NOW UPDATED FOR 2018, WITH 22 NEW TOOLS!
Which Digital Marketing Tools Are Best For Your Business?
There are a ton of digital marketing tools on the market and it can get overwhelming!
No matter which discipline of online marketing you operate in, there are going to be several tools that could be making your work a lot easier. There are a number of tools used collectively by SEOs, content marketers, social media marketers, conversion rate optimization specialists, account managers and so on. How do you know which tools are right for you? Some are great for large agencies, while others are better suited to freelancers and local business owners.
In this post, we’ve hand-picked some of the best software used by digital marketing professionals. We will continue to add to this list of tools as we find them, and of course we’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section. Want to see what others make of some of these tools? Check out G2crowd’s marketing software reviews.
Simply choose the type of tool you are interested in, and jump down to the relevant category.
- Competitive Research
- Content Marketing
- SEO and Keyword Research
- Social Media
- Conversion Rate Optimization and User Experience
Competitive Research Tools
iSpionage is a great tool for finding out information about your competitors. You can use it to find your competitors’ most profitable keywords, and learn how they group their keywords, ads, and landing pages. This means you can create an even better advertising strategy!
With Spyfu, you can search competitor domains and find out where they are showing up on Google, and discover every keyword they’re bidding on in AdWords, including historic ad variation over the past 11 years. The Backlink Kombat feature is a particular favorite, which allows you to compare up to 3 competitors and find out keywords that you might have missed.
Price: $33 – $299/mo.
Rival IQ is a powerful social media competitive analysis tools that lets you track your competitors’ performance across a host of social media channels and beyond. Insights provided can allow you to monitor competitor activity in order to spot opportunities where customer service has failed and even inspire your own social media activities!
Price: $199 – $149/mo.
Use Crayon.co to track a company’s complete digital footprint, both on and off their website. You can see everything from a company’s social media activity to their reviews and more. This allows you to keep a competitor portfolio and track all their intel in one spot.
Google Similar Pages
This Chrome extension lets you see other pages that are similar to the one you’re currently browsing. Google Similar Pages is great for visiting a competitor’s site and discovering other businesses you may not know you compete with.
To get an idea how your competitors are doing in terms of traffic, Similarweb is the perfect free tool. Just type in any domain and you’ll receive average traffic, referrals, social media performance, referring sites, keywords used to access the site, and more.
Price: Free (with Premium package available)
With Adbeat.com you can see your competitor’s advertising and marketing strategy, and identify their best converting ad copy, landing pages and sales funnels. You can then take the successful ideas and create your own, more profitable ad campaign.
If you’re an agency, use Adbeat to uncover what your client’s competition is doing. It can also be used as a lead gen tool because you can see which companies are already spending money on digital marketing!
Price: $99 – $399/mo.
Many people use BuiltWith to see what platforms websites are literally “built with” – which is great when you’re prospecting for new clients. What many people don’t know is that you can also use BuiltWith as a lead generation tool! You can build lists of websites from their database of 27,000+ web technologies and over a quarter of a billion websites. Filter by location, traffic, vertical and more. For instance, if you specialize in WordPress development, you can target companies that are using WordPress as their website CMS.
Owned by Amazon, Alexa.com is a web ranking and competitive analysis tool that has undergone some pretty cool changes over the past few years. You can use their Competitor Keyword Matrix to find winning keywords and popular topics, find content gaps that you can fill, target easy-to-rank keywords and find influencers to help promote your content.
Content Marketing Tools
Buzzsumo lets you analyze what content performs best for virtually any topic, find influencers/bloggers and more. You can filter by type of person, influencer, marketing campaign, giveaways, and contests to build lists you can use in your marketing efforts. Tip: If you run contests on your website or social media it can be hard to think of prizes – what’s going to attract the most people to enter to win? You can filter your search results to show “Giveaways” and see what types of products/prizes companies are giving away in contests and see which giveaways are successful by looking at the number of shares.
Influencer and blogger outreach software CRM NinjaOutreach lets you search from over 25 million influencers from any niche or country in seconds. Automated outreach and follow-ups reduce the need to email, and you can manage and track each prospect via tags, statuses, notes, and email analytics with the built-in CRM tool.
Price: $69 – $599/mo.
Snagit from TechSmith is an oldie but a goodie. You can use Snagit to capture images on your computer screen and annotate the images with arrows, circles, text and other markups. You can even create short videos. The annotation tools the Snagit Editor offers are awesome: you can add call-outs, words, resize images, and more.
Finding images for your content is a challenge. You don’t want the same old stock photos that everyone uses. Bigstockphoto.com has great images and videos that you can use in ebooks, lead magnets, presentations, blog posts, and emails.
Ever wanted to find free stock photos worthy of a pro photographer’s Instagram feed? Look no further. Pexels offers high quality and effortlessly cool free photos for use across your online channels. Just search using your topic (or use the handy predefined ‘Popular Searches’ section) and find the right hi-res photo for your needs. Attribution requirements are clearly labelled on each photo so it’s not a chore finding out if you have to include a credit when publishing the image online.
If you’re investing a lot in original research, it makes sense to present it well in a visual format that catches the eye immediately. With Infogram you can easily create stunning infographics that boost visitor engagement on your website or blog, create interactive marketing reports and sales collateral, and even build interactive dashboards connect to your data.
Price: Free – $149/mo.
Whilst Hotjar isn’t a traditional content tool, it is incredibly useful for enhancing and analyzing your existing content marketing efforts. As well as offering poll and survey options which you can embed on your site, Hotjar allows you to analyze the success of your existing content by setting up heat-mapping reports. These are great for seeing where users have clicked, moved and scrolled on any of your pages.
With a focus on simplicity and ease of use, Piktochart is the go-to infographic and chart-making tool for those dealing with large scale or quick turnaround content. A lot of the speed comes from the ability to pick one of a large selection of handcrafted templates, and the included collaboration tools mean teams can work together more efficiently.
Price: $12.50 – $82.50/mo.
Camtasia is a hugely popular screen recording and video editing software tool, bordering on ‘industry standard’ for screen capture. The familiar timeline-style editing area and the ability to pull in a huge range of file types make it a fuss-free tool to use. Add professional-looking effects to take your videos to the next level!
Price: $249 (one-time fee)
Want to create a professionally designed ebook as a lead magnet? Designrr.io automatically takes a blog post and creates amazing looking ebooks that you can use to capture visitor attention and get leads.
SEO and Keyword Research Tools
Not only does SEMrush have amazing keyword research tools that they’re always improving and adding to, but the software also helps you analyze content (even alerting you if your content has a good chance of becoming a Google featured snippet!), give you content ideas, check your backlinks and so much more. Connect your Google Analytics and you can see all of your data in one spot.
Ubersuggest was such a powerful free tool for so long, I’m surprised Neil Patel didn’t snap it up sooner! We’re lucky the good Samaritan decided to keep it free, too, as this is one invaluable keyword suggestion tool. Simply enter your keyword and alongside a host of suggestions Ubersuggest will provide data on volume, cost-per-click, no. of results, competition, and even seasonality.
Answer the Public
SEO agency Propellernet’s quirky questions-sourcing tool Answer the Public is made for anyone wanting to know what people are asking Google. Give your topic to the ‘Seeker’ and you’ll be presented with a series of (admittedly hard-to-read; thankfully a CSV download option is available) circular diagrams showing what kinds of questions are asked about the topic. This is immensely useful when researching for potential blog and content topics.
The brilliant Schema App allows you to do schema markup at scale, in minutes. When it comes time to add structured data to your or your client’s website, inexperienced coders are likely to find themselves scratching their heads. Scratch no longer! Schema App’s toolset is a perfect fit for agencies, e-commerce companies and enterprise businesses alike.
Price: $30 – $700/mo.
Majestic is a familiar name in the halls of SEO. This set of link intelligence tools is suited to any business that cares about its links, be that a small, local business or a worldwide franchise operation. With Majestic you can get a clear idea of your current and historic link profile, identify toxic links, find the topics your content and referring domains are connected to, and a huge amount more, including some excellent competitive analysis!
Price: $10 – $250/mo.
Again with a focus on links, but this time with a whole bunch more added in, Ahrefs (ay-aitch-reffs) is a suite of tools for getting to grips with your website’s SEO. They boast access to 12 trillion backlinks, 4 billion keywords and 1 billion pieces of content, so ‘no data available’ is not a message you’re likely to receive! From rank tracking and finding keywords to auditing SEO and competitor comparison, users will have a lot of data to play with.
Price: $99 – $999/mo.
Keyword.io is an easy-to-use free long-tail keyword tool that literally gives you hundreds of keyword ideas. For PPC campaigns, SEO, content marketing or niche evaluation, Keyword.io keyword finder will help you build a comprehensive list of highly relevant keyword suggestions. It helps you find actual phrases people use to find information, products and services on a variety of search tools—Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Yandex, Alibaba, eBay, and more!
YouTube doesn’t allow you to see what tags/keywords your competitors’ videos are using. This can make it difficult to find the right tags you should use for optimizing your YouTube videos. However, with VideoCents you can see how often keywords are searched for on YouTube. This tool allows you to find all on-page YouTube SEO in one place: Titles, Tags and Descriptions and more! You can evaluate your competition’s SEO to see what’s working and what’s not so you can analyze the factors that affect top video rankings.
Price: $95 (one-time charge)
Social Media Tools
Hootsuite is one of the most widely used social media tools, allowing you to manage all your social media profiles in one easy platform. You can engage customers on over 35 channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. The simple to use ‘stream’ functionality makes it easy to navigate and push the right messages to each audience. The chrome extension is also a crucial companion.
Hootsuite might satisfy your needs if you’re working with one company, but if you’re an agency dealing with multiple client accounts, all of whom want social media management, Sprout Social’s multi-account, multi-team, multi-user platform will be a great fit. With reporting functionality and the ability to mark and discuss particular posts internally included, Sprout Social is the easy way to manage social media at scale, especially if delivering excellent customer service via social media is one of your aims.
Price: $99 – $249/user/mo.
Having a creative mental roadblock? It can be tough to come up with new, creative content ideas. Post Planner makes it easier. By giving you “Status Ideas” like questions, fill in the blanks, contests, motivational sayings and more, you will always have awesome, engaging post ideas. It also connects to Canva so you can easily create posts using Canva’s vast gallery of images.
Price: $3 – $199/mo.
With Quuu.co you can select from more than 300 categories and get suggestions appropriate for your audience. Next select how many suggestions you’d like send to you social profiles through Buffer or HubSpot and the Quuu team will handle everything else… Real people will manually hand-curate content posts for you!
Meet Edgar is very similar to Hootsuite, with the added advantage that you can save your social media updates after you have posted them, thus allowing you to push out regular updates on the same content without having to recreate them. It also has a great calendar feature meaning you can very clearly schedule your social media for the days and weeks ahead.
90% of users say that product videos are helpful in the [buying] decision process. Videos are taking over social media and are a fast way to engage visitors, but many people are still overwhelmed at the thought of creating videos for their business. Animoto is a tool that can help with many of the challenges of making videos.
This robust video software platform allows you to make professional-looking marketing videos or slideshow videos. Making your videos is as easy as uploading images, dragging, dropping, adding text and ready-to-use music. You can even add video within the video, voice overs, animations, transitions and much more.
Buffer is a classic tool for social-media heads who are a bit too busy to tweet. With Buffer, you can schedule social media posts, track the performance of your content, and manage it all in one place. Its Buffer for Instagram tool even allows you to directly schedule to Instagram, something other social media management tools have struggled to achieve.
Price: Free – $399/mo.
Conversion Rate Optimization and User Experience Tools
Google Optimize helps you discover the most engaging customer experiences through your website. You can test different variations of your website and then tailor it to deliver a personalized experience that works best for each customer and for your business. Whether you’re tweaking a checkout page to improve conversions or completely overhauling your website, Google Optimizae has the tools to allow you to create the perfect customer experience.
For conversion rate optimization at a massive scale, Optimizely has your back. This leading CRO tool allows you to create web experiments to find the aspects of your pages that lead users to conversion. Dedicated mobile experience testing is perfect for those with a predominantly mobile audience, too.
Price: Contact sales
Visual Website Optimizer (VMO)
If you’re planning on running a metric ton of online testing and market research, and want to bring it all together into one platform, VMO is the choice for you. Their new Conversion Optimization PlatformTM gives you access to a host of CRO tools, such as on site surveys, session playback, and scrollmaps.
Price: $49 – $999/mo.
Crazy Egg is a great tool for working on the optimization and UX of your site using data from actual visitors. The tool anonymously records website visitor actions and presents them as recordings and heatmaps. The ability to skip pauses in recordings is a life-saver, so you never have to wait while watching someone use your site, and Crazy Egg can even record behaviours on password-protected pages, with the help of the Crazy Egg extension for Chrome.
Price: $24 – $1,083/mo.
Usertesting.com allows you to perform user testing and improve your UX and CRO using videos from actual people engaging with your website. You can find and connect with the exact audiences you need, without the effort, long cycles or costs associated with manually recruiting people to provide feedback, and select the type of studies that will yield the most useful, actionable insights without the administrative hassles or the need for research expertise.
Price: Contact sales
When developing a new User Interface for your site, you’ll need to take into consideration how people are going to behave on it. It’s remarkable what a difference the colour of a checkout button makes, for example. Usability Hub gives you the tools to learn where the pain points are in the process of using your site, with a series of quick tests that identifies user preference and their navigation style, among other elements.
Price: Free – $396/mo.