4 free tools that will level-up your marketing game
If you’re in charge of marketing in your business (perhaps among the many other hats you’re wearing) then I want to ask you something important—
Do you know whether your marketing is working as well as it could?
And by “working” I mean helping you to generate revenue for your business in the form of leads or sales. Cos no matter how noble your mission is, or how much you love your job, you still need to keep the lights on.
A lot of the time we get caught up going through the marketing motions— posting on instagram, running ads, emailing our list, creating a blog, sharing something on facebook—week after week without actually knowing whether we’re getting a significant enough payoff for the time or money we’re sinking into these activities.
Luckily, there are some awesome free tools you can use to optimise your marketing efforts. So, instead of stabbing around in the dark, you can actually test your marketing strategies and use real data to validate whether they’re working.
Let’s chat about 4 free tools I think everyone can use to elevate their marketing.
1. Google Optimize
Can changing one image boost your enquiries?
Could a new headline skyrocket your sales?
Copy, photos, layouts, menus, buttons, interactions— there are a lot of moving parts on a website. And each one can impact how your customer behaves online.
You might have a hypothesis that a blue button will get more clicks than a pink one on your home page, but you won’t know unless you test both. And changing things haphazardly won’t give you real accurate data about what works.
Enter Google Optimize. This free tool allows you to race (A/B test) variants of the same page against each other. That means I could try changing my button colour, headline or a different image and Google optimise will automatically serve up page version A to half my audience, and page version B to the other half.
We spend a lot of time and money sending traffic to our websites, so it makes sense that we take the time to optimise the tool that does a lot of the heavy lifting in our business. Imagine if that blue button increases sales by 10%? Or a different image increased enquiries by 25%? That’s the power of A/B and multivariate testing. And Google Optimize makes this easy, and free to get started.
Remember when you first launched your website and you showed your mum, partner or friend the site for the first time? If you’re like me, you were probably eagerly looking over their shoulder hoping they clicked on all the right things. Well now you can do that to all your website visitors (in a non-creepy way)!
Hotjar allows you to record how people interact with your website, and can show you click and scroll heatmaps. You can also analyse how your contact forms are used and which fields might be preventing people from hitting ‘submit’.
I love this tool for being able to see whether people are moving through a website the way we expect them to. Are they reading all the copy, watching the videos and clicking on the links? If they’re not, we can make adjustments and re-test it until we get the result we want.
Hotjar offers a free account so you can start gathering data without needing to whip out a credit card. But if you find it useful, you can unlock more features with a paid account.
Get started with Hotjar: Visit the Hotjar website to sign up for a free account or start a free trial.
3. Google Analytics
An oldie, but a goodie, Google Analytics is a must-have on your website. This little code snippet sits on your website and tracks how many visitors come to your pages, where they come from and how they use your website.
This is the first place to check if you’re wondering why you’re not getting the number of sales or enquiries you want. It’ll help you answer questions like ‘how many people visit my website?’ ‘how long do they spend there?’ and ‘which pages are they visiting?’
Analytics data is also really helpful to look at before you build a new website, so you can map out what’s working and what’s not.
Google Analytics data is invaluable to help you optimise your marketing and it can collect data everyday, without much effort from you.
Get started with GA: Follow these instructions to get Google Analytics set up on your website or take Google’s free training courses to get setup, understand the data in your account, and start tracking your goals.
4. Google Search Console
Ever wondered what search terms people are plugging into google to find your website? Or how well your website is performing in search engines? If you can get your website to rank in search engines, that’s free traffic to your website and a huge win for your marketing budget.
This free tool allows you to keep an eye on any issues that might be negatively affecting how you show up in Google. You can also connect Search Console with your Google Analytics account, so you can monitor your progress all in one spot!
As your business grows and evolves, you’ll inevitably try new marketing strategies. You’ll experiment with platforms and ads. You’ll invest time and money into them. Some will work for you, and others won’t. Through it all you need a way to reliably evaluate how effective each strategy is.
If you're a big brand with a huge marketing budget like Maccas or Apple, you can afford to lose money here and there with an underperforming strategy, but yours needs to be a finely tuned machine.
So, don’t let seeing some cold hard facts about your marketing strategy scare you, because the insight it will give you, whether it’s positive or negative, can help you to create a more profitable business.
That’s why the data you collect will be the difference-maker. And armed with all the free tools I listed above, there’s no excuse not to use them to your competitive advantage.
If you liked this article, don’t forget to share your favourite bits with someone who would find it valuable too. Have you set up any of these data tracking tools in your business? Will you be adding any more to your arsenal now? Let me know in the comments!