35 Free “Lean Startup” Growth Hacking Tools in 2015
“An epic collection of some of the most important digital marketing tools you will need to start up and run your small business online in 2015″
So what do all the BIG companies have in common? They all have enterprise level digital marketing tools. Startup’s just can’t afford to be forking out $5000 a month on marketing platforms. So if you are a start up or small business, today is your lucky day! Today you can even the playing field by integrating some of these free “lean start up tools” into your war-chest.
To know more about what a lean start up actually is visit the Harvard Business Review and read “Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything”.
In this article you’ll find tools to help with your SEO, content curation & marketing, site crawlability, social media marketing & scheduling, duplicate content, link analysis, site health check tools and even find tools that will allow you to automate publishing content to most of your social platforms. Looking for eCommerce business web design with built in lead generation and SEO technology?
Why You Should Fall in Love with Link Analysis Before You Hate It
Maybe you have heard of artificial intelligence (AI) before, but you will soon wish you knew more about it because it’s going to revolutionize how we small businesses get ranked and get traffic. Google recently acquired Deep Mind technologies which uses AI to perform network node analysis to identify who has the klout to disseminate information to the masses.
Your klout will be assessed based on your link network and the ability of your content to keep eyeballs on pages, and your content’s virility (social shares). So without any further ado, I present some free tools to build up your klout and network of external links to stay in the search marketing game, post 2015. You may want to watch this 4 minute video right now to give you some motivation to start developing your link network today! And remember, Deep Mind is already being integrated into Google Image search, so the time for action is now!
What Are the Immediate Benefits of Link Analysis?
Improve Page Authority
Improve SERP Rankings
4 Free Link Analysis Tools to Help You Survive AI Search Algorithms
Get a summary about Page Authority, Domain Authority, linking domains, social metrics and all inbound links. The free version let’s you run 3 reports per day.
Add this to your Mozilla extensions and get information on anchor text, Page Authority, Domain Authority, link type and information on backlinks.
Get 15 backlink check requests per day with the Free account. Backlink information includes referring domains and TLD breakdown, and of course backlink types such as text, image and no follows (for that highly desired link juice).
The free account is limited to general information about the site you are checking such as referring domains, external backlinks, and IP addresses.
Learn to Crack the Keyword Research Code
What is so important about keyword research? I refer to keywords simply as “revenue streams”. The more keywords I can rank for, then the more traffic I get. Keep those keywords relevant to the needs of my audience, then the more visits I will get from potential customers. Why? Because I hold solutions to their needs. Your business would benefit applying the same technique.
What Are the Immediate Benefits of Keyword Research?
Attract Potential Customers
Higher Return on PPC
Reduce Marketing Cost of Organic Content
Increase Website Traffic
5 FREE Keyword Tools for SEO Keyword Research
The best keyword research tool available. This tool is primarily used to purchase keywords that people click on from within Google SERPS. However, it’s great for keyword ideas.
A keyword suggestion tool which offers highly relevant keyword combinations with a billion keyword database. It includes keywords from multiple sources, not just Google.
Generate 100 phrases for every keyword you submit on the free version of wordtracker tool. Wordtracker will also supply you with a handy estimate of search volume for your chosen keyword.
Get a list of keyword suggestions by language and format ( web, images, news, shopping etc.) for your chosen keyword.
As an alternative to the keyword planner, Keywordtool.io will show you which keywords your audience is searching for when they use the Google search box.
The Hidden Mystery Behind a Website Health Check
SEO has changed in the last few years, dramatically. New algorithms are coming out faster than ever before and you’ll need to keep up with them to succeed with your search marketing efforts. Some things to consider are site speed, usability, code errors, mobile responsiveness and the dreaded duplicate content issue. The first three minutes of the video below will put website health into perspective for you.
Benefits of Fixing Errors Uncovered in a Website Health Check
Increase Content Reach
Improve Bounce Rates
Rank Better Search Engines
Improve User Experience
4 FREE Website Health Check Tools
Run a quick check-up on any website and discover SEO issues. Find keyword, robot.txt, sitemap, speed optimisation and mobile usability issues. Seriously, this is probably the only piece of kit you need to keep your offpage SEO up to scratch.
Hubspot’s marketing tool digs deeper into your online presence, unlike the other tools. It reviews your SEO, blogging and sharing efforts, Twitter activity, lead generation and mobile compatibility issues.
Another free tool that analyses your website for technical attribute issues, site popularity and SEO health.
Download this tool right now to your desktop for free. It provides a full SEO health check and discovers technical errors that are affecting your website ranking in search engines.
Save Your Marriage Using Only Duplicate Content Tools
Ok, so you may not save your marriage, but as Matt Cutts says you could save your website from being crowded out of the Google’s search engine results! If your content is plagiarized and published on a larger website where it has page authority and rank, and gets shared virally, you’ll want to know about it so you can claim the credit.
Benefits of Uncovering Duplicate Content
Redirect Traffic To Your Site
Improve SERP Ranking
3 FREE Duplicate Content Tools
Software that checks the web against your content to identify duplicate content.
A software that provides free originality and sources report. Is checks the web for duplicate content and monitors for duplicate content free of charge.
Duplicate content software that will scan the world wide web and show you a list of webpages with similar content.
The Only Social Listening Tools You’ll Ever Need
Social listening will allow you to identify when and where you brand is mentioned. You can respond to complaints quickly, respond to slander, identify niche areas where your target market resides and measure the return on digital marketing efforts. Why not use it to check up on your competitors and identify where and when they communicate? Take your competitors information and begin your own campaign to penetrate those niches. Find out a little more about the benefits of social listening in this short video (it’s a bit of a sales pitch by a company, but identifies the benefits of social listening nonetheless).
Benefits of Using Social Listening Skills
Feedback Based Product Improvements
Improve Customer Service
Reverse Engineer Your Competitors Marketing Strategy
3 FREE Social Listening Tools
Icerocket will provide you monitoring capability over blogs, Twitter, and Facebook in 20 Languages. Choose the period of time you want to analyse and get graph based results. This is a powerful social media listening tool for social marketing and network insights.
This is a Twitter social listening monitoring tool. Get real time updates on keywords, people or brands, and research key influencers discussing your industry keywords.
Take 100+ social media sources and explore conversations about brands, people or companies. It’s a free tool that provides descriptive social listening statistics.
Why Site Crawlability is The Secret Ingredient
Site crawlablity is important. It allows search engines to discover content and position it within search results. What most people don’t know is that there are so many variables that can affect the discovery of your content such as robot.txt files, and bloated code, and simple errors in html or java script that can kill your rankings.
2 FREE Site Crawlability Tools
Use this tool to create XML sitemaps that are submitted and indexed by Google and other search engines so that your content is found and entered into SERPS quickly.
This is a tool that can be downloaded to your desktop. It crawls your pages links, images, css, scripts and apps to identify areas you can fix.
The Only Social Media Scheduling You’ll Ever Need
Probably the best internet software investment you will ever make will be in acquiring Social media scheduling tools. I provide you with 4 free social media scheduling tools below, but I use a combination of these tools. It’s a little more time consuming but it’s worth it. These tools will allow you to automate your social media publishing and some will prove analysis on which content gets you the most engagement. I highly advise you use the analytics to identify which curation content your audience loves. This information will provide you with your business content marketing strategy and development. The video below shows a brief demonstration of how quickly and efficiently you can take charge of your social media publishing strategy.
Benefits of Using Social Scheduling
Save Hours Every Day
Generate Leads Automatically
Target And Engage Influencers
Build Your Own Herd
4 Free Social Scheduling Tools
This is currently a free tool that will allow you to create tweet themes known as a jukebox. You can upload your tweets, links, images or quotes, and schedule them for publishing. The main benefit is that you don’t have to continuously replenish your content. Simply add what you want to tweet, when you want to tweet it and walk away. You can even add tweets with CSV file.
The free version of this tool allows you to link 4 social media accounts and schedule up 10 posts in each account everyday. I personally post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. The pro’s are that it is a great interface to publish to multiple social media accounts from one place, it also suggests content for you to publish and gives analytical data on your posts such as clicks, favorites, plusones, likes and shares. Cons: you have to replenish your feed daily or buy an upgrade.
This is a free retweet tool unlike any other. You can retweet followers or people you are following, or twitter accounts in a list you have created. Set the program to retweet based on hastags they use. Simply add the hashtag and it will do the rest. There are advanced options such as who to exclude from retweeting or create a list of epic content publishers and retweet only from that list.
You can schedule Facebook updates or schedule tweets from multiple Twitter accounts. The best thing about it is that you can schedule reoccurring posts.
How to Stay Popular with Content Curation
Content curation is the process of taking epic content others published from around the web and improving on it to deliver to your audience. You can add more images, research, case studies, facts or quotes or an opinion to improve the content. Your goal is to find viral content and then curate it to make it more viral!
Benefits of Content Curation
Publish Viral Content
Drive Traffic to Your Website
Satisfy Your Audience’s Thirst For Epic Content
Position Yourself as A Thought Leader
6 Free Content Curation Tools
Life hack is a content curation tool that suggests content that you my like. You link up your social media accounts and it analyses which content you have shared or liked and then collates content that is relevant to your interests.
Prismatic is another personalised content curation tool. It finds things you like based on stated interests and your social networking activities, and learns over time what you like to read. It’s also available as a IPhone app.
Want viral content, then check out Scoop.it. A tool that shows you how many times content has been shared and gone viral through social media platforms it has been shared. There is some junk in there so be aware.
Buzzsumo is a go to platform that most digital marketers will use for viral content. You’ll discover viral content across platforms such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. An additional benefit is that it also shows links to the viral content. Use this backlink information to discover areas you can publish your epic content too.
Swayy crawls over 50,000 pieces of content everyday, and suggested content to you based on your communities preference. A simple platform that gauges retweets, favorites and responses to content through the web.
A user friendly content curation tool that collects, curates and delivers the freshest and highly relevant content for you to share on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn directly to the those platforms.
How Influencer Marketing Can Get You Your Hearts Desire
You’ve spent days on your epic content, and you have published on your social media accounts but you’re not getting the traffic and engagement you were hoping for. Now you can find brand champions, Vip’s, Chief Marketing Officer’s, Chief Executive Officers or even niche bloggers with 100,000’s of followers to build a relationship with. Your goal is to find trendsetters, active minds, educators, entertainers and coaches who are charismatic and provide educational content to their audience. Nurture these relationships and you could find a handful of influencers in your industry who will happily promote your content within their network.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Increase Brand Reach
Sell to Targeted Prospects
Nurture Professional Relationships
4 Free Influencer Identification Tools
If you want to start influencer marketing on Twitter, then Followerwonk will enable you to compare Twitter users and their Bios by location, find experts and authorities on your interest, build your relationships, and grow your reach.
With it’s own influencer rating system from 0 – 100, it will identify high value influential twitter users in your areas of interest. Why not use the influencer rating to discover a mentor or guide in your field?
ManageFlitter allows you to search twitter profiles by your stated interest, it also ranks them based on their influence, spam score, following ratio and more. You can also follow 50 and unfollow 100 twitter accounts from this platform on a daily basis. This is a great way to find people with a prestigious social position so you can engage and get more desirable results from marketing your content.
Circloscope is a powerful Google+ tool that will allow you to find people who share, engage and influence others. The additional benefit is that you can quickly organise your followers, add tonnes more followers at once, and unfollow those that are not following back.
I’m delighted to have shared these 35 FREE “Lean Startup” Tools for growth hacking your small business to success! I hope you find them useful and please let me know how they work out for you. If you find any faults with some of these tools let me know and I will review them again. Or alternatively if you have any tools that you think should be included tell me about them and I will add them to the list, and you will get the credit for it of course!