The digital marketing world is absolutely full of tools. So full, in fact, it’s often quite hard to discern which tools are worth your time and which aren’t.
Below is the full list of Main Street ROI’s technology stack, which we use for both ourselves and our clients. Each program or service is tried and tested. Read through to get some great tips on which tools to add to your wishlist for this coming year.
- Moz.com: Arguably, the most important collection of tools in the entire SEO universe! Moz has been around since 2004 and has followed the entire trajectory of SEO from infancy to today’s maturity. Moz’s Open Site Explorer measures a website’s Domain Authority, their Moz Local tool is indispensable for local SEO calibration, and their blog is a deep well of valuable information.
- Screaming Frog: The best website crawl tool out there. Their SEO Spider is a desktop program which crawls websites’ links, images, CSS, script, and apps for a quick and highly navigable evaluation of onsite SEO.
- SEOquake: A supremely handy SEO toolbox in the form of a browser plugin. The plugin provides you with key SEO metrics for a specific page, along with other useful tools such as SEO Audit tool and more.
- Ahrefs: A complimentary tool to Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs specializes in running on Big Data. Their tools cover backlink checking, competitor analysis, keyword research and more. Note: We’ve found that Ahrefs provides the most in-depth backlink data for competitor research (superior to Moz Open Site Explorer in that regard.)
Google My Business: The brother of Google’s ill-fated social network Google+, Google My Business acts as an SEO freebie by allowing you to gain visibility in Google Maps and Google Search by creating a free profile.
Google Search Console: Google Search Console is an often-overlooked essential. Made by Google, it allows you to check indexing status and optimize visibility of websites.
- Whitespark: Another fantastic tool for Local SEO, Whitespark helps users to improve rankings, drive business, and fast-track your success in local search with its toolkit and managed citation services.
- Bright Local: A key local SEO tool along with Moz, Bright Local provides rankings, citations, reviews, analytics & Google My Business data via an easy-to-use data dashboard. And like Whitespark, BrightLocal also provides done-for-you citation building services.
Content Creation Tools
- WritersAccess: For some businesses, written content marketing is an extremely effective marketing tool. Writers Access connects you with 15,000+ US-based writers, editors, and content strategists to deliver cost-effective content. This a great tool for small businesses who just don’t have the time or know-how to create it in-house.
- Canva: Let’s face it, Photoshop is hard and expensive. Canva is a free and very easy to use graphic design tool for Web or print. Create great blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations, and more quickly and efficiently.
- Google Adwords: Google’s main advertising platform and the central hub for all Google PPC campaigns. AdWords is deliberately a dense and complicated tool, geared primarily towards professionals and committed amateurs. If you’re just diving in, use Google’s study tools and take some of their AdWords certification tests (or go through some of our training materials). Gaining proper training will ensure you don’t waste a large amount of ad spend learning your way around the intricate program.
- Facebook Ads Manager: Facebook’s main advertising platform and central hub for all PPC campaigns across both Facebook and Instagram. Equally powerful but only slightly less complicated than AdWords, Facebook Ads Manager offers great research tools, very strong remarketing capabilities, and the extremely useful Audience Insight tool.
Optmyzr: Optmyzr was created by an ex-Googler in 2013 who made it his mission to make PPC easier by automating tedious and repetitive tasks. Through the power of machine learning, Optmyzr is able to dramatically improve the efficiency of campaigns while cutting down on the amount of account management.
Aquisio: Similar to Optmyzr, Aquisio uses machine learning to optimize PPC campaigns on AdWords, Facebook, and Bing. Combining self-improving bid & budget technology with automation to really improve campaign performance at every budget.
Bing Ads: With Bing holding around 7% market share, Microsoft’s answer to Google AdWords is an underutilized tool!
AdWords Editor: This desktop client is an essential tool for managing large AdWords campaigns. It’s hard to overstate simply how much time and drag AdWords Editor is able to eliminate. Coupled with some Microsoft Excel skills, AdWords Editor is a deadly tool!
- Mailchimp: In the small business email marketing wars, MailChimp has risen to the top. Even many large, corporate businesses have started to switch from their clunky legacy systems over to MailChimp. Affordable, easy to use, great design tools, strong integrations, and powerful analytics have made MailChimp the industry standard.
- Infusionsoft: Do you provide services and manage clients? Infusionsoft automates your small business sales and marketing, while combining your CRM, email marketing, lead capture and e-commerce in one place. A very strong platform and huge time saver.
Aweber: An easy and affordable alternative to Mailchimp which includes strong trigger email functionality.
- Campaigner: Good for small, medium, and large businesses alike, this platform has a very wide variety of price ranges to accommodate all budgets. With powerful automation and segmenting tools, this is a great solution for business owners and marketers alike.
- SpyFu: The strongest SEO and PPC competitive research tool out there by miles. Search for any domain and see every place they’ve shown up on Google: every keyword they’ve bought on Adwords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 10+ years.
Tracking & Analytics
- Google Analytics: Once again, Google’s tool rises to the top. Quite simply the best and most commonly used web analytics tool out there. Essential for tracking progress in almost every facet of digital marketing, accept no substitute!
- Google Tag Manager: Google Analytics’ little (but growing) brother. Google Tag Manager is a tag management system that allows you to quickly and easily update tags and code snippets on your website or app. Track large and varied collection of tags such as those intended for traffic analysis and marketing optimization.
- Convirza: If your business relies on phone calls through the sales process, you need Convirza. Their suite of products is everything you need to enhance call tracking, metrics and call analytics.
Social Media Management
- HootSuite: An industry standard for quite a while now, HootSuite is the leading social media dashboard. Manage multiple networks and profiles to measure your campaign results. The dashboard is a powerful tool and huge time saver due to the social media scheduling capabilities.
- Likable Local: A social media automation platform designed exclusively for the needs of local business. The platform helps to create, enhance, and manage the social media presence of small or local businesses. A very strong point solution.
The road to our complete technology stack has a graveyard of failed software attempts on either side of it. We’ve tried and discarded tons of marketing programs and services over years, finally arriving at this ultimate wishlist. What’s the right set of tools for you and your business? Only one way to find out!