After almost a decade of running a business and also helping other small and medium-size companies in Asia set up their marketing infrastructure and initiatives, there are the top 5 free website tools every business should have to drive traffic and ultimately, revenue, through their digital presence. These must-haves free website tools are those I swear by and use them on a daily basis. We also help many of my clients that we work with, integrate these into their core of marketing activities.
Analytics Tools – Google Analytics
There are many brands of website data analytics tools available out there. Some are free, others charge a premium depending on your needs. For basic tracking, self-analysis, and evaluation, there is Google Analytics that offers almost every data available for tracking. From Google Analytics, you will be able to understand where your users are coming from, how are they navigating your website, and most importantly, what are the most viewed pages that you can take reference from and which pages are content that is of least interest to them. There is no limit on what you can do with this insights and many digital marketers rely heavily on this free website tool to tweak or improvements to their marketing efforts. There have been reports citing an enormous 52% percent of all websites have Google Analytics installed for tracking website data.
Alternatively, for advanced data on how your website is performing and you don’t mind using something premium, you may want to try Ryte, something Phenomenon Consulting uses for insights to Search Engine Optimisation and what how well the website is performing technically.
Social Media Platforms
If your business and brand are not already on at least three social media platforms, chances are you are missing out on a great opportunity to communicate and interact with your target audience. But with an abundance of options out there, which social media platform should you invest your time and resources on? The best advice would be to take on as many as your time permits.
Different platforms present a different audience and opportunities to share your brand and products to a mass group of people. Device a schedule on what content to publish on different platforms, engage with your audience and try to be on the casual end of things, you don’t want to bore your followers with news release-like tone. While social media is a free website tool that cost you nothing, have a premium social media management software allows you to easily have control on all your various accounts and provide you with useful data on the performance of each account. HootSuite is a software we like to use when managing a number of social media accounts for our clients.
Quality Digital Images – PEXELS
While paying a professional photographer may cost a great deal and buying stock images from Getty and iStock may too incur a cost, there are actually decent images you can use for almost nothing. Especially if your content does not involve promotion and selling of a product, all you are required to do is to credit the photographer or source for usage of these images. One such platform to source for free images is PEXELS. They have a decent library of digital images for various use including supporting a blog post or your offline presentations.
Data Collection – MailChimp
MailChimp is easy to use with ready-made APIs and plugins available that you can easily installed on your existing website or content management systems. A research by MailChimp’s own data reveals that there is at least an open rate of 20% for campaigns that have at least 1000 subscribers of which there is an average of 2% click-through rate. This is some statistic we cannot ignore.
Anti-Spam Filters – Google reCaptcha
Often neglected, but an all so important free website tool. Google’s reCaptcha is a reliable filter that is of no cost and you can integrate into your website forms or as a form of firewall if you experience or expecting malicious attempts to compromise the integrity of your security. It also saves you precious time in removing unwanted spam emails sent to your general email address that is used together with your inquiry forms. According to the National Technology Readiness Survey and Maryland’s business school, the average time spent per day deleting spam messages is 2.8 minutes. That is a whopping 728 minutes annually. Imagine you have a total of 10 people in your time, that is a ridiculous amount of time saved and could be used for other business activities.
My recommendation is to have this five basic free website tools as a guide for your business. These are tools that work for every kind of industry and various stages of the business whether you are a young start-up, veteran marketer or experienced business owner.