There are a lot of difficult things about online marketing and online marketing tools. Initiating a campaign, planning it out, executing that plan, and monitoring your progress can all be quite challenging, though each is ultimately rewarding in how it helps build your business.
Building and filling your online marketing toolbox is even more rewarding, though, because many available online marketing tools don’t cost you a thing!
And there aren’t even many catches.
Some of the Best Online Marketing Tools
The Best Things in Life are Free
The first, and probably most instantly recognizable of all, is Google, among all providers of free online marketing tools that help build your business. Google does search, but the flip side of that searching is that it’s in Google’s best interests to make sure sites are well-positioned and enabled to appear in search results.
That’s where Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics come in. These are the first two in our list of mentionables.
You might think of Google Webmaster Tools as the window through which you should see your online marketing efforts. Webmaster Tools are built and presented in a way that enables site owners to essentially make their sites more Google-friendly.
This is in a site owner’s best interest as well as in Google’s; tools make the site construction process easier, while also providing Google with a high-quality site to serve up to searchers once it’s done.
Speaking of ‘once it’s done,’ Google Analytics is a post-site-construction tool to analyze the data and statistics of all the traffic coming to and leaving your site. This is done via inserting a bit of code into your site that Google can recognize.
The real use of Google Analytics is in how it shows you the most valuable parts of your site. You can break down traffic to your site page-by-page, seeing what types of content resonate with potential customers more than others. This is great for online marketing campaigns, as site owners can directly test different approaches with an easy way to look at their effectiveness.
The only catch with these incredibly robust Google-sponsored tools is this: Google is a large corporation whose mission is to provide tools like these to businesses. As we’ve already stated, it’s in their best interests to build out a large portion of the web in a way that’s compliant with their standards.
In a sense, the use of these free products makes your site into a commodity to further Google’s purposes. But otherwise, there’s very little downside to using them, and they’re incredibly helpful.
Connecting the Birds to the Bees
The Google-sponsored tools are really about tweaking and measuring sites and site-related information, but there’s more out there than that.
- Millions of site owners use WordPress as a content management system, as well as an easy way to build a site itself. WordPress provides a framework around which you can structure all pages and content. Additionally, it’s a robust community filled with devoted developers who keep this open-source solution viable and up-to-date, and feature-packed with extensions and add-ons.
- When the site has been built, one of the things Google and other search engines will recommend is keywording to make pages more clearly labeled with their particular topics. io is a free tool that makes this process easy by providing hundreds of suggested keywords based only on the information or topic you provide. Keywordtool.io can also generate different keywords depending on the search engine to which you’re trying to cater your site.
- To answer the question around what everyone else is doing with their sites, SEMrush can actually provide that data. SEMrush is a company dedicated to gathering competitive intelligence for other companies like yours. Members of SEMrush will receive reports on competing sites’ keywords and search engine marketing strategies, which will help inform how to approach your own campaign.
- Finally, MailChimp is not a solution for building, maintaining, or measuring sites, but is a way to reach out to prospects in order to drive them to your site (among other things). MailChimp offers email improvements, allowing users to make use of dynamic and customizable email templates to improve the look and feel of email, and to stray from the traditional text-only model.
These were six out of seven invaluable, but thankfully free, tools to help build your business. The seventh tool is something you’re already using: the DMG Online Marketing blog! The DMG blog covers an incredibly wide variety of topics in a friendly and accessible way, as you’re seeing right now. Subscribe to the blog to receive our posts in your inbox as soon as they’re available.
The few tools mentioned here are really just a taste of what’s out there. Do your own informed keyword searching of SEO-enabled sites to find other ways to build your business for less! Remember that doing research now into the proper tools for your budget and your strategy will save you time and money in the long run.