My Top Recommended Tools

I’ve put together a list of my favorite resources that I use myself. You’ll find a description of each tool, what it’s used for, and why I like it.

Full disclosure, I do get a small commission if you use my links. If you don’t want me to get paid, that’s okay. You can still use these tools, just go directly to the vendor’s website instead of clicking below.

Web Hosting

Flywheel (for WordPress websites only)

Every website’s physical files live on a server somewhere. This is called “hosting”. You can save yourself a lot of time, headaches, and risk by choosing a safe, reliable web hosting provider. For WordPress websites, Flywheel is the service I use and highly recommend. I’ve tried several providers over the years and Flywheel is my top pick for small businesses. Flywheel is specifically designed for WordPress sites and has specific bells and whistles that make it super easy to manage your WordPress site. One of my favorite features is that the Flywheel team will migrate (transfer) your site for free from your previous hosting company.

Here’s why I like it:
Free SSL Certificate
Free Migrations
Daily Backups included
CDN (content delivery network) included
CDN (content delivery network) included
Caching included (optimized for WP Rocket plugin)
Staging site included
Managed Plugin Updates ($25/month extra)
Ability to duplicate your site
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Domain Names

Namecheap

Need to purchase your domain name? Namecheap is the cheaper alternative to GoDaddy! Best of all, Namecheap includes Privacy Protection for free which will hide your personal information from spammers and scammers! With prices starting at just $0.88, you can’t go wrong.

Here’s why I like it:

Namecheap is usually half the price than GoDaddy (avg. $8.88/yr)

My favorite feature – they include Privacy Protection for free!

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Citation Services (for Business Directory Listings)

BrightLocal

BrightLocal’s platform provides several SEO tools for small businesses. But I recommend it primarily for their Citation Builder service. Listings start at a one-time cost of $2 per directory. You purchase listings in packs of 10, 15, 25, 30, 50 and 75. All listings are manually created by real people, unlike other popular services like Yext that automate the process. BrightLocal is very good about communicating notes within the platform throughout the process as well as providing login credentials for the listings. Other tools available on the platform include a ranking tracker, reputation management, and SEO audit tools.

Here’s why I like it:
One-time cost per listing (no recurring monthly fees like many other providers)
Manually created by real humans
Reporting provided
Data aggregators available
Niche sites available
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Tracking & Reporting Tools

CallRail (for tracking phone calls)

CallRail is one of my favorite tools for tracking online marketing efforts. CallRail allows you to track where the phone calls to your business are coming from, eg. Google organic, Google My Business, ads, Facebook, and more, using virtual tracking numbers. How it works: Within CallRail, you create tracking numbers that will forward directly to your main number (or whichever phone number you choose). Next, you place a small piece of code on your website which then swaps the main phone number listed on your website to the CallRail tracking number when someone visits your website from Google organic, Google My Business, ads, Facebook, etc. You can also create and place tracking numbers on other assets you’d like to track like Google My Business and Bing Places. Plans start at $45/month and gets you 10 numbers and 500 minutes.

Here’s why I like it:
Call recording (good for seeing how your employees handle calls)
Call routing (during certain hours, route to multiple numbers, etc)
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Site Speed Improvement

WP Rocket (WordPress plugin)

Website page speed is a crucial SEO factor. You should aim to have your website load in under 2.5 seconds. If your website is running on WordPress, then I highly recommend the plugin WP Rocket. This plugin handles all the technical complexities of page “caching” and can cut down on loading time by 50%. Just install the plugin and watch as your page speeds improve within minutes!

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Reputation Management (for Online Reviews)

GatherUp

After trying several tools for managing online reviews, I’ve landed on GatherUp. First off, the price is right – starting at $75 per month, per location. GatherUp allows you to send automatic (and fully customizable) email sequences to your customers requesting their review on Google, or whichever platform you prefer (Facebook, Houzz, Zocdoc, etc). GatherUp is a reputation management platform that makes it easy to keep your online reviews updated and organized. GatherUp offers a custom setup with all necessary integrations allowing you to monitor the success of campaigns at a glance and use free analytics from within the platform.

Here’s why I like it:
Embed your online reviews directly to your website
Get immediate notifications when someone leaves you a review
Monthly reports of your online reputations
A conversion popup tool (for social proof!)

Privacy Policies

Termageddon

Website owners are required by law to have a privacy policy, but many do not. Termageddon automatically creates your privacy policy so you can stay compliant with the latest laws without worrying about it again. They update your privacy policies when the laws change, so you avoid lawsuits and never have to worry about staying compliant for having an outdated policy on your site. Policies are built with one-click installation for products like WordPress, WooCommerce and many others. Termageddon has a suite of policy templates for privacy policies, terms and conditions, and disclaimers.

Here’s why I like it:
Termageddon creates the privacy policy automatically based on the information you provide
Embed policy(s) on your site in just a few clicks
Policies update automatically as laws changes
Get compliant with CalOPPA, CCPA, GDPR, and more
Only $10/month per site
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