So you want to know what the best digital marketing tools are out there for small businesses.
And specifically, you want to know what we use as a digital marketing agency.
We know you want to know because you asked, and we heard you!
So stick around, because we’re listing out the top 9 digital marketing tools available that help small businesses grow.
And today, we’re covering the best digital marketing tools for small businesses specifically because you requested it!
With digital marketing tools, there are hundreds of thousands of them out there.
For every function, there are a lot of tools that perform that function, and they all claim that they’re the BEST tool or the cheapest for what’s included.
If you sat down and tried to evaluate every single one of these digital marketing tools that’s out there, you’d be there a while.
So what we’re sharing today is a condensed list of the digital marketing tools we use as a digital marketing agency, just about every single day.
9 Best Digital Marketing Tools For Small Business
- Google Analytics
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Google Search Console
- SEM Rush
- MozBar Extension
- Zoho Social
- Social Media Analytics
This is probably the most popular tool on this list, and if you’re not already using it, you need to start today.
If you don’t know, Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.
It is currently a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand.
And it’s basically a tool that connects to your website.
It also breaks down your website traffic for you, so that you can see which sources are driving the most traffic and the most conversions.
For instance, here’s a glance at our GA account. You can see that the majority of our traffic comes from organic Google searches.
And knowing this kind of information is so useful across all of your marketing efforts.
That’s because you can tell which ones are paying off the most, and therefore which efforts are worth investing in.
Like from that screenshot, we can see that our SEO campaign is really paying off.
Now, there are tons of things you can track and learn and do, with Google Analytics.
But the biggest takeaway you should note is that it can quickly give you a birds-eye view of where your traffic is coming from.
As well as what traffic sources are actually converting.
And one of the reasons it’s so popular is because it’s free to use!
Google Analytics Academy has a beginner’s course you can take if you’re new and want a good starting grasp on how to use this to grow your business.
If you’re performing SEO for your website or blog site, you’ll want to use this tool that is also free from Google.
It allows you to look up search terms, known as keywords, that are relevant to your business to see:
a) if people are searching them or not, and
b) if so, what the search volume is.
This will help direct your content writing efforts so that you know what topics and keywords to write your blogs around.
We, at LYFE Marketing, also use a paid tool called Keyword Tool to do the same thing for YouTube searches…
…since YouTube is owned by Google, and is the second largest search engine behind Google.
If you’re a local business owner, you’ll want to make sure that you’re ranking for local keywords as well.
And tools like these will help you determine which local search terms are being searched the most.
Overall, these digital marketing tools help you keep a pulse on your audience and their searches, so you know how to pivot your SEO efforts accordingly.
Search Console tools and reports help you to:
- measure your site’s search traffic and performance,
- fix issues, and
- make your site shine in Google search results.
You may remember this service being called Google Webmaster Tools in the past.
Once you connect your website to this tool, it shows you how Google crawls, indexes, and serves your website.
You can use Google Search Console to find out things like:
- how many people are visiting your site and how they are finding it,
- whether more people are visiting your site on a mobile device or desktop computer, and
- which pages on your site are the most popular.
It can also help you find and fix website errors, submit a sitemap, and create and check a robots.txt file.
We specifically go back and utilize this tool whenever we’ve updated old pages on our blog.
And it’s because we want Google to acknowledge the changes that we’ve made, in hopes of it helping us to rank higher in the search results.
So all in all, this is another free tool from Google that can help you improve your SEO efforts, as well as just know what’s going on with your website and traffic.
Google also has a beginner’s guide for this as well. So if you’re new to this tool, be sure to check it out.
SEM Rush is probably one of the most popular digital marketing tools out there.
It allows you to “do SEO, content marketing, competitor research, PPC, and social media marketing from just one platform.”
Now, this tool is a little bit similar to Google Search Console in its functionality.
But it’s a paid tool, and therefore offers deeper insight and way more tools than the Google Search Console does.
For instance, it has the Keyword Magic Tool that we often use here at LYFE.
This tool allows you to type in any keyword related to your business and see not only the search volume for it…
…but also the keyword difficulty of how hard it would be for a website to rank organically in the Google top 10 for that keyword.
It also shows the SERP features for that keyword, and questions typically searched around that keyword.
And that’s just one facet of the SEO tools.
Don’t forget that there’s a whole sidebar menu of tools within SEM Rush for advertising, social media, content marketing, and more!
If you’ve read any posts from our blog that talk about PPC, we’re sure you’ve seen us talk about SEM Rush a few times.
And that’s because it plays a very helpful role in our SEO and PPC marketing.
In fact, in our “What Is PPC” post, we showed you how to spy on your competitors and see all of their PPC campaigns using SEM Rush.
This is a Google Chrome extension that is also free.
You just have to create a free email account to use this.
And, it “gives you instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP.”
When we type in “social media advertising” into Google and scroll down into the results…
…this is what shows on our screen when we have the MozBar extension installed.
It shows the page authority and domain authority for each page.
Now, let’s click on one of these results and show how the MozBar works on a landing page.
We can see the Domain Authority listed where the extension icon is.
And if we click it again, we can get the menu bar drop down from the extension where it shows the PA and DA again.
Then you can tap on Page Analysis to get some more information, like their meta description, what keywords they’re using in their headers, etc.
And as you can see, there is a paid version that gives you more insights, but for what we need here at LYFE, we just use the free version.
So MozBar is a great way to:
a. spy on your competitors, and
b. scope out some backlinking opportunities.
If you don’t know what backlinking is, it’s basically when another website links back to your website from theirs.
And you want a website with a higher domain authority than yours to link back to you.
So having the MozBar extension installed is just a quick and easy way to pull up any website or URL and see what their authority rankings are.
If you post to any social media platform outside of just Facebook, you’re going to want to use a social media scheduling software to save you a whole lot of time.
We say “outside of Facebook” because Facebook has its own built-in scheduling platform in Creator Studio.
And it technically works for both Facebook and Instagram.
However, it doesn’t give you all the options in scheduling Instagram posts that we would like.
But if you’re wanting to mass schedule the same post to multiple platforms at once, a social media scheduling software is the way to go.
We currently use Zoho Social here at LYFE, but we have tried and liked many different scheduling software over the years.
One of the most common digital marketing tools that new small business owners are drawn to is Hootsuite.
Hootsuite is a little bit limited for what we need as an agency, but it often suffices for small business owners otherwise.
A social media scheduling software, in general, will just allow you to mass schedule an entire month’s worth of content or more all in one sitting.
And doing so will not only give you more clarity and direction in your social media efforts…
…but it’s also way more efficient than stopping what you’re doing to schedule a post every day.
Now, before you go Google that looking for a company name or software that’s called “social media analytics”…
…we’re talking about the actual analytics that is built into every social media platform, such as Instagram Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and so on.
Oftentimes, social media scheduling software will also come with analytics.
But the analytics housed within each social media platform comes free with the app.
And it’s also really easy and quick to get any specific information you’re looking for.
We take a quick look at them almost daily, so we’re including them on this list.
This is one of the digital marketing tools that you’ve heard us talk about in our previous blogs about graphic design.
Canva is an online design and publishing tool with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere.
There is a free version and the paid Canva Pro version where you get a few more features for $10 a month on a yearly plan.
If graphic design is not your realm of expertise (or even if it is!), Canva is a great tool for whipping up branded graphics.
You can get access to royalty-free stock images, and find strong template ideas if you’re just stuck on what to create.
We like this tool for small businesses because the free version still makes itself really useful for elementary designers.
Or, also for the entrepreneurs who are just wearing many hats.
On the other hand, the paid version offers additional features that allow more experienced graphic designers a little more freedom.
Now, of course, there is other photo editing software that seasoned designers can and will want to play around with.
But, Canva is just a well-rounded software for all.
Next is one of the most popular digital marketing tools for automation.
Zapier is an automation tool that “moves info between your web apps automatically.”
So to use this tool, you select a trigger, and an action or multiple actions that you want to happen as the result of that trigger.
Here is an example that they give to show you how you can use the tool.
The trigger can be when you receive a new Gmail.
Zapier will automatically copy the attachment from that Gmail to Dropbox, and then alert you on Slack that there is a new Dropbox file.
Zapier calls this a “Zap.”
And it can integrate with over 3,000 programs.
So as another example, you could set up a Zap to download any new leads you get from your Facebook ad campaign into an Excel sheet.
And then, set another trigger so that when there is a new entry in that Excel sheet, it automatically emails you that information.
Or, alerts you on Slack, or whatever is most convenient for you.
Automating things like this just saves you so much time.
And we all know that this is precious in the business world. But it can also be used to make things quicker for your customers.
For instance, going off of the example we just shared…
…let’s say in your Facebook ad, you’re promising a lead magnet in exchange for people’s contact information.
You could set the Zap so that whenever you get a new Facebook lead, their info automatically gets put into your MailChimp email sequence.
This is so they get the first welcome email or lead magnet promised in your original Facebook ad campaign as soon as possible.
All without you even having to know you’ve gotten a new lead yet.
You could be busy working on other important aspects of your business while Zapier is doing the work for you!
They have both free and paid plans, so you can pick whatever works best for you.
But, we have found this tool to be a LYFE Saver, pun intended, when it comes to making marketing easier.
Try These Digital Marketing Tools Today!
So those are our top 9 digital marketing tools that we use all the time here as a digital marketing agency. Have you used any of these tools?
Are there any tools that you love that are not on this list?
Because like we said earlier, there are so many digital marketing tools out there.
And it’s impossible to list them all in one post, but these were just the top 9 that we use really often.
So if you also love any of these tools, or if there are some you love that we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments!
But otherwise, that’s all we have for you today.
If you need more help with your marketing strategies, then check out our digital marketing services here. Or get in touch with us at 404-596-7925.