I’ve used each of the SEO and webmaster services and tools below in the past and can vouch for them.
I was also interested in sharing certain other internet marketing products (like PPC Coach and Clayton Makepeace’s copywriting materials), but I’ve never used them myself so I’ll pass for now. There are others run by friends
Most of these are affiliate links, but a few are non-affiliate, too.
Competitive Intelligence SEO Tools
Compete – The Rolls Royce of competitive intelligence products, these guys get their data directly from the ISPs and their panel of millions. This is very valuable for impressing leads: bring a sample report to your meetings and say, “You can keep this sample report, and get more of them by working with me. This is also the kind of advanced intelligence and playing field I operate on.”
Compete used to be based on buying credits, but now you need a monthly membership. These start at $199/month.
I’ve personally got the Pro-Advanced Plan, which includes referral analytics. That goes for $499/month. These can be used for retargeting, which aims to make your advertising more effective.
Spyfu– Also formerly based on buying credits, Spyfu now offers monthly subscriptions that start at $59/month or $395/year (two months free).
They get their data by scraping search results, and were the first guys with ad copy data, so you could see competitors’ PPC ads. I’ve bought their reports and love em.
A tip on using this to its max potential: Since your reports are based on a domain, buy the reports for mega ad buyers like eBay and Amazon and category killers in your vertical.
SEOmoz Pro – As the title indicates, SEOmoz has some of the world’s biggest sites as clients, including eBay and the Marriott, and for good reason. Here are some of the things I like about their pro membership:
First, SEOmoz finally caught up to SEO Book and created their own Hub Finder, plus they went one better and organized the links by mozTrust (that’s jargon for the quality of the link). That’s very helpful in prioritizing link building targets.
Seomoz also has a boatload of useful tools like Linkscape, Trifecta (formerly Page Strength), Juicy Link Finder, etc. The price is $79/month or $800/year (ie get 2 months free).
Besides that, I happen to be friends or friendly with most of SEOmoz’s staff, including Danny Dover, Scott Willoughby, Gillian Fishkin etc, and their associates at Distilled like Tom and Will Critchlow, Duncan Morris, etc. Those personal interactions only reinforce for me the trust I accord these people.
Majestic SEO – Majestic offers a competing product to SEOmoz, but is different in certain key respects.
Their main service is free and shows much greater link numbers than SEOmoz’s Linkscape.
The flip side is that they have no mozTrust metrics, so you can’t sort the links for quality. You can also buy ‘credits’ that are redeemable for advanced reports and data.
I’ve also interacted directly with Majestic SEO’s staff, lead by Alex Chudnovsky, and can speak to their extremely rapid and helpful support!
Dreamhost Web Hosting – I use Dreamhost for literally all of my hosting, for 3 reasons: value for money, value for money, and value for money.
Dreamhost offers fantastic customer service, address downtime issues very quickly, reply to support emails within 24 hours and frequently within 2 hours … I can’t say enough good things about them.
I also love Dreamhost’s one-click installs. I don’t mess around with databases, PHP versions, and other headache-inducing techie stuff when I set up a new WordPress site. I click, and I’m done.
Use promo code HESREALLYNUTS at Dreamhost for a cash discount, a free Unique IP for the first year (useful for sites you promote aggressively and don’t want tied back to your other sites) and a bonus free 2nd domain registration. Total value: $50! (Valid on full-year registration or longer.)
Namecheap domains I switched to Namecheap from Godaddy because they give you both (i) a free SSL certificate for 1 year with a new domain registration and (ii) a free private Whois registration for the first year (they call it “WhoisGuard”). You also don’t need to use it with that domain in particular.
Sitemeter – I love these guys for getting into the nitty-gritty of particular visitors and seeing what kinds of patterns emerge. Their premium product costs only $70 a year and is extremely valuable. Instead of only seeing your 100 most recent visitors, you get to see the last 4000, and it also saves the data on that. SO
Basecamp HQ for reporting progress in link buying. I like that it’s online, which makes life easy for everyone involved. Link sellers login to post the URLs on which they sold me links. Clients login to see the URLs and make sure that quality keeps up. And at the end of the month I log in to see where we got links and to make payment.
BuzzStream for manual link building campaigns. You can add new prospects in there, add notes and other info to track progress on building the relationship, and finally update with info on links obtained. It helpfully scrapes the code of a site for any emails you can use to contact the webmaster but doesn’t yet point you to contact forms.