The digital world is always changing, and whilst there are a lot of services and tools out there that can assist you to make your life easier by collecting data and automating tasks, most also come with a catch – the cost! However, there are plenty of tools that you can use for free, and some of them we use regularly and can vouch for. All tools we recommend here, we use within our work and highly recommend. If you think they might be useful to you, be sure to give them a try.
SERPRobot is great for collecting data relating to search rankings and we love it. If you’re wanting to know your search rankings for certain keywords in real-time, you’ve come to the right place. You can put up to 10 keywords into each search, and you can even track competitor search rankings to compare to yourself. The only catch here is that sometimes you may have to wait between searches, due to the service being at capacity in processing keywords.
If you’re wanting to start sending out email campaigns, we recommend MailChimp. MailChimp is a tool we’ve used for years, and there’s a good reason for that. Their Email templates are fairly customisable, it is easy to use and edit, and it allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a time to suit your business. You can have up to 2000 contacts under the free plan, which is more than enough for small businesses who are wanting to send out an email campaign.
Google Analytics/ MonsterInsights:
Okay, this one is a bit of an obvious one, but we have to mention Google Analytics. It’s an awesome tool to view the metrics and numbers for your sites, which is extremely important. However, MonsterInsights provides everything we love about Google Analytics with some added extras. Their lite support chat can help with issues/queries relating to Google Analytics, and they even have an option to exclude tracking users with roles on the site, which means your data as an admin, editor or author won’t be tracked, which results in more accurate reporting.
We only recently discovered Delighted here at Purple Robot, but we’ve realised how strong a tool it is for Digital Marketers, to collect a Net Promoter Score for different brands. Simply implement their system into your marketing campaign and you’ll be receiving data within minutes. It’s very easy to set up, and you can survey 250 people for free, which is a good starting point and can give you insights into the brand’s NPS.
I think we’ve all had Grammarly advertised to us at some point, but it’s not a service to sleep on. The proof-reading tool is completely free (although it does have a premium add-on) and allows for a second pair of eyes to read through your content, ensuring that it is grammatically sound and that it reads well. Every blog we upload, including this one, goes through Grammarly at some point. If you haven’t downloaded this one yet, we recommend that you do. Let us know how it goes! You can even have it as a plugin on your browser.
Hustle – Pop-Ups, plus other WPMU Dev tools…
Hustle is a plugin for WordPress sites that allows you to set up pop-ups on your site. These are great for collecting data, displaying offers, or directing users to different places on your site. The appearance is extremely customisable, and you can select specific times and dates you want certain pop-ups to appear. They are extremely versatile, and we’ve even used these as a sort of ‘opening and closing sign’ for a client’s website. There’s a lot you can do with Hustle! There are also a lot of tools in addition to this, created by WPMU, which may be worth playing around with.
We use page speed checkers frequently, as it is important to ensure that a user has a smooth experience on your site, and it will help in reducing the bounce rate. Page speed also impacts SEO rankings, so the more responsive the site, the more search engines will like it. Google’s tool, ‘Pagespeed Insights‘ is awesome for directly seeing how each factor on your site is affecting the load times on-site. You can also see speeds for Mobile and Desktop, which is extremely useful, as mobile site speed can often be overlooked!
If you’re wanting an easy to implement a free and effective plugin to use on your site to assist with security, iThemes is the way to go in our opinion. Our favourite setting is allowing us to change our admin login address to something more secure, reducing the number of login attempts to our site from unwanted guests. There’s no reason to not use iThemes on your site.
If you have blogs set up on your WordPress site, you’ve probably encountered unwanted spam comments at some point. Even if they are not approved and seen on site, they are still a pain. Antispam Bee allowed us to stop this issue for clients. It does its thing automatically, and we’ve had no issues since we started using it.
For advice on digital marketing or if you have any other marketing needs, drop us an email or give us a call 01522 708 855 and we will have a chat.