What are the biggest obstacles for small business owners doing online marketing?
Knowing what to do first and how to do it.
We’ve got you covered on what to do first. Check out our action plan on which marketing tactics to use first.
As for how, it’s simple… marketing tools. These online tools will save you loads of time (and money!) and will become indispensable. There are very many tools available though, so we’ve narrowed it down for you.
Here are the top marketing tools we recommend for small businesses, especially home-service businesses.
Tools to track & improve your website’s ranking
Google Analytics is a free tool that collects data about your website performance. It can give you a monthly snapshot of how many visitors you’re getting, what pages they’re visiting, how long they’re staying and much more. It’s a treasure trove of information that gives you great insight and best of all it’s free.
Google My Business
Your free listing for Google reviews is under Google My Business and it’s a MUST-HAVE for home service businesses. It helps you show up in search and in Google Maps. It can also help you get found and even get more phone calls. See our case study on why you should post on Google My Business.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Articles on your website can lure in visitors but using the right terms (or keywords) in your articles can make a big difference on how easily they’re found. For example, are people searching for kitchen remodeling contractors, kitchen contractors or general contractors? Moz Keyword Explorer can tell you which phrases get the most searches (look at monthly volume of searches). A free account gives you access to basic features with keyword search included. Paid plans start at $99/month.
Tools to manage your social media
Imagine having all your social media posts scheduled in advance for the week ahead. It’s easy to do with these time-saving tools. You only need one.
Hootsuite is the granddaddy of social media management tools. It’s been around the longest and works with 35 social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. A free account lets you manage 3 social media profiles (for example, 1 Facebook account, 1 Instagram account and 1 Twitter account) and allows 30 scheduled messages a month. Paid plans start at $29/month with 10 social media profiles, unlimited scheduling and analytics.
While Hootsuite is feature-rich and a great option, Buffer is a little easier to use. It has a cleaner design and a shorter learning curve for beginners. The free account lets you schedule up to 10 posts per month on 3 social media profiles. Paid plans start at $15/month and include analytics.
If Instagram is your favorite social network, Later might be your best option. It began as an Instagram-only tool, but has since added Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as well. It also has a visual calendar to see how your Instagram feed will look before you post. A free account gives you one profile on each social network and lets you schedule 30 posts per month on each network. Paid plans start at $9/month for 100 scheduled posts per month, per network.
Tools to manage your email campaigns
MailChimp is the Mac Daddy of inexpensive email tools and has been around since 2001. The free plan is plenty rich with features like pre-designed templates, drag-and-drop design builder, automations, analytics and their newest feature, landing pages. A free account lets you send 2,000 emails a month. (Keep in mind, each contact equals 1 email, so if your list has 1,000 contacts, you can send 2 email blasts a month.)
MailerLite is recognized as an inexpensive tool with great features. It has a drag-and-drop builder for email design and lets you automate email campaigns. With a free account, you can have up to 1,000 contacts and send up to 12,000 emails a month (i.e. 12 emails a month to a full list of 1,000 contacts). Paid plans start at $10/month.
Tools to design your social posts and graphics
Canva is an incredibly useful design tool and one of our favorites. It offers thousands of templates for everything from Facebook posts to sales flyers, presentations and even e-books. Canva’s free plan includes almost all features, with a $1 upcharge if you want to use a premium stock photo in your design. (There are free photo options too.) Paid plans start at $9.95/month.
Similar to Canva, Crello is another design tool with templates for a multitude of graphic needs, including animated graphics. Like Canva, it offers a stock photo library and offers a free plan. The paid plan is $9.99 with access to more images, videos and animations.
Have any other tools to add? Let us know below or send an email.