In a previous post “Effective Online Market Research – But Are You Listening?” we dealt with the need for effective market research in order to execute internet marketing online. The challenge, we maintain, is not in doing the research but in implementing the marketing strategy after the demographic is understood.
Many small companies or fledgling businesses will balk at spending their resources on tailoring their marketing strategies, assuming that they know the mind set of their customers. Fortunately, there are some very good free internet marketing tools out there. Some of these tools are very popular – and yet underutilized.
The following are 5 internet marketing tools that most websites can benefit from. Even if you are already familiar with these tools, we recommend taking a deeper look and becoming proficient with some of the lesser known functionality in order to help you achieve your marketing and strategic goals – without paying a fortune.
The last tool in our list (it should be introduced with “last but not least”) should get your special attention, especially in light of our premise that most online businesses think they know what their users want. By using online surveys and polls, even budget-conscious companies can now get to the pulse of the people without spending a bundle on a market research firm.
Perhaps, the money saved can be better used for PPC – to be addressed in a future post.
5 Free Internet Marketing Tools
- Web traffic metric sites like Alexa http://www.alexa.com/ provide “free web traffic metrics, top site lists, site demographics, hot urls and more”. Simply type in the URL of your biggest competitors to learn about who their visitors are and get insight into their online behavior.
- Google Insights For Search allows you to “compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties” http://www.google.com/insights/search/ . Here too, add the URL of your biggest competitors to get a cartload of relevant information.
- Google Trends http://www.google.com/trends “provides insights into broad search patterns” and shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. Popularity is broken down by region, city and language and time period.
- Google Adword Keyword Tool https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal allows you to find out the hottest key words and phrases in your industry and later will be the most effective tool to construct a website marketing campaign.
- Create free online surveys and polls. Here are two easy and free applications: http://polldaddy.com/ and http://www.surveymonkey.com/ to find out first-hand what your users are thinking. Include your polls on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and get quick results.