During the last few years, the search engine marketing (SEM) industry has grown significantly. Many new resources have popped up to offer all kinds of information and advice. However, many people find this avalanche of information overwhelming. How can you distinguish the truly useful and accurate sources from the less trustworthy ones?
Here is a list of resources that I personally use to stay on top of the industry.
Best SEM blogs
Use these to stay on top of all the latest developments in (and analysis of) the industry. Searchengineland.com, Searchenginewatch.com, SEObook.com, SEOmoz.org, Stuntdubl.com, Jimboykin.com, Marketingpilgrim.com.
Best SEM forums
Join the community of advertisers and SEM experts in sharing and receiving free advice regarding anything SEM-related.
Best free SEM tools
Visit these sites to access some of the most helpful tools for effective keyword use and to test your web pages for a variety of SEM-related attributes.
Tools.seobook.com(almost every category of tool you can list).
Seocompany.ca/tool/seo-tools.html (links to more than 150 tools).
Searchmarketing.yahoo.com/rc/srch/intro101.php (the very popular Yahoo! tools). Webmaster-toolkit.com/search-engine-optimisation-tools.shtml (especially their web page analyzer for “search engine friendliness” and overall SEO quality).
Seochat.com/seo-tools (nice assortment of tools for many uses).
Seomoz.org/tools.php(Page Strength tool especially interesting).
Google.com/analytics(useful for the Google crowd).
These tools and resources are meant to help you improve your marketing campaigns, so use them to the fullest. Some may take a bit of time to master, but the results for your ROI will be well worth the time you invest.