As a small businesses owner, taking time out to tackle digital marketing can sometimes be a stretch. But there are some fantastic free online marketing tools that simplify the entire process.
In no particularly organised order, here are a few.
Google Keyword Planner
A must for anyone wanting to get started with SEO, the Keyword Planner shows you suggestions for keywords to target on your pages and blogs. A search will show you suggested phrases and their average monthly searches, along with a competition rating and suggested bid if you wanted to look at Pay Per Click advertising.
The Keyword Planner is a must if you want your content to be seen on search engines – especially if you want to start blogging.
HubSpot’s free CRM
HubSpot are pioneers in ‘inbound marketing’ and have a pretty spectacular set of software that’s used by big businesses around the world. Their CRM is completely free though, which allows you to log your business leads in a professional grade database without spending a penny.
There’s also a free version of their marketing software that gives you some simple extras such as ‘lead flows’ (effectively little pop-ups/outs that can help you gather new leads) and ‘collected forms’, which uses form submissions on your website to automatically create contacts in your database.
Essential for everyone with a website and you probably know about it already! Drop us an email if you need advice on how to install the tracking code.
Free stock photo websites
Quality photography is a necessity on your website and on social media, but forking out thousands for a fancy photographer is no longer vital. There are a dozen good stock photo websites that offer their content for free, including:
If you want to make sure you’re in the know with who’s talking about your brand, then setting up a Google Alert or two is the perfect solution. You can set up instant emails alerts when someone posts content that mentions your brand, and you can also set up alerts for when someone mentions your competitors – so you can keep tabs on their progress.
Moz’s Open Site Explorer
If you’re into your SEO and want a top-level measure to track your progress, then Moz’s Open Site Explorer is the solution.
A search using your domain name will show you a few key facts, namely:
- Domain authority – a 0-100 summary score of your website’s influence on search engines that takes into account all link metrics
- Page authority – same as above, but based just on that particular page you’re analysing
- Established links – as a total number but also a number of root domains (individual websites)
- Spam score – highlights if your website might be flagged for spam on 17 different factors, all of which could have a negative impact on how you rank on search engine results pages (SERPs)
If you want to conduct a survey, then SurveyMonkey is a fan favourite. However, there is a better option! Typeform has a brilliant free survey tool that allows you to craft simple yet stylish surveys for free.
Use up to 10 fields per survey, gather up to 100 responses per month and customise the design in a dozen different ways.
In today’s world with the majority of the market browsing the internet on their phone, your website needs to be speedy to download fast on 4G – or even more so on shoddy 3G. To check how your website performs, Google’s PageSpeed Insights is at hand.
Drop your web address in, hit analyse and see your results. The language used is quite technical, so if you need advice on what it all means just send us an email.
Your first port of call with email marketing should always be MailChimp. Their New Business package is completely free and gives you an allowance of up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 email sends per month – which is a generous volume to get you started.
The software is simple to use and has all the functionality you could want. It comes with dynamic templates so you can build the perfect email, and even includes marketing automation, where you can create emails that automatically send to your customers based on an event, a period of time, or how they interact with your website. Pretty clever, huh?
The king of all website creation software, WordPress has taken the world by storm – and it deserves its success!
Free to use (providing you buy a domain and some hosting separately) and relatively simple to operate (once you’ve found your way around), it’s a brilliant tool that works for small websites as well as huge ones.
If you want to whack up a blog or create a website for your small business, then this is the perfect choice (make sure you read my blog on simple website design rules).
It’s success is also in part due to the abundance of free themes (pre-made website designs) and plugins (pre-made website functionalities, like maps and contact forms).
Google’s Campaign URL Builder
If you want to know where your traffic is coming from, then you should add some simple tracking code to your links. Google’s Campaign URL Builder is ideal for this. It allows you to drop in the URL, the source (i.e. social media), the medium (i.e. Facebook or Twitter), the campaign (i.e. Product X Launch) as well as a few other factors if you want to get granular. The tool builds a link as you’re doing this, which you can shorten if you want.
Once posted, clicks will be tracked and attributed to the correct source.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator
And a fun one to finish! If you’re struggling for the next perfect blog title, jot a keyword into this Content Idea Generator and the tool does the creative work for you.
Apparently my next 3 blogs are:
- Why marketing is hotter than Jennifer Lawrence
- How marketing is the answer to Middle East peace
- The 18 worst songs about marketing
Maybe I’ll stick to using the Keyword Planner…