If you are a small business owner, this article is for you. Every one of you needs digital marketing tools to start, run and manage your campaigns online.
Too many tools are just too expensive to justify ROI, but I have tried so many of those free tools that I have compiled a small list here.
Skipping the obvious tools, such as Google Analytics, I would like to introduce the not so obvious ones. While these tools are not so famous and trendy (yet), they are equally very useful for your small businesses.
Megalytic offers a free trial for 14 days and the basic version costs only $39.99/month. This tool has become an integral part of reporting digital numbers for clients and companies alike. I have used it to collect all the reports from different channels (SEO, PPC, Affiliates, Social, Email) into one place. I try to keep the reports as simple as possible to just give an overview of how the traffic is acquired and how is behaving on the website. This way, when checking reports on a weekly/ daily basis I don’t have to open multiple accounts, I can just go on Megalytic and check all the reports at once, saving me precious time.
Understanding your users' behaviour is crucial to building a more customer-centric website. One of the quickest wins are heatmaps and video recording of the sessions. Not to mention the importance of polls and surveys, where you can get invaluable feedback from end users.
On the same line as Hotjar, CrazyEgg is the go-to tool for heatmaps and A/B tests. While it’s a paid tool, it offers a short trial but the paid version doesn’t go above $250/year.
Heatmaps, A/B tests, video recording, confetti maps, on clicks maps and scroll maps are essential to your user testing and user behaviour analysis.
Within the SEO category, we are going to quickly review the three most popular free tools.
Screamingfrog is the leading SEO crawling tool in the industry. While there is a paid version, with the free version you can scan as many as 500 pages for each website, leaving most small businesses without the worry to pay.
Find broken links, headers, meta descriptions, images alt tags, redirects and much more data at URL level.
The free version of SEMRush allows you to use the tool daily and to check up to 10 reports, which for most small businesses is more than enough.
Competitors analysis, rankings reports, keywords reports, backlinks reports for over 170 countries is all you need to get your SEO started. Just insert your URL or one of your competitors’ to have immediate reports.
Build and improve your Domain Authority with Moz Link Explorer. One of the best quick wins is to insert your competitors’ URL into the search bar and check all the backlinks they have got, which you don’t have.
Content and blogging
Under this category, we review all the tools that help grow your blog and content marketing efforts.
Aufwiedersehen (German for Goodbye) to the creator’s block. I love to use this tool as it helps me generate new content ideas starting from a topic. Some of the blog titles that the tools generate are funny, others are pure genius. You can get 5 ideas straight away, for up to 250 ideas you need to create an account for free.
For those like myself, for which English is not the primary language, Grammarly is the must-have tool to write sentences without any spelling mistake. This is what Grammarly does: check your spelling, suggest synonyms, add or subtract words from your sentences. It’s completely free for as long as you need.
One of the biggest tasks in SEO and content writing is competitors' research. Finding out why the top 10 Google results are performing well can be a daunting task. With SEMRush SEO Writing Assistant you can get instant recommendations for content optimization based on the best-performing articles in Google top 10. Content professionals, bloggers and marketing experts can check if their texts or the texts of external writers meet various content-quality requirements in just a few clicks.
The key issue for those writing content online is to understand which type of content people want to share. Just insert a topic of your choice and Buzzsumo will give you 10 free results of the most shared content on social media, broken down by numbers of shares and channels. You can pay to have more detailed reports, but the free version would do just fine for small businesses.
Getting to know your backlinks, the domains and URLs that send you traffic, comparing them with those of your competitors and building a wanna-target list of backlinks is the main reason this tool exists. And it's dead easy to use too.
Check, remove, disavow are the tasks you can accomplish with this tool. It's the official Google tool so it's 100% accurate. Just visit the report and see where users are coming from.