The web is chockful of digital marketing tools – thinks thousands.
With all these options comes the issue of analysis paralysis — which tools do I need for my digital marketing strategy?
This post will outline 50 digital marketing tools you wouldn’t want to miss in your marketing arsenal. You may have heard or even used some of these tools, but some will be new to you.
From finding freelancers to managing your projects and automating your social media marketing tools, each tool on the list is designed to give you the competitive edge you need to succeed in your digital marketing endeavours.
If you publish blog posts, it’s your job to ensure your blogs don’t just sit idly in cyberspace. People should be able to find them – and SEMrush is the tool to help you with that.
And it’s not just about keyword research. SEMrush will also help you track how your website is doing: whether it’s by tracking keyword positions, backlinks, or site analytics.
It also has features for social media, competitive analysis, PPC spying, CRO, and PR monitoring.
Remember SEO is all about one-upping your competitors with better quality content. You have an onslaught of competitors competing for the top spot on the search engine result pages. SEMrush provides a good line of defence.
Pros and Cons of SEMrush
- Offers exceptional features such as link building and auditing tools
- It gives you a checklist of what you can do to improve on-page SEO.
- It’s generally easy to use
- Very generous with reports
- It also provides a lot of PPC data
- It has a site auditing feature with a set of instructions on how to improve your technical and on-page SEO
- Their interface is laid out logically, with graphs and data visualisations
- Allows you to focus on keywords or phrases that are more likely to be relevant and profitable to you
- Their link-building functionality has a CRM-style feature to help you with outreach
- A 30-day free trial means you can enjoy the tool for free before you commit your hard-earned cash
- SEMrush only focuses on one search engine, Google – unlike other competing tools, such as Ahrefs, which provide data from quite a few other search engines
- All their plans come with only one user account. To accommodate other users, you have to buy seats, which is expensive.
- Some features are only available as part of “projects,” and SEMrush limits the number of projects you can run.
- Some of SEMrush’s competitive features cost an additional $200 per month
- Their free trial, albeit free, requires you to enter your credit card details
- SEMrush interface isn’t responsive, hence hard to use on a mobile device
Overall, SEMrush is an excellent SEO solution, with numerous critical pieces of information you can use to improve your search engine ranking.
SEMrush offers three pricing plans to choose from:
- Pro: at $199.95/month
- Guru: $229.95/month
- Business: 449.95/month
Note that these plans come with only one user account. To accommodate more users, you’ll be required to buy a seat for each, ranging from $45 to $100 per user, depending on your chosen plan.
Screaming Frog is an easy-to-use SEO crawling and analysis tool. The tool will evaluate your site and provide helpful information on how to improve its search engine ranking.
The best part is that you can download this information and store it on your PC for future reference.
At MediaOne, we like to use Screaming Frog to troubleshoot our site for SEO errors. What’s more? You can link the tool with other SEO tools such as Google Analytics or Moz to access more information.
Screaming Frog Key Features: What to Do with Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Tool
- Find Broken Links: crawl your website instantly and find server errors and broken links (404s). The tool even allows you to bulk export these errors and send them to your developer.
- Audit Reports: Identify temporary and permanent redirects on your site. Find redirect loops and chains. Better, you can also make a list of these URLs and upload them in a site migration.
- Analyse Page Titles and Meta Data: Analyse your website’s page titles and meta descriptions when crawling. Identify which of the page titles and meta descriptions are too short, missing, too long, or duplicated across your website.
- Discover Duplicate Content: Discover duplicate URLs with partially duplicated elements such as page titles, meta descriptions, and headings.
- Generate XML Sitemaps: Quickly create XML sitemaps (including Image XML), with advanced configuration over the URLs to include the last modified and change frequency.
- Review Robots and Directives: View URLs blocked by meta robots, robots.txt, and x-robots-tag directives like no-follow or no-index, and canonicals like “rel=prev” and re=” next.”
- Schedule Audit: You can schedule the tool to crawl your site at regular intervals and set the crawled data to a location of your choice, including a Google spreadsheet.
- Compare Crawling and Staging: Track SEO issues and opportunities, and see what changes after crawls. Use advanced URL mapping to compare staging against environments.
- Visualise Site Architecture: Evaluate your website’s internal linking and URL structure using directory force-directory diagrams and interactive crawl and tree graph site visualisation.
- Integrate with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Page Speed Insights: You can integrate the tool with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Page Speed Insights to fetch performance and user data for your website’s URL crawls.
Pros and Cons of Screaming Frog:
- User-friendly interface
- Transparent interface
- Useful features
- Invalid links detection
- XML sitemap generation
- Screaming Frog recently introduced crawl maps. That new feature is still a work-in-progress.
- No API
- It doesn’t run in the cloud
- Their interface can run in the cloud
- It’s constantly updating: and every time it updates, you have to wait until it finishes to use it.
- Their free account is limited
ScreamingFrog has a free plan with a crawl limit of 500 URLs and limited features. Their paid plan starts at $179.
Ahrefs is a complete suite SEO tool designed to help you punch up your site traffic. The tool has data for more than 150 million keywords in the US alone and even more for 150 other countries.
It’s an excellent choice of tool for competitive analysis. You can use the tool to check who links to your competitors, what are their top three pages, and more.
Check where their content is ranking, and using the content Gap feature, identify the weaknesses in your content.
With the top pages feature, you can see which pages are getting the most traffic and the amount of traffic going to your competitors’ sites.
- Dashboard: The Ahrefs dashboard displays a graphical representation of the most relevant metrics you’re monitoring. It will also provide you with an SEO Health Score from the SEO audit. Examples of the displayed metrics include backlinks, traffic, authority, and the ranking evolution for some of the keywords you track.
From a casual glance, here are some of the metrics you can track:
- Ahrefs’ Rank: Ahrefs ranks sites in their index. The best site holds the first position. In other words, the lower the number, the better.
- URL: URL rating shows the target page’s backlink profile strength on a scale of 0 to 100.
- Domain Rating: Domain rating (DR) is a proprietary metric that shows the backlink strength of a website, from 0 to 100 (with 100 indicating the highest backlink strength).
- Backlinks: The number of backlinks the Ahrefs crawler detects
- Referring Domain: The number of domains the backlinks are coming from.
- Organic Keywords: The total number of keywords your website has successfully managed to rank for in the top 100.
- Organic Traffic: The estimated monthly organic traffic to your site.
- Traffic: The estimated value of the traffic you’re getting if you were to buy it via paid ads.
Competing tools also feature some of these metrics. But the Ahrefs one is more advanced and extensive.
Keyword Explorer: Ahrefs has one of the most outstanding keyword explorer functionalities. And yes, it goes beyond the standard Google lookup, as it integrates with almost all the major search engines, including YouTube, Amazon, Yandex, Baidu, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Once you’ve entered your seed keywords, the tool will scan through its comprehensive data of keyword metrics and generate the following information:
- Keyword Difficulty: The estimated difficulty to rank for the keyword in question from a backlink perspective, with 0 being the easiest and 100 the hardest.
- Search Volume: The volume or number of searches the keywords gets in a month.
- CPC (Cost Per Click): The estimated average cost advertisers pay to rank for that particular keyword. The general rule of thumb is to look for a keyword with the lowest CPC (if not affordable).
- Clicks: The average number of clicks generated by the keyword. A high number of clicks indicates interest.
- CPS (Click Per Search): The estimated number of clicks you can get from each search.
- Return Rate (RR): The estimated number of times a user searches for the same keyword. A higher return rate indicates a recurring buyer or user.
- Global Volume: Global volume shows the total search volume from all the markets in which the keyword is used.
Site Audit: Ahrefs’ site audit is easy to use. After setting up your Ahrefs account, you’ll immediately be prompted to run the site crawler. The crawler will also run a week later.
In other words, Ahrefs will crawl your site and create an overview of the results it gets, including an SEO health score, the status of the crawl, and a breakdown of the warnings, errors, and notices.
The tool doesn’t address the philosophical question of whether a missing meta tag or description should be considered an error. But it does a commendable job of crawling a website and rendering stats on some of the issues it finds.
Rank Tracker: The Ahrefs rank tracking feature allows you to set your keywords and list countries for which you’d like to track your ranking. It will list all the keywords you’re already ranking for and suggest similar or associated ones.
The rank tracker will provide detailed information on each keyword, summarising all the information it gathers using the metrics below:
- Visibility: The estimated percentage of the number of clicks on your website for the keyword you’re tracking.
- Traffic: The estimated number of clicks the keyword position you’re in generates.
- SERP Features: How many of the keywords are in the enhanced SERPs (such as featured snippets, maps, and other non-standard search elements).
- Positions: Changes in search positions, like how many keywords moved up the ranks and how many tanked.
- Distribution: How are your keywords distributed in the rank positions (like how many are in the top 3 results, between 4 and 10, the top 5 results, between 11 and 50, and so on.
- Comp: How many competitors are you tracking?
- Locations: The number of locations you’re tracking your rank position.
- Keywords: The number of keywords you’re tracking
Content Explorer: Ahrefs’ content explorer does as the name suggests: it lets you scour the internet for influential authors and pages so you can learn a thing or two from them and their mistakes. It’s similar to running a search query, only that it contains information on them.
It assembles search results in clusters by grouping pages and ranking the authors who have published them. A toggle will identify broken links, while the pages link builders will help you identify backlink opportunities.
Overall, it’s a helpful tool if you’re researching a topic and want to find the most influential websites and authors. The tool will identify the author’s name and profile and give you a link to their Twitter profile.
Pros and Cons of Using Ahrefs:
- Easy to use
- It has everything to help you gain success with SEO. Whether researching keywords, spying on your competitors, identifying content opportunities, or tracking your success, the tool has everything you’ll need in your SEO journey.
- It makes it easier to perform a broken link analysis
- You can work with an unlimited number of websites, as long as you’re able to verify the ownership of each website
- Easy to add additional user accounts
- Their traffic potential metric provides a helpful way to spot juicy keywords to target
- Generous project limits
- No free trial
- Not cheap
- Not generous with reports, unlike SEMrush
- No phone support
Their pricing starts at $99 per month, with their most expensive package (enterprise) going for $999.
MailChimp has dominated the email marketing space since I can remember, and it’s for a good reason.
The tool has everything you need to run an effective email marketing campaign.
First, Mailchimp offers a free plan, which allows you to send over 10,000 emails per month to 2000 subscribers. That comes as good news for small business owners with limited budgets.
Even better, you can access all the features you need to run your email marketing campaign via a free account. The only major limitation is that you won’t be able to remove the MailChimp trademark on your emails until you opt for their paid plan.
MailChimp Key Features
- MailChimp Form Builder: Your email marketing campaign is nothing without a list of qualified subscribers. In other words, before you set up your campaign, you must figure out how to generate sign-ups from your website or blog.
You must create forms that the people visiting your website can enter their contact information to become part of your subscription list.
MailChimp’s form builder allows you to create these forms however you like. The builder might be pretty average, but it’s enough to build functional web forms and embed them on your website.
But if your website is big on forms and would prefer something sophisticated, we would suggest you check out Leadformly.
- MailChimp Campaigns: Once you’ve set up your forms and have people subbing to them, you can go ahead and set up the email marketing campaign.
There are four types of email marketing campaigns you can create:
- Regular: You can create an HTML email campaign, customise your content, and decide if you will send them immediately or schedule them.
- Automated: MailChimp offers plenty of automation features that you can use to create automated email campaigns.
- Plain-Text: With this option, you don’t have to create an HTML template for your emails. Instead, you can send them as plain text, just like regular emails.
- A/B Testing: You can send more than one version of the same email campaign to see which one works best with your subscribers.
If you’re planning to use MailChimp as the primary tool for sending simple email marketing campaigns, look no further than the regular email campaign. But remember that that’s as basic as your email campaign can get.
But if you’re looking to automate your email campaign, then you want to look at MailChimp’s automation features and how they work.
Facebook Ad Campaigns: To reach a broad audience and build your email list, MailChimp offers a Facebook ad campaign feature. You can use this feature to create and purchase a Facebook or Instagram ad to promote your email offer without leaving your Instagram account.
Once again, this isn’t anything like the Facebook ad manager. But it’s an excellent choice for small businesses that want to expand their reach but aren’t ready to manage their own Facebook ad account yet.
Landing Pages: MailChimp also features a built-in landing page builder that you can use to create as many landing pages as possible.
MailChimp offers two types of landing page templates that you can use:
- To promote your email lists
- To promote your products
The default template is for creating sign-up pages, like in the picture above. It has a hero section style layout and logo placeholder that you can customize to match your brand.
The default page template is complicated, with another logo placeholder and a hero-style design above the CTA section. It also leaves some space to add your product listings.
Note that MailChimp’s page builder is good with basic stuff. But if you’re looking to maximize conversions and build your email list, then you want to use a more advanced page builder like Instapage or Unbounce.
Automation Features: MailChimp offers basic email automation features that you can use to automate your email marketing campaigns.
Here are some of the automation features you can use for your campaign:
Autoresponses: You can set up auto-responses and send email messages to new contacts immediately after signing up and schedule them for a set period (say, a day, week, or month).
You can even set an email series for user birthdays and festive seasons.
Remarketing Ads: You can also use MailChimp to create Google remarketing ads for your email marketing campaign. That way, you can retarget users who visit your website and leave without completing a purchase.
The idea is to give them an extra incentive to consider buying from you.
Recover Abandoned Carts: MailChimp also offers an automation feature for recovering abandoned carts. You can use this feature to send email reminders to your customers and encourage them to complete a purchase.
Feedback: Mailchimp also features some basic feedback automation. You can use this feature to reach customers with an email message right after they buy from you. You can even send them a survey or simple email message asking them to review the product or advise them on how to make the most out of it.
Mailchimp even allows you to schedule these messages or set the time you want them sent out.
Personalised Product Recommendations: Another automation feature that might come in handy someday. With this feature, you can design a personalised email campaign, and MailChimp will automatically send personalised product recommendations to your customers based on their purchase history.
It’s not the most advanced algorithmic feature around. But it’s decent enough to convince a few of your customers to consider purchasing more of your products or services.
The Pros and Cons of MailChimp
- Complete email marketing hub
- Adds turnkey ecommerce for merchants
- A workable free tier with flexible pricing options
- Websites and ecommerce plans bring revenue-sharing options
- Lacklustre email templates
- Limited campaign tracking
Mailchimp has one of the most straightforward pricing models. Their free plan is as mouth-watering as it can get, especially since it gives you access to all the key features you need to launch a successful email marketing campaign. You’ll be granted access to seven marketing channels, basic templates, one-click automation, surveys, CRM, and custom domains.
The only limitation is that your emails will have the Mailchimp logo and trademark. If you’re comfortable with that, then feel free to experiment with their free plan.
The paid plan starts at $9.99, with their most premium package going for $299.99/month.
It’s one of the most talked-about and recommended WordPress plugins for SEO, specifically designed to help marketers optimise their web pages for search engines.
The plugin goes further to make your web pages SEO-friendly –submitting sitemaps, helping you manage keywords, and optimising your content.
- Built-in Content Analysis, meta keywords, description management, social, meta keywords, and XML features
- Features for managing duplicate content
- It helps you write better, easy-to-read content for your website or blog.
It does this by providing access to the Yoast SEO meta box that allows you to add meta titles and descriptions to your content.
- It automatically produces and submits XML sitemaps to search engines for you. You don’t have to do anything manually.
What’s more? It protects your RSS feed from content scraper and plagiarism. That protects your website from content scrappers and those copying your website.
Pros and Cons of Yoast SEO
- Accessible and user-friendly
- Works as an SEO proof-reader – think Grammarly but for SEO
- It helps you fix common SEO flaws
- It protects your RSS feed from copy-cats and content scrappers
- Makes sure you’re targeting the right keywords
- Yoast can’t understand the intent
- It can be a little pedantic, with complex rules to follow
- It might waste your time when editing some of the suggestions made
Yoast is offered as a free plugin. You read it right. Their free version has all the features you need to improve your content and get it to rank high in the search engine.
Their premium version starts at 99 Euros/year. That amount will give you year-long access to advanced SEO features, Yoast SEO academy courses, and 24/7 support.
#6. Google Analytics
Google Analytics should be part of your digital marketing strategy right from the start. It’s free and, the best part, it’s offered by the world’s leading search engine.
In fact, we’d arguably pass it as the most powerful digital marketing tool out there.
After creating your website, you can sign up for a Google Analytics account (free). You’ll be provided with a GA code that you can add to your website to confirm ownership, and that’s pretty much like it.
Many SEOs like to think of Google Analytics as a traffic analysis tool. But there’s more to it than that.
For instance, you can use the tool to see where your traffic is coming from — organic search, social, direct, or referral?
Maybe you’ll realise social media is driving the bulk of your traffic. With this information, you can adjust your digital marketing strategy to capture the best results.
Or, if you find that a particular set of keywords is driving a good chunk of your organic traffic, you can turn your attention to them and see how that works for you.
Google Analytics isn’t a tool you’d want to ignore. In fact, you’re to install it immediately after you deploy your site.
- User interaction tracking
- Augmented analytics
- Site usage analytics and tracking
- Multi-channel data collection
5 Google Analytics Reports You Must Review Regularly
- Audience Overview: The default report you see after logging into your GA account. It shows the number of visitors/sessions your site has had in the last 30 days.
- Source/Medium: This report can be found under Acquisition => All Traffic. It shows you the top traffic sources, including social media, organic search, and referrals.
- Social Network Referrals: Found under Acquisition = Social. It shows you the top social media networks driving traffic to your website, neatly presented and easy-to-read format.
- All Pages: Found under “Behaviour” = > “Site Content.” It shows the top pages receiving the most traffic on your site.
- Reverse Goal Path: Found under “Conversions” = > Goals. It shows the path people take to complete your goals when they come to your website. You’ll see the last three steps of goal completion: like someone reading your blog posts before signing up for your email list.
The Pros and Cons of Google Analytics
- Detailed analysis of your web traffic
- Detailed analysis of user behaviour when they visit your website
- You can use the tool to determine where your traffic is coming from (device, location, etc.).
- Automated customer support. Hard to get in touch with an actual human
- Focuses on advertising and marketing, which can be very frustrating to the user
- Relies on third parties for training
Google Analytics has both a free and paid version.
Their free version is enough to help you understand your customers’ journey and improve your ROI.
Their paid plan is called Google 360. It costs from $12500/month to about $150,000/year.
Google Analytics 360 is costly because it provides higher data limits, service level agreements, a dedicated support team, and custom variables.
The tool will store your approved content on the cloud, where your team members can easily access it. It also allows you to schedule multiple posts.
That’s not all. You can also use the tool to track how the posts perform on social media and even get some ideas on improving them.
Hootsuite will calculate your ROI and conversion and even track your public conversations.
Their paid plans start at $29/month, ranging toward $599/month on their enterprise plan.
Pros and Cons
- Hootsuite is a comprehensive social media management solution with ample analytics capabilities
- It makes it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to schedule posts for multiple social media accounts and clients.
- Add-ons can get really expensive
- The most powerful features are reserved for the enterprise plans
- The insights and analytics provided may lack depth for some users
Hootsuite has three plans: i) professional plan, team plan, and enterprise plan.
Their professional plan goes for $29/month, while their team plan is priced at $129.
Their enterprise plan is a bit expensive, at $599/month.
They offer a 30-day free trial on their professional plan, just in case you want to try it out before committing your money.