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. We use this for our SEO clients to help manage blogger collaborations and public relations to acquire good backlinks.
3. Link 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.
4. Ahrefs as the Lead Online Marketing Tool
We have an agency subscription of Ahrefs for all our SEO and Google Ads clients. It can be used in a similar way as Link Explorer. I suggest referencing 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.
Ahrefs Alerts notifies you about new and lost backlinks on any domain, while the Link Intersect Tool will tell you about the links your competitors have that you don’t.
5. Link Research Tool for Link Building
Simply enter a keyword related to your website then discover hundreds of link opportunities.
6. 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. Screaming Frog enables us to do advanced on-page SEO for Shopify stores.
7. Google Ads Match Type Tool
If you do pay per click advertising and do not extensively use keyword match types, stop losing money. Use the Google Ads 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 we’ve stuck to in-house is Asana. Combined with Slack, your collaboration and communication will feel crisp.
10. Slack for Communication
Slack is the ultimate communication tool for collaboration. Digital Darts team members can effortlessly message each other, get notifications on desktop or their mobile (while blocking them at certain times), use channels to discuss clients or themes, search message history, and a lot more.
The tool has a host of integrations we enjoy like Google Drive, Asana, and Google Hangouts. It’s been an amazing tool to collaborate together as a remote team.
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. I also like to pin Microsoft’s Notepad editor to my taskbar so I can copy-then-paste HTML-free content.
12. Klaviyo for Email Marketing
Klaviyo helps growth-focused ecommerce brands drive more sales with super-targeted, highly relevant email, Facebook and Instagram marketing.
Their flows are automated email sequences to target nearly any type of segment of your subscribers in any way you want. The visual flow editor allows for easy understanding of the email sequences, but it also enables conditions and tests not possible in many email platforms. You can design forms and popups in the platform making it the ultimate email marketing platform for brands.
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 Website Speed
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. Another great alternative is HotJar, which I’ve been using more and more to optimise Shopify stores.
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?
See the positioning chapter of Shopify Conversion Rate Optimization for more guidance with surveys to grow your sales.
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?