resources for seo and marketing

Over the years I’ve tried it all – plugins, graphics programs, editing software, hosting companies – you name it.

This is a list of all of my favorite programs, tools, sites and resources – and it will be updated as it evolves and changes.  Some are free, some are paid, and some are affiliated (I am compensated if you sign up/buy), but I only link my name with programs I use myself, and if it’s listed here, I bought it myself (meaning I wasn’t given any freebies!).  Affiliate programs are clearly marked.

The Noun Project
This site offers an amazing array of icons and symbols (look around and you will find the elements I used to create the Girl’s Guide to SEO logo).  The site can be a great time saver when you are looking for quick, simple graphics to help illustrate your point or create icons on your site.  Memberships are $9.99 a month.

PhotoGrid App
Free application for iPhone and Android that allows you to edit photos, add text/graphics and of course make grids of multiple photos.  A great tool for quick mobile editing when you don’t feel like or can’t get to your laptop/desktop.

Photoshop Express
I use this almost daily to take cell phone photos to the next level.  Photoshop Express allows you to adjust things like exposure, clarity and contrast, so you can transform those “ok” snaps into something truly impressive.  The majority of what is you need is included in this free app, but you can also purchase additional features and filters.

Bluehost (Affiliate link)
I’ve used tons of different domain and hosting companies and I’ve been really happy with the pricing, quality and simplicity of Bluehost. When you purchase a domain/hosting, they offer a simple, step by step system that will get you up and running with a WordPress site in a matter of minutes. This easy install comes with pre-installed plugins, like Mojo Marketplace, but you might find these plug-ins useful (some are paid, some are free), but you can always uninstall what you don’t want/need after your site is up and running.

MailMunch Plugin
Pop-ups, love em or hate them – you cannot deny that they work.  If you are trying to grow your email list (and this really should be a focus, no matter what product or service you offer) pop-ups are truly effective.  I love MailMunch because they offer what I consider to be the least intrusive option – and exit pop-up.  You can read the full blog post about pop-ups and effective/non-annoying use here…

Akismet Plugin
Oh the spammers, you annoying website killers – they post senseless comments hoping to grab your site traffic – shut em down with Akismet.  This plugin will catch all but the very best of these hackers (one or two might sneak through) saving you tons of time and allow the real comments not to get buried in the nonsense.

Facebook Groups
I’m already hesitating as I write this… You are likely on this site because you are already a member of our Facebook group – it can be a very effective tool for reaching your audience, but technically, this wasn’t their intended purpose. I have a sneaking feeling that one day (maybe soon) Facebook might shut down business use, or require you to pay to reach your group members – much like it did with business pages. My recommendation:  Go ahead and create a group for your business, but don’t put your eggs in one basket (read more about this marketing approach here…).