7 free must-have tools to grow your business

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There are plenty of new tools being created and launched every day that are aimed at helping you grow your business, but a lot of these can end up being quite expensive.

It is true that if you want to grow you need to invest money in sales and marketing, but on the other hand, if you are a startup or if you are a small business just trying to dip their toe in a new marketing tactic, you may not be ready to invest hundreds of pounds on different tools every month, plus time and resources in all your other marketing activities.

But don't worry. I have put together a good collection of 7 tools that you can get completely for free and start using right away to put your business on the right path for growth.

Want to  find out what's next in the world of sales and marketing? Download the State of Inbound 2016

 

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1. HubSpot Growth Stack

You don't have HubSpot but you still want an amazing tool that will help you grow your business the inbound way?

HubSpot has recently launched a "stack" of all the free versions of their products, so you can start managing them all in one place. So what are these fantastic tools:

  • CRM - Get deeper insights on every lead, monitor deals, and stay organised with ease.
  • Marketing tools - Start small with free analytics, lead capture forms, and contact tracking.
  • Sales tools - Speed up sales with a suite of productivity-boosting tools for every part of your process.
  • ... And a mobile app!

You can use this growth stack integrated into whatever website platform you have, so you don't have to change anything just yet, just improve your productivity and boost your leads and sales.

 

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2. Hotjar

You might have a good number of visitors on your website, but do you actually know how they use it? What do they do once they land on it? What areas do they stay on the most? At which step in your conversion funnel are most visitors leaving your site?

Knowledge is power when it comes to website visitors, because once you know what they do and what they want, you can optimise your website to improve conversions. Hotjar is just the right tool for that. Their basic package is free, and can collect data for up to 2,000 pageviews a day.

The tool will create heatmaps of your website, record real visitor's interactions as they click, tap and move their cursor on your pages to see what they do once they are on there, and help you find the biggest opportunities for improvement by identifying on which page and at which step most visitors are leaving your site.

It also enables you to put feedback polls on your website asking your users what they think about it and inviting them to leave their comment.

 

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3. Trello

A tool to keep everything organised in your business. Trello enables you to make lists and move "cards" between them as you progress with your project. It enables you to communicate with your team, assign tasks and collaborate on projects.

In their own words "Trello is your sidekick for getting things done and staying organized."

 

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4. Canva

Do you need to create marketing collateral for your business but you are not a great graphic designer? Canva is a fantastic free online tool.

It helps you design everything you need for your business by providing templates for every occasion, inspiration, photos and pre-made designs you can customise. It makes creating fantastic graphics so easy and effortless.

 

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5. Google Analytics

This is an obvious one, but I myself am often surprised to find out how many businesses don't have a clue about the analytics of their website.

On Google Analytics, you can personalise your dashboard to only show the main data you want to keep an eye on every day, and dig deeper in all aspects of your Analytics once a month to get the full picture.

Making sure you know exactly what is going on on your website is crucial for your business, as you will be able to detect right away if certain things are working more or less, what is bringing you most traffic, what content is the most popular, and whether a lot of people are exiting from certain pages. It helps you find out what you need to improve on and what marketing source is not really working for you, in order to increase your ROI. In short, if you have a website, keeping an eye on your analytics shouldn't be optional.

 

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6. Google Keywords Planner

Want to improve your on-page SEO? Google Keywords Planner is a great tool that will help you find keyword ideas and estimating how they may perform on Google.

It's designed to help you find these keywords in relation to your AdWords campaigns, but you can simply use it for any other SEO effort.

Once you have got the keywords, make sure you use them wisely inside your website and create content around them in order to boost your on-page SEO.

 

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7. Buffer

Not able to keep on top of all your social media posting? Buffer is a tool that also has a free basic version that enables you to schedule, publish and analyze all your posts in one place.

Buffer shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day so that your followers and fans see your updates more often and you get the most out of each post. You can also publish to different accounts all at once, and it has a handy browser extension that enables you to share the page you are on in one click.

 

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About the author
Stephanie Reed

Business growth specialist with a background in publishing and media, turned into an inbound marketing aficionado.

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