A roundup of free marketing tools
With belt-tightening almost certainly on the top of many people’s minds these days, it’s important to keep an eye out for money-saving resources. So, we’re devoting this article to a roundup of free marketing tools.
Web Site Improvements
4Q. The easiest way to find out if your web site is doing its job is to ask. A free four-question poll from 4Q helps you do just that. It asks a percentage of visitors exiting your web site what they came to the site to do, whether they did it and if they were satisfied. It also invites visitors to leave open-ended comments.
Website Optimizer. Another way to determine how hard your web site is working is to test different marketing variables. Google’s free Website Optimizer resource automatically assembles headlines, photos, body copy and other variables to create every possible combination. It then serves each in turn and monitors conversions so you can identify the strongest combination.
ClickTale. Yet another way to improve web site usability is to watch what visitors do. A nifty tool called ClickTale watches and records every mouse movement and every single click – an invaluable aid in identifying problem areas on your site. Up to 400 pages per month can be recorded for free.
Search Engine Optimization
Webmaster Tools. One of many free services from Google, Webmaster Tools helps diagnose problems that may be hurting your organic search engine rankings.
SEO Toolbar. This powerful toolbar gives you a quick and easy way to gauge how strong a competitive web site is. Features include web site ranking, keyword analysis, link analysis, and much more – all completely free.
Quantcast. Type in a URL at Quantcast, and it returns amazingly accurate demographic information as well as traffic estimates for the site.
Google Analytics. While you’re probably familiar with Google Analytics, you may not be aware of the depth of marketing information it can provide about visitors to your site. Indeed, Google Analytics’ great strength is that it’s built for marketers, not web geeks.
AdReady. For banner ad design without a designer, check out AdReady.com. Choose from a large variety of templates, upload your images and text, then customize the resulting banner ad. No programming required.
SpotMixer. For those that want to dabble with video, but don’t even own a camera, SpotMixer may be the answer. You can choose and customize a template, upload photos and business information, and SpotMixer does the rest. Your first video is free, $49 per month thereafter.
Bailey Nurseries. Wholesaler Bailey Nurseries offers a huge online plant photography library, much of it available for free, whether you’re a customer or not.
HARO. Entrepreneur Peter Shankman gets the word out on journalists looking for story material through his Help a Report Out service. Sign up for a free subscription, and you’ll get an email three times per day with a summary of 15 to 30 queries from reporters, along with their contact information.