Digital Marketing Resources

Categories

Welcome to our ultimate list of digital marketing tools and resources. This is a frequently updated collection of all our top recommended digital marketing tools, resources, and platforms, broken down into categories to make for easy navigation.

Trying to sort through all the different options out there can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. We compiled this list to make it easier for you to implement digital marketing and start optimizing your online presence today.

Domains

One of the foundational steps in establishing an online presence is registering a domain name, or your website URL.

Generally, your domain name should closely match your business name. For brand consistency, it’s also recommended to use the same username across social platforms, if possible. Use the following resources to choose, secure, and manage your domains.

Namechk – Free resource to verify domain name availability as well as username availability on dozens of social networks.

Namecheap – Popular low cost marketplace to purchase and manage your domains. Pricing varies depending on the domain name, but often you can buy a domain for under $10 per year for the first year.

Website Hosting

If you’re building your site with WordPress, which is highly recommended, you’ll need to purchase a hosting plan. In general, web hosting can be broken down into two main categories: shared and managed.

Shared hosting is less expensive and is geared towards newer businesses and websites with less traffic.

Managed hosting is more expensive, but also faster, more reliable, and more secure than shared hosting. It’s geared towards larger and growing businesses with moderate to high web traffic.

Check out the resources below to learn about the range of hosting options and decide on the best plan for you.

Shared Hosting

Bluehost – One of the most inexpensive and good quality shared hosting services, sufficient for new and low-traffic websites. Pricing starts as low as $2.95 per month for a single website.

SiteGround – Another great low-budget option for shared hosting, recently surpassing Bluehost in terms of speed and reliability. Pricing starts at $5.95 per month for a single website.

Managed Hosting

Flywheel – One of the most affordable managed WordPress hosting services, great for growing websites with moderate amounts of traffic. Pricing starts at $13 per month for a single website.

WPX Hosting – A powerful managed WordPress hosting option with great security features, touting some of the fastest speeds in the world. Better for large and high-traffic websites. Pricing starts at just under $21 per month for up to five websites.

WordPress Themes

A theme serves as the framework for your website, providing the general layout and design.

WordPress usually comes with a few free “stock” themes. If you’re just setting up a low-traffic blog, these may be sufficient. But for most brands and businesses, you’ll want to use a premium theme for a more professional look and greater functionality.

In addition to a theme, we also recommend using a page builder, which allows for more customization. Below are the best themes to use in combination with the Elementor page builder, which is detailed in the next section on WordPress plugins.

Hello Elementor – A free, bare-bones theme created by Elementor for use with their page builder. This is the best option if you use Elementor to build all the elements on your site and want to reduce conflicts with theme options.

GeneratePress – A lightweight mobile-responsive theme that’s consistently rated one of the fastest WordPress themes. It has a free version, as well as a premium version with more features for $49.95.

Astra – Another fast, lightweight, and customizable theme. Much like GeneratePress, there is a free version that is sufficient on its own, but if you want additional features, the pro version costs $249.

WordPress Plugins

Once you install and activate your theme, there are some essential plugins that you’ll need to install. Plugins add additional customization and functionality to your website that a theme on it’s own can’t provide.

Most of the plugins listed here are free and can be easily installed right from the WordPress dashboard. While this is not an all-encompassing list, keep in mind that running too many plugins can slow down your website. It’s recommended to keep the number of active plugins to 15 or less if possible.

All In One WP Security – Keeping your website safe from hackers and other online security threats is critically important. This is one of the best free security and firewall plugins that covers all the bases and offers tons of customizable settings.

Elementor – The #1 rated WordPress drag-and-drop page builder, which we use on this website. The free version is already amazing, but the pro version gives you access to many more features like menus, widgets, and custom templates. The pro version starts at $49 per year for one website. Note that there are a few additional required plugins that work along with Elementor.

Head, Footer, and Post Injections – Lets you easily insert tracking scripts like Facebook pixels onto your website, which are useful for measuring visitor analytics and running re-targeting advertising campaigns.

OptinMonster – Great for setting up pop-ups on your website to increase conversions such as email list signups. This is one of the few paid plugins in this list, but the lowest plan starts at only $9 per month. There are higher plans if you want to access more features or use the plugin on additional websites.

Really Simple SSL – Having a security certificate on your website is essential. Without one, your search rankings suffer. Web browsers now warn visitors about insecure sites, and may even block them entirely. This is a simple lightweight plugin that allows you to activate SSL on your website with the press of a button.

The SEO Framework – One of the best SEO plugins to increase your search rankings and organic traffic. It’s easy to set up but also highly customizable, offering a wide array of features and settings to improve on-page SEO.

UpdraftPlus – The highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin. Lets you set up and automate backups of your WordPress website to an external location like Google Drive or Dropbox so you never have to worry about losing your site.

W3 Total Cache – Another great free plugin that improves your website user experience and SEO. It uses content delivery networks to increase overall website performance and decrease load times.

WooCommerce – The most popular and top rated eCommerce plugin. If you’re selling digital or physical products directly to customers on your website, this is an essential plugin to set up checkout pages and accept payments.

Branding & Design

Branding and design are important aspects of developing an online presence. This includes everything from the fonts, color palettes, and images on your website, to logos, social media graphics, and more. It might sound intimidating if you’re not skilled in graphic design, but luckily there are plenty of free resources to help make this part of the process easier.

Stock Images

It’s great if you already have a media archive of photos associated with your brand. But if you don’t, then you can make use of stock imagery to add some life to your website.

Below are three popular platforms where you can download free stock images for use on websites, social media, and in your content. Always double-check image permissions in case they ask for credit or attribution, but in most cases you won’t need to.

Pexels – Free stock photos to use for websites, social media, and more

Pixabay – Over a million stunning free images to use anywhere

Unsplash – Archive of beautiful free stock images and pictures

Web Design

When designing a website, you want to make sure it’s visually pleasing and consistent with your brand. A big part of this includes using professional, readable font styles and color combinations that work well together.

Fontjoy – Automatically generate font pairings with this free tool.

Colormind – AI-powered color palette and color gradient generator tool that has a sample webpage to show how the colors are used.

ColorSpace – A great free color palettes generator and color gradient tool.

Coolors – Another quick and easy color scheme generator tool.

IconFinder – Millions of free and premium vector icons in SVG, PNG, CSH, and AI format.

Logo Design

If you’re not skilled in graphic design, coming up with a high quality logo can seem impossible. Working with a graphic designer to create your logo can be expensive. Luckily, there are several low cost options available online.

Looka – Logo design & brand identity platform for entrepreneurs. You can design logos for free, but if you want to download and use them, pricing starts at $20 for a single PNG logo. Higher packages offer more image types and sizes for use across your website, social profiles, and more.

BrandBuilder – Another great website offering beautiful brand and logo design. Pricing is a $79 one-time fee, which includes logos, colors and fonts for your website, and other branding features.

Placeit – This is more of an all-in-one branding service. In addition to logos, they also offer mockups, videos, and designs for different types of merchandise. Pricing starts at $14.95 per month or $99.95 annually.

Graphic Creation

Canva – One of the best all-in-one DIY graphic creation tools. You can design everything from logos to social media cover images, video thumbnails, infographics, and even PDFs. Design from scratch or choose from the huge library of templates and modify them to fit your brand. The free version comes with a ton of great features, but the pro version starts at only $9.95 per month and allows for more custom branding and access to premium images and templates.

Digital Forms

Using digital forms is a great way to pre-qualify leads, survey your audience about content preferences, or collect customer feedback on products and services. If you’re using a page builder like Elementor, you’ll be able to create forms natively on your website. But if not, the following resources allow you to quickly create and embed or link questionnaires and surveys on your website, social media, or emails.

Google Forms – This tool is included if you’re using G Suite as your business email provider. It might not be as visually pleasing as the following two options, but it’s a very simple, low cost tool for collecting information.

Airtable – Offers much more than just form creation and can be used for comprehensive project and client management. But with a free account, you can create beautiful forms and embed or link them anywhere.

Typeform – One of the best tools to create complex forms and link or embed them anywhere. Questions are staggered, which can make longer forms more digestible and increase response rates. While Typeform has a free plan, it only covers 100 responses per month. If you expect a high volume of responses or want more advanced features, paid plans start at $35 per month.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an essential aspect of digital marketing for many businesses. Auto-responder programs allow you to set up automated responses, segment your audience, and develop complex and customized email sequences. Below are three of the most popular and versatile email marketing tools.

Mailchimp – Starts free for up to 2000 subscribers. The downside is that you can’t set up long automation sequences on the free plan. This is sufficient for one-time automated responses or newsletter blasts. But in order to set up more complex automations and access audience insights, you’ll need to upgrade to the standard plan starting at $14.99 per month.

ActiveCampaign – One of the best email automation programs for businesses with complex sales funnels and multiple audiences. There isn’t a free plan, but the lite plan for $9 per month covers up to 500 subscribers and includes automation, which makes it a better value than Mailchimp. Higher plans with more advanced features and larger audiences can get expensive.

ConvertKit – This provider recently launched a free account for up to 500 subscribers. However, if you want to set up more complex automations, or have more than 500 subscribers, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription starting at $25 per month. While more expensive than competitors, it does have a simpler user interface.

Automation

If you’re using a bunch of different web apps in your business, integrating them and automating workflows can increase efficiency and be a real game changer for your digital marketing campaigns and overall operations. Check out the following resources to learn more about their automation capabilities.

Zapier – One of the most popular automation tools. The free plan accommodates up to five single-step automations with 15-minute update times. For small businesses with simple processes, this may be sufficient. But for bigger businesses with more complex processes, you’ll need to upgrade to access more advanced features. Paid plans start at $19.99 per month.

Automate.io – While not as popular as Zapier, this is another powerful automation and integration tool. The free plan includes up to five single-step automations with a five-minute update time, three times faster than Zapier. Paid plans start at $39 per month for more complex automations and shorter update times.

Web Analytics

Web analytics tools are essential for tracking and measuring your digital marketing efforts. This data allows you to gain valuable insights into your website traffic and performance, assess what’s working and what isn’t, and make necessary improvements.

Google Analytics – A free Google tool that every website should utilize. It measures an array of key metrics on your website traffic and visitor demographics. You can use this data to track goals, view trends, inform marketing decisions, and boost traffic.

Google Search Console – Another valuable free Google tool for managing your website. While Analytics is geared towards user information and traffic, Search Console focuses on your technical website structure and search rankings. It alerts you to errors so you can fix them and optimize your site’s performance and SEO.

Lucky Orange – This is an amazing all-in-one conversion optimization tool. It includes features such as dynamic heatmaps and screen recordings to measure website visitor activity. It also includes live chat software, conversion funnels, form analytics, and polls. Pricing starts as low as $7 per month, and it’s a fraction of the cost compared to similar services.

SEO Tools

SEO (search engine optimization) is a key pillar of developing and maintaining a strong digital presence. Having good SEO increases your online visibility and organic traffic, and may even reduce the need for paid advertising.

Some SEO tools focus on specific categories such as keyword research, site speed, and local SEO. Other more comprehensive audit tools measure a wide range of website and SEO metrics all at once.

Keyword Research

Keyword research helps you determine what keywords to target in your website and content, and reveals insights into competitor search rankings. Rather than trying to guess what your target audience is looking for, use these tools to develop a clear strategy and make informed decisions about your online presence.

AnswerThePublic – This is a great search listening tool for market, customer, and content research. Just type in a general topic or brand, and it generates hundreds of more specific ideas and keywords that you can use to plan your content around.

Ubersuggest – Another great tool for keyword research with more SEO data. Type in a keyword to get additional keyword and content suggestions, or type in a competitor website to see what keywords they’re targeting and ranking for.

Site Speed Testers

Having a slow website not only leaves a bad impression with visitors and customers, it also has a negative effect on your search rankings. Site speed testers allow you to simply enter your URL, analyze your site against dozens of metrics, and generate a detailed technical report, including recommendations for fixing any issues it finds.

Google PageSpeed Insights – Google’s free page speed tool. Enter your website URL and get a detailed report on its performance for both desktop and mobile. While the results can be quite technical, all the metrics are clearly labeled and explained. The report also provides solutions for optimizing your site speed.

GT Metrix – Another great site speed tool that analyzes your website using both Google’s and Yahoo’s metrics. While the free version provides plenty of features, you can upgrade to a pro plan starting at $14.95 per month for many additional features.

Local SEO Tools

Local SEO is an important factor for brick-and-mortar and local service businesses that operate in specific areas. These types of businesses rely on local business listings and directories, as well as Google Maps, in order to get leads and customers.

Moz Local – Simply enter your business to check for listing accuracy on many popular online directories.

Yext Business Listings Scan – Another great tool for analyzing your online business listings. Enter your information to generate a report showing how your business appears on search engines, review sites, and social media platforms.

Comprehensive Audit Tools

There are a number of comprehensive audit tools that analyze a wide range of technical metrics related to SEO. You certainly don’t need to use all of these tools, but feel free to test them out and stick with one or two that you find most useful.

SEO Minion – Free browser plugin for Chrome and Firefox. You can use this to analyze any website’s on-page SEO metrics, test for broken links, redirects, and more.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool – A downloadable software program that crawls websites to analyze and audit technical and onsite SEO. While there is a paid version, the free version provides plenty of detail and allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs.

SEOptimer – Just enter your URL and get a detailed report on your website’s SEO, usability, performance, social media, security, and back-end technology, along with recommendations to improve your site.

Serpstat – Another versatile growth hacking tool for SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and content marketing. Just enter your URL to gain insights into your keyword targeting, trends, top pages, competitors, ads, backlinks, and more. The free version should be sufficient, but paid plans offer more results and metrics.

SpyFu – This website offers an array of free tools for SEO research, pay-per-click advertising research, keyword research, and more. Just go under Tools in the top menu bar to explore and try them out.

Advertising

With competition rising and organic reach declining on many social platforms, paid advertising can be a valuable investment for many businesses. The list below includes some of the most popular ad platforms, as well as resources to analyze competitors, manage your ads, and grade their performance and effectiveness.

Facebook Business Manager – Manage your Facebook and Instagram ad accounts and business pages all in one place, create custom audiences, set up Facebook tracking pixels, and more. It’s free to set up your business manager. Cost of ads is pay per click, and varies widely depending on your industry, target audience, ad type, and additional factors.

Facebook Ads Library – It’s always helpful to study what ads your competitors are running. Research them by using this comprehensive searchable collection of all ads currently running across Facebook and Instagram.

Google AdWords – Set up and manage ads that show up in Google search and Maps results. Cost of ads is pay per click.

YouTube Ads – Set up and manage online video ad campaigns and reach potential customers when they watch or search for videos on YouTube. Cost of ads is pay per click.

AdEspresso – A valuable tool for those who prefer to manage ads from a central platform rather than jumping from one to another. Manage ads across three of the major ad platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Pricing starts at $59 per month.

WordStream – This website offers a handful of amazing free advertising grader tools. Available tools include Google and Facebook Ads Performance Graders, AdWords Landing Page Grader, Facebook Opportunity Calculator, Smart Ads Creator, and more.

Social Media

Besides your website, SEO, and email list, social media is one of the most important pillars of your digital presence. Use the resources below to more efficiently manage, analyze, and optimize your social media channels and content distribution.

Link Shorteners

Link shorteners are useful tools for sharing content on social media. One, simply because it makes long links look cleaner, and two, because certain platforms such as Twitter have character limits for posts.

Bitly – One of the most popular tools for link shortening, custom links, and link management. The free plan will be sufficient for most, as it accommodates up to 1000 links per month and unlimited clicks. But you can upgrade to the basic plan at $29 per month for a higher link limit as well as branding and custom domain features.

Ow.ly – Hootsuite’s built-in link shortener. If you’re using Hootsuite as your social media management platform (see below), then this is automatically included. If you’re using a different management platform, then Bitly is the best option.

Social Analytics

There are a number of social analytics tools you can use to gain more insights into social media channels. These tools allow you to study audience and engagement statistics for your channels as well as for competitors or influencers.

HypeAuditor – A versatile AI-powered Instagram and YouTube analytics and influencer discovery tool. With a free account, you can view a limited report for a single linked Instagram account. The report offers insights into many audience and engagement metrics. You can upgrade to a paid plan to access more detailed reports and for more accounts.

Socialbakers – Create a free account to access over a dozen analytics tools to help you boost your social media performance. Tools include influencer discovery and social media benchmarking on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

SocialBlade – This website tracks user statistics for YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Twitter, and many more social platforms. Simply enter a username into the search bar to get a deeper understanding of user growth and trends from dozens of metrics.

Management Platforms

Posting content across multiple social channels can get overwhelming. Using a management platform to pre-schedule posts and manage content from one hub helps increase efficiency. Note that the first resource is specifically for YouTube, while the other options work across multiple platforms.

TubeBuddy – The #1 rated YouTube channel management and optimization toolkit. This free browser extension includes productivity tools, video SEO, promotion tools, and data & research, allowing you to view detailed statistics about your channel as well as competitors. The free plan is great on it’s own but you can upgrade to a paid plan starting as low as $4 per month.

Buffer – A popular social media management platform for content publishing, analytics, and engagement. The free publishing plan is limited, covering only three social accounts and 10 scheduled posts for one user. The pro plan for $15 per month covers up to eight social accounts and 100 scheduled posts. Higher plans cover more accounts, posts, and users.

Hootsuite – Another popular social media marketing and management dashboard that features scheduling, content curation, analytics, and monitoring. The free plan covers three social accounts and one user, but up to 30 scheduled posts, three times more than Buffer. Paid plans start at $29 per month for up to 10 social profiles and unlimited scheduling for one user.

Quuu – This tool enables content curation on auto-pilot. Based on your niche and preferences, it suggests content and connects with popular management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. All plans suggest up to 6 new content pieces per day, with the free plan covering publishing to only 1 social platform. You can upgrade to paid plans to publish to more social profiles.

Audio & Video

Audio and video are an essential part of content marketing and online communication in today’s digital age, and will only be increasing. Refer to the resources below to streamline your online audio and video recording, conferencing, and hosting.

Screen Recording

Screen recording tools are great for brands and businesses doing computer-based demos, whether for tutorials, customer service, marketing & sales, or project collaboration.

Loom – A simple screen & video recording software which can be used as a Chrome browser extension, desktop app, or web app. The basic free plan allows you to record and share up to 25 videos, while the pro plan for $8 per month allows for unlimited videos and advanced recording and editing features.

Screencast-O-Matic – Another great screen recording and video editing software. The free plan offers plenty of recording, collaboration, and sharing features. You can also upgrade to the deluxe plan for only $1.65 per month to add more recording features as well as video editing tools.

OBS (Open Broadcast Software) – Completely free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. Wide range of features and settings allow you to create professional productions.

Web Conferencing

In lieu of the recent pandemic, many in-person meetings are shifting to digital. Whether you’re meeting virtually with prospects and clients, or offering free webinars or virtual workshops for your audience, using a web conferencing tool is essential.

Zoom – One of the most popular and easy to use tools for video and web conferencing, webinars, and screen sharing. The free plan offers many customization options, but limits the number of meeting participants to 100, and limits group meetings of three or more people to 40 minutes. If you plan to exceed those limits, you’ll need to upgrade to the $14.99 or $19.99 per month plans.

Google Hangouts Meet – A great video conferencing tool for businesses. This feature is included in all G Suite for Business subscriptions, so it’s a good option for those using G Suite as their email provider.

GoToMeeting – Another popular and reliable software option for online meetings, video conferencing, and web conferencing. It offers great video meeting, mobile, security, audio, workflow integration, and account management features. It’s a premium service, but the $12 plan allows for up to 150 meeting participants, and the $16 plan allows for up to 250 participants.

Video Hosting

Video is one of the best ways to market your business online. But you’ll want to avoid uploading videos directly onto your website, since the files are too large and will slow your site down. Instead, store your video content on an external video hosting platform, and then simply link or embed them onto your website.

YouTube – If you have a G Suite for Business account, you can easily set up a YouTube account by connecting. While hosting your videos on YouTube is free, their content standards have become more strict in recent years. Depending on your niche and content topics, there may be a greater risk of having your videos removed. If that’s a concern, then use one of the following options.

Vimeo – One of the world’s leading professional video platforms. While they offer a basic free plan, storage and features are limited. Note that businesses aren’t eligible for the free or plus plans, and instead must sign up for the business plan starting at $50 per month. It offers great features for streaming, privacy, collaboration, distribution and marketing, analytics, and more.

Wistia – Another great video marketing software for businesses. The limited free plan is a good option for new businesses or ones just starting with video. But in order to host more than three videos, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro plan for $99 per month.

Podcast Hosting

Podcasting has been growing rapidly and can be a great content marketing strategy. But you’ll need a podcast hosting service to get your show distributed across all the major listening platforms, including Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, and more. There are many podcast hosts with comparable pricing and features. Below are a few of the most popular and reliable options.

Libsyn – Considered the industry standard podcast hosting, distribution, and monetization platform. While they do have a basic $5 per month plan, most podcasts will need the $15 or $20 per month plans, which offer more storage space and statistics.

Buzzsprout – Another popular podcast hosting platform, with similar features but a more modern design and simpler user interface than Libsyn. The $12 per month or $18 per month plans will be sufficient for most podcasts, which allow for three to six hours of uploads each month.

Podbean – A great budget podcast hosting platform that’s simple and easy to use while offering plenty of features. The $9 per month plan will be sufficient for most standard audio podcasts.