Web Tools Every Small Business Should Know About
on 27 September 2019
So you’ve had a great website designed and built, and it’s finally gone live, let loose on to the internet for all to see. Done and dusted, right?
Wrong! Now you need to make sure that you’re keeping track of what’s happening on your site, reaching out to old and new customers alike, and keeping on top of your SEO efforts.
There are thousands of tools out there and it can seem like a bit of a minefield knowing which ones are valuable and which you can give a miss. The below is by no means an exhaustive list of those worth adding to your arsenal of tools, but it’s a solid place to start.
When it comes to keeping tabs on your website’s performance, there is no greater asset than Google Analytics – it’s free, it can be applied to any website, and it’s absolutely chock full of fascinating data.
Once a tracking tag has been placed on your site, data about your visitors and their behaviour on your site starts being recorded. This data provides you with a wide range of information, from how long your visitors spend on each page and which browsers they use, to demographic and geographical data.
Here at LBD we set up Google Analytics on every site we build, and can provide you with analytics reports to help you decode the data. Get in touch with the digital team to find out more.
PPC advertising is an important part of a well rounded digital marketing mix (we wrote about the reasons why a little while ago) and if you want to advertise on Google, then Google Ads is a must-have. It lets you research, create and manage ads that appear on Google search results pages, and on Google’s display network, and like Google Analytics it can give you some pretty in depth stats about the performance of your ads.
Yes, it’s another Google product! Search Console is designed to help you monitor, identify and fix issues that will impact your Google Search presence. It shows you what search terms people are typing into Google to find you and how much traffic is coming via Google Search.
Most useful, though, is a feature where it flags issues with your site performance that could be slowing it down or impacting your search rankings. Once you or your developer (or us!) have made steps to fix the issue, Search Console will validate that everything is working as it should be.
Here at LBD we’re not usually big fans of plugins, but we’ll make an exception for Yoast SEO, a free plugin with a host of Seo-improvement related features. It allows for easy editing of title and meta descriptions and you can see exactly how your site’s pages will appear in search results. It can also generate XML sitemaps, gives you control over site breadcrumbs and lets you set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content, amongst other things!
If you’re considering dabbling in using email campaigns to reach your customers, MailChimp can come in very handy. Their forever free service allows you to easily create email templates or upload your own, and basic audience segmentation is a neat feature.
Whilst once a completely free service, MailChimp became subscription-based in early 2019 when it made a move to expand its services, which meant it put some harsh limits on numbers of subscribers, audience lists and segmentation abilities. For that reason it’s not the best choice if you have multiple, large mailing lists – there are plenty of subscription based alternatives where you’ll get more bang for your buck. However, if you’re a small business testing the waters of email marketing, or have smaller numbers of subscribers to cater for, it’s still a stellar choice.