To run my online business and other online activities there are few tools and websites which made my journey flexible and more productive. These tools and resources reduce a lot of effort, cost and tension. I am going to share few of the tools I use and hope they will be productive for you too.
Asana: I am running an online marketing firm and as such there are lots of steps to work out. It starts with website development to ensure enough traffic and sales. So there are a lot of steps for lots of professionals and most of them are highly related to one another. During developing a site I had to ensure smooth flow from UX designer to developer, and then from developer to the content department. Content department to marketer and so on. I had to monitor myself too. I was trying a lot of project management tool and CMS. But so far I found asana which is the best for my needs. It’s free, easy to use, and has many integrated functions I find useful for the everyday running of my firm.
Google Drive: Google drive is another free tool which can reduce lots of your effort. If you and your team members need to work on a spreadsheet or doc at same time then Google drive/doc is the best option to go with. You can also create a Google form to work on various surveys.
SEO Keyword Research
The key to successful online marketing is to know what your target market wants. Usually, this is reflected in the keywords they use on search engines to find products and services similar to yours. Thus, keyword research is an integral part of any online marketing endeavor. The following are some of the exciting tools that have fuelled my firm’s success in identifying the appropriate keywords to increase business conversion rates.
Long Tail Pro: Long Tail Pro has over time established itself as the champions of content targeting. This is one fantastic tool which when used properly will result in Google, Bing, Yahoo Search, and all other search engines directing lots of target market your way. As you might know, long tail keywords are very targeted, offer much higher value, and are much easier to rank for compared to other types of key words and phrases. And Long Tail Pro is the tool that will get you the long tails that will literally drive customers to your pay carts.
Market Samurai: Ranking on search engines can be one perilous jungle if you do not know what you are doing. In comes this amazing tool, Market Samurai. What market samurai does is to help businesses identify relevant keywords and help you rank high for them. Additionally, you can use market samurai to analyze what your competitors are doing and hence develop strategies to match and beat your competition. With market samurai, you can also identify tried and tested and also new options for monetization. That means if you use this tool well, you can increase your bottom line by diversifying your products.
Google Keyword Planner: If you are running multiple marketing and SEO campaigns it may all get confusing. But with an AdWords account you can easily use Google’s Keyword Planner to organize your keywords, find ad ideas, get near-accurate performance projections, and get bids right from one place. This not only makes it easy to organize your campaigns, it also streamlines your budgetary allocations in a simple to track platform.
IMAGES & PHOTOS
All sorts of media from television to magazines realize the truth in the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. Internet users are especially sensitive to images as most users display a short attention span when browsing. A captivating photo will not only attract users, but it will also enhance their experience and keep them coming back for more and sharing your content. And as you well know, such exposure only means more profit for you. The following are some of the fabulous tools that have helped my firm utilize the best images on the internet without over-extending our allocated budgets.
Creative Common: People who work as bloggers and monetize their site through Google AdSense are well aware about the copyright issues of an image. So Creative Common is one of the best sources to get images which can be used on your website with the credit, or even by modifying those images.
Flickr: If you need to get high resolution images then Flickr is the best solution for you. You can get almost any kind of images there and you can go for both free to use creative common images or you can contact the photographer to buy the image.
The internet is nothing without graphic design. Since computing moved from DOS coding graphic design has come a long way to offer many interesting opportunities especially in online marketing. The following are some of the tools you might want to consider to enhance your designs.
Graphic River: Graphic River is the money saving option for you. You will find a large collection of graphic products from business cards to landing page templates here. And most of them go for a reasonable price. For example I bought this $6 business card template to create our professional business card.
Market Place If you need something unique or need graphic works often then a graphic designer from any market place can be a good option. Here are few market places which can be best to get a suitable graphic designer. (oDesk, Elance, 99 design)
Email still ranks as the best way to directly reach all your customers and appeal to their individual needs. Some great email marketing tools include:
Aweber: I use aweber to build my email list and to keep them up-to-date with my latest posts. Aweber is one of the easiest to use email marketing tools which can fulfill almost all of your needs.
Marketing strategies can only be effective if their performance can be accurately measured. The best tools for measuring and analyzing your marketing performance and those of your competition are:
Google Analytic: It used to be that marketers had to employ the services of webmasters and technologists who would use these complicated codes and algorithms to tell us that our marketing strategies were good/bad and they would not have details of what was to be removed, improved, or added. Then came web performance tools aimed at marketers with little or zero technical know-how and the best of them is Google Analytics. This tool gives you accurate, up-to-the-minute data and statistics on how your website is performing, the source of your web traffic, and how much of your traffic converts to leads and sales. And the tool works across multiple devices from computers to smartphones.
Anyone can create or own a website but how do you make sure the website is available for viewing by your target market at optimal speeds? The following are some of the best web hosting solutions that I have used in the past.
Hostgator: Easy and affordable webhosting solutions are available from HostGator. For as little as US $3.96 per month you can get unlimited bandwidth and disk space with over 4,500 website templates. HostGator webhosting plans cover a lot of benefits that are ideal even for the new startup with very little technical expertise.
Godaddy: GoDaddy is one of the leading, if not the number one, domain registration companies in the world. And they have now introduced the .co domain in addition to their many other domains. Apart from registering domains, GoDaddy is a leading provider of hosting solutions and anyone can use the revolutionary WHOIS database on their site to identify existing domains and their owners.
Blue Host: For dedicated webhosting and superb VPS hosting among other wonderful web hosting solutions, you can turn to blue host. Their products include domain hosting, file transfers, unlimited email accounts, and domain registrations.
Today, many businesses are run on the go and it is necessary to find ways to coordinate teams that are geographically apart and get results in real time. Cloud storage offers that and here are some of the best tools I have used in my firm for cloud storage solutions.
Dropbox: Dropbox is the number one cloud storage solution for everyone. It is best for both free and premium members. As a free basic member any one can get 2 GB free storage. And by referring new members one can earn 500 MB for each refer, and can make it up to 16 GB for free.
Copy: This is another cloud storage option that can work great for you. Copy’s motto is “share without boundaries” and in that spirit they enable users to access their files, documents, photos, albums, folders, and pretty much anything from anywhere and on multiple internet-connected devices.
Skydrive: Microsoft SkyDrive (soon to be rebranded as OneDrive) enables users to store, share, and synchronize files to cloud storage and these files can be accessed from any web browser anywhere in the world by authorized users. The files can either be shared or kept private.
Google Drive: As usual with Google, they have a product to make your internet experience easier and richer and their Google Drive is one of the best cloud solutions. You can use Google Drive from any device from anywhere in the world to store, access, and share your files. You can change your document or file from one device and the changes are automatically applied to all devices.
There are many more competing tools you can use for your marketing campaigns. The few I have mentioned are mostly free though some offer premium plans for more professional services. Be careful which tools you use as some are below par and may cost your business more than they may benefit it. The ones I have recommended in this article are top of the line tools that I have personally used and can vouch for their efficacy and economic advantages.