Part III: 40 Free Tools, Templates and Trials to Help Grow Your Small Business

Foley Marketing AdvisorsFree Marketing Tools & Templates

Foley Marketing AdvisorsAs promised, below are the next 10 in the list of 40 of the best tools and resources to help grow your small business.  Hopefully you’ve had a chance to review and make use of some (or all) of those tools mentioned in Part One & Two!  To recap, as a small business owner whose mission is to help other small businesses grow, I’m constantly on the lookout for these kinds of resources, not just for my clients but for my own business as well.  I’ve bookmarked so many over the past year that I thought I’d share them by creating one master directory.  To make your life easier, if you subscribe to my blog you’ll automatically be notified when the next 10 are posted (just a thought) – https://foleymarketingadvisors.wordpress.com.

21.  WEBSITE SPEED & USABILITY TEST:  Google PageSpeed Insights – Enter a URL, and this tool will test the loading time and performance for desktop and for mobile, plus identify opportunities to improve. Page Speed Insights measures the performance of a page for mobile devices and desktop devices. The PageSpeed Score ranges from 0 to 100 points. A higher score is better and a score of 85 or above indicates that the page is performing well.

22.  CHECK HOW YOUR BUSINESS SHOWS UP ON LOCAL SEARCH ENGINES:   Moz Local Listing Score – Plug in your business name and Moz will give you a percentage score indicating how complete your listing is on all key search engines. You can then choose to go into each listing yourself and fix/update the data or MOZ will do it for you (for a fee). Below is an image of the result page.

Foley Marketing Advisors

23.   UNDERSTANDING WHAT KEYWORDS TO USE:  Google Keyword Planner – This tool’s original purpose is for developing GoogleAdWord campaigns, however it can be extremely beneficial when you’re developing content to put on the internet. All content that you place somewhere online should always contain keywords that will help the search engines understand “what your business is about”. In that way they can better rank you and your links when people include your keywords in their search. Enter a keyword or group of keywords into the tool, and Google will return stats to guide your keyword strategy: monthly search volume, competition, and even suggested terms you might not have considered.

24.  WEBSITE ANALYSIS & TONS OF EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS:  QuickSprout Website Analyzer – The QuickSprout tool does a comprehensive look at SEO optimization, speed, tags, keywords, social, links, and even competitor comparisons. Also, on their website, under their “University” tab are a plethora of videos on everything you want to know about digital marketing, broken down by category (see illustration below of their table of contents):

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 9.59.41 AM

25.  BUILDING YOUR OWN SITEMAP:  XML Sitemaps – While this may be slightly advanced for some of you, I was amazed at how simple this tool made it to create an effective sitemap that you can upload to Google Webmaster Tools. Simply enter your site’s URL and some optional parameters, and XML Sitemaps will create a sitemap. There are several critical reasons to have a sitemap:

  • Sitemaps offer the opportunity to inform search engines immediately about any changes on your site.
  • You can rely less on external links that will bring search engines to your site.
  • If your site is new, or if you have a significant number of new (or recently updated pages), a sitemap can be vital to your success.
  • Sitemaps help in classifying your site content.

26.  SEE HOW GOOGLEBOTS SEE YOUR WESITE: Browseo – Browseo is a web app that allows you to view any webpage without distractions caused by styles. It also highlights parts of a page that are relevant for SEO. The output focuses on pure HTML, similar to what search engines see when they visit a page. You can quickly determine a page’s structure as well as its relevance for specific search terms. Nothing to download, nothing to install. Just enter a URL to get started. Also, keep in mind you can use all of these tools to see how you stack up to your competition (by plugging in their URL)!

27.  AUDIT, SCORE AND IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE: SEO Site Checkup – Site Checkup runs through a fast audit of your site, and checks for a ton of stuff. Below is a screenshot of all the various website components they are rating your site for and providing you with feedback on how to fix:

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.21.19 AM

28.  PRESS COVERAGE AND MENTIONS: HARO (Help a Reporter Out) – Respond to reporters looking for your expertise, immediately. From The New York Times, to ABC News, to HuffingtonPost.com and everyone in between, nearly 30,000 members of the media have quoted HARO sources in their stories. Everyone’s an expert at something. Sharing your expertise may land you that big media opportunity you’ve been looking for.

29.  LOOKING FOR ANGEL INVESTORS?  F6s – F6S is the network for Founders with the highest-ranked Startup programs globally, 5,700+ Startup orgs, 110k Startups and 1k+ deals. Thousands a day apply to accelerators, pitch investment funds, post or apply for jobs, get free deals and grow. They also provide a link to a Facebook group for founders, startups and angels, which can be a great place to begin your networking efforts. The image below gives a true snapshot of this business:

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.38.26 AM

30.  CREATE INFOGRAPHICS AND GRAPHICS FOR CONTENT/SOCIAL MEDIA: Canva – Simply search for the best graphics, photos, and fonts, or upload your own, then use Canva’s drag and drop tool to create a design. Canva gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into stunning designs. Create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more. Design with hundreds of free elements and fonts, or choose from our library of more than 1 million premium images for $1. For those of you who still don’t know what an infographic is (shame on you!), please see below…

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.53.55 AM

Thanks to Freepik.com for the great graphic provided up top! Link to graphic is as follows:  http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/teamwork-growth-concept_765815.htm