We all know that the future is digital, but where do you start if you're not really into your digital marketing, or have a brand new website that you're not taking advantage of? Do you sweat in fear when you hear the words 'social media' and 'seo'?
We're not going to pretend it's all easy - let's face it, everyone would be doing it! But there are some tips and tricks out there for even the most notice of web users. Are you ready? Let's go.
Hootsuite is a social media management system. Think of it as a dashboard where you can integrate all of your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) in one place. This means you can write a post and schedule it for anytime in the future, and you don't have to log in and out of each network each time. You can also use it to post to multiple social networks at once - a great time saving tool!
Tweetdeck is like Hootsuite, but just for Twitter. You can schedule tweets but you can also organise and build custom Twitter timelines - for instance with columns of 'favourites', 'notifications', 'messages' and 'mentions', helping you keep on track of activity. Another cool feature is that you can create people 'lists' - so if you are following loads of people or businesses, you can set up a separate column on the Tweetdeck dashboard of the ones you are really interested in. This means you won't miss an important tweet in the plethora of activity from other people you are following!
Bitly is an amazing tool for digital marketers. Essentially, it shortens URLs and allows you to track how many people click on it. So if you are doing a social media post linking to your website, you can 'Bitly' your website URL and see how many people click on the link. This is great for measuring what social media links are most popular - and for popular links, Bitly will also tell you how many people are clicking on that link worldwide!
If you're serious about having a good online presence, then you need to get to grips with Klout. Klout is a rank checker that measures your social influence with a 'Klout score' (a numerical value between 0 and 100). This score represents how influential you are online, which means how active you are on networks like Twitter and Facebook and how much interaction you have with other users. Barak Obama has a Klout score of 99!
5. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is essential for finding out statistics about your website. For instance you can find out how many monthly website visitors you have, where they have come from and for the more technologically advanced, you can set up goals to measure conversion rates. Google analytics is a great tool once you understand how to read the data - often the challenge with analytics is also knowing what to do with it! For instance, if most of your visits are coming from a mobile device and your website is not fully responsive or does not have a mobile version, you should consider it. Additionally, if most of your website visitors are coming from another country, you might want to think about targeted marketing campaigns there. Analytics will also tell you which of your web pages are the most frequently visited and how long people are staying on your website. If you website is not very interactive and easy to use, you will get a lot of short visitors that only visit one page before clicking away.
6. Page rank
Checkpagerank.net is a free tool that you can use to find out the relevance and importance that Google places on your website - a score from 0-10. Google Page Rank is based on the number of backlinks your site has and the more you have, the higher your page rank will be. Having not just any old backlinks, but quality backlinks is important if you want to improve your SEO (search engine optimisation - your position on Google).
7. Google Trends
Supplied by Google, Google trends is a feature that allows you to find out the volume of searches made for a particular search term across different time periods, and you can specify where in the world and the language you want the search carried out for. This is a great tool when deciding what your keywords should be for your website. For instance for a technology company, is it better to include the term 'ICT' or 'IT'?
Broken links are bad for your website - not only are they frustrating for website visitors that click on them and they don't work, but they could also be negatively affecting your Google rank, as Google does not like websites with broken links. It also means it's harder for website visitors to find what they are looking for, so you could be missing out on potential business leads. This checker tells you how many broken links you have and importantly, where they are, so you can fix them quickly.
Mobile phone emulator is a fantastic tool that displays how any website or webpage would look on different screens. For example, do you want to find out what your website looks on an iphone5 but you don't have one to hand, to test? You can select the emulator to render webpages by size or using a drop down menu of pre-set phones. This is great for testing your website for design and display problems.
10. SEO Toolbar
SEO Toolbar was designed to help you research you and your competitors' websites. So you can check everything from page rank and domain links, site age and estimated traffic values to their SEO page headings and keyword density. You can also compare up to five websites side by side at a time. This tool is probably the most complicated out of the lot, but there are lots of guides available to teach you how to use it.
You can see that there are a lot of free tools out there that
you should be using to help support your web presence and digital
marketing - in fact there's too many to list which is why we've
only chosen 10!
If you're still hiding behind your computer screen after reading this, we'd be more than happy to talk to you about our consultancy services, just get in touch today.