Digital marketers often have to struggle with resources. Without the appropriate tools, engaging in digital marketing is like throwing a dart in pitch darkness with no aim and just a hope that it lands perfectly on the board. These tools help marketers focus their attention towards the right things, make better decisions, and track performance, ROI, and other important factors. To put it simply, they make them better at their jobs!
Breaking the Myth – Paid Tools Aren’t Necessarily Better than Free Ones
There are a lot of paid and unpaid digital marketing tools on the internet that you can use to your advantage. With so many tools to choose from, it is completely normal for marketers to get confused and feel anxious that the tools they are currently using are not up to the mark and are not up-to-date enough to meet the modern requirements. A common misconception is that the tools that require you to pay for them are, by default, better than those which are free. While it is true that if you pay for a tool, you will often get more functions at your disposal, that does not make every free tool inferior to every other paid one.
Which are the Best Free Tools for Digital Marketers?
Save yourself thousands of rupees by opting for these top 14 digital marketing tools, available for absolutely free:
1. Google Analytics
The most important digital marketing tool, without a doubt, is our favorite digital companion “Google Analytics,” which also happens to be the most popular web analytics tool currently in existence. With the help of this free tool, you cannot only measure the flow of visitor traffic to your website but also track the behavior of your visitors.
2. Google’s Search Console
Formerly known as “Webmaster Tool,” Search Console by Google is a free-to-use service for webmasters that helps them manage and keep track of their website’s presence in the search engine result pages.
Although it is not necessary for you to register in Search Console in order for your website to be displayed in the SERPs, it is highly recommended that you do so as it will help you a great deal in understanding how Google views your website and also in optimizing the performance when crawling takes place.
By registering for Google Search Console, you ensure the following five things:
- Make sure that Google can access your content.
- Submit new content to crawl it and remove content that you do not want to display in search results.
- Create and monitor content that offers attractive search results.
- Maintain your website with minimal interruptions in search performance.
- Solve the problem of malicious software or spam so that your website is clean.
3. Google Trends
Google Trends is yet another fantastic digital marketing tool, available for free thanks to the generosity of those at Google, and is a must-have tool for conducting keywords and content research.
With the help of Google Trends, you can easily accomplish the following:
- Discover the search trends/most popular keywords searched by users on Google.
- Learn more about the most popular search topics on Google.
- Explore the videos that have gone viral/have been highly popular on YouTube in the last 24 hours.
- Obtain a list of the most popular searches made on Google in a particular year.
A major part of both social media marketing and management is to schedule posts for the future. When managing multiple social profiles simultaneously, this task can become extremely challenging. The free social media scheduling tool called “Buffer” can come in handy in this regard!
The free plan of the tool allows you to connect and, therefore, manage one profile from every social network (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) at a time and schedule up to 10 posts for each profile. This way, it is easier to stay ahead of time and focus on other, more important aspects like community management and content creation. For example: Let’s say that you want to publish 2 posts per day on Facebook and Twitter. With Buffer, you can schedule 2 posts per day (for each social network) for the next 5 days, and focus on creating new content for the 5 days that will follow, saving you a great deal of time.
5. Google Keyword Planner
The primary purpose of the free Keyword Planner tool by Google is to help you plan Google Adwords ads. However, you can also utilize it without having to invest in advertising. But, in order to access this tool, you must have a Gmail account, as it does not accept an email address from other providers.
By using this tool, you can get better ideas for keywords in order to position content in the best way possible on your website. By doing so, you can optimize your positioning in search results to gain increased traffic. You can also get historical statistics of keywords and determine the performance of a particular list of keywords.
6. PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is another free digital marketing tool that allows you to measure the performance of your website on both a desktop and a handheld device. All this free and easy-to-use tool needs is the URL of your website and it will display a score ranging from 0 to 100 points. The higher the score, the better your website’s performance is, according to Google.
By using PageSpeed Insights you can determine the loading speed of your web pages and how you can improve the performance of search engines.
7. Hubspot Marketing Free
Building up leads can be challenging, but what’s even more challenging is determining what those leads do once they’re done filling up the form and providing you with their email address. Hubspot Marketing Free not only allows you to generate leads from your website with ease but also extract other important information.
The tool can help marketers better examine their leads. Once a visitor provides you with their email address and becomes a lead, you will instantly start receiving information about who they are, which pages they visit, which pages they spend the most amount of time on, and which offers they check out, giving you the opportunity to follow up in a better way.
Website optimization relies heavily on how well you understand your visitors. A great free tool called “Hotjar” can help you understand how the visitors of your website behave. With the help of certain data like heatmaps, recordings of visitors, scroll maps, etc., Hotjar gives you a clearer picture of what the visitors of your website actually do. The tool also provides the option to analyze funnels and craft surveys and messages for website visitors.
With the help of Hotjar, you can answer important questions about your website visitors, including:
- Where did they come from?
- When did they come?
- How long did they stay?
- What caused them to click on other pages?
By answering these questions, you can structure your website and content in a better way to attract more traffic.
Slideshare is a brilliant online content sharing tool that lets users share slideshow presentations and distribute valuable knowledge across the internet. Users can share their slides with the whole world or privately. In order to do so, users are required to register, which is free of cost.
SEO professionals utilize this tool to share and market their content across the internet. So, make use of Slideshare to recycle your content and attract new visitors to your website.
PiktoChart is yet another incredibly useful content marketing tool which marketers can use to enhance and amplify their content. With the help of this tool, you can easily design beautiful graphics without needing any designing skills.
Since the demand for visual content has significantly increased across the internet, infographics/infographics have become really popular with content marketers. With an infographic, you can present your boring 1000-2000 words long article in a captivating form with visually attractive pictures, backgrounds, and colors. People usually do not have enough time to go through long pieces of text, which is why they prefer infographics as they are easy to understand and allow for the information to be shared easily on social networks.
PiktoChart comes with certain limitations with its free version and offers a limited amount of templates that marketers can use to design their infographics.
Content is king and video dominates the throne room. Content marketers are shifting their focus from static content to videos, as they are far more engaging and drive more traffic. But, with so much video creation, marketers also need a place to store it all and then embed videos. While YouTube is the most popular platform to accomplish this task, it gives less control to the marketers and makes viewers sit through unwanted ads. With Wistia, you can get a similar but better platform made just for marketers!
Wistia also gives you a lot of customization options like call-to-action buttons, forms, etc., for your videos. It also provides data about the traffic.
HootSuite is easily the most commonly used digital marketing tool by social media marketers and managers. It is a single platform for programming content that is to be used on social networks. HootSuite allows you to manage Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
You can use Hootsuite for free, but with certain limitations. With the free version, you can manage 3 social accounts at a time. The premium version, on the other hand, lets you create 10 different users and gives you access to other exciting features like the analytical menu, which is kind of like a dashboard where reports about your accounts are displayed.
Later (previously known as “Latergramme”) is an extremely handy online marketing tool that is used to manage content on Instagram. The only drawback of Later is that it sends you a mobile notification every time it’s about to post content that has already been scheduled.
But the advantage overshadows the drawback, which is that all the pricing plans, including the free option, have no limitations on the number of followers.
The free version of this digital marketing tool for Instagram has the following features:
- A single account for a user.
- 1 social profile per platform.
- Up to 30 Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest posts, and 50 Twitter posts per month (pictures only.)
Formerly known as “SocialBro,” Audiense is a superb digital marketing tool that helps you manage and enhance your presence on Twitter, by letting you create content that would instantly click with your followers. The free version of this tool has some of the best features in store, like notifying users about the best time to tweet, such as when the majority of the followers are connected.
The free version of the tool is accessible to you if your Twitter community consists of 5000 people or less.
Wrapping Things Up…
The internet is full of free digital marketing tools that any enterprise, regardless of its size, can utilize for its marketing strategies. You do not have to spend thousands of rupees on a yearly basis on paid tools since the free ones are just as good. Make a list of your challenges and select the tools which you feel are best suited to your requirements, as managing hundreds of tools would become quite challenging. For example: If you do not mind YouTube ads and don’t want to add custom call-to-action buttons on your videos, then you do not necessarily have to go for Wistia. The point is that you have to identify the tools that would surely help you in the long run according to your needs and try sticking with them to make your digital marketing efforts count.