Being an entrepreneur takes some chops. You have to overcome fear and dive into risks associated with the unknown. And in fact, the average person doesn’t have the necessities to pursue their dreams. But now that you’ve taken the step to live your dream, what are you doing to secure your business’ success? Naively, some business owners either neglect or mismanage their digital marketing. With the right tools, you can fly, fam!
To get your feet wet, we have created a list of some user-friendly tools to use as you build your strategy and establish a mighty online presence in your industry.
In advance, you know we love our stock photos and “insightful” captions. We find these more exciting than screenshots from websites you can check out on your own (but that we’ve linked for you!).
Our Marketing Tools Picks
Before we throw you head-first into the world of business-driven marketing tools, recognize that there can be work involved and it can be frustrating to start working with new software, but that the benefits outweigh the negatives. Hang in there, click on the links we’ve provided in each section, too, as we’ve included helpful how-to guides from our own articles as well as some of our friends.
Let’s roll, yeah?
To have driven outcomes for your website, you’ll need to evaluate data. Google Analytics removes the intimidation factor of “Where do I start?” Google Analytics knows what information to quantify and how to present it in a way that makes sense, allowing you to use the information to improve. Here’s our guide to Google Analytics Academy, which is Google’s online school on how to better use and interpret the data from your website.
SEMRush is an industry standard for a strong SEO game. With SEMRush, you can check your site’s status with the almighty backlink or find practically endless info on any domain you enter. With SEMRush, find content gaps, find out how your competitors are ranking against you, and eons more. You can find a useful SEMRush guide here. The only downfall with SEMRush is that the price can be a bit hard to swallow or accommodate for a new, small business owner. If you’re looking for similar features and less money out of your pocket, you could also check out SpyFu (see our next bit below for more on SpyFu).
SpyFu is a SEMRush competitor and the tools are similar in utility. Both tools are all-in-one, and can provide not only analytics and data, but clearer insight on how to deploy your next success-driven marketing strategy. If you need a guide on SpyFu, check out their how-to here.
By entering a domain address into Buzzsumo, you can search your shared content for any topic. By using this tool, you can also find out who the influencers are on specific issues. You’ll know what is working and causing traffic. Here’s more on using Buzzsumo, from the creators themselves.
Ontraport has a unique and desirable feature: a single campaign map. You can map your customer’s entire journey and simultaneously hone in on how your pages are converting your customers. If you’re looking for a campaign map, Ontraport also has a library of templates. And while we hate this idiom, it’s true: “No need to recreate the wheel.” Get your data, your templates, and your campaign map as an all-in-one. Need help? No problem! Ontraport has you covered with their training center.
MailChimp creates some of the finest email campaigns possible. These campaigns grow your audience, retain customers, and serve as the welcome wagon to new subscribers. If you need help with MailChimp, check out this detailed article from MailChimp themselves on what you can do to create bomb-ass (in the good way, of course) campaigns and steamroll your industry.
Hubspot has a bounty of features to get you into the groove of online marketing. To market effectively, you need to diversify your online presence. Web marketing can be a bit to manage if you are new to all the search engine optimization (SEO) jargon, but Hubspot can get you started on your journey to becoming competent. Need help with Hubspot? Here’s HubSpot’s Marketing and Sales Academy, which is a comprehensive guide to using their software.
You need a blog because you absolutely, unequivocally need content. If you’re looking for blogging software that’s intuitive, unsurprisingly successful, and loved by bloggers and business owners alike, you’ll need WordPress. Don’t forget there are also a zillion plugins to create a WordPress to fit your specific needs. Here’s WP’s guide on how to get the most use out of their stellar software. Oh, and WordPress is FREE, as are many plugins.
All in One SEO is a hearty, free plugin to add to your WordPress site. It has several core functions, feature manager, social META, XML sitemap, and performance tracking. It has some built-in security features so there is additional cryptography attached to an arbitrary number for authentication. Another impressive tool packed into the application program interface is used to interact with graphical protocols. Additionally, there is also a helpful support forum to learn the all the uses to improve your online marketing. Here’s the bottom line: we can get all geeky for you and go on about all the bells and whistles of this plug-in, but that won’t help if you’re just starting out. All in One SEO is a widely used SEO tool, so there are tons of resources online (like this one from the plugin’s designer) on how to use it, plus it’s free. What have you got to lose, huh?
Yoast SEO is another free and commonly used WordPress plugin with utility in the SEO analysis spectrum. To find more significant SEO-related feedback on your WordPress blog posts, install Yoast. Yoast accounts for content in your post such as keyword density, length of your meta description, SEO title, length of SEO title, length of the blog post, and a plethora more. Even more impressively, this plugin will give you one overall result on how your content adds up by using stoplight colors in a graphical representation: green is good to go, yellow means okay but could use some additional improvement, and red indicates that the post needs a heftier fix to SEO components. As there was recently a somewhat detrimental bug with Yoast, make sure you have the latest version of this plugin. If you’re looking to better understand Yoast, try this article.
Social Media Tools
Oh praise be. With HootSuite, you can manage all your social media content in one location. ONE. SINGLE. LOCATION. Hard to believe if you’ve ever managed any social media accounts. HootSuite includes features such as scheduling, finding, reporting, and managing on social media. HootSuite’s own Quick Start Guide can be located here.
With Followerwonk, you can search Twitter bios and compare Twitter accounts. You can also analyze followers by demographics and additional attributes. Plus, FW provides you with comparisons for your friends and rivals. Get that sweet spy action on! Here’s some insight on using FW from State of Digital.
Canva is an outstanding tool for professional eye candy on your social media. You can use free or paid images, then format for an attractive, polished finish. Here is a list of templates you can generate for your needs:
- Marketing Materials
- Blogs & eBooks
- Social Media & Email Headers: SoundCloud, LinkedIn banner, Twitch banner, Facebook cover, email header, Etsy shop icon, Etsy shop cover, Google+ header, Twitter header, YouTube channel art, Tumblr banner, YouTube thumbnail, Facebook event cover, and more
- Events: Postcards, invitations, cards, tags, programs, announcements
This application takes engineering your web page to the next level. [insert whip sounds here] You get to launch an idea and see your customers’ immediate responses by using a few tools. There are four key features:
- Editor: Test before sending it to your developers; gives you the ability to make changes before they are official. You’ll be able to visualize how it affects your customer movement and overall business.
- A/B Tests: Check what idea will be most effective; conversion tracking to test results. You will have two live versions presented to x and y customers, the productive page will consistently receive more traffic.
- Snapshots: You’ll see what functions of your website are useful and what is not. After that? Clean up time!
- Recordings: You’ll see precisely how patrons use your website.
Need help? Here’s CrazyEgg’s own how-to guide.
KISSMetrics makes use of user behavior to understand and predict future behavior so you can engage customers over the course of time. Need some assistance? Here’s some input from Quora users.
One of the most significant influences today is using YouTube channels to create a following and educate customers. It’s much easier to do a YouTube search on “how to” than to read a user manual. Pictures are compelling, but a video is much easier to follow and understand. If you’re looking for help with YouTube, Google (who now owns YouTube) has a thread started that you can drop in on here.
Too Many Choices?
Applications are abundant, free and paid, to help you improve your internet marketing. Don’t be tempted to use an old-school approach to growing your customer base.
Maybe you don’t have time, but you know it must be a strategic goal for your company. You’ll need to put someone in charge of your online marketing that can get results. Hi, that’s us. We can help. We are experts at using the best tools on the market to get you top ratings in Google. What does a high Google rating mean? It means you have arrived. You are credible and, more important, you are one of the first listed companies to pop up in the search engines.
And let’s be honest, it is rare for anyone to click on the companies that aren’t on the first page.
Dominate With SEO takes great honor in getting you the prime position at the top of user searches. We enhance your company’s web profile to build your credibility for Google’s demands. Contact us so we can conduct a free website audit and help you figure out how to dominate your competition.