As a small business owner, you’re probably looking for every edge you can get over your competition. Few factors are more important in this pursuit than being found online. One of the easiest ways to make sure you are keeping track of how well you’re reaching potential customers is to invest in marketing tools.

For many of these tools small business can use, the only investment is your time in setting them up and maintaining them. Others carry a small user fee, but are well worth it. This blog is by no means a sales pitch, and we don’t have partnerships with creators of these tools. Rather, they are ones we and other digital marketing experts have found to be the most useful for small businesses who want to beat their competition in the online arena.

1. Google’s Suite of Tools

Google offers a variety of different tools for small businesses to use, and you need to learn how to use each one. First up is Google’s Search Console. This lets you essentially see your site how the search engine sees it. You can see any errors on your site, upload your sitemap and perform other tasks that can greatly help with your search engine rankings.

Second, Google’s AdWords tool is one of the easiest ways to get the word out about your business. You decide your budget, what keywords you want to advertise for, and create your ad, all in one location. Then, your budget is only used when someone clicks on your ad — which is why this is called pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Finally, Google Analytics is a great, free way to track website traffic. While you don’t get as much detailed data as with other tools, you can see quick insights into how many people are visiting your site — and even individual pages. It’s a great starting point for deciding where you want to focus your marketing budget.

While we could write an entire blog just about Google’s tools, these are three of the most important to master.

2. Moz

Ask any digital marketing or search engine optimization (SEO) expert what the most influential company in the industry is, and they’ll probably say Moz. If you aren’t even sure where to start with digital marketing, this is the place to start. Moz is packed full of tutorials and free tools to get you on your way to online success.

For more in-depth tools, Moz also has a paid option. This gives you access to some of the most powerful marketing tools anywhere. However, the price tag can get hefty, depending on what kind of features you’re looking for, and the free options can be plenty for many small business owners — especially those just starting out.

3. Hootsuite

Your social media presence is a critical factor in digital marketing. However, managing all of your channels on your own can be a difficult task. Luckily, there are a few different management tools you can use. While TweetDeck used to be the go-to solution, their offerings have been reduced greatly. Now, social media managers are going back to the tried-and-true Hootsuite.

Through Hootsuite, you can schedule and manage posts on just about every social media platform, from Twitter to Facebook to YouTube. The biggest drawback? The basic package is $20 a month. However, if you rely on social media to reach your audience, that price is well worth it.

4. Canva

Words alone just don’t cut it in today’s marketing environment, especially on social media. Your followers want quick information in a visually appealing format. This is not only true for social media, but also for any kind of email marketing you do. If you can present your information in a graphic format instead of with a block of text, it should be the preferred medium.

Canva allows you to do just that. It’s a simple, easy-to-use graphic design software that pretty much anyone can use. No design background or coding skills are needed to create beautiful graphics. Best of all, the basic software free to use, with cheap paid options to up your graphics game.

5. BuzzSumo

You may know that creating content — i.e., blogging — is an important part of your website. But depending on your industry, coming up with ideas may be on par with pulling teeth. After all, how much can you really write about different types of cupcakes? But there’s a whole world of well-ranking content out there, waiting for you to find it. BuzzSumo can help you do just that.

BuzzSumo is a relatively inexpensive tool that shows you what people are talking about online. You can see the top-ranking and top-shared articles pertaining to different topics and keywords, showing you where you should be directing your own content. You can also set alerts for new articles pertaining to different topics.

6. MailChimp

If you plan to integrate email marketing into your strategy, you need a way to keep track of different leads and other data. There are a few different ways you can do so, but few do it better than MailChimp. This tool has a completely free package that, for small businesses, is exactly what you need. You can send up to 12,000 emails a month, divided between up to 2,000 subscribers.

As you grow, their very reasonably-priced packages grow with you. And each package comes with lead tracking and other data, free templates, email automation and more. Email marketing is a great way to get the word out about new deals and offers and to keep loyal customers engaged — and MailChimp is a great way to manage it.

Get Marketing Help from Company.com

At Company.com, we offer a variety of tools small businesses can use. From setting up professional email addresses with your domain, to local search optimization and more, we can help your business thrive. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and to start a free trial of our premium software package.