Whether you're a Digital PR professional or a small business doing everything in-house, having access to a comprehensive tool box is a game changer! As an SEO marketer, I know how important it is to have the right tools to do our jobs better. If you're doing any kind of outreach or link building, tools that help inform and inspire your PR strategy is a must. From keyword research to media monitoring to social media insight, these tools will help you streamline your workflow, track your progress and align your overarching marketing goals with your link building objectives. So without further ado, let's dive in and take a look at the top 25 digital PR tools (according to moi) every SEO marketer needs!
25 Essential Tools For Digital PR Professionals: Your Ultimate Toolkit
Google Trends is a powerful tool for digital PR's as it that helps to identify the popularity of keywords over time. It can also reveal what users are searching for in real-time highlighting seasonal, emerging and declining trends. You can track the popularity of topics, compare search terms, and even drill down into geographic regions. PR pros can then leverage this information to tailor reactive news stories (newsjacking) and content, to the interests of their target audiences. Google Trends also helps align pitches with breaking stories and trending topics, which then leads to greater opportunities to secure media coverage. See example above of how the term "kings coronation" is peaking as it gets closer to the coronation date. A must-have tool for every marketer as far as I'm concerned.
NB: I'll be using the 'King's Coronation' as an example for most of these tools as it's a 'timely' topic.
Exploding Topics is a tool that I absolutely love! It helps me keep my finger on the pulse of emerging trends and topics that are gaining traction online. You can discover new and trending topics, and track them in real-time before they 'explode'. The tool is also particularly useful for those who want to stay ahead of the curve, craft timely and relevant content, and pitch stories to journalists who are hungry for the latest trends. I can personally attest to the effectiveness of using Exploding Topics for client campaigns, as it has helped me identify newsworthy trends that no one else is talking about, that's about to blow up! It can also give you an idea about the content you should be writing about that's relevant to your business (but that competitors might not necessarily be talking about yet). I highly recommend signing up to their newsletter as well.
Pricing: Free with a Pro option
If you're already using Google Trends to monitor trending topics, then Glimpse is going to turbocharge its features. You can take your trend tracking to the next level, as this Chrome add-on tool helps you dig deeper into the data, uncovering insights that you might have otherwise missed. With Glimpse, you can get a real-time view of what's trending across the web and social media including number of monthly searches and month on month (mom) growth or decline. Having these stats becomes invaluable data to support your reactive stories and pitch ideas.
Pricing: Freemium - Glimpse offers a limited number of free searches per month. With a free account, you can access up to 10 searches per month. Paid subscription plans start at $99 per month.
Answer The Public is a brilliant tool to use during any insight, research or discovery stage. It captures popular search queries that might not have huge search volume, but provides invaluable insights into your target audience's interests and behaviours. With using Answer The Public, you can identify emerging trends and content gaps that may not be immediately obvious, providing you with ideas on how to resonate with your target audience. It can also help you identify questions that your audiences are asking but no one is answering, giving you the competitive edge to fill in those content gaps.
Pricing: Freemium - Tool allows 3 searches a day when you create an account. The paid pro version starts at $99 a month
If you haven't already got Semrush in your toolkit you're seriously missing out! This tool is a game-changer when it comes to .. well everything really. Semrush is a comprehensive tool that provides insights into backlink analysis, keyword research, content and keyword gap analysis and even technical audits. You can easily track your rankings, analyse competitors' strategies, find outreach opportunities and so much more. Trust me, once you start using Semrush, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it! There is a free version but you'll get the most use out of it by going for the paid subscription. It's not the cheapest I know but, to be able to build a solid SEO and Digital PR strategy, you'll need a tool like Semrush.
Pricing: Freemium - With the free version, users can access a limited set of features, including keyword research, backlink analysis, and site audits but, there are restrictions on the number of queries and results provided. The paid version offers a wide range of features, including advanced keyword research, competitor analysis, content optimisation, and more. Prices start at $119.95 per month for the Pro plan
Ahrefs is one of the most powerful tools you can have if you're doing any kind of outreach or link building. Yes it is one of the most expensive but, there's a good reason why. It allows you to conduct detailed competitor analysis and audits on your website (or clients' website), to understand who your target customers are. It also allows you to look at content performance, which helps you identify popular and trending content for inspiration. Ahrefs' backlink audits are particularly useful in targeting valuable publications that are relevant to your business. If you only have budget for one useful SEO tool, Ahrefs or Semrush would be the recommended choice.
Pricing: Freemium - Ahrefs offers a free version with very limited features that anyone can use. Their paid version starts at $99 per month. Pre warning that free version doesn't really give you access to the gold dust data you want. It's worth looking at the other free Ahref tools that offer samples of the features including its backlink checker and rank checker .
Google Analytics is an essential tool for any PR professional looking to monitor and track the success of their campaigns. While the platform can be intimidating at first, taking the time to learn how to use it effectively is invaluable. By setting up custom goals, tracking key metrics such as website traffic and engagement rates, you can gain a better understanding of how your campaigns are resonating with your target audience. You can also use GA to monitor how the media placements you've secured are performing based on referral traffic and new audience acquisition. With G4 eventually becoming the only option for analytics tracking later this year, it's a good idea to do some training and familiarise yourself with the new features and capabilities before the big switch in July 2023.
BuzzSumo is an amazing tool that I would highly recommend to any digital PR, content, or social media professional. It's been a lifesaver for me when it comes to finding ideas and inspiration for content and outreach campaigns. Buzzsumo works by allowing users to enter a topic or keyword, and then generating a report that shows the most popular content related to that topic, across various social media platforms. This report can be used to generate ideas for content, analyse competitor performance, and identify prominent influencers and journalists in the industry. Additionally, BuzzSumo provides insights into engagement metrics, social shares, and backlinks, which can then be used to create bespoke reporting metrics for your campaigns.
Pricing: BuzzSumo offers a 30-day free trial for new users as their only free option now, as they no longer provide a free plan. The free trial has a limit of 30 days or 50 searches, whichever comes first. Users can check their plan and account settings at any time.
If you're a PR or outreach professional, being on Twitter is an absolute must! Why? Because journalists love Twitter for its real-time updates and easy accessibility. Tweetdeck has become an essential tool for PR pros to stay on top of breaking news and connect with journalists in real-time. It helps users monitor and engage with multiple Twitter accounts, track relevant hashtags (thank you #journorequest), and find relevant publications or media contacts. With its customisable columns, Tweetdeck also makes it easy to organise and filter Twitter feeds, allowing users to quickly identify and respond to potential PR opportunities.
One of the things I love about BuzzStream is how it streamlines the entire outreach process. With just a few clicks, you can find potential outreach opportunities based on keywords and metrics like domain authority. Once you've built or imported your list, you can launch your campaign using BuzzStream's email templates and built-in email tracking tools. What really sets BuzzStream apart is its reporting features. You can track your open and response rates, see which journalists are most engaged with your pitch, and tweak accordingly. I would say that Buzzstream has been another game-changer for those in the PR and outreach market.
Pricing: BuzzStream offers pricing plans starting from $24 per user per month for the Starter plan and going up to $999 per user per month for the Custom plan, with a free trial available.
Where would we all be without the Nofollow Chrome extension? This is a great tool that highlights all nofollow links on a webpage, making it easier for you to identify them. Nofollow links are hyperlinks that do not pass on any link equity to the linked website. Though securing a Nofollow link still has its benefits, it doesn't pass on valuable link equity. Using this tool therefore enables you to prioritise your media list based on the objectives of your link-building campaign.
Let me introduce you to CoverageBook! This tool is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to compiling PR reports that will knock your client's socks off. Trust me, I used to spend hours collating coverage links and screenshots, but with CoverageBook, it's a breeze! Just paste your links into the platform and voila! You've got screenshots and metrics like estimated views and social shares in a matter of minutes. And if you've got files like newspaper clippings or video clips, you can add those too. Plus, CoverageBook even checks for links and reports on the SEO benefits of your campaign. I used to work with the founder years ago and was there around the time this software was being developed. So, I can tell you from personal experience that this tool is a game-changer! And, by the look at how it's evolved over the last few years, it's only going to get better.
Pricing: 30 day free trial and then pricing starts at £69 a month
Title-generator.com is a free tool that helps you create catchy and attention-grabbing headlines for your content. With this tool, you can generate hundreds of potential headlines for your email subject lines, blog posts, articles and social media posts. When you're going through a mental block and can't think of anything creative, Title Generator is the one!
For any PR, digital PR and outreach teams, Moz Bar is an invaluable tool for conducting prospecting research. By providing quick access to a website's Domain Authority (DA), Moz Bar allows users to quickly assess the quality and authority of potential sites for outreach. This feature is particularly useful for ensuring that outreach efforts are focused on high-quality sites that are likely to give you strong backlinks. A simple Chrome extension added to your favourites and voila ..Moz bar is at your service!
Keywords Everywhere' is another great one to add to your list. This tool works by showing you the search volume, CPC, and competition level for keywords, all in one place. And the best part? You can see this data right in your search results, so you don't have to waste time jumping back and forth between different tools. It's incredibly affordable, making it a great alternative for startups and small businesses who can't afford pricier SEO tools like Semrush and Ahrefs. You can buy inexpensive credits (for as little as £10) to gain access to all of its features. This tool is available as a Chrome extension and a Firefox add-on, and can be integrated with various keyword research tools, including Google Search, Google Analytics, and Google Trends.
Pricing : $10 for 100,000 credits and you spend 1 credit per keyword
Unsplash is a fantastic platform that provides a vast library of high-quality, royalty-free images that can be used in all kinds of marketing materials. With an extensive collection of over 2 million images, Unsplash offers a wide variety of visuals where users can browse and download images completely free of charge, without any attribution required. This makes it an excellent option for small businesses or startups with limited budgets.
Did you know that you can use social media platforms like TikTok and Pinterest to find trends and use them as data for your PR campaigns? By identifying popular hashtags, images, sounds and videos, you can get some serious insights into what people are interested in right now. This means that you can pitch stories and create content that's not just relevant, but super timely. Plus, you can use social media trends to see which journalists and media outlets are covering a particular topic, which makes your job of targeting your pitches way easier. And you know what else? It's all free!
Similarweb is an extremely useful tool for research and insight gathering. It allows you to analyse website traffic and see where your competitors are getting their traffic from. It also gives you insights into user behaviour including audience demographics, bounce rates, time spent on site, and more. From my experience, I like to use Similarweb to get an idea on competitors customers, where they are getting their traffic from and how the industry is performing in general. I've never used the full paid for subscription so I imagine you'd be able to get a lot more data as a paid user.
Pricing: Freemium - a free trial which allows you to test the platform before use. Pro versions start at $199 a month.
19. Similar Sites
SimilarSites is basically a search engine that helps you find ... get this... similar websites based on the ones you already know and love. It's super easy to use: just type in the website you're interested in, hit enter, and boom! You'll get a list of similar websites to explore. This is great for when you need to expand your media list or want to discover new outlets to pitch to. Plus, it's fun to see what other websites are out there that you might not have even known about.
20. Streak for Gmail
Streak for Gmail is a powerful tool that helps you track your email communication and gain valuable insights into the success of your outreach campaign. It can monitor who's interested in your pitch, which emails are getting the most engagement, and when to follow up with contacts. Streak for Gmail also provides real-time notifications on email opens, clicks, and replies, giving you an idea of whether your pitch has resonated with recipients, or needs to be tweaked. Streak's tracking capabilities allows PR professionals to see which journalists and influencers are engaging with their content. This in the long run helps narrow down your 'hot leads' and build better relationships with journalists engaging. It's also another great alternative if you don't have the budget to use Buzzstream.
These two platforms are great for research and insight gathering. Reddit is a forum-based platform that allows you to find communities related to your niche and see what people are talking about. Quora is a question-and-answer platform that allows you to find questions related to your niche and see how people are answering them. Combining these two platforms can give you a wealth of information about your target audience including their pain points, interests, and more. You can then use this information to monitor conversations, engage with users and get insights into your target audience. This can then help create content and outreach campaigns that resonate with them.
Anewstip is a useful tool for PR professionals who need to find and connect with journalists and influencers on Twitter. With its media database capabilities, it allows you to search for contacts that are specifically relevant to your niche using keywords and hashtags. This makes it easy to identify and engage with journalists who are most likely to be interested in your pitch. You can also use it to monitor your media coverage and track mentions on Twitter.
Pricing: Freemium - Up to 10 Free searches a day and then the Pro plans start at $149 a month
Prowly is a comprehensive all-in-one PR software that provides a wide range of features to help businesses manage their PR efforts. You can create and distribute press releases, manage your media contacts and outreach efforts, track media coverage and social media mentions, and even analyse your PR campaigns for improved performance.
Pricing: Free 7-day trial and their basic plan starts at $115 per month
Hunter is your new BFF when it comes to finding email addresses for journalists and other professionals in your industry! It's a web-based tool that utilises a database of over 200 million email addresses to help PR professionals find accurate and up-to-date contact information for journalists and, other industry professionals. With a simple search, the platform makes it easy to locate the email address, name, job title, company, and social media profiles of any individual. And to top it all off, it even verifies the email addresses for you, ensuring you get the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. No more scrambling through social media profiles to find contact information.
Pricing: Freemium. Hunter offers a free plan that allows users to make up to 50 requests per month, which means you can search for email addresses of up to 50 contacts for free. However, this plan has limited features compared to the paid plans which start at $49 per month.
If you've got an awesome startup, app or product that you want to get noticed (or doing PR for a business like this) Submit.co is the perfect tool for you! With its extensive database of media contacts and submission-friendly websites, Submit.co simplifies the process of reaching out to journalists and getting your content noticed by the right people. This valuable resource eliminates the need for manual research and saves you time, allowing you to focus on crafting a compelling pitch that resonates with your target audience. By streamlining the process of submitting your content to the right publications, you can save time and effort while increasing your chances or securing coverage with a list of authoritative websites.
Pricing: Freemium - Submit.co offers both a free and a paid version. The free version allows users to submit to a limited number of websites, while the paid version offers access to a larger database of contacts and websites. The pricing for the paid version starts at $99 per month
Each of the tools discussed above has its own unique features and benefits that can greatly contribute to the success of your digital PR campaigns. By adding them to your toolkit, you can achieve your goals with efficiency and ease. With the right tools at your disposal, you can stay on top of industry trends, track media coverage, identify influencers, and streamline your outreach efforts. Keep in mind that the digital PR landscape is constantly evolving, so it's essential to stay up-to-date with the latest tools and technologies to remain competitive in the field.
Written by Isa Lavahun.
Isa is a seasoned digital strategist specializing in search marketing, with a passion for crafting compelling stories that resonate. With over 15 years of experience in the industry and a flair for digital PR, content strategy, and influencer marketing, she leverages her skills to drive visibility and engagement for businesses. Isa is known for her honest counsel, practical advice, and results-oriented approach. Discover more about Isa's journey in digital marketing here