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Digital marketing software tools and techniques update

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 10 Mar, 2010
Essential Essential topic

From Flickr Creative Commons with ThanksOur digital marketing software update showcases the latest software tools to help improve your digital marketing from the ones we have reviewed this week.

We include software in different categories including SEO, Email marketing, Social media and web analytics

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Our recommendations on Internet marketing tools for week starting 30th August 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: Yes we can use feeds or Google Alerts to keep an eye on new announcements, but"€¦

Implication: if you have a competitor page you have to monitor for product or client news these are great options.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: A review of the 12 best services for making Facebook page tabs.

Implication: Econsultancy had a recent review by Jake Hird of 25 Facebook brand pages. These tools show you how you can create some of these designs, potentially reducing the need for agency resource. Although quality visual design will always commend a premium.

Our recommendations on interesting tools to help digital marketing for week starting 23rd August 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: You may know the Forrester Groundswell social media profiling tool we've recommended. Well, on the same site they have just released the HERO Project Effort-Value Evaluation tool to review performance of social media. I've incorporated the widget at the foot of a page we have on digital, but you may need to clickthrough to see it in action.

Implication: I'm not sure how much practical help the tool is, but it's useful to see the criteria for selecting projects - similar to my Effort-Value from my diagram

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: I've updated our listing of 12 Website Personalization and Recommendations Software Tools with 4 new enterprise SaaS - again see end of posts. I"€™m indebted to an anonymous contributor who has recently reviewed and recommended these for a client. Let me know if you want me to put you in touch. He says: "€œThe following offer enterprise level SaaS solutions to deliver increased sales and a better customer experience"€œ.

Implication: This is only really relevant if you're running a project to review personalisation tools currently - I've had thanks from people who are. It's a reminder though that there are a range of plug-in tools to deliver personalisation - you're not just dependent on the CMS or Ecommerce platform your using.

Our tips on digital marketing tools for week starting 16th August 2010

Value: [rating=3]

Commentary: I've heard of this tool several times now and for people running smaller to medium sized web sites it's well worth checking out - at the same time it's worth referencing for people with larger sites since it gets the basics very right and forms can be a big issue for any business.

Implication: If it's the right tool for you then you'll save time and money, as well as benefit hugely from fast integration with other serious platforms such as Salesforce.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: This software is not so new but well worth mentioning. It is positioned for the non-tech agencies in truth, though there's absolutely no reason for anyone to not use it (and big brands do). It's essentially a high-end pay-as-you-go service. It's premium due to rich features around analytics, the quality of templates out-of-the-box, and how easy it is to segment.

Implication: Used by some truly huge brands you'd be hard pushed to find a reason to not give it a test drive, and that's free too.

Our tips on digital marketing tools for week starting 9th August 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: This tool pulls data from the Adwords API, KeywordEye"„¢ pulls up associated keywords to your search and displays the results in a 2D or 3D "€˜cloud"€™ format, with higher traffic keywords displayed as larger words in the cloud, and colour-codes the keywords in the cloud green, yellow, or red depending on the amount of competition.

Implication: Get new adword keyword ideas quickly and easily and even see where the opportunities are in an instant. You can add keywords to a list for download later.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: We love this tool! Similar ones like PageDo don't compare and this is priced cheaper as well. Essentially, Unbounce offers templated landing pages for a range of purposes including lead gen and e-commerce, they host it with your customer URL and will even integrate to other applications.

Implication: Increase site conversion with an afternoon's work, enough said.

Our tips on digital marketing tools for week starting 2nd August 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: While many analytics specialists will say you need to use the analytics to track actual visits and conversions from search, the reality is that we still need keyword tracking to alert us to changes in our performance or competitor activity which analytics doesn't tell us.

Implication: I've used and recommended AWR to many clients, so it's good to see this favourable review. I'd agree it's a bargain at the price. A word of caution though, don't set the review frequency too high or this can lead to IP addresses being banned by Google although AWRs distributed/throttled queries minimises the risk of this.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: Our review of Ecommerce platforms in response to a question.

Implication: If you're reviewing provider this Q&A has a download of the latest Gartner "Magic Quadrant" review.

Our recommendations on digital marketing tools to help track and monitor your performance for week starting 26th July 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: A simple tool which enables comparison of performance of two sites head-to-head. Maybe useful when you have a point to make about your site speed.

Implication: It's useful to benchmark your performance against direct and indirect competitors. With the increased focus on page download given Google's use of this as a ranking factor and it's importance in user experience and conversion.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: Many tools offer free or paid email summaries of site performance in a day. We use Mon.itor.us.

Implication: This tool is unusual and useful in that it alerts you when you're site is down for more than 10 minutes. The paid service gives you more granular checks.

Our recommendations on digital marketing tools for week starting 19th July 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: I always recommend Feedburner for first time bloggers to syndicate their content since it includes an option for subscribers to opt-in to an email digest of blog items if they prefer. It's also got great analytics similar to those to an email service provider so you can clickthrough rates on your blog posts. It's also owned by Google these days so it maybe does or will use it to assess the quality of your content.

Implication: This may be worth a look if your company uses a blog and wants to offer a choice of email marketing without the effort of compiling an newsletter which is quite a commitment...

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: We also featured these tools in our analytics section, but if you missed it there try these tools to go direct to the reports you use most often.

Implication: Try these out. Even if you don't use bookmarks regularly it should just take 5 minutes to setup some up, but you will save a lot more in the future.

Our recommendations on tools to help digital marketers for week starting 12th July 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: I"€™ve found great interest in these new tools on my Advanced SEO course, so "€œdue to popular demand"€ I"€™ve created a page of the ones I recommend. I"€™ve started with the simplest ones which marketers on the course might use, onto the more advanced ones for the SEOs.

Implication: If you haven"€™t made the switch yet, there"€™s almost nothing to stop you now although I"€™m still missing the SEO Book plug-ins for Firefox, although SEO Quake is an adequate competitor.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: A review of different sources on when is best to tweet.

Implication: Check out the views. Seems first thing c9AM and later c4PM may be best for response, when office folk are most in need of distraction/engagement?

Our recommendations on Internet marketing tools for week starting 5th July 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: We first reported on the new Google Analytics API applications in this post introducing the benefits and example apps for Google Analytics export for Excel analysis and dashboards. Recently Google has improved it's categorisation of the different API software apps available.

But from the brief description available, it's hard to tell the strengths and weaknesses of the different options. Step forward this new report from Property search engine Gartoo which gives the plusses and minuses of the main tools (see the end of the report).

Implication: If you find that your not able to get the reports you want from Google Analytics even using the custom reports, consider using the API to create your own dashboards. Many analysts we speak to spend time rekeying data or manually exporting data and then integrating it into Excel. We have used many of these tools and our tips for the best API tools for further analysis or summary reports in Excel are: Tatvic as a free tool and Shufflepoint as a paid service.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: There's no shortage of software to gain feedback through different forms of web surveys but this tool focuses on the niche of quizzes and short questionnaires.

Implication: If you want to implement quizzes on your site it's worth reviewing this tool in comparison with the more established Polldaddy.

Our recommendations on digital marketing tools for week starting June 28th 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: I learned about vzaar - a subscription video hosting site this week when speaking to the team at Conversion Works this week - they recommend this to some of their clients to help engage an audience and increase conversion.

Implication: You Tube hosted videos are great for reaching YouTube users and getting listed in the SERPs, but they don't tend to attract so many backlinks for SEO and you aren't able to engage visitors on your site. So many marketers are now using a hybrid video marketing strategy. Another alternative is Buto.tv

Our recommendations on digital marketing software tools for week starting June 21st 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: A useful, brief summary of the approach in Omniture, Coremetrics and Google Analytics and introducing Convertro.

Implication: This isn't a comprehensive post, for example it doesn't mention TagMan which is increasingly widely used, but it's good to compare approaches.

Our recommendations on digital marketing tools, techniques and software for week starting June 14th 2010

Value: [rating=5]

Commentary: The main way I use the designer tools is to overlay headings when reviewing sites. My preferred tool - the excellent Chris Pederick developer tool for Firefox is now available for Chrome.

Implication: If your favourite plugins are tying you to Firefox the new extensions may give you the reason the switch to the far more rapid and stable (IMO) Chrome. Here is a full list of the most popular Google Chrome extensions for SEO

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: The original description of multiple custom variables used on the Google site to explain it is for a publisher. The team at E-nor have a much more widely applicable example with detailed coding advice to show how you can track journeys and product popularity by gender, age and popularity.

Implication: Colleagues who are traditional retail trading managers will become much more engaged in your analytics when they can take merchandising decisions based on this in-depth knowledge of customer behaviour. If you work in other sectors like travel, this could also be incredibly useful too.

Our recommendations on digital marketing tools for week starting June 7th 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: The post title says it all.

Implication: This key feature isn't available in the basic conversion funnels, this custom report / goal approach will take an hour to setup but should be worth it for you're serious about increasing conversion.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: Want to compare different profiles/segments in Google Analytics? Here's are two free alternatives which use the Google Analytics API.

Implication: One of the bigger weaknesses in Google Analytics is reviewing multiple profiles, for example for multiple countries. Trakkboard is one, This Google API service is another. Shufflepoint can help as a paid option.

Our recommendations on digital marketing tools and software for week starting Monday 31st May 2010

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: Helpfully grouped in categories of keyword suggestion; density; monitors and negative tools.

Implication: Most of these are well known, but worth checking for new alternative approaches to what you use now.

Value: [rating=4]

Commentary: Outlines how to use the GWT for keyword research, link-building and conversion rate optimisation.

Implication: I was intrigued by the conversion rate optimisation, I think this should read clickthrough rate optimisation.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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