. These insights are invaluable, because at this stage you can identify where your weakness is. In many cases, the weakness won’t be your content or engagement metrics, it’s often something at the domain level (often DA, PA, links etc). If you’re able to identify this, you’ll know what needs your attention and when.

Best content marketing tools

6. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another great SEO tool that many content marketers use to help them rank their web content. Ahrefs can help you do research on keywords and I really like their keyword difficulty ranking. They also provide a lot of great insights with regards to where your competitors are getting their backlinks from, so you can ride their coattails!

However, one of the features I like most about Ahrefs as it relates to content marketing is their keyword gap tool. This tool helps you identify keywords that your competitors are ranking for that you either haven’t created content for yet, or aren’t ranking for. This tool gives you insights into ideas you missed!

8. Answer the Public

When you’re still at the keyword ideation phase, you need as many ideas on the table as possible. You can always slash ideas later, but the more keyword research you do ealy on, the more effective your content campaign will be. With more options on the table, you’ll be more easily able to find the quick wins and produce content you stand a chance at ranking for.

In order to find ideas we use the keywords suggestion feature within whatever SEO or content marketing tool we’re using. For example, Moz, Ahrefs, SEMrush and Google ads all have keyword suggestion tools built in.

However, you can take this a step further by using a tool like AnswerThePublish. This tool will show you ideas for commonly searched for questions around your keyword, it will show you prepositions and it will even show you alphabeticals. Essentially, hundreds of variations and spin off of keyword ideas that you might not have thought about yet.

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Blackship One is a content marketing agency focused on helping space, robotics and hi-tech companies grow. Interested? ⚡ Learn more here.

We Help You Grow Through Content is a content marketing agency that helps hi-tech brands grow through the use of our organic growth playbook. We help with content planning, strategy, writing, publishing and SEO optimization. If you want to learn more about how we scaled a recent project to over 160,000 organic page views / month in 6 months, watch the video to the right. 🤝