We are asked often about which tools we use to help improve and grow business websites. As one of the areas top-rated website designers, over the years we have tried and tested over 100 and now seem to have settled on some absolute belters. Of course, if you can recommend any belters of your own, feel free to suggest them!
Some are free, some cost monthly or annual subscriptions – but all are worth their weight in gold. Here’s our rundown…
#1 – Google Tools
In the UK (and most of the civilised world) Google is The King of internet search and marketing.
Google provides a suite of free tools which you would be well advised to implement such as Google Analytics, Search Console, Pagespeed Insights, Structured Data Testing Tool and the Mobile Friendly Testing Tool.
We use all of these as standard on every new website, sharing our clients into the data so that they can check for themselves. Using these tools allows you to upgrade your website to the Google Guidelines – vital if you want your website to perform well in organic search rankings.
With Analytics, not only can you observe how many visits your site is getting, you can discover WHO is visiting, which device they are using and what they are doing. It also provides vital statistics for any Adwords Campaigns or other marketing strategies you may be running.
Search Console evaluates how your clients are finding you and which other websites are linking to you.
Pagespeed Insights gives you a speed rating for your webpages. as well as tips on how to improve.
Structured Data Testing Tool checks and reports on your vital Google Schema codes. Not sure what these are? Talk to us, as these are supremely important for SEO.
The Mobile Friendly Testing Tool advises you as to your website’s compatibility on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Don’t expect to score well in the rankings if this fails!
#2 – SEMrush
Experts say that if you are offering SEO services, and not using SEMrush – you are not offering SEO! SEMrush tracks organic search positions (and those of the competition) as well as providing a wealth of stats and tools to dominate the search rankings. There is a free solution, but to really use it to it’s advantage you will need to budget around £150 per month or more.
Here’s our own latest stats from SEMrush, and as you will see we absolutely dominate Google Search for our local area. Without SEMrush, this would not have been remotely possible.
#3 – Hotjar
Hotjar is simply incredible software for anyone interested in improving their website (or turnover figures). It’s used daily by some of the most successful companies in the world. Again, there is a free version, but to fully expoit this wonderful tool expect to budget from £100 per month.
Hotjar provides a suite of tools that are simply mind-blowing. Firstly, it records your visitors path when on your site and saves them as videos you can replay. This allows you to analyse bugs and fix common issues. You can also set up Funnels which report on conversion rates, vital for e-commerce websites.
We simply cannot recommend Hotjar enough. Download the Free Trial and see for yourself. If you need any help implementing it on your site, just ask.
#4 – Wordstream
Wordstream is a must for anyone running Google Ads, Bing Ads or Facebook Campaigns, if you want to see an immediate ROI. The interface is superb to use and the support is first class. It costs around £170 per month for up to £1500 worth of Ads spend. Trust us, well worth the investment! We use it to manage all of our clients’ PPC and Online Campaigns, enough said.
You can check out their FREE TRIAL and get a free Campaign Analysis.
#5 – Google Ads
Many many ‘Partners’ offer Google Ad Services which in our opinion are designed to simply burn holes in your pocket. In our experience, very very few local businesses can demonstrate a respectable return on investment from their Ads spend with the likes of Yell or Local Newspapers.
We do Google Ads a little differently for our select clients… But, we’re not giving any secrets away here – you’ll have to ask us directly.
#6 – ProRankTracker
ProRankTracker offers superb search engine rank tracking for your selected keywords. There’s a free version which will track up to 25 keywords, and a Pro version will cost you only £20 or so per month for up to 200 keywords. You’ll get daily reports as well as the opportunity to track how your competition is doing. Absolutely vital if you have employed an SEO company!