As online marketers, we are required to understand all corners of the internet and continually expand our knowledge of the industry. However, like any profession, we’d struggle to be successful without tools.
With this is mind, we recently hosted an internal team training event where each member of our team shared some of their favorite online marketing tools.
Here’s a complete list of our 20 favorite time savers and efficiency boosters.
Note: We have grouped the tools into different categories based on the best match, but many of these tools can be used across online marketing tactics.
What is it?: This tool allows users to input the title, meta description, and URL of a web page before returning a virtual search result listing based on the completed fields.
How we use it: This tool gives our SEO team an opportunity to see how a page will appear in SERPs before hitting “publish.” We use it on a daily basis to help visualize HTML titles and meta descriptions to make sure they fit nicely within Google’s parameters.
What is it?: Button Optimizer allows users to design and customize CTA buttons in minutes. The buttons can be downloaded as CSS code or as PNG images that are ready to be implemented directly on the landing page.
How we use it: This tool assists our SEO team significantly with creating CTA buttons because it enables us to visually see what the button would look like on the site before pushing it live. This gives us a chance to see which button options will be the most visually appealing without risk.
What is it?: Search Console is a free Google service that helps webmasters monitor and maintain a site’s presence in Google Search results.
How we use it: Search Console is critical to successful SEO efforts. We use this tool to make sure Google can access our content, see what queries are driving visitors and links to our sites, evaluate mobile performance, and much more. Understanding these trends allows us to capitalize on what’s working well and re-evaluate areas of sites that might be underperforming.
What is it?: Google Trends is another free service offered by Google. It lets users see how often a particular search term is entered relative to other terms in the region or around the world.
How we use it: By understanding search trends, our team is able to align campaigns with peak interests based on seasonal trends. Delivering content at the peak of a term’s search volume gives it the best chance to perform for our client.
What is it?: SimilarWeb provides users with a snapshot of a website’s traffic sources as well as a high-level view of the online marketing strategies that are powering it.
How we use it: This is a very handy tool for us when we perform competitive analysis. It’s also critical for us when generating content for our Chinese site as it allows us to better understand the market from both countries. For example, when we search for “search engines” worldwide, we see Google at the top of the list. However, when doing so in China, we see Baidu in the first slot.
What is it?: This Google Chrome extension logs all HTTP traffic between Google Chrome and the internet. It shows all the headers as they were sent to the server and also the response back.
How we use it: Live HTTP Headers allows our SEO team to follow redirect paths, see response codes, see cookies sent by the remote site and more right from the Chrome browser.
What is it?: BuiltWith is an online tool that’s designed to help users determine which technologies webpages are using.
How we use it: By simply entering a URL, our SEO team is able to see a complete technology profile. The profile shows information about the web server, hosting providers, content management systems, and much more. This gives us a snapshot of what to expect when working with a new client or website.
What is it?: Annie Cushing put together a Google Doc with hundreds of tools that marketers can use to improve their SEO efforts.
How we use it: This Google Doc is an amazing resource for our team when we are looking for tools relating to a specific SEO function. The document is broken into 14 categories including SEO Analysis, Domain, Links, Keyword, Social Media, Developer and Data Sources, to name a few.
Paid Search Tools
What is it?: The AdWords Wrapper allows you to enter keyword phrases (phrase match and exact match) for use in paid search efforts. According to the site, the tool will convert your list of phrases into seven separate lists, including “Broad, Modified Broad, Phrase and Exact Match; (2) Modified Broad, Phrase & Exact Match; (3) Broad, Phrase and Exact Match; (4) Phrase and Exact Match; (5) Modified Broad Match; (6) Phrase Match only; and (7) Exact Match only.”
How we use it: This tool gives our PPC team a quick and easy way to generate lists when building out paid search campaigns so we can focus our time and efforts on other areas of the projects that require our attention.
What is it?: AdWords Editor is a free tool offered by Google that allows you to download your paid search campaign information, make changes with editing tools, then upload the changes to AdWords.
How we use it: Our paid search team believes this tool is an underutilized asset. It’s great for bulk uploads of ads, keywords, and bids, while also allowing us to productive while offline. The “copy and paste shell” feature is especially useful, as it serves as an easy way to implement ad schedule settings for all campaigns (rather than doing it manually).
What is it?: TagCrowd is an online application that generates word clouds to better visualize word frequencies in any given text.
How we use it: Members of our paid search team use this tool to enter SQR data (from Excel) and get a quick look at the terms that are most common. It’s a quick and easy way for us to see the keyword phrases that best align with the client’s website.
Content Marketing Tools
What is it?: We like to call this one the “don’t hit enter” in Google tool. As you begin searching for a keyword phrase, you will notice that Google presents you with some of the most commonly searched queries around that term.
How we use it: We pretty much use Google for everything these days. As B2B content marketers, this “tool” is really useful for uncovering the types of queries people are searching on and identifying blog topics that we may not have initially thought to write about. This is especially useful when you’ve covered a “broad” keyword term (B2B content marketing) but are looking for other topics around it (B2B content marketing trends 2016).
What is it?: FAQ Fox allows you to enter a keyword and relevant sites into the search box before generating a complete list of questions that users on those sites are engaging with.
How we use it: Successful content marketing is all about understanding your audience. This tool allows you to uncover your audience’s core wants and needs so you can shift your efforts and pull ahead of the competition. Simply search for a term of interest, identify what questions are being asked, then create a highly-focused piece of content as a solution.
What is it?: CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is a tool that allows users to enter their headline get a score in return based on its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.
How we use it: This is an invaluable tool for our content team when creating blog posts for clients. We use it to write more effective blog titles as well as HTML titles based on the analysis of the words we use.
Social Media Tools
What is it?: Moz’s Followerwonk tool allows users to grow their social graph by gaining insights into Twitter analytics such as followers, where followers are located, number of tweets, and much more.
How we use it: While the tool as a whole is extremely helpful to our social media team, we especially enjoy using the profile analysis feature. This feature lets us see a Twitter handle’s most mentioned users and domains to better understand the competition and uncover new opportunities for our own efforts.
What is it?: BuzzSumo is a social media tool that allows users to enter a URL or topic and see what types of content performs best.
How we use it: While we use BuzzSumo to analyze our own sites’ most frequently shared content, it’s an invaluable tool for getting a behind the scenes look at pieces of content that are fueling our competitors’ success as well. By looking at our competition in BuzzSumo, we are often times able to identify key themes or topics that we can leverage ourselves.
General Online Marketing Tools
What is it?: Jing is an online tool that allows users to capture basic video, animation, and still images to be shared during online conversations.
How we use it: Members of our team leverage this tool to highlight a particular point or observation, calling out details directly within the image itself (like the image above). This allows us to efficiently communicate our thoughts via the web to clients as well as our own team members.
What is it?: Spotify is a digital music service that allows users to select their favorites, discover new songs, and build out a custom-tailored collection based on their interests.
How we use it: Music is a huge key to many of our team members’ work days. Just like a good song will make us run a little faster on the treadmill, a solid playlist also kicks the digital marketing side of our minds into overdrive.
What is it?: Digg Reader is a news aggregation service operated by Digg. It’s a simple yet powerful RSS and feed reader available for web, Android and iPhone users.
How we use it: Digg Reader provides us with a way of staying on top of the latest trends across clients’ industries. To be effective at what we do, whether it’s creating content, optimizing websites, or launching paid search campaigns, it’s vital that we keep a thumb to the pulse of the industry.
What is it?: HubSpot’s Sidekick tool allows us to get real time notifications when emails are clicked or opened. It’s compatible with Gmail, Google Apps, Outlook for Windows and Outlook 365.
How we use it: With so many emails sent and received during the day, members of our team use this tool to stay organized. It provides an easy way to send and receive messages while also notifying us when messages are engaged with. This is critical for us when we are following up with clients about outstanding deliverables.
We hope this list gave you some new items to add to your online marketing toolbox. While these aren’t the only tools we use here at KoMarketing, they are certainly critical to our efforts.
What online marketing tools do you use to boost performance? Get the conversation started by dropping a line in the comments section or connecting with me on Twitter!