21 July 2014 by Becky Reid, Marketing Manager

The whole digital marketing/social media/measurement thing takes time if you’re going to do them right – it’s one of the biggest things I hear people complaining about. But there are some excellent tools out there to make it a bit easier and also some quick wins you can do to increase your business exposure to customers.

So here’s a few digital marketer secrets!

Digital tools

Google is your friend - sign up for a Google account and you can set up the following:

1. Google Analytics
www.google.com/analytics

If you have a website you should be monitoring it; you can learn a lot about what marketing is working and who your customers are. All open source website platforms have some analytics offering but Google is king. Set it up right and you can monitor what channels are generating your web visits (social media, email, online adverts etc.)

You can also see what pages people are looking at, how long they stay, whether they’re on mobile, tablet or desktop. And all this can inform the rest of your marketing/digital strategy.

2. Google My Business
www.google.co.uk/business

What was called Google Places has been rebranded as Google My Business. You know when you search for something on Google and businesses in the area are shown on a map in your search results? That’s Google My Business. Sign up (it’s free) and you have an instant online sign post!

3. Google AdWords
www.google.com/adwords

There are two elements to search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.) marketing – search engine optimisation (getting your site on page one of the main area of search results), and paid search (the adverts that appear at the top and on the right in Google).

Google AdWords is Google’s paid search facility (Yahoo and Bing both have their own also). You can spend as little or as much as you want – that’s the beauty for small businesses. You set the budget! You may also hear this called Pay Per Click (PPC) – it’s the same thing.

The other good thing is that you can connect your AdWords to your Analytics account and see what keywords are most effective at driving customers to your site.

4. Google URL Builder
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867

If you do any online advertising (AdWords aside) you should be making sure the URL that accompanies the adverts can be tracked by Google Analytics – that way you can see how successful the advert is at driving traffic to your website and whether you should continue doing it, do less or do more.

This cool tool creates the unique URL for you.

Non-Google offerings include:
5. Hootsuite
www.hootsuite.com

Struggling to manage your various social media accounts? Hootsuite is one of a number of social media management platforms that can help.

You can create dashboards for each platform (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wordpress etc.) and set up ‘streams’ for all the things you want to see for each of those platforms. For example new followers, mentions, comments, replies, mentions of keywords.

You can also schedule tweets so you don’t have to always be at the computer or on your mobile when you want to send the tweet. Cool huh.

6. Klout
www.klout.com

If you ‘do’ social media you want to understand if all the effort is worth it. But how do you measure it? One way is with Klout, which measure your social media influence. You can link various platforms to it and track how your score goes up when people interact with you. It also goes down when you go on holiday without scheduling tweets!

7. Qwitter
www.useqwitter.com

Why would you want to know who’d unfollowed you on Twitter? Because it can give you an insight into who is finding you interesting (or not) and help you tailor what you say. If you post something and a load of people instantly unfollow, you know you’ve said something wrong!

It can also reveal people who have only followed you to get you to follow them (which is Twitter etiquette). If you keep an eye on this you can unfollow them if they are not appropriate to your business.