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Resources

best free seo online marketing toolsI regularly receive emails asking me to recommend some of the tools I am using to start, grow, and manage new projects.

I think these resources will be useful to everyone, so instead of replying individually, I’m putting together a list here.

Take advantage of these resources to get ahead of your competitors. I would advise you to add this page to your bookmarks so you can easily come back as I plan to regularly update the list as I try new tools that could be useful for you.

Honesty being one of the core pillars of my business, you need to know that some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that I will receive a small commission if you decided to purchase one of these tools. It will be at no additional cost for you. Keep in mind that I recommend these tools to you because I am using them on a regular basis and they prove to be useful for my online business.

If you want to start your first blog right now, you should check my guide How to Create a Blog in 59 Seconds with HostGator.

Now, let’s get into the resources list.

Table Of Contents

  1. My Best Of
  2. Getting Started
  3. Domain Name
  4. Webhosting
  5. WordPress Themes
  6. WordPress Plugins
  7. Website Analytics
  8. Website Speed
  9. Keyword Research
  10. Content Creation
  11. Link Building
  12. Outsourcing
  13. Rank Tracking
  14. SEO Multi Tools
  15. On Site SEO
  16. Email Marketing
  17. Social Media

1. My Best Of

These are the bare minimum that I use for every new project. You might be able to start a project without having all of these, but it will seriously slow down the process.

hostgator

Hostgator (Full 30 Day Trial / $0.01): Most of my websites are hosted with Hostgator for two simple reasons: it is the most reliable webhosting company out there with great customer service, and their service is super easy to use. Click here and select “Baby Plan” (monthly), then use the coupon dukeo995off, to get your first month of hosting for only $0.01. You will thank me later ;)

wordpress

WordPress (100% Free for Life): WordPress is the CMS (Content Management System) that I use for all of my websites. Its versatility allows me to use it to manage every type of websites (not only for blogs). What makes it even more amazing is that it’s 100% free to install and use on your own web hosting. You can then add functionality or a unique style by purchasing addons, called Themes and Plugins.

long tail pro

Long Tail Pro (Free Full 14 Day Trial): Long Tail Pro is the easiest tool you can use to find great keywords with high potential and very low competition. It is as easy as typing the main keyword or niche you want to work with, and it will give you a list of long tail keywords that you can target with your own website. Moreover, they offer a free 14 days trial so you can give it a try and see if that tool is made for you.

seo powersuite

SEO Powersuite (Free Version): SEO Powersuite is a pack of desktop SEO Tools including: Spy Glass, Rank Tracker, Website Auditor and Link Assistant. All these tools are leaders in their respective industries and it’s free.

aweber

Aweber (100% Free Full 30 Day Trial): Aweber allows you to fully manage your email lists. My business wouldn’t exist without their service since I use them on every single website I own. It’s super easy to setup and use. Moreover, they are offering a free 30 days trial for a limited time. Click here to start your free trial.

After you create your account, I would advise you to read my complete List Building guide here.

kontent machine

Kontent Machine (Full 7 Day Trial): Kontent Machine is the best fully-automated content generator available at this time. Period. Kontent Machine was created by people doing SEO for people doing SEO.

2. Getting Started

A lot of people want to have their own blog, but they don’t really know where to start. In order to help you get your blog off the ground and finally start this blog you’ve been dreaming about, I have put together 2 different starting guides.

create blog

How to Create a Blog in 59 Seconds with HostGator: You can only think so much about your blog before actually starting it. This guide is for the people who are ready to start right now. By following this step-by-step tutorial, you will have your own blog running in less than one minute.

how to start a blog

How To Start A Blog: Complete Guide (7189 Words): This second guide is for the people who want to go more in-depth with the technical aspect of starting a blog. The best thing is probably to start with the other guide, then follow up with this one for advanced setup.

3. Domain Name

The very first step when you want to start a new project online, is to find a good domain name. Unfortunately, it becomes harder and harder to find a good .com for your website.

This is why I have put together the following list of domain name suggestion tools: they will help you find names that you didn’t even think of before.

impossibility

Impossibility: Impossibility is by far the best domain name suggestion tool I am using. It will allow you to combine your keyword with short adjectives, verbs and noums. You can select 4-, 5- or 6-letter words to keep your name short and memorable.

domainsbot

DomainsBot: DomainsBot is the second domain name suggestion tool that I use when Impossibility doesn’t return any satisfying result (which really doesn’t happen that often).

namecheap

Namecheap: Once you found a nice domain name that you want to use, you need a “registrar” to register the name. NameCheap is the company I use to register all my domain names. They are usually cheaper than every competitor, and they are very simple to use.

4. Webhosting

You can’t be serious about developing an online business if you don’t have at least 1 website.

There are plenty of webhosting companies on the web, but the services they provide are inconsistant (to say the least).

I only endorse companies that I have previously tested myself. This is the best way to make sure my recommendations are always valuable.

hostgator

Hostgator (Full 30 Day Trial / $0.01): Most of my websites are hosted with Hostgator for two simple reasons: it is the most reliable webhosting company out there with great customer service, and their service is super easy to use. Click here and select “Baby Plan” (monthly), then use the coupon dukeo995off, to get your first month of hosting for only $0.01. You will thank me later ;)

bluehost

Bluehost (Full 30 Day Trial / $4.95): If for any reason, you do not want to host your website with Hostgator, you should go with Bluehost. They offer an extremely reliable hosting solution that will fit all your needs. Moreover, if you signup through my link, you will get a full 30 day trial for $4.95.

liquidweb

LiquidWeb: For advanced users, a shared hosting plan might not be enough. If your website needs more resources, I advise you to use Liquid Web. Their VPS, SSD Storm servers, and dedicated servers are high quality. Moreover, their support is excellent.

5. WordPress Themes

As I said earlier, I use WordPress to manage the content of all my websites. It’s versatile enough to adapt seamlessly, no matter the type of website I am working on.

When you have a website, you want it to stand out from the crowd, and premium WordPress themes allow you to do just that with a few clicks. Pricing will vary depending on the theme, but being unique is priceless.

elegant themes

Elegant Themes ($69 to $249): Elegant Themes have a somewhat unique offer: instead of charging you for each theme you want to use, you pay for a membership that gives you access to all of their themes.

diy themes

DIY Themes ($87 to $197): DIY Themes is the home of the Thesis theme. There, you will find some of the most easily customizable premium WordPress theme available on the market today. (This price gives you access to all of their themes.)

studiopress

Studio Press ($59.95 to $299.95): Studio Press is another very popular choice for website owners who want to look the part. Their Genesis framework will let you create a website to your liking, or you can buy a made-for-you theme.

theme forest

Theme Forest ($29 to $64): Theme Forest is on the cheaper side of premium themes. They offer quality themes, but they won’t be as flexible as some more expensive alternatives.

6. WordPress Plugins

WordPress is an amazing tool out-of-the-box, but what makes it even better is the way you can customize it and add functionality with Themes and Plugins.

The WordPress community is extremely active and chances are that when you face an issue, another WordPress user will already have a solution for you.

Here is a short list of the WordPress plugins that I use for almost all of my online projects:

  • Akismet: Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not.
  • Broken Link Checker: This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.
  • Contact Form 7: Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible. Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.
  • Disable Emojis: This plugin disables the new emoji functionality introduced in WordPress 4.2.
  • Redirection: Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors without requiring knowledge of Apache .htaccess files.
  • SEOPressor: SEOPressor is all-in-one SEO tool that let you optimize your blog to get as much traffic from search engines as possible.
  • SEO Smart Links: SEO Smart Links enhances your search engine rankings by automatically inter-linking your posts either in automatic or in user-set mode. It also helps you manage your affiliate links and much more.
  • WordPress Popular Posts: WordPress Popular Posts is a highly customizable widget that displays the most popular posts on your blog.
  • Yoast SEO: Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using Yoast SEO plugin.

7. Website Analytics

Tracking your website traffic is absolutely essential. At all times, you want to know where your visitors are coming from, and where they are going on your website.

Having all this analytics data will allow you to take strategic decision by know what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to growing your website.

google analytics

Google Analytics (Free): Google Analytics is the most commonly used website analytics solution. It will show you key information about your visitors so you can improve your website.

clicky analytics

Clicky Analytics (Free For 1 Website): Clicky Analytics is an excelent alternative to Google Analytics. The good thing is that it’s a lot easier to use and it focuses on the essential information that you need to grow your website.

8. Website Speed

Some time ago, Google confirmed that page loading speed is a ranking factor. In other words, the faster your website is loading, the better your chances are to get high rankings in Google and to get more traffic.

With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to speed up your website. Here is a list of the tools and resources I use to analyze and improve my website speed.

webpagetest

WebPageTest.org: This is my go-to website when I want to know what I could do to improve my website loading speed. It gives you general information to help you take action on specific aspects of your website.

pagespeed

Google PageSpeed: This tool developped my the Mountain View giant will give you additional information regarding your page loading speed.

pingdom

Pingdom: Pingdom is the last tool I use to monitor my website speed. It’s a little less accurate than WebPageTest but it will still help you get more ideas to improve your site.

maxcdn

MaxCDN (Free Test Account): MaxCDN is a content delivery network. It works by allowing you to load all the static files used by your website (images, CSS, JavaScript, etc) from their network which has servers all over the world. It reduces the load on your hosting, and improves greatly your website speed by loading files from the closest geographic location.

WordPress plugins can also play a huge part in website speed optimization. The following plugins are specifically made to improve your loading speed.

  • Lazy Load: Lazy load images to improve page load times and server bandwidth. Images are loaded only when visible to the user.
  • WP Smush: Reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO using the free WPMU DEV WordPress Smush API.
  • WP Super Cache: A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files.

9. Keyword Research

In order to get your slice of the internet pie, you can’t simply put together a website and wait for visitors to come. You need to optimize it and to target it correctly. This targeting can be done thanks to a bunch of free SEO tools.

An important part of your website targeting happens through careful keyword selection. You want to find keywords that will be researched by your potential customers… And this is exactly what the following free SEO tools are made for.

long tail pro

Long Tail Pro (Free Full 14 Day Trial): Long Tail Pro is the easiest tool you can use to find great keywords with high potential and very low competition. It is as easy as typing the main keyword or niche you want to work with, and it will give you a list of long tail keywords that you can target with your own website. Moreover, they offer a free 14 days trial so you can give it a try and see if that tool is made for you.

market samurai

Market Samurai (Free Full 14 Day Trial): Market Samurai allows you to do keyword research and SEO competition research through one of the most complete set of tools available online. You can easily analyze the competition for a given keyword, and track your SEO results with their comprehensive rank tracker. The free 14 days trial offers the same functionality as paid plans, which makes it completely worth it.

sem rush

SEM Rush (Free Version): SEM Rush is another one of these tools that I find myself using on a daily basis. The interface is very user-friendly and you can uncover the keyword strategy of your competitors in a breathe. Create a free account, and simply input the domains of your competitors to quickly uncover their whole strategy and discover which keywords they are targeting.

keyword researcher

Keyword Researcher (Free Trial): Keyword Researcher is an excellent tool to find keyword ideas. It doesn’t display search volumes, but it will nonetheless help you generate lists of very good related keywords by tapping into the auto-suggest tools of major search engines. You will be able to quickly generate lists of thousands of targeted keywords.

10. Content Creation

These days, you can’t do any efficient SEO campaign without generating tons of content. Yep, you heard it before:”content is king“. But generating a lot of content either takes a lot of time or costs a lot of money, unless you have access to good tools.

As online workers, you and I both know that there is a lot to do to grow our business, and we can’t buy content from freelance writers all the time because we simply can’t afford it. We are left with only one solution: automatic content generation with high-quality automatic or semi-automated content generation tools.

kontent machine

Kontent Machine (Full 7 Day Trial): Kontent Machine is the best fully-automated content generator available at this time. Period. Kontent Machine was created by people doing SEO for people doing SEO.

the best spinner

The Best Spinner (Full 7 Day Trial / $7): The name of this tool is deserved. I’ve tried many content spinner during my online career and this is by far the best. You can use it as a standalone tool or use the API to connect it to other tools.

spinchimp

Spin Chimp (Free Version): Spin Chimp is another text spinner that can be integrated to other tools through it’s API. It features a user-generated thesaurus with over 1.4 Million synonyms. This version is completely free. Read my full review »

spinner chief

Spinner Chief (Free Version): Spinner Chief is the third text spinner in my toolbox. It is definitely not as good as The Best Spinner, but since there is a completely free version, who’s going to complain?

word ai

WordAi (3 Day Trial): WordAi is another text spinner… with a twist. It uses artificial intelligence to understand text and is able to automatically rewrite your article with the same readability as a human writer.

Without links, your website is like an island lost in the middle of the internet. To grow your audience and your traffic, you need to be found. And to be found, you need to start building links with some tools.

Building links will help you gain weight in the search engines to improve your rankings. These links will also let people travel smoothly between niche-related websites and your own website.

The problem is that, with all you have to do as a website owner, you need to find ways to build links faster and possibly in an automated way… The following tools will help you save a lot of time in your link building efforts.

senuke

SENuke XCr (Full 14 Day Trial): SENuke XCr is an automated link building tool. It will allow you to build links from blogs, article directories, forums, comments, Web 2.0 properties. And you can build as many link tiers as you wish.

magic submitter

Magic Submitter (Full 30 Day Trial / $4.95): Magic Submitter is the main competitor of SENuke XCr. It can post videos, press releases, forums, and much more. Keep in mind that the interface is less user-friendly than SENuke XCr.

article kevo

Article Kevo (Full 7 Day Trial): Article Kevo allows you to submit content to many types of websites such as article directories, web 2.0 platforms, social bookmarks, wikis, social network, forums…

gsa search engine ranker

GSA Search Engine Ranker (Full 5 Day Trial): GSA Search Engine Ranker allows you to create backlinks on auto-pilot. It currently supports over 120 platforms to submit your site and that number keeps growing every single month.

inspyder backlink monitor

Inspyder Backlink Monitor (Free Version): Inspyder Backlink Monitor does exactly what the name says: backlink monitoring. This tool is extremely easy to use and will allow you to have a good understanding of your backlink profile.

link assistant

Link Assistant (Free Version): Link Assistant is part of the SEO Powersuite. This tool allows you to prospect link partners in order to grow your link profile and get more authority in search engines.

no hands seo

No Hands SEO (Full 30 Day Trial / $4.95): No Hands SEO is an all-inclusive, hands-free link building solution that supports a decent number of platforms. This tool is one of the easiest to setup and use.

seo spyglass

SEO Spy Glass (Free Version): SEO Spy Glass is part of the SEO Powersuite. This tool allows you to uncover your competitors’ backlinks profiles as well as your own one. You can sort the reports by different SEO metrics.

sick submitter

Sick Submitter (Full 3 Day Trial): Sick Submitter allows you to post content to a wide array of website’s types. Like SENuke XCr, users can easily build scripts to increase the number of possible backlinks.

sliq submitter

SliQ Submitter (100 Submission Limit): SliQ Submitter lets you submit your website to an impressive number of directories. One of the key features is that some of these directories have a very high SEO value.

12. Outsourcing

There is only 24 hours in a day, and there is only so much that you can do by yourself. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find help online, no matter what you need to be done.

You might lack some technical knowledge to do some programming, or you don’t have enough time to produce all the content that you need, or you simply want to start building a team.

elance

Elance (Fixed or Hourly): Elance is a marketplace where you can hire freelance workers to complete tasks. You can hire them either on an hourly basis or to do a specific task. The billing part is handled by Elance to make your life easier.

odesk

Odesk (Fixed or Hourly): Odesk is another freelance workers’ website. You can find people to do IT work, content writing, graphic design, you name it. A nice feature is that you can track your take a peek at your worker’s screen to make sure they are really working (and not getting paid to go on Facebook).

freelancer

Freelancer (Fixed or Hourly): Freelancer is another website that I use to hire people to work on my websites. Finding a virtual assistant either from the USA or from overseas has never been easier.

13. Rank Tracking

There is only one way to track your results in SEO: tracking your rankings in search engines for all the keywords you are targeting.

The following tools take different approaches to help you with rank tracking, and all of them work perfectly.

rank tracker

Rank Tracker (Free Version): Rank Tracker is part of the SEO Powersuite. You can use this tool to check the search engine rankings of your own website, as well as your competitors, for as many keywords as you want.

market samurai

Market Samurai (Free Full 14 Day Trial): Market Samurai allows you to do keyword research and SEO competition research through one of the most complete set of tools available online. You can easily analyze the competition for a given keyword, and track your SEO results with their comprehensive rank tracker. The free 14 days trial offers the same functionality as paid plans, which makes it completely worth it.

14. SEO Multi Tools

The following are sets of tools with many applications. All of them are very powerful and will always prove to be useful to help you with your SEO / Online Marketing efforts.

seo powersuite

SEO Powersuite (Free Version): SEO Powersuite is a pack of desktop SEO Tools including: Spy Glass, Rank Tracker, Website Auditor and Link Assistant. All these tools are leaders in their respective industries and it’s free.

market samurai

Market Samurai (Free Full 14 Day Trial): Market Samurai allows you to do keyword research and SEO competition research through one of the most complete set of tools available online. You can easily analyze the competition for a given keyword, and track your SEO results with their comprehensive rank tracker. The free 14 days trial offers the same functionality as paid plans, which makes it completely worth it.

internet business promoter

Internet Business Promoter (Free Version): Internet Business Promoter helps you with keyword suggestion, link building and search engine rank tracking. It also analyzes your top 10 competitors on-page SEO and gives you a report.

15. On Site SEO

With SEO, you can’t control every single factor simply because a lot of them are happening on web properties owned by other people. However, one aspect that you should never under-estimate is on-site SEO.

The following resources will help you optimize the on-site SEO of your website:

wordpress seo

WordPress SEO (Get Insane Traffic From Google): If you want to take your SEO game to the next level, you should read my complete guide about WordPress SEO. You will find some information nuggets there, even if you already have some experience.

google

Google Search Console (Free): Google Search Console will give you access to a Goldmine of information regarding how Google sees your website. From incoming links, to website structure, and even the search queries on Google for which your site is appearing in the search results.

seo website auditor

Website Auditor (Free Version): Website Auditor is part of the SEO Powersuite. You can use this tool to crawl your own website. You’ll get a report of all the issues found during the crawling process.

microsoft seo

Microsoft SEO Toolkit (Free): Microsoft SEO Toolkit gives you a detailed analysis of your website, and search engine friendly suggestions to help improve the relevance of your website in search results.

16. Email Marketing

I don’t know how many times I have to repeat it to my readers: “The money is in the list!” If you want to join the big boys club and start making a lot of money online, you must absolutely build an email list. And the sooner, the better.

Every skilled marketer is saying the same thing: “If I had to start my business from scratch today, the only thing I’d change is that I would start building my list from Day1.” Don’t postpone this side of your business, you will regret it later.

list building

List Building (The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need): Building a list is essential for any online business. It’s a good thing to know that, but how exactly do you start, grow, and monetize an email list? I give you my complete Email Marketing strategy in this guide.

aweber

Aweber (100% Free Full 30 Day Trial): Aweber allows you to fully manage your email lists. My business wouldn’t exist without their service since I use them on every single website I own. It’s super easy to setup and use. Moreover, they are offering a free 30 days trial for a limited time. Click here to start your free trial.

After you create your account, I would advise you to read my complete List Building guide here.

get response

Get Response (Full 30 Day Trial): GetResponse is the main competitor of Aweber. I would rather advise you to use Aweber, but if for any reason you want to try something else, GetResponse will be your best shot. Even though I don’t currently use it, I tried it in the past and was very satisfied with it. It’s just that I tried it at the same time as Aweber, and decided to use only one of them to avoid redundancy.

17. Social Media

In recent years, Social Media became an essential part of any website building. In order to grow your traffic, you have no choice but to be present on every possible Social Media channel. Thanks to the following tools, this task becomes a whole lot easier.

fptraffic

FPTraffic ($10 / Month): Thanks to FPTraffic, you can easily find relevant content to post on your Facebook pages, and schedule it to be published later. You can spend a few hours planning all your posts for an entire month, then leave it on complete autopilot, and simply pile up the Likes and the Shares.

buzz bundle

Buzz Bundle (Free Version): Buzz Bundle is developed by the same company as the SEO Powersuite. This tool allows you to schedule and partially automate your Social Media efforts to grow your audience faster.

hootsuite

Hootsuite (Full 30 Day Trial): Hootsuite is by far the best tool to manage your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+ profiles. You can schedule updates and monitor all your accounts at the same time.

synnd

SYNND (Free Version): SYNND leverages your content via automated distribution and social buzz building on the most important social networks and video sites. To get the free version click on “Pricing“.

tweetdeck

Tweetdeck (Free Version): Tweetdeck is another Twitter account manager. It is a lot less powerful than Hootsuite since it allows you to manage only 1 account, but you might still want to give it a try.