Top tech tools for Digital Brand Managers

Try these free, online tools for a better digital life.

Top tech tools to try

There are hundreds of free online tools out there to help you with your digital campaigns. We’ve selected some of our favourites here. They’re all super useful, top tech tools that can help you manage your brand website and online activity smarter.

Web metrics

No surprises here. We recommend you look at Google Analytics to get a handle on your website traffic and visitor behaviour.

It can tell you so much more than what the most popular content is and which countries your users are clicking onto your site from.

It’s hugely powerful if only you know what to look for and how to set up the things you want to track.

We found the free online Analytics Academy Google Analytics for Beginners course to be really helpful.

If you’re not keen on the Google-opoly, try Open Web Analytics. It’s free, open source, web analytics software.

Competitor comparison

Check out how competitor website are performing compared to your brand with Similar Web.

Add your URL and a competitor’s and see comparisons of your ranking, traffic overview, and referrals side-by-side .

Is your webpage mobile friendly?

See what the Search Engines think about your website’s responsiveness:

Google Mobile-Friendly Test page.

Bing Mobile Friendliness Test Tool.

Is your website fast loading?

Fast loading on mobile is really important. Most sites lose half their visitors while loading up.

How quick is yours?

Try the Pingdom Website Speed Test or a Google Mobile Speed Test.

Search Engine Optimisation

There are lots of SEO tools out there but here are a couple we like SEOptimer and Nibbler.

Both are quick and free and provide useful top level information on SEO basics, like header tags, image alt tags, keywords and links. They also analyse overall site performance and make suggestions for improvements.

Download Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO for additional good ideas.

Ever wondered what your website looks like to Google?

Find out with Google Search Console.

Google AdWords

If you sign up for an AdWords account, you can use Google Keyword Planner to discover new keywords, find clever long-tail keywords relevant to your brand and keep an eye on keyword trends.

Try Moz Keywords too, which gives you 20 free keyword searches a month.

Social Media monitoring

This is a tricky one.

The social media platforms offer their own analytics for free: Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics etc. Social media management platforms offer their own version of insights too.

A lot of the time, it’s down to personal or team preference, what works best for you. We’re plumping for Hootsuite as our favourite.

In the hectic world of social media management it brings all our social media channels into one place alongside analytics and monitoring.

It’s only free for 1 user and up to 3 social media accounts but quite frankly, that’s enough for any one person to handle!

Media monitoring

The simplest thing you can do to keep an ear out for someone talking about your brand is to set up a Google Alert or two.

Set one up for your brand name and perhaps a couple of industry-related terms, then select how often you want to receive the results by email.

Image editing and graphic design

Canva is an amazingly quick and easy-to-use, free, online graphic design resource. It has hundreds of free images, designs and layouts and you can upload your own images and photos too.

It also has a simple Photo Editor which works brilliantly and offers a range of image filters.

Reducing the file size of images without losing image quality can be really tricky without specialist tools and knowledge. Well, unless you use Optimizilla, of course, which does it in seconds for free.

Got a problem you need to report to your web developers?

Use this when you do. Your web developer will thank you:

www.whatismybrowser.com

It gives them all the information about your computer’s environment that they need e.g. browser, operating system, IP address and more.

 

Key web metrics for measuring brand success

Don’t drown in the sea of data. Learn these basics.

Do your brand’s web metrics make you feel like you’re wading through a murky sea of data?

There are loads of things that web metrics can tell you. But what do you need to know to be able to judge the success of your brand’s digital marketing campaign or eCommerce store?

Here are some basic tips to help you dive through clearer water and fish out the web metrics that are most important to your brand.

Best metrics for eCommerce sites

If you only have time to look at three key metrics, look at these.

  • Volume of visits to the store – how many people are browsing your products or services?
  • Conversion rate – what percentage of those visitors turn into customers?
  • Average order value – how much revenue are your customers bringing to you when they convert?

Taking action to increase any of these three metrics will be beneficial to your business.

Pulling on all three levers at once will have a dramatic effect on revenue.

ecommerce

Best metrics for Brand websites

These four key metrics will give you topline intelligence on your audience.

  • Number of visits – users indicate unique visitors, sessions
  • Pageviews – how many pages have been viewed
  • Time spent on page – did visitors dwell on your content or skim it?
  • Bounce rate – what percentage of visitors bounced away from your website after 1 visit?

Number of visits gives you an idea of your total audience and is a great topline figure to benchmark how popular your brand is.

The number of pageviews on a particular page will give you an idea of the how popular the content on that page is. If you know what your users love reading or looking at, you can create more of it.

Analytics will also tell you the average time visitors spend on each page, which gives an indication of whether people are paying attention to the content, or skim reading and clicking straight off it again.

Appraising content with high pageviews and longest dwell time can give you great ideas of how to improve content on other pages to attract more visitors and views.

Bounce rate tells you about the pages your visitors land on when they arrive at your site. If they don’t like what they find, or it isn’t what they expected, they’ll go somewhere else. The percentage of visitors who do this gives you the bounce rate.

Some metrics that apply to eCommerce and Brand websites

A lot of metrics will be important to eCommerce and brand websites because all websites need to know who their visitors are, where they’re coming from and what they can be persuaded to do once they’re on your website.

How are your users finding your website?

Web metrics will tell you where  your website visitors are coming from:

  • Email campaigns
  • Social media channels
  • Search Engine searches
  • Links from other websites (referrals)
  • Advertising campaigns (AdWords or display ads)
  • Direct – typing your URL into the browser or using a saved bookmark

This information can help you monitor the success of PR campaigns. If your brand gets coverage in a magazine you’ll be able to see how many users their website refers to you.

It can also help you appraise your email marketing campaigns. Are they working? Can you compare two different campaigns and work out why one performed so much better?

If you’ve spent money on a paid-for Search Engine Marketing or Display Ad campaign, you can track the results to make sure you get return on your investment.

If you notice many more people find you through Facebook rather than Twitter, can you put more effort into your Facebook content and advertising to capitalise on that social media success?

mobile

Are your users doing what you want them to?

Every business wants people to visit its website and do something that turns them into a loyal customer.

If you know what you want people to do when they visit your website then you can track their behaviour. Maybe you want them to:

  • Buy something
  • Click a button
  • Sign up to a mailing list
  • Register an account
  • Share something on social media
  • Enter a competition

Events will track clicks on buttons or particular pieces of content. Not getting enough clicks? Move the button, change its colour or the copy and track it again.

Processes, such as form sign ups, can be tracked with Goals.

Once set up correctly, a goal can track every stage of a sign up process so you can see how many users complete this successfully over time. You can also see at which point someone abandons the process and try and work out why. Perhaps you can improve the form to make it easier?

Do all your pages work as well on mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers? The data can also flag potential problems with responsiveness and user experience.

Are your users coming back for more?

All businesses need new customers and they also need to maximise value from their repeat customers. However, the new vs returning visitors ratio isn’t all that helpful in itself.

If you apply some segmentation to the new and returning visitors report, you can pull out some interesting information about where they’ve come from. This can help influence your marketing strategy.

For example, looking at the ratio of new and returning visitors by channel e.g. search engine traffic, email marketing, social media and referrals it may become clear that the first two are most important for return customers and the latter for new visitors.

Now you have data to drive your decision making and a benchmark from which to measure the success of campaigns to acquire new customers or drive repeat purchases.