Search Engine Marketing Resources

Some people prefer to manage their own search engine marketing. If that applies to you, then you may find this list of resources we use helpful.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This basically means that we earn a commission if a purchase is made via one of our links.

Not all of these resources are free but we genuinely use and only make recommendations based on our experience and belief that these are really good tools for you to use.

Website Creation

WordPress (free)

  • Our preferred weapon of choice when it comes to building web sites. Just fantastic!
  • for self-hosted websites.
  • for hosted (free and paid options).

When it comes to WordPress website design, we have no hesitation in recommending Thrive Themes.

Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes provide a range of WordPress themes for a single annual fee.

  • They are built for fast site performance, including automatic image optimisation.
  • They include many different page templates, include landing page designs.
  • Thrive Themes look great from the outset but are completely customisable should you want to make your own style tweaks.
  • All themes are fully mobile responsive which is vital given the importance that the search engines put on responsive design.
  • Above all else, the company behind Thrive Themes are brilliant to work with! They constantly innovate, over deliver and offer excellent support.

In addition, Thrive Landing Pages (part of the Thrive package) makes it very easy to create landing pages with loads of drag and drop, self-hosted landing page templates. If you are in the market for a landing page solution, this Thrive Landing Pages vs Lead Pages comparison should be useful.

Review all of themes here.

We all also recommend Thrive Content Builder visual editor for WordPress from the same company. This is a drag and drop editor for WordPress and the link above goes to a page where we have a couple of overview videos.

Domains and Hosting

Having tried many different services over the years, there are really only a couple of services we can recommend. 

For domain names, it is Namecheap. They also offer hosting 'though this site is not hosted with them.  

In terms of hosting, this site is with WPX.

The primary reason we switched to WPX (formerly called Traffic Planet Hosting), was due to the performance improvement of hosting this WordPress site.

They moved the domain, including the set-up of our SSL, from the previous host without fuss or charge.

Their support service is simply brilliant with lightning fast response times and issue resolution. If you have a WordPress site and want to improve the speed of it plus feel like a valued customer, then you could do a lot worse than select WPX. 

Keyword Research

Keyword research provides the foundation for any online marketing activity, be it PPC or SEO. Visit our keyword research tutorials page for some pointers on getting started.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner (free).

This shouldn't be relied on as the exhaustive list of keyword searches but is good enough for most users, particularly if just setting out.

If you have a Google AdWords account, just log in and you'll find the keyword planner under the tools menu. You do not need to be an active advertiser in order to use. ​

Keyword Researcher Pro (Paid)

Keyword Researcher Pro is an excellent desktop application that uncovers lots of the keywords Google won’t show you in their suggestion tool, i.e. long-tail keywords. It’s just great for spotting new ideas for content as well as helping AdWords pro-users quickly identify additional negative keywords.

PPC Campaign Build and Management Software

Google AdWords Editor (Free)

Google’s desktop application for building and managing AdWords campaigns. Works alongside the browser options. Many features but allows for easy account back-ups and rapid campaign builds and expansion.

Bing Ads Editor (Free)

​Microsoft’s equivalent of AdWords Editor. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!


NoteTab Pro (Paid and Free versions)

​A superb text editor and replacement for Windows Notepad.

It has dozens of uses from HTML code editing, CSS writing and lots of technical stuff that goes over our heads! We use as the workhorse when it comes to sorting and sifting through keyword research lists as well as putting together some blog posts.

This one application can save you an enormous amount of time! NoteTab.​