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When you own a small business, it can be extremely challenging to find money in your budget for marketing. The good news is that there are plenty of free tools out there that you can use to boost your marketing efforts without spending any money. If you use these you can free up money in your budget to place targeted ads on social media, or even compete for some choice keywords on Google.
With that in mind, here are the top eight free marketing tools available, along with some tips about how to use them.
1. Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer is a free tool that can help you build a killer link profile to boost your SEO. When Google ranks websites, off-site SEO – meaning the sites that link back to you – are even more important than your use of keywords.
Here’s what you can do with Open Site Explorer:
- Do an analysis of your existing backlinks to make sure they all work.
- Analyze your competitors’ backlinks to see where you might be missing out on opportunities.
- Contact sites that are linking to your competitors but not to you to see if you can build new links with them.
Link building can be a painstaking and slow process, but this simple tool can help you build links quickly – but in a way that is still organic and unlikely to subject you to any penalties from Google.
2. Portent’s Title Generator
Coming up with fresh and compelling titles for your blog posts, articles, and other content can be a real challenge. There’s plenty of research to support the idea that having a great title is half the battle when it comes to generating clicks, so why not have a little fun with it. Portent’s Title Generator lets you:
- Enter a topic
- Play around with suggested titles based on what you enter
- Choose the title that’s the most likely to get you the traffic you want
If you want to increase your clicks and conversions, having compelling and irresistible titles is a key step in the process. This tool can help you take your titles from drab to dazzling.
3. Moz Local: Check Listing
Did you know that when it comes to local SEO, one of the most important things you can to is to standardize the listings of your name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP listings)? The reason is that inconsistent listings can dilute your online presence. Keeping track of all those listings can be a pain, but the Moz Local: Check Listing tools makes it easy for you to:
- Generate a comprehensive list of your NAP listings
- Compare your listings to make sure they are consistent
- Use what you find to correct any mistakes and consolidate your online presence
It might seem like a simple thing, but standardizing your NAP listings can have an immediate impact on your local search rank – and that can make a huge difference in your sales.
While backlinks are a very important part of any company’s SEO strategy, it would be a mistake to ignore your choice of keywords as a component of your search ranking. If you want to get an idea of the best keywords to use on a variety of websites, consider using Keyword.io, which lets you:
- Enter keywords and topics
- Get a list of popular keywords on popular sites including YouTube and Fiverr
- Pay for more comprehensive suggestions, including high-value, long-tail keywords
There are other keywords tools out there, but the real benefit of this one is that it gives you keywords targeted by site – something that can be extremely valuable when it comes to fine-tuning your marketing.
5. Screaming Frog
Performing a full audit of your website can be an enormous hassle, but Screaming Frog makes it easy. You can use this free tool to:
- Identify and fix broken links on up to 500 pages
- Audit redirects
- Find duplicate content so you can rewrite it as needed
- Check your page titles and meta data to make sure they are optimized
A site audit might take days, but Screaming Frog can help you shortcut the process and hone in on the areas that need to be fixed.
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Going through your website to look for duplicate content can be time-consuming. However, it is extremely important if you want to avoid getting penalized by Google. Double-checking is especially important if you think someone responsible for the content on your site has been spinning content found elsewhere. Siteliner allows you to check for all of the following:
- Duplicate content, common content, and unique content
- Average page size, load time, and the number of words per page
- Internal and external links
- Text to HTML ratio
Because it is so versatile, this tool is a huge boon for business owners with limited marketing resources. There is a limit on the number of pages you can crawl, but most small businesses will be able to get everything they need with the free version of this tool.
7. Answer the Public
Do you know which topics your customers (and potential customers) are most interested in reading about? If not, the Answer the Public free tool is a good one for you to try. It provides small businesses with a quick and easy way to dial into what’s got people talking in their industry or niche. It tells you:
- Which topics are generating the most interest online
- Which questions people are asking the most frequently
You can use this information to figure out which topics to write about on your blog or address in your social media posts.
8. Facebook Audience Insights
If you’re using Facebook and not making use of Facebook Audience Insights, you’re losing out on a fantastic free tool that can help you maximize the time (and money) you spend on Facebook. This tool lets you take a deep dive into your audience’s demographics. You can learn:
- Who your audience is, including their average age, gender distribution and more
- Which posts they read the most frequently
- Which topics are the most likely to interest them
Reviewing the traffic on your Facebook posts can help you figure out which content to post in the future for maximum engagement and conversion.
These eight tools can help you make the most of your marketing without increasing your budget.