These 21 online marketing tools make your life easier and grow your website. Best of all, they are free. Most have paid options but you can do a lot of great things with each free option.
The list does not cover what tools are out there or what you could use. We at Digital Darts use every tool recommended here and highly suggest you do too. From coming up with content, managing social media, tracking results, and improving SEO, use these marketing tools to increase leads and sales.
1. Buffer for Social Media
Buffer makes updating your social media profiles like Google+, Twitter, and Facebook easy. You simply press a button in your browser window, edit the suggested text for your social media update, then submit. (Watch this video to learn how to start using the tool.) What makes Buffer extra sweet and where it gets its name from, is you can delay when it broadcasts content. So if you want, you can queue your social media for the week in a few minutes then have it drip feed out “so that you don’t have to be at a computer all the time in order to have a social media presence”, according to Buffer’s Mary Jantsch.
2. BuzzStream for Relationship Management
Track the communication you have with someone across email, Twitter, blogs, and more in a simple interface. How can this be useful? Build and manage relationships with influencers. Record what you do and say to build links. Follow up on outreach attempts in a timely manner. You can create an alternative to the tool using email, filters, and a spreadsheet – it just takes time and effort you don’t have.
3. Open Site Explorer for SEO
Understand your competitor’s and your backlink profile. Know what sites link to what page with what text. Use this information to avoid the common SEO mistake of over-optimizing links with keyword-rich text and research ways to get new backlinks. The real power of this tool for SEO purposes comes in the comparison where you can see how your site differs to top-ranking competitors. See what they do that you don’t.
3. Ahrefs for SEO
Use Ahrefs the same way as Open Site Explorer. I suggest each tool here because they vary in their links indexed so you get a more accurate overview of backlink profiles. If SEO is a key part of your marketing strategy, test then pick your favorite one and upgrade to the paid options.
4. Link Research Tool for Link Building
Simply enter a keyword related to your website then discover hundreds of link opportunities.
5. Broken Link Checker for 404 Errors
Enter in your home page url to have the tool crawl the entire site for broken links. Correct all 404 errors because they create a bad user experience and hurt SEO. If you’re feeling more advanced, get onto Screaming Frog. It’s awesome.
6. AdWords Match Type Tool for PPC
If you do pay per click advertising and do not extensively use keyword match types, stop losing money. Use the AdWords Match Type Tool to quickly modify your keyword list. We love the broad match modifier as it gives you good reach without wasted clicks on uninterested visitors.
7. Google Drive for Documents and Collaboration
Write, report, and collect anything from anywhere with anyone using Google Drive. I love to use Google Drive for collaboration on articles and reports. The sharing function and accessibility make this online tool amazing.
8. Freedcamp for Project Management
A dead-simple tool that likely does all you need for project management. You can use Freedcamp for free or upgrade when storage becomes an issue. Aside from standard task features, there’s SMS notifications, a quality dashboard with key data, and project templates to save you time on repetitious tasks.
Another top project management tool I’ve recently fall in love with is Asana.
9. Alltop for Content Research
What are the top blogs in your niche writing about? Top blogs are good at writing what people want to read. What people want to read gets shared on social media.
Alltop is a directory of popular blogs in nearly every major market that provides their latest posts and more important what is most popular. Consider writing what is popular. Alltop is also good to discover then build relationships with the big players in your niche so they share your content to their audience.
I also like BuzzSumo to come up with content ideas that people love to share.
10. Topsy for Content Research
Use Topsy to collate influencers in your market, create a content plan based on highly shared pages, and understand the language of your market through the social analytics tool.
11. TextCleanr for Content Formatting
Microsoft Word, OpenOffice Writer, and web pages can create strange characters in text, HTML, indents, or line spacing. This quick little tool cleans up text. Good for research, blogging, and faster content production.
12. Aweber for Email Marketing
Aweber is an email marketing service I’ve recommended for 7 years. They have top support, superior knowledge base, nice designs, good email delivery, and everything is user-friendly and clear with what you need to do. They are mostly a beginner-focused company with pre-worked solutions. Whether it’s a form on your blog, integration with PayPal, or a neat signup button through a Facebook button, someone has it integrated with Aweber due its popularity.
MailChimp has possibly overtaken Aweber as you can do a lot more with the tool. I recommend MailChimp if you’ve done email marketing before, have long-term plans to grow with it, or run an ecommerce store.
13. Google Analytics for Analytics
It’s easy to get started out-of-the-box with the standard tracking code and can quickly get complex. Check my analytics tutorial for tips to collect the most accurate information.
14. Bit.ly for Link Tracking
Bit.ly shortens links. More powerfully the online tool tracks clicks, lets you see where the clicks came from, and the number of people in the country that clicked. I’m a big fan of bit.ly because it integrates with Buffer. Perfect.
15. Photos.com for Multimedia
Whether you need good photography, videography, graphics, or illustrations for your website, an article, or marketing collateral, go to Photos.com. It is the cheapest royalty-free multimedia I know of with good quality. The quality is high because the site is a division of world-leading photography company Getty Images.
16. Theme Forest for Web Design
Long gone are the days when you had to design a site from scratch. For less than $10 you can buy a design for projects like an email marketing template, landing page, or button. More of a resource than a tool, ThemeForest saves you time. ThemeForest is run by Envato, an Australian company who has a slew of great sites for scripts, audio files, and videos.
17. Pingdom Website Speed Test for Speed Optimization
A slow website is like going into a shop then seeing no staff ready to help. Unless you’re really desperate to buy, you wait for a short-period of time then leave. A faster website always sells more than if it ran slow.
18. Convert Experiments for Conversion Testing
Conversion testing is the science of discovering what version of an element nets you more sales. It presents version A to one user and version B to another user in what is known as a split-test. Convert Experiments work great with Shopify.
You don’t need to know code for simple tests. The amazing tool lets you test which image, text, page, or element gets more sales. For everything you need to know to get more sales from your Shopify store, get my Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization book.
19. Webengage for Visitor Research
WebEngage has everything to research people who visit your site. Create any style of survey on any page with various triggers. The tool is five times cheaper than similar tools and their support is great.
My two favorite questions to ask on websites using WebEngage are:
- Why did you visit this site?
- What would make you more likely to buy from us?
20. Other Notable Mentions
You know these tools, but they need a mention for their power:
21. Your Suggestion
What’s a must-have marketing tool others need to use?