Tools of the Trade

toolbox_imageOver the last 8+ years in dealing with the online performance of many clients sites as well as my own, I’ve used my fair share of internet marketing tools. I think it’s fair to say that I’m in a good position to know what works and what doesn’t.

Below you’ll find a list of the tools and resources that I have used in the past, and ones that I personally use on a day to day basis to help my clients and myself, get to the top of the search engines. It is with this that I hope to create additional transparency with how I run my business, and also to benefit you and your own business too.

Domain Names – I’ve yet to find a more affordable, reliable, and helpful Domain reseller than During the years I’ve purchased thousands of domains, and this site has always been head and shoulders above everyone else.

Web Hosting

Heart Internet – These guys are the go to people if you want to target the UK market as their servers are based in the UK and are the quickest and most reliable I’ve come across. Their reseller packages are a must if you plan on running more than one site.

BlueHost – If you’re looking at targeting the US market then BlueHost is a great company to use. Their servers are based in the US and their cPanel software is pretty incredible. Their customer support is pretty responsive, with most queries being answered within the hour! These guys are the port of call for all my sites that are US targeted, and have been for years.

Keyword Research

Keyword research can make or break an online marketing campaign. It’s an overused cliche but it really is the “bread and butter”. Starting out with the right keywords is essential, and to do that you need to know as much as you can.

These keyword tools are ones that I use every single day:

Google Adwords Keyword Planner – A free keyword research tool from Google. You can view the amount of local traffic and global, but make sure you search by exact match to get more accurate numbers for specific keyword phrases. It’s related keywords (keywords that it says are related) is a great feature. Since the changeover from adwords tool to the planner, the interface has become more cumbersome, but the data you need is still there.

SEMRush – A competitive research and keyword research tool combined. The most in depth keyword and competitive tool available. Look at the entire list of keywords your competitors are targeting in both Adwords or organic listings, track keyword rankings of both yours and your competitors sites, find related keywords, find out the CPC of keywords, how keywords are trending, and loads more.

You can sign up for a limited featured free SEMRush account here.

Performance Monitoring / Optimising

Google Analytics – Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool. A must have for anyone with a website who wants to increase website conversions and navigation.

Get Clicky – Like Google Analytics but easier to use and you have the ability to extensively track visitors in real-time. Limitless tracking possibilities.

Email Marketing

If you haven’t heard it before, the money is in the list. To be more successful online it’s essential you have a list of loyal email subscribers. So if Google decides to give you it’s much maligned slap, then you have the backup of being able to market to your email list.

Aweber – The internet’s most popular email opt-in and marketing/broadcasting tool. This is what I’ve been using to build the email lists on my sites for years. You can get a month’s trial for just $1.00.

Mailchimp – I’ve also started using Mailchimp lately, and I have to say it’s winning me round. The forms and emails you can design right off the bat are pretty nice. The user interface is also nice an easy to use, and creating forms is a case of drag and drop. It can also work out cheaper than Aweber for smaller lists, as it’s FREE up to 2000 subscribers!

All in One SEO Toolset

SEOmoz (aka Moz) – If you’re planning on going about your SEO DIY style then there’s nobody that comes close to SEOmoz’ toolset. They have a vast array of their own website analysis and link building tools. You can track rankings, produce graphs, research keywords, social media tool (followerwonk), research competition, analyze your sites’ technical SEO efforts (outlining errors and recommending improvements), great user interface that’s super simple to use, and a whole host of training videos and a dedicated Q & A section.

You can get a FREE 30 Day Trial of SEOmoz, it’s 100% risk-free and you can cancel at anytime.