Time Savers for Web Analysts from Will Critchlow’s Toolkit

Will Critchlow's Toolkit

Our ability to use APIs, scrapers, multiple tools is going to be super critical.” — Avinash Kaushik

B2B online marketers frequently must find and analyze information from a variety of sources.

Some of these tasks they conduct often and they use a software application. But what about when you only have to do the task once?

Time to rummage around in your toolkit. You look for the right mix of tools that will let you clean, scrutinize, and communicate the information to your audience.

Will Critchlow of Distilled promotes the idea that “every online marketer should be thinking about going beyond “software” and into hacking together your own basic tools.”

In his presentation at the 2011 London searchlove conference, he shared what’s in the modern SEO’s toolkit.

Here are two scenarios and how Will Critchlow’s toolkit solves them.

Scenario #1: You need to persuade your boss about the way people perceive your website

Smartsheet from Will Critchlow's Toolkit

You and your team may be convinced that your forms ask for too much information. Or that your site needs more educational content.

But what if you can’t persuade your boss? How about a survey?

Gee, you might think, that’s going to be too much work and too expensive. Critchlow shows how to use Smartsheet and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to conduct a quick and simple survey for less than $20.

What makes it simple is that SmartSheet has a built-in submission to Amazon. Then it takes the answers and populates your spreadsheet.

See this Whiteboard Friday at SEOMoz for the details.

I tried this — it took me about two hours to figure out how to use Smartsheet, write the survey, and submit the survey to Mechanical Turk. I received the responses about an hour later.

Scenario #2: You need to make sure your Google Analytics code is on every page

Screaming Frog from Will Critchlow's Toolkit

You could go to IT ask them to verify that the code is on all the pages.

But maybe they don’t have time. Or they aren’t as anxious as you about capturing visitor activity on every page.

Use Screaming Frog to spider your entire site and filter for the pages that contain (or don’t contain) your GA code.

Rachael Gerson at Seer Interactive explains exactly how to use Screaming Frog to verify your Google Analytics code.

Our data and analysis needs are evolving rapidly. Our sources of information are ever more fragmented.

Fortunately, developers keep creating new tools for online marketers. Practitioners keep finding new ways to use them, as you can see from Will Critchlow’s toolkit.

What tools are you using that would help B2B online marketers to improve their analytics? Share them in the comments below!