5 essential tools to grow your business online
As a digital marketing agency, it’s our job to make our clients successful. For the vast majority, the definition of success is generating a consistent flow of leads. Leads are really the lifeblood of any business and learning how to generate leads online can be overwhelming, to say the least. There are so many things to figure out – should you start with SEO, social media, paid ads, etc? Even if you figure out which one to start with there are a million different options and strategies to learn. We hear it all the time from clients… “I tried Adwords and it was a total waste of money!”. If you don’t know what you’re doing then we agree – you can waste a lot of money!
I’ll concede this point from the beginning – we can’t make you an expert in all aspects of digital marketing in one blog post. I’m not even going to try! My intent here is to equip you with some tools that we find incredibly useful and ones that we use every day to make our clients more successful.
These aren’t the only tools we use but these are the ones that we use every day and the 5 that have the most impact for the cost. I believe all 5 of these will be a game changer for your business!
Tool #1: Call Rail
Call Rail is a call tracking software that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. It’s so valuable to us that we require all of our clients to use it. When integrated with your website you know exactly what is driving your phone calls. We can make much smarter decisions on our client’s marketing when we know exactly what is driving the call volume. When you can tie a phone call back to the exact phrase that customers Google searched, you gain tremendous power.
Minimizing the guessing in marketing is the key to optimizing your ad dollars. Call Rail allows us to minimize the guessing! The online interface is incredibly easy to use and setting it up is a breeze. You can even record every call to monitor how your folks are doing on the phone. Their mobile app lets you see where every call is coming from and you can set it to receive a notification every time the phone rings. They offer a 14-day free trial and plans start as low as $30/month. This link you will get you up to $150 in account credit.
Tool #2: ReviewProPlus
Online customer reviews are the new word-of-mouth. According to recent research, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If you’re a local business it’s critical that you’re staying on top of your online reputation. Almost every one of our clients uses the reputation management platform by ReviewProPlus. From a digital marketing perspective, this is the lowest hanging fruit! Not only will using a software like this save you a ton of time, but it is simply the best bang-for-your-buck to move the needle online.
The ReviewProPlus software automates the task of asking every one of your customers for feedback, directs your happy customers to leave reviews on the sites that matter, streams those reviews on your website and shares them on social media! They also monitor your online profiles and send alerts when a new review is received. You have a dashboard to manage all aspects of the platform. They offer a 14-day free trial and plans start at just $79/month. There’s just not many other tools out there that can have this big of an impact on your business for 79 bucks/month!
Tool #3: SEMRush
SEMRush is an all-in-one digital marketing software that is incredibly powerful! It has so many features and benefits that it’s almost overwhelming. Some of its best features are the keyword research tools and the competitor research. Want to know what is driving traffic to your competitor’s website? SEMrush will give a detailed breakdown of what keywords are driving traffic and how competitive those keywords are. SEMrush is our go-to for all keyword and competitor research.
In addition to keyword research, SEMrush has fantastic tools for paid search research, social media management, content research, website auditing and so much more. We can’t even begin to cover all that SEMRush has to offer. It’s used by thousands of companies and it will give you a competitive edge like no other software. Their plans start at $99.95/month and they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Tool #4: BrightLocal
BrightLocal is our tool of choice for all things local SEO. The local SEO audit tool is fantastic and provides tons of information from Google My Business issues to technical website problems. Their rank tracking tool is the best we’ve found, and we’ve tested a ton!
We also use BrightLocal to monitor citation issues – it detects your Name, Address and Phone on hundreds of online directories and alerts you to any issues. They even offer a service to fix the issues. Their reports are great and ones that we are proud to send to our clients! They offer a free 14-day trial and plans start at just $29/month.
Tool #5: Wordstream
We’ve been using Wordstream for a couple of years now to manage our paid search campaigns and we’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results. Wordstream directly integrates with your Adwords account and helps you optimize every aspect. It’s really easy to lose tons of money in Adwords if you’re not an expert and as a business owner, you don’t have time to be an Adwords expert.
Wordstream analyzes your account and creates a weekly “20-minute workweek” set of tasks for you to complete. It really is that easy and it really does just take about 20 minutes. Each time you complete the “20-minute workweek” you are fine-tuning your Adwords account and making it more efficient, thus getting you a higher click-through rate and a lower cost per click.
Wordstream also offers some of the best training we’ve experienced and their customer support is top notch! It is one of the highest cost tools we use but it pays for itself in the efficiency it brings our Adwords accounts. Plans start at $299/month. Using this link to sign up will get you a $300 Amazon gift card so it essentially pays for your first month.
So there are the 5 tools that we use every day to get our clients better results with their digital marketing. Do you have other tools that we didn’t mention? Please let us know in the comments below!