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TIP: Does your website do you justice?

Does Your Website Do You Justice?
Just like when we ask our friends if our spiffy outfit looks good–the same should be asked of our websites. Second opinions on how things look can save you from embarrassment, and help get you right where you need to be. There are online tools that analyze websites and can give you the insight you need to move to the next level. Anything from content, blog entries and social media sharing buttons, getting the second opinion you were thinking of is just a click away!
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Free Small Business Marketing Tools, Apps, and Platforms

By Jessica Swanson
In my past post, Free Small Business Tools, Apps, and Platforms, I highlighted dozens of business tools needed to get your small business up and running.
In this post, I want to share with you some of my favorite FREE marketing tools. Again, the most important point that I want to make is that it doesn’t TAKE money to MAKE money.In fact, every single marketing tool below is 100% free for the taking! And, truth be told, you could market your small business quite effectively using only a combination of these tools, apps, and platforms.Obviously, the list is a bit overwhelming, so there’s no need to get crazy and implement everything all at once.Pick and choose the tools that will work best for you and your small business.And, always remember, if you are paying money for ANY small business or marketing tool, there’s most likely a free alternative.
OFFLINE MARKETING MATERIALS
If you would like to create offline marketing materials, there are a number of companies that offer free options.

Logo Garden

Make a free logo in 8 minutes.
COST: FREE

Vista Print
Business Cards
Receive 250 business cards for no cost.
COST: FREE

Lucid Press
Printable Newsletters
A simple, free solution to newsletter creation
COST: FREE

Brother
Printable Brochures
Design and print professional brochures.
COST: FREE

CUSTOMER AND INDUSTRY RESEARCH
 To fully identify the needs of your clients and customers, market research is crucial. You must recognize what problems your customers face and how you can offer the perfect solution.

Bizstats.com
Business Stats and Financial Data
Find financial information about other companies in your field.
COST: FREE

Free Lunch
Economic, Demographic and Financial Data
Download important data about your market.
COST: FREE

Ask Your Target Market
DIY Market Research
Send surveys to your list or post on Facebook, your website, or blog.
COST: FREE

InboxQ
Answer Questions
Answer or browse real-time questions related to your industry.
COST: FREE

SURVEY, POLLING, AND QUIZ TOOLS
Surveys, polls, and quizzes can be a fantastic way to find out more about your industry, target market, and existing customers.

SurveyMonkey
Online Surveys
Create and publish online surveys in minutes.
COST: FREE

Flisti
Online Polling
A free and easy-to-use polling tool.
COST: FREE

QuizBox
Online Quizzes
Create simple quizzes for your blog or website.
COST: FREE

COMPETITIVE RESEARCH AND MONITORING TOOLS
It’s vital to appreciate who your competitors are and what products and services they are offering. These tools will help keep an eye on your competition.

Alexa
Website Data
Provides information including traffic stats, related links, and SEO.
COST: FREE

Follow.net
Competition Monitoring
Follow everything your competition does online.
COST: FREE

SimilarWeb
Competitive Traffic Sources
Discover your competitors’ search, display, and referral sources.
COST: FREE
Spyonweb.com
Competitive Resources
Discover what resources belong to the same owner.
COST: FREE

SEO TOOLS
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important components of your overall marketing plan. These tools will help you optimize your website so that it will rank better in the search engine result pages.

Microsoft
SEO Toolkit
Improve the relevance of your website in search results.
COST: FREE

SEO Automatic
SEO Tools
Great a free set of tools to help your SEO efforts.
COST: FREE

SEO Audit
SEO Analysis
Analyze your website and receive data and optimization tips.
COST: FREE

Yoast
WordPress SEO Plugin
All-in-one solution to optimize your WordPress site.
COST: FREE

KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOLS
Keyword research is the process of finding popular search terms and using them to optimize your website so that it ranks higher in the search engine results pages.

Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Research
Research popular search terms and keywords found on Google.
COST: FREE

Ubersuggest
Keyword Suggestions
Get thousands of keyword suggestions in under a minute.
COST: FREE

Wordtracker
Find High-Performing Keywords
Reveal high-performing keywords in minutes.
COST: FREE

Google Trends
Trending Topics
Explore trending search topics with Google Hot Searches.
COST: FREE

LINK MANAGEMENT TOOLS
 Link management is the process of organizing and maintaining a website’s reciprocal links. It’s especially important to have a variety of links pointing back to your website to ensure that others find your content valuable.

Ahrefs
Backlink Checker
Discover how many websites are linking to yours.
COST: FREE

Link Prospector
Build Links Faster
Uncover the links that will improve your rankings.
COST: FREE

MOZ
Search Engine for Links
Perform competitive link research and explore backlinks.
COST: FREE

WEB ANALYTIC TOOLS
Web analytics is the measurement, collection, and analysis of web data in order to understand and optimize the effectiveness of a website.

Siteliner
Website Analysis
Check for duplicate content, broken links, and internal page rank.
COST: FREE

HubSpot’s Marketing Grader
Website Analysis
Analyze your website and receive tips to improve your marketing.
COST: FREE

Google Analytics
Online Traffic Analysis
Analyze and optimize your website traffic.
COST: FREE

Google Webmaster Tools
Make Your Site Google-Friendly
Get data, tools, and diagnostics for a healthy, Google-friendly site.
COST: FREE

Click Meter
Link and Click Tracking
Monitor, compare, and optimize your marketing campaigns.
COST: FREE

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
Every small business needs to have a social media presence in order to reach more prospects, leads, and customers. These tools simplify and enhance the social media marketing process.

HootSuite
Social Media Dashboard
Manage all your social media accounts from one location.
COST: FREE

Social Oomph
Social Media Productivity
Schedule updates, find people to follow, and monitor your activity.
COST: FREE

Social Mention
Social Media Search Engine
Search user-generated content such as blogs, comments, and news.
COST: FREE

Buffer
Social Media Sharing
Share content with your audience at the best possible times.
COST: FREE

Klout
Social Media Influence.
Discover your influence and compare with others you may know.
COST: FREE

Social Media Image Maker
Resize and retouch your social media images
COST: FREE

PUBLIC RELATION TOOLS
There’s no better way to spread the word about your small business than through a public relations campaign. Here are a few tools to help you accomplish that goal.

Google Templates
Press Release Templates
Browse through dozens of press release templates.
COST: FREE

Free Press Release
Press Release Distribution
Submit your release to Google News and other search engines.
COST: FREE

Pitch Rate
Media Matchmaking
Connects journalists with topic experts for free media coverage.
COST: FREE

Help a Reporter Out
Become an Expert Resource
Become a resource in your field of expertise for reporters.
COST: FREE

LOCAL MARKETING TOOLS
If you own a local small business, here are a few marketing tools to help get the word out in your particular area.

Local Marketing Source
Local Keyword Tool
Research and generate keywords for your website.
COST: FREE

Neighborhood Scout
Neighborhood Lookup Tool
Compare neighborhood characteristics.
COST: FREE

BrightLocal
Compare Local Competitors
Comparison between you and your top Google+ Local competitors.
COST: FREE

Moz Local
Online Business Listing
Find out how your business is listed among popular search engines.
COST: FREE

 CONTENT DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Content marketing is the creation and curation of valuable content (written, audio, video or graphic), in order to acquire and retain customers and clients.

SEO Gadget
Content Strategy Tool
Plan a content strategy using keyword research and audience size.
COST: FREE

Portent
Content Idea Generator
Generate titles and tips for your content.
COST: FREE

Content Forest
Title Tool
Enter a keyword to generate 5 titles for your content.
COST: FREE

Content Gems
Customize Content Topics
Provides custom topic suggestions based on your keywords.
COST: FREE

CONTENT AGGREGATION TOOLS
Content aggregation is the act of collecting content from a variety of different sources and publishing them to your audience through your website, blog, or social media.

Symbaloo.com
Content Aggregation Dashboard
A simple dashboard that aggregates all forms of important content.
COST: FREE

ProtoPage.com
Content Aggregation Dashboard
A bookmark-style dashboard that aggregates important content.
COST: FREE

Scoop.it
Content Aggregation
Delivers a continuous stream of relevant content.
COST: FREE

Feedly.com
RSS Reader
Easily access and read blog content by URL, title, and topic.
COST: FREE

WRITTEN CONTENT TOOLS
The following tools will help you become a better writer as you publish and promote your written content.

Diploma Guide
Online Writing Classes
Sign up for free writing classes offered by top universities.
COST: FREE

Copyscape
Plagiarism Checker
Detect duplicate content and check if your articles are original.
COST: FREE

Grammarly
Grammar Checker
The leading online English grammar checker.
COST: FREE

Word2CleanHTML
Clean Formatting
Convert Word documents to clean HTML formatting.
COST: FREE

Keybr
Improve Typing Skills
An online program designed to enhance your typing skills.
COST: FREE

BLOGGING TOOLS
Blogging is one of the best ways to engage with your audience, establish yourself as an authority, and boost your website rankings. Here are a few tools to enhance your blogging experience.

Feedburner
RSS Feed
Allow readers to subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed.
COST: FREE

Guest Post Labs
Guest Query Generator
Enter specific keywords to find guest blogging opportunities.
COST: FREE

MyBlogGuest
Guest Blog Post Opportunities
Free community that connects guest bloggers to blog owners.
COST: FREE

WP Editorial Calendar
A Blog Editorial Calendar
See all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog.
COST: FREE

AUDIO CONTENT TOOLS
If you enjoy creating audios for your audience, the following tools are incredibly helpful.

Audacity
Audio Editor & Recorder
Audio recorder and editor.
COST: FREE

Free Conference Call
Conference Call Software
Conference call software for small businesses.
COST: FREE

SoundCloud
Audio Hosting
Host up to 2 hours of audio for free.
COST: FREE

Podbean
Podcast Hosting
Host your podcast so your audience can easily access it.
COST: FREE

iTunes
Podcast Hosting
Host podcasts on the most highly-ranked audio site.
COST: FREE

VIDEO CONTENT TOOLS If you’re a video producer, you will find many of these tools vital to your overall success.

Camstudio
Screen Recording Software
Record your computer screen.
COST: FREE

Any Meeting
Webinar Service
Host free webinars for up to 200 attendees.
COST: FREE

Rawshorts
Powerful video intros for your products and services
COST: FREE

YouTube
Video Hosting
Host your online videos.
COST: FREE

Caption Tube
Create YouTube Captions
A simple tool to create captions for your YouTube videos.
COST: FREE

Vsnap
Personal Video Messages
Record personal video messages to your clients and customers.
COST: FREE

VISUAL CONTENT TOOLS
If you enjoy creating pictures, graphs, charts and infographics, you need to tap into these helpful tools.

Free Images
Stock Photos
The leading source of free photos.
COST: FREE

PicMonkey
Photo Editor Easily edit and resize your photos online.
COST: FREE

Easel.ly
Create and Share Infographics
Create and share professional-looking infographics.
COST: FREE

LucidChart
Create Online Charts
Create flow charts, diagrams, UML sketches, and ER models.
COST: FREE

Haiku Deck
Simple and inspiring presentation software
COST: FREE

Prezi
Create Engaging Presentations Create engaging, interactive presentations. COST: FREE

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