My Digital Marketing Tools Of The Trade!

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If you have ever wondered which tools & services I use to grow my websites…

You’re in luck!

Because on this page I share everything that I use to get the job done across my fleet of sites including-

  • My complete SEO & digital marketing tool stack
  • Behind the scenes of my office setup
  • A full breakdown of my video studio
  • And the plugins I use to power my sites

My SEO & Digital Marketing Tool Stack

These are the various tool’s that I use throughout my fleet of websites to get the job done.

Whether that’s building links or email marketing, it’s all listed below-

Site Analysis

Whether you are launching a new site or trying to fix a penalty, having the right site analysis tools will save you hours of time.

I tend to find myself using Website Auditor and Screaming Frog the most which both have free versions available that are limited to 500/urls.

Website Auditor (free version available) – I’ve been using this suite of tools for a decade (read my full SEO Powersuite review) & Website Auditor makes it easy to perform 1 click audits to find problems. It has a class leading TFIDF tool to help you dial down on page optimization.

Screaming Frog (free version available) – I use this SEO Spider tool if I’m auditing huge sites or need to do any kind of custom data extraction (like which posts feature affiliate links). Although this is for the more advanced SEO, it doesn’t take too long to figure out.

Ahrefs (trial available) – The fully featured site audit tool will automatically scan your site for problems every week and sends weekly reports direct to your inbox. This isn’t my primary tool for conducting audits, but it is my primary source of alerts for problems.

Google Search Console (free) – Let’s not forget that Google Search Console will also alert you about certain types of problems. Just go to the Index > Coverage report and fix any errors you find.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of any SEO campaign.

Get it right and you’ll see thousands of people coming to your site in the quickest amount of time possible.

Get it wrong and you’ll have zero traffic to show for your SEO efforts!

My Intelligent Keyword Strategy Sheet (free) – I built this sheet to help me create intelligent keyword strategies in any niche in minutes. It filters out the tyre kicker keywords and highlights keywords with commercial intent, perfect!

A hrefs (trial available) – They have the best data in SEO period. And that includes both keyword data & traffic data which makes it easy to find awesome keywords (learn how in my Ahrefs review).

SEMRush (14 day free trial) – Before Ahrefs were the king of keywords, SEMRush were. They have lots of great tools to make keyword research easy and my 68 point SEMRush review will help you out as well!

RankTracker (free version available) – Not only is this the best rank tracker (more on that later) but it also delivers a ton of solid keyword research features like being able to find every keyword your competitor currently ranks for.

LongTailPro (free trial available) – For a long time this was the best desktop based keyword tool and they recently moved it to the cloud to make it easy to do keyword research no matter where you are.

Looking for keyword research tools on a budget? Don’t worry, I got you covered! Check out my list of free keyword research tools.

Link Building

Backlinks are the most important Google Ranking Factor but many people have trouble building links.

So if my list of link building strategies isn’t helping you then take a look at some of the link building tools and services that I use below-

The Backlink Blacklist – Use this free tool to check a list of backlinks to see if they are known guest post farms or commonly resold.

The Link Building Checklist – This checklist and free training video will show you how to make sure you are only building links that help you to rank.

My Intelligent Link Building Sheet (free) – This is the personal intelligent spreadsheet that I built to help me create link building strategies based on what is currently working for my competitors.

LinksThatRank – The premier outreach based link building service that goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to quality control.

Link Assistant (free version available) – Just select from one of the 12x different types of backlinks like guest posts then follow the wizard to find prospects, automatically find their email addresses & send bulk Outreach.

GSA Search Engine Ranker – This is the swiss army knife of link building. Supports over 100 platforms, scrapes targets, posts to them, verifys emails and checks the links are live all in one tool but you must pay close attention to quality and relevancy.

OneHourIndexing – If you want to get your backlinks indexed quickly and easily, OneHourIndexing is the service for you. They dominated my case study and have continued to perform at a high rate of indexation.

Backlink Checkers

Backlink checkers are my favorite category of SEO tool because they are key to understanding what is working for your competitors.

And once you understand which links are working for your competitors, you can steal them all for yourself mwahahaha!

Although there is no doubt about who the king of backlink checkers is after this case study.

The Backlink Blacklist – This free tool is great for checking if a list of backlinks is good or not.

My Intelligent Link Building Sheet (free) – This is the personal intelligent spreadsheet that I built to help me create link building strategies based on what is currently working for my competitors.

Ahrefs (trial available) – There is no doubt that Ahrefs is the king of backlink checkers. They dominated every single test I’ve run & continue to innovate with new tools. Here’s 25x ways you can use them to increase traffic.

SEMRush (14 day free trial) – SEMRush also have a pretty comprehensive database of links that you can download and use to your advantage. Check out my full SEMRush review to learn how to use it the right way.

SEO Spyglass (free version available) – Although they have a smaller database of links, SEO Spylgass can still stand on it’s own 2x feet and is the only desktop based backlink checker.

Google Search Console (free) – If you want to download the backlinks of your own website, you can do that for free in Google Search console. Just click Links at the bottom of the left hand menu.

But, I understand these tools can be quite expensive if you are just starting out so check out my free seo tools list.

Rank Trackers

One of the most important tasks you can do as an SEO is to monitor your search engine rankings.

And thanks to things like the mobile first index its important you track both mobile and desktop rankings.

But there is only 1 king when it comes to Rank Tracking…

Rank Tracker (free version available) – This is the most comprehensive rank tracking tool on the market & allows you check rankings up to 1,000 search results deep in 500 different search engines. It also tracks universal search results in Google like images, videos, news, shopping, places, books, local rankings, maps, YouTube videos & competitor rankings with no limits.

Accuranker (14 day free trial) – This is one of the easiest to use rank trackers that is absolutely beautiful. It integrates with a range of tools including Google Data Studio. It’s also one of the best mobile rank tracking tool. Check out my full Accuranker review.

SEMRush (14 day free trial) – If you want something more cloud based, then SEMRush offers daily updates but is limited to the first 100 page of results.


BuyProxies – I’ve tried tons of providers in the past but now I only use the semi dedicated ones from BuyProxies which never seem to be banned from anywhere and are blazing fast. They offers great options of proxies from SEO proxies to residential proxies.


Spamzilla (free version available) – This is become one of my new favorite tools last year and I’ve used it to buy a bunch of domains to build authority sites. Learn how to use expired domains or read my full Spamzilla review.

Domain Hunter Gatherer (free version available) – If you want to buy a domain to build a new site on or to use as part of a network then Domain Hunter Gatherer is the best tool to find it. You can learn more in my Domain Hunter Gatherer review.

TBS Solutions – If you prefer to buy your authority domains “off the shelf” rather than searching for them then I have had great success with this broker. They always have great domains & will help you find specific domains.

Want to learn how to make profits with domain names? Check these posts:

Social Media Management

Hootsuite (free version available) – if you want to manage your Facebook page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel & more – HootSuite is perfect. It also has some great team features to share social accounts without sharing passwords.

Buffer (free version available) – You can also use buffer to manage all of your Social profiles which works in a similar way, but personally I prefer how HootSuite works.

Social Signals

DripRevolution (free trial) – If you want to drip feed social signals from a range of different Services then DripRevolution makes it easy with an all in one interface. This is a great tool to add social proof to any page quickly.

View2Be – If your goal is to increase YouTube subscribers, likes and comments then this service provides everything you need. This is my go to provider for all things YouTube.

Listening Tools

Listening to the web is a great way to pick up easy backinks and traffic.

I suggest you set up monitors to listen for your brand name, author name, website URL, email addresses, phone numbers or any other information that is unique to you.

Google Alerts (free) – This used to be the best because it was powered by Google but now it returns a lot less results. I highly suggest you check out my full Google Alerts tutorial which will show you some of the best alerts to set up for your business.

Mention (free version available) – These guys have quickly become the leaders in listening to the web because they offer a range of comprehensive features and filters along with a free trial that you can take advantage of.

Ahrefs Alerts (trial available) – To make sure you get complete coverage though you should also set up Aherfs alerts which sends updates to my email every week when it finds mentions of my brand or any topics that we are currently tracking.

Captcha Solving

GSA Captcha Breaker – This is the king of captcha solving and has seen significant development and frequent updates over the past years. It’s stable, fast and works with most software out of the box.

Content Generation/Spinning

Word Ai (free trial) – This incredible tool takes advantage of artificial intelligence to rewrite content and make it completely unique. Not only will it be perfectly readable, it will pass copyscape & no one will be able to tell it’s being rewritten by a machine.

SEO Content Machine (free trial) – If you need to create lots of unique relevant content quickly than SEO content machine is your friend. But this isn’t the kind of content you want to use on front facing property’s!

TheBestSpinner – This is the original and best content spinner and if you want to create lots of unique articles by hand, this is the tool to do it.

Email Marketing

Drip (free trial) – This is the single most important tool on this page both from a business perspective and an SEO perspective. If you are not using email marketing, you are leaving a lot of money, traffic and rankings on the table.

Fast Hosting With Great Support

Kinsta – The current host of this blog who provide excellent hands on support, along with free SSL and daily automated backups. Read my full Kinsta review.

WPXHosting (free migration) – However these guys took my recent fastest WordPress hosting case study by storm and are both faster and cheaper than Kinsta. Ironically they are also the previous host of this blog… /facepalm Take a look at my full WPX hosting review.

Don’t forget, if you’re on a budget and just starting out, take a look at my how to start a blog tutorial for budget-friendly recommendations.

What Powers This Blog?

People are always asking me which theme or plugin(s) I am using on the blog.

So I decided to publish a list of everything that I use to power this blog and my courses.

If you have any questions on how I’ve got any of this setup, please feel free to ask in the comments below!


Authority Theme – This is the theme that I use on the blog which was custom developed by the MyThemeShop team but then I decided to make it available to everyone. It’s super fast, SEO ready and easy to customise.


CDN Enabler – I use KeyCDN (free $10 credit) on my blog and this is the free plug-in that they created to use with their service.

Comment Redirect – When you make a comment on the blog for the first time, I take you to a special page that asks you to become a subscriber or follow me on social networks, this is the plugin I use to do it.

Gravity Forms – This is the plugin I use to build intelligent contact forms & to power enquiry forms for my agency. It connects with many other services like Drip and Zapier.

LearnDash – This is the plug in that I use to power all of my courses. It integrates with a bunch of other tools/plugins & services for a streamlined learning experience.

Pixel Your Site – I use various pixels to track people’s behavior on the site and I use this plugin to deploy them in the most intelligent way.

RankMath – This is the best SEO plugin for WordPress and it has seen significant development in recent years. I have now replaced Yoast across my network with RankMath which has a ton more features – read my full Rank Math review.

SEO Auto Linker – If you want to create internal links easily this is the plugin for you. Be sure to check out my full internal linking guide to learn how to use it.

ShortPixel – This is the best image compression plugin I’ve used. Previously I was using the free version of WP Smush but ShortPixel took the already smushed images and reduced them by 70%. Those are speed savings that you just can’t ignore

Social Warfare – All of the social sharing buttons & ClicktoTweet boxes on the blog are powered by this plugin which offers a ton of features you can’t find anywhere else like recovering your social share if you migrate from HTTP to HTTPS.

Table Of Contents Plus – Near the top of every page I have an expandable table of contents usually with the text “What Will You Learn”. This is the plugin that I’m using to power that.

Thirsty Affiliates – All of my affiliate links are managed through Thirsty Affiliates. It has a ton of advanced features and makes it easy to stay on top of the hundreds of affiliate links that I’m managing.

Thrive Architect – This is the tool that I use to build beautiful landing pages including my homepage and pages like this one or this one.

Thrive Leads – All of the email subscription pop ups, forms and light boxes that you see on the blog are created with Thrive leads. It’s got some really advanced targeting options but most importantly it makes split testing really easy.

WPFusion – This is what I use to connect to Wordpress, Learndash and my email marketing system (Drip). It has a bunch of handy features such as being able to tag people in my email system based on their behavior on my websites.

WP Rocket – This is the plugin I used for many years to speed up my websites. Even through I now use NitroPack I still recommend this plugin to people that whish to increase their speed and boost their performance. Take a look at my full WP Rocket review.

NitroPack – This is my new go-to plugin. It helps increasing websites speed in just a few clicks, no other caching plugin can compete. Take a look at my full NitroPack review.

WP Shortcode Pro – If you’re wondering what I use to style things like bullet points or highlight text, this is the plugin that I use to do it. It includes a bunch of different short codes that makes it easy to style your posts and pages.

Want more tools to power up your SEO agency? Check my list of SEO software for agencies.

The Office Setup

I spent a lot of time in the office which serves as 2x purposes.

First to be an actual office and second to be a video studio but I’ll cover the “video studio” part a little later on this page.


The desktop workhorse was built to render video as quickly as possible-

And I drive all of that hardware with this-

The Video Studio Setup

After playing with video for a while I decided to build a dedicated video studio in the office.

It’s a simple green screen setup backed with good lighting, a decent camera & audio.

camera setup

And… a teleprompter of course!

I mounted all of the lights to the ceiling to save floor space and can turn everything on/off with this little remote-

That makes it easy to shoot video when I need to and there is zero setup time.

This is my current video kit which was used to produce videos like this.

If I Could Only Have 3x Tools…

If I was stuck on a desert island that somehow had both electric and Wi-Fi…

..then these are the 3x tools that I wouldn’t want to be stuck without

My Keyword & Link Building Spreadsheets – These spreadsheets make it easy to build an intelligent keyword & link building strategy based off what is working for your competitors right now. These sheets will save you huge amounts of time & money in your SEO campaigns.

Ahrefs – This is one of the most complete SEO tools, not only because of the tools that it provides but because it’s the biggest warehouse of SEO data on the planet which means you can make intelligent decisions quickly.

Drip – You might find it’s unusual that I’m listing an email marketing tool as one of my favorite SEO tools. But this is the tool that helps me keep bringing people back to my site. So everytime I have new content I want to rank, I can instantly attract traffic & links by sending one email to my huge list of subscribers.

What Tools Do You Use?

I would love to know what tools you use in your business.

So leave a comment below to let me know what your favorite tools are and why.

I’m always looking for new tools to help me work more efficiently so I’m excited to hear what you’re using.

Please let me know in the comments below…

What Are Your Thoughts?

410 Responses

  1. Hey Matthew,Did you not say in one of your earlier posts that Nitropack is better than WP rocket? And a combination of perfmatters and nitropack along with cloudfare cdn (optional) works on really increasing the site speed? Yet, I see you still use wp rocket and keycdn in your website? Am I missing something here?

    1. Hey Arya, I’ve used WP Rocket for many years because it used to be the best. After testing NitroPack on my website, I decided to switch because it delivered better results. I’m now using NitroPack. I just forgot to update this post.

  2. You should really remove Godaddy from your list. Reason being:1. These people steal domain name ideas from you. Try searching for a name on their site and then buying it the following day.2. Renewal is expensive. You have to pay a lot. If it’s expired, you’re even worse off.Namecheap and namesilo are two of the best.

  3. For my tools of the trade, I use Hub-Spot to target potential clients. From there, they receive an email with the PDF reports that outline our team’s experience and capabilities. Hub-spot is awesome because it does everything for you and then allows you to export all those contacts into a .csv or something similar so I can easily upload them onto Excel.

  4. Hi Matthew,Thanks for this article. I am wondering how much per month you spend on all the SEO tools you use for your biz. Thank you!

    1. Haha quite a bit, can’t tell you the exact number though. But I try to keep the number as low as possible so we checked our expenses every 3 months to see if we are not paying for tools that we don’t need/use.

    1. It’s not my speciality I’m afraid I tend to get a video editor to help me out with the more jazzy stuff.

  5. Great list of tools. Loved the fact that you selected Drip. One of the reason i use and recommend it, is because you can send affiliate conversion data to drip, using zapier or integromat (more advanced version of zapier). This way you can really use all data driven marketing features you have in drip. Tools:DripZapierairtableYoastahrefs

  6. Hey MattThe last time when i visite your website was on 2011 i think ,Now im back on 2020 as a new webmarketer and i found your blog on top , thanks for all from morocco bro

  7. I am using the following tools:Vultr Cloud Hosting (Super Fast Hosting)Generatepress Theme (Its fast and easy to customize)BunnyCDN (Extremely affordable)WP-Rocket Caching Plugin (Best caching plugin out there)Thrive Leads (Very Affordable Lead Generation Tool for beginners)Elementor Pro (For Creating Landing Pages)Sendinblue (For email marketing)

  8. I liked your post! Matt <3 I visit your blog all the time and have shared with my facebook fans and they really like the posts. Keep up the awesome posts.

  9. Disappointed not to see SEO Surfer missing but maybe it missed the cut. Purchased it on your recommendation so I hope it’s good

  10. Thanks for sharing the informative blog. Being an SEO Expert I look forward to creating quality backlinks every day. But with broken link method, never acquired a link. It’s not useful to me. So tools help.

  11. Normally I don’t really take the time to comment on any one blogs. Gonna break my virginity on this one to say you did a great job in posting great content on SEO strategies. Really appreciate your content!

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