5 of the Best Free Online Tools for Startups
Many startups come across a similar conundrum when they first launch their website – how do we compete with better established, bigger companies who have been around for longer? Contrary to what you might think, growing your business online doesn’t need to cost a fortune, nor does it need to be a hard slog. There is a myriad of free tools out there that can help you gain a competitive edge and grow your website without spending a fortune. While not an exhaustive list, below are five of the best I’ve used:
- Google Analytics
One of the most well-known and important free tools available. Google Analytics can help you understand your website on a more granular level, providing data around things like pageviews, traffic, unique visitors and even visitor behaviour. This type of data not only helps you understand your website better but your customers as well. For example, what blog posts attract the most readers, what landing pages have the highest conversion rates and where people drop off your website the most.
No list of free tools would be complete without giving Canva a mention. With visual content like infographics becoming more prominent in marketing online, Canva provides a readymade library of free images, fonts and templates to supercharge your blogs and ad creative. Canva’s drag-and-drop software makes it easy for even the most graphically-challenged among us to create gorgeous images in no time. They’ve also got a paid version, which offers even more features and a bigger library of collateral.
Perhaps not as well-known as the others on this list, Sniply is a growth hacker’s dream. In a nutshell, Sniply allows you to leverage great content from other websites while giving visitors the opportunity to visit your website at the same time. But, how? Sniply’s clever design opens the door for you to place a call-to-action (CTA) in the form of a floating widget as part of the post. So, when you share a link to another website via Sniply, a clickable widget with your CTA will float over that page and allow users to click through to whatever page you link to in the widget.
If you’re collecting email addresses on your website or through your social channels, it’s no use just having them sit there on a spreadsheet or in your database (on a side note, HubSpot’s got a great, free CRM software). You need to use this information to your advantage to engage potential customers and keep your brand top of mind by reaching out regularly. Email marketing is an immensely powerful way to reach your audience and move potential customers through the funnel at the same time – Mailchimp a fantastic, free option to do this.
In a sea of free social media management tools, Hootsuite is among the top ones available. It enables you to schedule social posts across multiple accounts, using multiple different social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook). Hootsuite’s social media analytics function allows you to quantify and measure your outreach, analysing the relative success of your posts. HootSuite also possesses a paid option which lets you unlock more features, but the free version is awesome anyway!
While these are all terrific tools in their own right, it can be difficult to keep track of everything when it’s across a multitude of different platforms. HubSpot offers many of these features all in one place, making it easier to collate and analyse your data (you can book a free growth chat here to learn more). Again, this isn’t an exhaustive list and a special mention also to other tools such as Moz Open Site Explorer, Google Keyword Planner and Followerwonk!