As we discuss team development or your marketing technology stack the tools and platforms below will come up in conversation frequently: “What tools are you using for digital marketing? To what end-goal are you using them? How effective is your team with these martech tools?” You may even have questions along the lines of “Which tool is best for xyz?” This list may help introduce you to specific solutions as your needs emerge. As with anything else, tools fall in and out of favor constantly. The digital marketing profession is constantly evolving and in flux. This list is arranged by distribution channel for convenience and in no particular order.
What are the best tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) going into 2021?
- Google Search Console. A free online tool and a “must have” for measuring and managing your search presence on the Google search engine.
- Google Analytics. A free online tool for measuring on site web visits and activity. (free certification is available)
- Google My Business. A free online tool for managing your listing on Google and engaging with your customers. If you have a business address or phone number you’ll want this.
- Bing Webmaster Tools. A free online tool for improving your listings and rankings on Bing.
- Screaming Frog. Free to download. An annual license is required for the full featured application.
- YEXT. A big-time, enterprise platform to improve your presence across the web.
- AHREFs. A paid online tool to measure your rankings (and competitors’) over time.
- MOZ. A paid online tool for measuring your rankings (and competitors’) over time.
- MAJESTIC. A paid online tool for measuring and monitoring backlinks.
- SEMRush. A paid online tool for measuring your rankings (and competitors’) over time.
- WORDSTREAM. Has a free keyword research tool.
- UberSuggest. Neil Patel’s freemium keyword research tool.
- Click Flow. Eric Siu’s freemium online headline test tool. Improve your clickthroughs from the search engines by continually testing and improving your web page headlines.
- GT Metrix. A fine, free online tool for measuring website speed and responsiveness. Prescribes real, actionable line items to rectify and improve your rankings purely based on technical factors.
Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO, is a slow and steady-as-she-goes process. Don’t expect permanent, overnight success. While you can see instant chances on occasion, it is highly likely those changes will be short lived. However, steadily investing in your most engaging content, inbound links, and quality sources of referral traffic you’ll realize sustainable unfair advantages. The downside of SEO is that which Google giveth, Google can taketh away. SEO should be a part of a more wholistic, omnichannel approach to your digital marketing program.
Online Reputation Management
User Experience – HotJar
What are the best tools for Search Engine Marketing (Paid, PPC) going into 2021?
- SpyFu. Is a nifty little online tool for not only seeing what your competitors are advertising but what they have advertised historically and at what price.
- IAB. The Interactive Ad Bureau is an authoritative standards setting/governing body.
- SEMRush. While a great tool for SEO it’s also becoming a fine tool for monitoring your (and your competitors) paid advertising.
- Google Ads. The old oak of the forest and among the largest in reach (if not THE largest in reach). (free certification is available)
- YouTube Ads. Considered one of the to three search engines in the world, YouTube is an under-rated and powerful ad platform.
- Amazon Ads. Most people don’t think of Amazon when they’re planning their ad spend. Don’t be that person.
- Facebook Ads. There are a million ways to go broke buying ads on Facebook. This once underpriced platform is now obscenely overpriced for what you get. I can see it being necessary from a branding point of view. But, if you’re not careful you can quickly lose your shirt. Don’t get me wrong: There are lots of ways to be successful with Facebook Ads. All of them warrant a close, watchful eye and a careful, quick hand.
- Bing Ads. I’ll bet you a nickel your competitors aren’t including Bing in their ad spend. It’s a forgotten platform. With careful planning and execution you can effectively run the boards and be the only brand in your space advertising on Bing. It’s worth a look.
- LinkedIn Ads. Any B2B brand today would be off their rocker not to advertise on LinkedIn.
- WORDSTREAM. In addition to some free features, there are really strong for-a-fee features for the paid advertising side of things. If you’re intent on managing your own campaigns and are just getting started, Wordstream is a really good way to get your feet wet, avoid making big, costly mistakes and
- Spotify Ads. Spotify is quickly becoming one of the big ad platforms as we increasingly work from home and have the opportunity to listen to streaming media.
- iHeart Ad Builder. iHeart has done for radio what Google did for online DIY ads. Create your own radio ads online. I really like this service and hope you’ll be curious enough to check it out.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are lots and lots of networks and platforms to consider as you’re putting your ad spend together. Among them there will be great bargains to be had out (that’s said with an eye toward Return on Ad Spend and a Return On Investment). A bargain for bargain’s sake is fine. If you’re going to do that, there are ways to make “remnant buys” or last minute media buys on unsold inventory you wouldn’t normally buy or might even be able to afford normally. I know a few people who specialize in this sort of media buying and am happy to make introductions.
What are the best tools for Social Media Marketing going into 2021?
Lots of people still manage their social media by using the mobile app for the platform(s) they’re on. Nothing wrong with that. At all. But, fold in responding to direct messages and keeping