Image: jejamescycles.co.ukThe Ultimate Free Digital Marketing Toolkit → Over 100 Awesome Free Resources By @stevejlock
Contents About Analytics SEO, The Author, and Acknowledgements Learning SEO and Internet Marketing Excel for SEO and Google Docs Browser Plugins and Bookmarklets Keyword Research Crawling and Technical Auditing Linkbuilding and Backlink Data Social Media and Content Related Tools Productivity, GTD and Miscellaneous
The Author & AcknowledgementsSteve Lock is Head of SEO for Analytics SEO and Co-chair for SEMPOUK. He has gained experience working agency-side, client-side and alsoworking with hundreds of search agencies across the globe with bothSEMPO and Analytics SEO. You can find him on LinkedIn or Twitter via@stevejlock.During Steves career he has worked with a mix of startups, small brandsand numerous FTSE100 organisations. He is also a proud supporter ofinitiatives and events that SEMPO has been involved with includingSASCon, Search Engine Strategies, UK and European Search Awards.This guide has predominantly come from my own testing and research,however there were a couple of awesome people and blogs that I shouldmention that have helped to inspire and shape this eBook. Firstly ChrisAnderson, without his book Free I never would have been soenthusiastic about this project. The research has also been influenced bya number of guys over at Distilled, iAcquire and SEOGadget includingTom Anthony, Will Critchlow, Richard Baxter and more recently MikeKing.
About This GuideThis guide has been written as a comprehensive reference to some ofthe best free SEO resources available on the internet. Each of the pagesis hyperlinked so simply click on the images to visit the websites.After moving to Ubuntu Linux in 2008, I needed to be replace many ofthe SEO tools and techniques that I regularly used with tools available inLinux environments. This inevitably meant relying on using web basedapplications, browser extensions and building agile tools. The mostsurprising insight from this experience was that a majority of the bestresources available are completely free.The guide was also heavily influenced through a period of research in2009 into freemium business models with a particular emphasis onGoogle. By far the best resource I found was Free by Chris Anderson,which as I am sure you have already guessed is also a free resource!The guide shares just over one hundred of the best digital marketingresources available on the internet and is the result of years of research.Its been a lot of fun to write and I hope you like the guide!
Learning SEO & Internet Marketing I hope its not boring...
Learning SEO & Internet MarketingLearning about internet marketing is really tough, the biggest challengeis probably all the garbage content that gets circulated – which makes itreally hard to distinguish good advice from bad.Early in my career, I actually needed to go through the process ofrelearning many aspects of SEO, as I began to realise that reading thewrong materials can have a really detrimental affect on what can alreadybe a challenging area to research.The good news is that in recent years there have been some amazingreference materials and guides published. If you are new to internetmarketing than you are in luck because following these guides can notonly give you a really solid foundation, but could enable you to giveexperienced practitioners a run for their money!Just never forget the golden rule of treating all sources with realscepticism and try to keep the number of blogs, forums and industrysites you read to a real minimum (youll thank me for it later!).
Browser Plug-ins & BookmarkletsBrowser plug-ins have come a really long way since I started in digitalmarketing. Using a mixture of Firefox and Chrome gives you access toam amazing arsenal of awesome free tools.In the last couple of years I have also been seeing many morebookmarklets that can help you save loads of time especially whensnooping around sites for the first time or competitors domains. You canlook up a vast array of metrics in seconds and just a couple of clicks.A colleague Mark Bennett once said to me “peoples’ intelligence shouldbe measured by the number of browser add-ons they use”. Initially Iwasnt 100% sure whether a large number was better or worse, howeverafter checking out these examples Im pretty sure the answer is the morethe better...
Keyword ResearchI would always argue that keyword research is one of the most importantaspects of a successful digital campaign; as if you target the wrongkeywords, even if you rank really well for them, you will get poor resultsfor a number of reasons:1. You could end up ranking well, but the terms would generate a merefraction of the traffic you expect.2. It could attract the wrong audience and lead to extremely poorconversion rates.If possible I would always recommend relying on real world analyticsdata and PPC tests for keywords you dont rank for. If that is notpossible, at least use multiple data sources to avoid any nasty surprises!This is because keyword research can sometimes feel like you’re doingway too much guesswork.However, as with all areas of digital marketing there are loads of reallycool free tools available, here are some of the best.
Crawling & Technical AuditingTechnical SEO has recently become much easier; I often see websitesranking well that would have struggled to rank if it wasnt for theadvances of Google (and other major search engines!) doing a better jobof crawling them.However, it is still potentially one of the most important aspects of acampaign to get right and can yield quickest ranking improvements,especially if the site is already authoritative.Here is a selection of my favourite free tools for analysing technical SEOissues. They contain a number of crawling and auditing tools includingdirect feedback and advice from both Google and Bing.SEOs sometimes debate how useful such direct feedback is, but oftentechnical recommendations are amongst the most reliable informationthat they share.
Link Building & Backlink DataLink building related tools are probably my favourite category, it’s oftenthe area where SEOs feel the most pain and thus get quite obsessedwith. Backlink data is an area where often it’s tough to try and work oncampaigns without paying for it, but as I am sure you’ve already guessedits getting easier!In a similar manner to keyword research it is worthwhile consideringusing multiple sources, I like this approach as it can help you to paint amore complete picture, especially as analysing backlink profiles can besuch challenging work!Other tools I really like include Duck Duck Go for generating high qualitylink prospects, Tynt Publishing Tools to encourage people to link to youand Tom Anthonys AuthorCrawler to generate insights into who is linkingto a website...
Social Media & Content Related Tools The explosion in social media tools is moving quicker than any other category I have covered. Twitter even announced they have powered well over one million apps! It is really tricky to keep up with, however I have managed to compile some of my favourites, which includes a content marketing twist as it is such a hot topic at the moment. There are a number of curation related tools and apps that generate actionable insights into your campaigns effortlessly. My pro tip would be to keep an eye on the tools that have APIs and support RSS, these can enable you to add powerful automation to your campaigns, which can (when handled tastefully) help you to supercharge your social campaigns!
Productivity, GTD & MiscellaneousAt heart I am a passionate evangelist for anything to do with productivity,lifehacking and GTD. This section covers some tools that have helpedme to keep organised and save me lots of time.My pro tip would be to invest time in learning shortcuts in all the appsyou use the most (including your operating system) and automatingtasks that you are frequently repeating. There is a famous saying inLinux that if you have to do anything more than three times you shouldautomate it.This may sound a little extreme, but if you automate ten tasks that saveyou ten minutes, they will quickly save you hundreds, or even thousandsof minutes!I have also included some fantastic apps I wanted to include that didnt fitinto the other categories like The Email Game, RSS Owl andRapidminer.I hope you are enjoying this guide, the end is near, but I have savedsome of the best until last!