In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked our team what digital marketing tools, tips, and technologies they’re most thankful for. There are so many free to minimal-cost tools available to us, we’re turkeys if we don’t make good use of them! Check out the team’s go-to tips and tools:
1. Negative Keywords in Google AdWords. Make sure you’re not accidentally bidding on keywords that are not relevant to your business (like Comcast below). Use those negative keywords! Take a look at my thoughts on how using negative keywords can help add value to your campaigns. (Nathan)
2. The Dimensions tab in Google AdWords – it allows you to look at the data in many different ways, right in the interface. A couple of my favorite reports are the hour of day, geographic, and Top Movers, which highlights campaigns that have resulted in major changes to investigate why. (Alyssa)
3. The Permutator Tool. Coined as “The Ultimate Keyword Phrase Tool, ” The Permutator allows you to quickly build keyword lists containing multiple variations of the keywords and phrases you are targeting for search marketing efforts. (Brad) There is a free evaluation copy and the digital download is $49.99.
4. Excel and AdWords Editor keyboard shortcuts! They really smooth out my work flow and, in some cases, allow me to make mass edits on thousands of keywords on in an instant! (Ozzy)
Brand & Content Marketing
5. Tools that track personal and brand mentions like Google Alerts and Fresh Web Explorer. These tools make it easy for real time interaction whenever your business or personal brand is mentioned. This makes networking easier with real time monitoring and also helps me find actionable link building opportunities for both myself and for my clients. It is also extremely useful for monitoring competitors mentions as well and really provides a lot of useful and easily obtainable linking opportunities. This allows linking opportunities to come to my inbox as opposed to going out and searching for them and ultimately makes me a more efficient link builder. (Matt)
6. Help a Reporter Out (HARO). HARO (and other services like it) levels the playing field and helps us connect our clients to journalists that are looking to write stories. It helps us promote our clients as experts in their field and also helps drive links and traffic to their websites. (George)
SEO and Website Management
7. Plug-ins that make my life easier. For example, the Moz Toolbar and SearchStatus allow me to quickly evaluate website and page factors like PageRank and MozRank, and also highlight no-follow links. When a new prospect calls for service, I am able to very quickly identify what the strength of their site is, and if there are areas on their site that are not being followed or indexed by search engines. I need to do a lot more research in order to put together a proposal, but these tools give me quick insights for when I first talk to someone. (Lyndsey)
8. BuzzStream. It’s a great organizational tool to help keep and build relationships. There is a free trial and monthly subscriptions range from $19 for s single user up to $249 for up to 12 users. (Tate)
9. Scrapebox. Scrapebox is a lightweight application that automates common SEO tactics and techniques. For example, it can help identify links pointing back to your site or industry leading sites, uncover relevant keywords to target, facilitate competitive research, or generate content ideas. (Danny)
Collaborative and Social Marketing
10. Search engines and tools that enable consumers to take an active role in marketing. This is very different than traditional marketing such as billboards, newspapers, radio and TV – the consumer is there and the ads are there, but that doesn’t mean the consumer is interested or was looking for it. With search engines and social networks, consumers are seeing ads that they are triggering through online searches and actually looking for – this is a win/win for the business and the consumer. As a marketer and consumer, remarketing ads are so powerful and I like seeing products and services in my Facebook sidebar that I recently browsed on another website.
11. Social post scheduling. The ability to schedule social media posts in advance with tools like Facebook, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and third-party tools like SproutSocial helps with campaign planning, saves time, and helps us keep our social media channels active, generating ongoing engagement and site visits. It also helps drive traffic to content pieces that remain relevant over time, and introduce it to new followers or those who did not catch our initial post about it. It helps us extend the life and value of content that we put thought, knowledge, and experience into. (Rebecca)
Analytics and Measurement
12. Phone call tracking is pretty awesome. Tracking traffic has been happening for almost decades at this point, but being able to better tie in offline actions to online transactions is powerful stuff. (Taylor)
13. The smartphone. These tools have opened up new forms of marketing and tied search, social and analytics even more closely together. When consumers get what they are looking for faster, more efficiently and for a lesser price on the advertiser side, then this opens up opportunities for more businesses to grow and prosper. (Taylor)
Rebecca Otis runs the Content Marketing team at Digital Third Coast, a digital marketing agency based in Chicago. You can find Rebecca on Twitter and Google+. Connect with Digital Third Coast on Google+.