Top 5 Internet Marketing Tools
Published 3/13/2012 by admin
When it comes to Internet Marketing Tools there are a variety of useful tools I have used over the years. Of course if you’re just starting out you are likely to be looking for the best free internet marketing tools you can. Before I start listing out the ones I have used over the years there is an important disclosure to be made up front. You likely already know this, however, it would be irresponsible of me to not at least say it, free tools are free, and in my experience they are almost never as good as paid versions. Most free software is just a taste or gateway to a paid version of the very same thing, only expanded.
The fully free Internet Marketing Tools out there are generally useful for directional advice only. For example, even the Google Keyword Tool has only really been useful to generate a large list of keywords to bid on. The other half of what this tool claims to do is deliver overall traffic estimates, which in my experience is hardly useful at all. That’s a free tool with the world’s biggest budget behind it so what would you expect from a tool that has a more realistic budget or team behind it? I am not saying that all free software in the internet marketing world is invaluable, I am just saying to adjust your expectations if you’re looking for a free internet marketing tool. With all that said, on to the ones that have helped me the most.
1 Crazy Egg
(free & paid versions)
This is one of my all-time favorite pieces of software and something of its type is an absolute must, if you care at all about usability. In a nut shell, it’s a small tracking code you place on several pages on your website. Once you do that, you will be able to login to the back-end, provided by Crazy Egg, to see exactly where on the page people are looking, clicking, and interacting. The amount of ah-ha moment’s I have had because of this software are so numerous I’ve lost count. It will guide you in important things like where to place a banner, where to put content, and if things you thought people we looking at are even important. In a nutshell, this software makes your time so much more effective by focusing on the 5% of the web page that actually matters. Even the paid version costs so little it should be a no-brainer for people looking for Internet Marketing tools. In my experience the ROI is unmatched, by many other tools you could use.
(free & paid versions)
My direct knowledge about Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is somewhat limited from an implementation standpoint, but vast in terms of research, competitive analysis, and general high level consulting. I’ve used about as many internet marketing tools for PPC research as anything else and I’ve used many of both the paid and unpaid tools. The trouble I find in terms of using these sorts of tools to do research is, in my experience, very little knowledge that can simply be cut and pasted from competitors in almost any space. There are a variety of reasons for this, most of which would go on a lot longer than this post should be, just remember no two businesses are the same just like no two AdWords accounts are the same, things just generally do not easily translate. In terms of the cost of this tool it’s a bit up there, just over $100 a month. Keep in mind you’re using it to supplement a PPC account where you will likely be spending much more than $100/mo and that factor should make it an easy buy. While it allows you to track a wide variety of competitors, keywords, and view data like market share the one really useful thing it gave me was ad copy history.
When you are launching a new PPC account, or trying to expand an old one Click through Rate (CTR) is a huge key to success. If you’re like me ad copy doesn’t exactly come easy, writing effective ad copy takes practice and why would I try to spend time on something I am just not good at. This tool allows me to track competitors in my space, ones I knew had great click through rates and high quality scores. Then I was able to use their ad copy as a jumping off point, making the necessary changes for my account specifically. I cannot stress enough how much a few extra tenths of a percentage in CTR can change everything for your PPC account and this tool showed me that. It allowed me to easily see when people made changes and make judgment calls on why they made those changes. This particular internet marketing tool has proved to be a great investment for me in the past as well as a great investment for anyone launching a Pay Per Click account or looking to expand an existing one.
(free & paid versions)
If you’re not new to the Internet Marketing game you already know about Compete. Over the past 3 years I have used both their free tools as well as the paid version–with all the full features and it comes in handy for both PPC and SEO keyword research. I want to say first and foremost one of the best things it offers is traffic estimates of competitors, but in my experience it’s been hard to really trust the numbers. It isn’t as if they have exact traffic estimates and you can just go plug in the site for your keyword and see how much traffic they get. I use their traffic estimates purely as guidance, for example, this site “in general” gets more traffic than another and to also see “in general” how seasonality looks for a space. I wouldn’t suggest their paid version as the first thing you purchase, there are better more valuable tools out there at their price point, but it’s a great site to gather some keyword data of competition and get some rough traffic estimates.
4 SEO For FireFox
Back in the day, when SEO For Firefox first came out it was basically the best thing I had ever used in my life, I used it every single day, multiple times a day. A few things have changed in terms of how well it works now, mostly because I think Google has changed a few things, but wow what an amazing tool. When this tool is enabled, you can search Google and below each organic listing you can see a detailed breakdown of all of the most important SEO data. Basically it makes competitive analysis 100 times easier, faster, and more effective. This internet marketing tool is a must have and what makes it better is it’s totally free.
5 Google Analytics
Yes, it may seem given its position on the list that Google Analytics was a simple throw on, but it’s easy to overlook all the amazing data you can get from Google Analytics and how few people really harness even a small portion of all the data you can pull. At its most basic yes it tells you how many visitors your website has and from where they came, but it’s so much more than that.
Ask yourself this, are you using its Goal Conversion feature? Are you using Google Analytics for funnel analysis? You would be so amazed how few people actually use the full offering Google Analytics has. It is invaluable when it comes to conversion tracking, determining keywords to target for PPC or SEO and so much more, oh yea and it’s free. I know you are likely using it already but let me ask you this, could you be using more of what Google Analytics offers? Grab a book like “Analytics in an Hour a Day” or something along that line and see just what you can do with it. This tool gives you a huge advantage most of your competitors are likely not using either.
I am sure there have been tools you have used along the road of your Internet Marketing travels, feel free to share them down below!