Ten Free Digital Marketing Tools to Lift the Fog of War
Other digital marketing experts.First and foremost, the biggest (and best) free resource that I’ve found is other digital marketers. There are those that are experts in their fields already and there are plenty of us out there with opinions to be heard. I like to listen to both the experts and the opinions. My (short) list below include a few from both sides. I’d love to hear who you’d add to this list!
- TimFelmingham.com – Tim is an ex-agency veteran that now flies solo and focuses on marketing tips for small business. I like Tim’s approach – simplification of topics, concepts and ideas. Tim’s blog is great to follow if you’re either new to digital marketing or if you’re a small business owner.
- MatthewWoodward.co.uk – Matthew’s focus is SEO and affiliate marketing and he’s been around for quite a while. Like many of us in the industry, Matthew got started due to a natural interest in the web and hasn’t looked back since.
- Skip Besthoff – Skip is CEO of InboundWriter.com. I follow Skip on Twitter for his relevant posts on inbound marketing and content creation.
- Rand Fishkin – how could you have a list about anything without Rand? What I like most about him, though, is his unbiased balance and grounded personality. I learn a lot from him, but I bet we’d be friends in real life, too.
Moz Open Site ExplorerContinuing with the Rand / Moz theme, my first suggested free tool for digital marketers is Moz’s Open Site Explorer. In general, I’d say Moz is not only known for its products but for its willingness to share information for free (have you seen their Google Algorithm Change History, for example?).The Moz Open Site Explorer tool provides insight into a site including elements such as Domain Authority, inbound links, and Spam Score (which is a recently-added feature). It won’t necessarily tell you everything you want to know about a website URL or domain, but it can tell you a lot – and for free!
SEO QuakeSEO Quake toolbar is a browser add-on I’ve been using for quite a while now. It boasts 2M downloads and definitely still provides value, although, some of the information it provides is not nearly as valuable as when I first started using it (i.e.: Google PageRank). However, I do still use the “Diagnosis” feature to help get a quick glance at on-site factors such as the use of headings on a page, the presence (or lack) of meta descriptions, keywords, (etc) and any gaps in image alt tags, especially. It’s important to note that some of the features don’t appear to work (I use it on Firefox), such as the Google Analytics website compliance check. If you have the latest asynchronous code installed on your site, SEO Quake doesn’t seem to be recognizing it.
Inbound.orgFrom an educational perspective, one of my favorite sites to consume digital marketing information is on Inbound.org. It’s sort of a Reddit-style format where content is submitted (or written on the platform itself) and is voted on (up or down). Content that is voted up bubbles to the top. It’s a great way to be exposed to a range of topics and authors and even occasionally will include an AMA (ask me anything) session with an expert as well.
Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics is still, by far, one of the best free tools to digital marketers to provide insights. I think GA knows that not all of their users are “power users” and has really done a much better job as of late making their interface easier to use but also refining their reporting and data visualization functionalities. I use the mobile app on my Android smart phone as well. It has limitations but it’s a pretty good way to keep an eye on traffic, engagement and conversions on the fly.
BuzzsumoI’ve only recently started using Buzzsumo.com, but I’m already seeing the insight it can provide. Buzzsumo provides insight into content performance – for a topic or industry, competitor or domain. You can see top performers and even setup alerts. The results provided by the free tool can be somewhat limited but I still find it to be valuable insight.
Canva.comCanva is a relatively new tool for me still and my thoughts here are based solely on their free version. They’ve recently released Canva for Business, which I have yet to try. The free platform has a few limitations (hence their “For Work” version) but overall it’s still a pretty good tool for creating visual assets if you’re a one-man (or woman) shop or an independent blogger. I think you can see the improvement in image quality as my experience with the tool has matured as well.
IFTTIFTT or “if this, then that” is a great tool to help semi-automate a number of tasks you likely do every day. With any automation tool, this ability doesn’t come without consequence, though. So be careful what type of recipes you build or use. Personally, some of my favorites are the ones that sync social media profile photos, or build lists based on behavior. For example, there’s a recipe to build a list of all Twitter users whose Tweets you’ve favorited. That’s a great way to return back to those individuals and learn more about them later.
Screaming Frog SEO SpiderLast but not least on today’s list is Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider tool. This is a free download for Mac or Windows, and one of only a few non-web based tools I use today. The free version scans a URL or website that you input and provides additional SEO insight relating to on-site factors. It’s a pretty handy tool if you’re interested in examining more than just a few pages on a site.
What do you think?
Here are a few like-minded blog posts:
I visited Chicago, Illinois in May of 2019. I stayed at the Sheraton Grand, went to a Cub’s game, explored the Riverwalk and ate at some fantastic restaurants. Here’s my trip in photos.
Now Available: Luminar AI Powerful. Simple. Affordable. Skylum Luminar is my go-to photo editing software. Be sure to use discount code DADTOGRAPHY for $10 off!Teenagers can be a tough crowd to please, especially when it comes to family travel. I don't know about your...
Now Available: Luminar AI Simple. Powerful. Affordable. Luminar is my go-to photo editing software for all those "back yard" photo shoots. Be sure to use discount code DADTOGRAPHY for $10 off!The following is a 100% authentic, 100% real review. I was not provided...