So you’ve started a new business. Congratulations! Small firms (less than 500 workers) make up more than 99.7 % of the 5.6 million employer firms in the US. American business is primarily, small business, small firms chasing the American Dream. But that does not mean the future is going to be easy for you. Small businesses are usually on a tighter budget and need to watch their expenses. Most of the entrepreneurs I know spent hours going through even simple things like AT&T offers to stretch their dollar. There is no shame in that. After all, the early stages of doing business are usually the toughest. You need to tough it out, using every edge you can get. So if you have just started a new business, and are looking for some free, out-of-the-box tools to help boost your success, read on.
10 Free Online Tools for Businesses
One of the most important functions of a business is marketing your product or service. This used to be a very tough call back in the day. The airwaves were under the control of a few big corporate names. Small businesses could compete more or less only at the local level. But the internet changed all that. It offered a space for businesses to compete on an even footing, regardless of size. Digital marketing is a field that can help boost your business growth. Here are 10 free tools that can help you with these efforts:
- Google Search Console
- Google Ads
- Google Analytics
Here’s a quick look at each tool and how it can help your business succeed.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is part of Google Webmaster Tools, designed to make managing your website easier. It lets you see and maintain where you rank in Google’s search results page. It works by letting Google access your website and material without disrupting performance. It monitors spam issues and resolves them as they occur. You can also submit and remove specific pieces of content and monitor their performance.
If you need quick and easy website optimization tools, look no further than Hotjar. It’s a relatively recent tool, but it uses growth driven web design to enhance your website. It analyzes your website for:
- Content Sections
- Calls to action
- Landing pages
- Forms etc.
It also offers insights into your website’s user experience that can really help you set things straight from the get-go.
When it comes to direct email campaigns, there is no better tool than MailChimp. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out to your prospective customers. MailChimp makes this easy by letting you send emails to hundreds and thousands of people on your email list. You can create, manage and optimize newsletters for emails. You can also aggregate, categorize, and manage your email list in one central place. You can even automate your email campaigns and let leads accumulate automatically.
Visuals are an important part of digital marketing. We know that creative visuals make a deeper impression on people than lines of text. But can your business really afford to hire a full-time graphic designer to make a few posts a week? Don’t worry if it can’t. Canva is an amazing free tool that lets you create beautiful visuals without any design knowledge. It lets you select different templates and sizes for different social media platforms and even your website. You can also use it to create images for use in print media like brochures or catalogs.
Sniply is a very useful tool that shortens ungainly URLs for use in attaching CTAs. Essentially, it lets you add a CTA to every link you post. When you’re posting external content on social media, you can use a Sniply link to direct traffic onto your own website. This comes in handy in accumulating email lists via forms as well.
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Snov.io is an amazing cold email marketing tool that is an all-in-one solution. It contains a number of useful tools including:
- Email finder
- Email verifier
- Drip campaigns
- Email trackers
You can also use it to check what technologies your competitors are using through a built-in Technology Checker.
Hootsuite offers a central dashboard for you to automate and manage all your social media updates. You can manage posts and schedule them on each social media platform you use. You can also monitor the engagement from all your social channels in one convenient place. The analytics offer you a much better idea of how well your campaign is working.
Buffer is another free social media management tool that can help your business maintain a social presence. It lets you organize and schedule your social media posts across most social platforms. It merges all your social media campaigns in one dashboard and offers comprehensive analytics as well.
Google Ads is a crucial tool to run your search engine ads, but it also has some very useful free features. One of these is the Keyword Planner tool. It offers historical data on any search term or keyword you want. It shows you search volumes based on specific time-frames. It also segregates mobile searches from browser searches and has more metrics to help you plan better.
Google Analytics is such a vital tool that it’s amazing that it’s free. It lets you observe and track vital website stats and data. It lets you see what your top pages are and how much traffic they get. It even shows you the demographics of the traffic on those pages. It gives comprehensive information on individual visitors to your website. It also analyzes what the source of the website traffic is. If people click through your page based on a backlink on a blog about AT&T wireless customer service, you will know. You will also get information on bounce rates, traffic trends, website traffic flow and much more. This tool is indispensable to your digital marketing efforts.