This page details the various tools I use to plan, build and execute search marketing campaigns for personal and client projects. I thought it'd be a helpful resource for anyone looking for new tools to help scale their online business.
I update the page periodically with new tools I've tested and added to my arsenal 🙂 You can also find in-depth reviews showing how I use some of the tools to get results.
Below you will find a table of contents to quickly navigate to specific sections.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. I have a strict policy to only promote products I personally use to run my business. If you decide to purchase a subscription/tool through an affiliate link I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. This is how I fund the blog - thanks for your support!
Recommended SEO Training / Course Platform
The SEO Playbook
The SEO Playbook is my premium online SEO training course that teaches step-by-step systems ("Playbooks") to scale organic traffic and conversions. The course has 100+ over-the-shoulder training videos, 50+ templates and process documents, as well as a private Slack community with almost 200 SEO professionals ready to collaborate and answer your questions.
Learn more about the course and see what other students are saying here.
I use teachable to host and sell my online training course, The SEO Playbook. The platform is used by over 68,000 online instructors who have over $338M in online course sales through the platform.
The reason so many people use teachable is because it makes the entire process of setting up your online school and uploading course materials to setting up sales pages and processing payments a breeze. There is zero coding required to get started, and the customer support is amazing!
All customers get access to the private Teachable facebook group filled with thousands of other online course creators ready to answer your questions and share tips for success. I HIGHLY recommend Teachable to anyone who is looking for a solution to quickly launch their online course and start generating sales.
Recommended Hosting Companies
There are a number of hosting options out there. The one you choose will largely depend on where you are with your business. If you're just starting, a cheap shared hosting provider will serve you fine. If you're website is paying the bills, you should opt for a dedicated hosting solution.
I use WPX for my personal websites (this blog is hosted on WPX), and recommend it to all my clients. Page load speed not only has a big impact on your search engine rankings, it can make or break your on-site conversions. I moved hosting over to WPX Hosting and cut my site load speed in half overnight! They are fully compatible with WooCommerce, run on super fast SSD servers, provide daily backups, PHP caching, unlimited email accounts and are co-located in the world's largest data center. They have ultra-fast support and will even migrate your website (and upgrade it to HTTPS) for free.
Plans start at $24.99/ month (or $250/yr if you pay for the whole year at once). A no-brainer if your site has grown out of a basic hosting package.
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Recommended Content Management System (CMS)
WordPress powers over 30% of the web. It's flexible, open source, super easy to use and has an army of developers out there building plugins that make it easier to use every single day. These plugins add functionalities to your website without needing to hire an expensive programmer. As mentioned above, Bluehost and WPX offer one-click WordPress installs which makes it super easy to get your site up and running in little time.
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WP Buffs is your one-stop shop for 24/7 WordPress maintenance, whether you’re looking after one website or a thousand. These guys and girls handle everything - security, site speed, up time monitoring, backups, weekly updates to themes/files/plugins, and their technical team will provide unlimited edits to your site, any hour of the day.
I started working with the Buffs at the start of 2019 because I wanted to offload time-consuming WordPress maintenance and optimization, so I could focus on growing my business.
I’m now considering white-labeling the Buff’s services for my agency clients because the technical support has been so consistent and reliable. If you’re looking for a partner to handle all the WordPress tasks you’re tired of dealing with, sign up for one of the WP Buffs maintenance plans. You'll save a ton of time, and eliminate a lot of headaches.
Plans start at $67/mo. [Use code: RICHARDS to get 10% off any monthly plan]
There’s a reason WP Rocket was the top rated site speed SEO plugin - it makes your site blazing fast in just a few clicks. One of the things I like about the plugin is that you don’t waste any time struggling with complex plugin settings. WP Rocket launches on activation.
The plugin speeds up your site in a number of ways - page caching, preload caching, file compression, and serving “images of request” (i.e. images are loaded only as the user scrolls down the page). WP Rocket is now installed on almost 750,000 websites.
Recommended SEO Tools
SEMrush is my swiss army knife when it comes to competitor analysis and keyword research for both SEO and PPC campaigns. I'm able to plug in the URL of any of my competitors and find out how much organic and paid traffic they are getting, which keywords they are ranking for, the ad copy they are using as well as the landing pages they're using to convert traffic. I can completely dissect their online strategies with a single tool. I use it every single day!
But don't just take my word for it. SEMrush was just rated #1 keyword research tool by 127 marketing experts, ranked as the top overall seo tool by 143 search marketing professionals, and recently topped the leaderboard as the best organic search and PPC competitor analysis tool.
I wrote a comprehensive case outlining