One of the presenters at this year's SES Chicago is Search Marketing Veteran, Bruce Clay. Bruce will be leading a session on the topic of SEO tools: "tools that will help you to accomplish your tasks including indexing, competitive analysis, site ranking, diagnosing and remedying problems, page level information, site level information, on-page optimization and much more." I had a chance to ask Bruce a few questions about his session and how he leverages SEO Tools for his own strategies.

[Manoj]: With so many different tools available, how should search marketers go about evaluating the quality of a tool's results.
[Bruce Clay]: Tools present data, not wisdom, so every search marketer has a responsibility to select tools that answer questions. Even with analytics tools, they are at best sample-based. It is not an exact counter (JavaScript issues) so we are sealing with degrees of significance anyhow. Where there is variation is when the meanings change from vendor to vendor, so what one sees as a unique visitor may be unlike the others. The best approach is to assess several, select the most appropriate tool, and then keep using it until something better comes along.
[Manoj]: How important is it for a search marketer to have useful tools available at their disposal
[Bruce Clay]: "I know that half of my advertising dollar is wasted, I just don't know which half" is only solved with quantifiable data that clearly answers questions. Without tools the job is impossible.
[Manoj]: At your company, how do you find the right balance between using tools and using your own thoughts/judgment for analysis?
[Bruce Clay]: Wisdom is where judgment and intuition influence search marketing, and tools are not wise. Setting business rules, setting methodology, watching the competition, being sensitive to changing market landscapes is not the realm of a tool, but repeatedly executing a process to help with all of these other tasks is the job of tools. The company looks to tools and automation for data gathering tasks, and to people for the rest.
[Manoj]: What is your favorite competitive analysis tool?
[Bruce Clay]: Google in conjunction with site and page analysis. We also use Compete.
[Manoj]: At your session at SES Chicago, what do you hope attendees will walk away with?
[Bruce Clay]: My business card, and perhaps a much better understanding that no tool will do it for you. Search marketing is competitive, and we cannot pass that responsibility off on tools.

November 12, 2008

Manoj has been in the Digital marketing industry for over 10 years with experience at some of Canada's largest companies: WestJet and Shaw Communications. Manoj first started in the search marketing industry with Enquiro Search Solutions, where he spearheaded web analytics, SEO Training and the development of cutting edge search marketing solutions for clients. Manoj is also an entrepreneur in the Mobile and Local Deals space.

Manoj is a Professional Speaker having participated at events such as Web Analytics Congress (Amsterdam), Emetrics, Web Analytics Xchange, WebTrends Engage, Internet Marketing Conference, Social Media Innovation Summit and Search Engine Strategies. He has also contributed to several leading online publications such as: Search Engine Land, Marketing Pilgrim, WebProNews, Search Engine Guide and the Web Analytics Assocation.

He founded and successfully sold Web Analytics World (a top 100 Digital Marketing Blog – and was voted #39th Most Influential Digital Marketer in North America – 2009 (see:


It doesn't matter what SEO tools a website owner uses unless they contribute knowledge and advice. That's one thing that I think a lot of "seo gurus" forget. Sure, some of their methods will work in the short term but unless the content is good, their sites won't remain at the top long.

Very valid point ""I know that half of my advertising dollar is wasted, I just don't know which half" is only solved with quantifiable data that clearly answers questions. Without tools the job is impossible." I'm 100% agreed.

I definitely agree with you point of view.

SEO tools are only as smart as the person who is using these tools. Whether we are conducting small business SEO or large business SEO, tools will only take your business so far before effective judgment and knowledge separates the leaders from the pack.

Nice viewpoint and good suggestions. Stronger SEO Tools are a major requirment for a successful online business.

Do directory submitters really work? Does anyone have a service that is worth the money? Also, when submitting to DMOZ, do you always get a response back?

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Search Engine Guide > Manoj Jasra > Interview: Bruce Clay on SEO Tools