If you’re in marketing you know one thing to be true: the internet is your friend. I would even go as far as to say the internet is your BEST friend. Sorry, Gretchen Wieners. Online tools can help you work smarter and faster, giving you more time to focus on analyzing and optimizing versus creating and implementing. Check out my favorite free marketing tools below.
1. Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule
If you haven’t heard of CoSchedule yet, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite all-in-one marketing calendar, project management, social campaign scheduling platform. Yeah, that’s a mouthful, and they do much more than that. On top of delivering a great product, they also have a bunch of free resources for busy marketers like you and me.
Let’s start with their Headline Analyzer. Using this tool is simple, paste your headline, click “Analyze Now” and receive a score of 1-100. The closer to 100 the better (obvi). The Analyzer looks at your headline and gives you suggestions based on your score, allowing you to optimize your headline for higher open rates and engagement.
Here are a few things the Headline Analyzer looks at:
- Word balance
- First and last words
2. Email Subject Line Tester by CoSchedule
If email marketing is apart of your marketing mix (which it absolutely should be) then you know the power of a well-written subject line. We want high open rates people! The Email Subject Line Tester is similar to the Headline Analyzer where you paste your subject line into the tool and are given a score from 1-100.
Here are a few things the Email Subject Line Tester looks at:
- Words that increase opens
- Words that decrease opens
- Letter case
- Whether you include numbers or not
- Character count
- Word count
- Emoji count
3. Social Message Optimizer by CoSchedule
You guys, I swear I’m not being paid by CoSchedule to name drop these tools. I just love them! The Social Message Optimizer helps you write posts that boost engagement, build trust and drive traffic. Once you enter your post content, they’ll give you a score (you guessed it, 1-100) for each social platform.
Here are a few things the Social Message Optimizer looks at:
- Message type
Plus, at the end, they’ll tell you the best day and time to post your content. 👍
4. Blog Ideas Generator by HubSpot
HubSpot is another incredible marketing tool that manages just about everything from email marketing to lead gen and closing sales. I live for it, it’s amazing. Their Blog Ideas Generator is great for content writers who feel a little burnt out and find themselves asking the forever looming question: what will I write about next? The way it works is stupid simple: enter three nouns, get five new content ideas.
5. Keyword Explorer by Moz
Moz is your all-in-one SEO tool. If you’re not ready to allocate some of your budget for Moz Pro, check out the Keyword Explorer. This tool allows you to enter your URL (or a competitor’s URL) and see what keywords are trending for that specific page. This is an easy way to grow your keyword list, and see what other people are using/writing about to gain web traffic.
6. Keyword Planner by Google
You guys have heard of Google, right? Just kidding, I know you have. Frankly, I’d be worried if you hadn’t. Aside from being the Beyonce of the internet (amazing, revolutionary, etc, etc, etc.), they also offer a bunch of online tools. Including Google AdWords. AdWords has become the number one tool when it comes to digital advertising. Within that tool is the Keyword Planner. Use it to search for keywords related to your business and help budget your PPC ads.
7. Google Analytics
I’m not ashamed to say that I am a Google Analytics addict. If you’re big on ROI (which you should be) then you’re probably an addict too. Google Analytics analyzes your website, giving you insights on how many people visit your site, how they got there, what pages they’re viewing, whether they’re staying around or bouncing, and so much more. Really, a lot more. I use Google Analytics for a lot of things, but it’s a big help when it comes to figuring out what to write. What pages are your visitors going to the most? Do you see a trend in the article topics they’re looking at? What can you learn from their behavior?
Grammarly is probably the tool that I use the most, seeing as I have it installed on every device I own. One part of being a good content marketer is making sure that your writing is well written technically. That means grammar, spelling, and all of the other important stuff. Grammarly scans your writing and offers suggestions to make it more readable, and notifies you of any technical errors that might exist. It’s a great tool that will make a lasting impact your day-to-day productivity.
If you want to strive for ultimate readability, use Hemingway to perfect your content. It’s really easy to use. Just paste your text, they’ll score your readability and tell you how to make it better. They even highlight the passages that they recommend fixing and tell you how to fix it. It can’t get much easier than that.
Most small businesses rely heavily on “wearer of many hats,” especially when it comes to the marketing department (or lack thereof). I’ve worked at businesses where I make up the entire marketing department, and that’s where tools like Canva become an important resource. If you’re not a graphic designer but don’t want your social media, print media and digital media assets to suck, allow me to introduce you to Canva. Canva is an easy to use tool that uses drag and drop features to create eye-catching assets. They even provide free (and paid) templates, icons, images, and more.
If you’re using WordPress and you’re NOT using Yoast, you cray. Or you just haven’t heard of it yet. Yoast is a free plugin that helps you optimize your content. SEO is really important when it comes to gaining organic traffic for your website, and it impacts your overall rank. Yoast makes it easy to modify and optimize your content and enhance your on-site SEO.
Here are some of the best features included in the free version:
- Keyword optimization
- Google preview
- Readability check
- Heading and meta description modification
- Set cornerstone content
Okay so Evernote might not have much to do with the nitty-gritty of marketing, but it is a great tool for any type of professional. Evernote is a project manager and electronic notebook that helps keep you and your team organized. I used to be big on writing all of my notes by hand, but after using Evernote I am now a firm believer in electronic note-taking. Evernote lets you create notebooks, web snippets, to do lists, reminders, and more. It’s good for the environment, great for your workflow and very user-friendly.
What’s the Point?
There are a ton of free tools out there. The internet is a vast and wonderful (sometimes scary) place. I hope you try some of these tools out, and let me know what you think. If I missed a tool you really love, mention it in the comments below!