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A SEM Marketer’s Free 10 Must Haves- 10 Free (or Almost Free) Things You Need to Get Started Marketing in Search Engines Today

Posted on March 18, 2008 by Archives

Let’s face it, there are necessities in life. We need reliable transportation, food, shelter and social interaction. There are also needs at your job in order to perform the tasks required of you. As a search engine marketer, coming from a young internet retail company, I have humble roots. As we continue to grow, we are able to finally afford many of the more costly solutions we once dreamed of using. I’ll go back to my roots for this post.  To help those just starting out, here are some free, or relatively inexpensive, tools and resources to get you on your way.

  1. A high speed internet connection - Cost: Free.  At most locations. When navigating through thousands of keywords, in several ad accounts, waiting for pages to load will definitely eat up a good portion of your day. Also, that time spent downloading and uploading CSE data feeds on a regular basis is better spent with a caramel latte.  Find your nearest local coffee shop and connect! 
  2. Your own dedicated phone number – Cost: Free. When a team member at “X” company needs to call you, but you don’t have a dedicated phone line it can be difficult to conduct business, one easy and free solution is to have your own “business direct” line.  This is easy using Google’s GrandCentral. With the ability to setup custom greetings, screen calls and more, it’s an economical way to use an existing phone (like your cell) for multiple uses. 
  3. AdWords Editor - Cost: Free. The only sane way to handle 10’s of thousands of keywords in Google AdWords. 
  4. The Permutator – Free to try. In my opinion every SEM marketer needs a keyword permutation generator tool that helps save time when creating long tail keyword lists. 
  5. Data feed management/optimization tool - If you submit products to multiple shopping engines then you should consider such a tool. SingleFeed offers one month free for Google Product Search accounts. ChannelAdvisor, and competitors, can run a few hundred to few thousand dollars per month but add many additional services. 
  6. An Analytics solution - Cost: Free. You are paying money to bring traffic to your site right? Then you need to know what that traffic is doing once they get there. A solution like this sounds expensive but Google Analytics is free with any Google AdWords account. 
  7. Internet Retailer - Cost: Free. If you don’t already subscribe to this publication, you can get 12 free issues and/or daily email newsletters, just by signing up on their website (also free). Stay up to speed on upcoming industry events, and get the latest ecommerce news at your fingertips or email inbox. 
  8. Business cards - Cost: Free. You likely won’t need this item until you have #2. You can get cards printed for free at Vistaprint.com. Handy for cocktail conversations at conventions and industry events. Business cards really complete you as a professional; showing that you have an actual address, phone and email give validity to you and your organization. Also consider having different cards made for all the different specialties and ‘hats’ you wear. 
  9. Large supply of heavily caffeinated beverages - Cost: Free. Thank you PlumberSurplus.com for providing this.  I don’t know how we all would have gotten this far without Folgers, Diet Coke and Mountain Dew. When your boss’ instant messaging moniker is “I coffee coffee” and there’s a coffee pot and stocked refrigerator in every building, you know you’re at an online company. 
  10. USB missile launcher - Cost: Free (thanks to my significant other). Used to thwart off any belligerent coworkers in the next cubicle (or across the coffee shop if you are utilizing #1). 
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