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Best of the Web: The 20 Best Online Marketing Tools of 2015

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The internet is full of helpful tools for businesses and many of them are free or have free versions. Below is a list of 20 of our favorite online marketing tools. The majority of these are free and all of them can be very helpful when marketing your online store. Whether you’re interested in finding out what your competition is up to or you simply want a better idea of how your site is doing, these twenty online tools are a great place to start. See below to learn more…

SEO Tools:

Keyword Research Tools:

  • Ubersuggest: This is a great keyword suggestion tool that lets you input a keyword and then suggested long-tail version. So if you put in shoes, ubersuggest will give you a whole list of suggested terms like: blue shoes, winter shoes, shoes with bows, and so on.  These suggested terms are based on search engine results, shopping search results or even news. It’s a great way to find terms that will help drive more traffic to your site.
  • Keyword Tool: This is another keyword research tool. This one works by using Google’s autocomplete function to help you find long-tail keywords. So you type in a keyword and this tool will give you hundreds of suggested ways to use it.
  • Soovle – This keyword tool also uses an autocomplete function but it shows you how the term you’re using will show up in Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, YouTube, Wikipedia and Answers.com all at the same time. This is really helpful for keyword research and also for seeing how a word will perform depending on where it’s searched.

SEO Analysis Tools:

  • SEMrush: This is a whole suite of tools. You can use SEMrush to analyze links into your site, gather data on competitors’ spending on ads, and even the keywords they’re using. This suite of tools is typically used for competitive research but that research gives you data that can help you improve your own site’s SEO.
  • Screaming Frog: This tool is a crawler. You can use it to crawl your site for certain data. You can look for broken links or pages that aren’t working anymore. You can crawl through anchor text or meta titles. There are many possibilities with this one, even with the free version. Your website could easily have thousands of pages. This tool lets you search through all those pages in a matter of minutes for the data you set.
  • Majestic: This tool helps analyze links. You can see who’s linking to your site as well as compare your site to others.
  • Moz Open Site Explorer: Open Site Explorer allows you to see all the sites that are linking to you. Having a lot of reputable sites link to you is great for SEO. It’s kind of like a popularity contest on the internet – the more popular sites are that link to you, the more popular Google and other search engines will consider your site. This helps you rank higher in search results. So use the Open Site Explorer to find out who is linking to you so you can make sure they’re good sites. Or, find out who’s not linking to you yet so you know who to reach out to and ask for a link.
  • SerpStat: This one could easily go into the research category below as well because this tool gives you a way to see the keywords that bring users into your competitors’ sites. You can learn about your competitor’s traffic and even get insights into how they’re spending on PPC ads.

Social Media and Content Tools:

  • Hootsuite: If you have multiple social media accounts, Hootsuite is for you. This tool offers you one dashboard to manage all of your accounts so posting and sharing is easier and more efficient.
  • Blog Topic Generator:  If you’re ever trying to come up with a new blog topic and feel completely stuck, try the Blog Topic Generator. You simply input a few keywords – so something related to your business or products and it will spit out a bunch of ideas for topics surrounding your keyword.
  • Venngage: This is a free online tool for creating infographics. Infographics are very popular since they can break complicated topics down into easy to understand images. If you’ve been looking for a way to explain something complicated to customers, why not try making an infographic.

Research Tools:

  • SharedCount: This tool allows you to see how your content has been shared across the internet – blog posts, tweets and more. You simply paste in the URL you’re curious about and it’ll tell you where it’s been shared. This is a good tool for understanding your audience and your reach.
  • Google Alerts: Set a Google Alert for your business, your brand or for the products you sell. You’ll get an alert whenever Google finds new content on that topic. This usually means news stories but it can be other types of content as well. This is a great tool to stay on top of your industry and any product news you might want to share with your customers.
  • Google Webmaster Tools: Google Webmaster Tools is free to use and it tells you all kinds of things about your website: where you get your traffic, your bounce rate, crawl data, where people found you and also how Google itself views your site.
  • Bing Webmaster Tools: Google gets all the attention since it’s the dominate search engine by far. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore Bing. Bing also offers Webmaster Tools. You can get the same kind of data you get from Google but this time, you get it from Bing – and you’ll see how Bing views your site. Google may be your focus but you’ll want to rank high with Bing too.

Productivity / Miscellaneous:

  • Dropbox or Google Drive or OneDrive: Most businesses wind up having a lot of documents. If you want easy access to your documents and the ability to share them with others if you need to, get a drop box. This also helps mitigate the risk of losing data stored on a hard drive. Cloud storage is simple and helps make keeping track of all your documents easier. There are many online dropboxes available but these three are among the most popular.
  • Down for Everyone or Just Me?:  Have you ever reached a website that wasn’t working and you weren’t sure if it was just you? This site lets you input a URL to see if the site is not working for you…or if it’s down for everyone.
  • Google Mobile Friendly Test: Want to know if Google sees your site as mobile-friendly? Just copy and paste your web address into the field at this site and you’ll find out.

This list is just the beginning. New tools are released almost every day. Some stand the test of time, others phase out. You can find one of the biggest compilations of online tools in this infographic from MarketingLand.com. But the best way to find the right tools for you is to test them out. Since so many of them are free or offer free trials, you really can experiment quite easily and find some great tools to help your business.

If you’re not sure what tools you need or would like some help, ioVista can do a free analysis. Just call or email us at info@iovista.com.

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