All entrepreneurs like to get the most for their money. In this article, we will go through tools and services that can save time, money, and efforts.
Google webmaster is the most important tool for website owners. This tool enables site owners to check their backlinks, submit their site maps, monitor search traffic, crawl their websites, know how people find their websites, and many other tools. It acts like a website administration console. Google always recommend to add websites to the webmaster rather than using Google ping tool. There is also a similar tool offered by Microsoft for their search engine.
To add a website to the webmaster, you need to have a google account. Once you are logged-in, you need to add all variant of your website. For example, if you have website with domain name “domain.com”, you may need to add four versions of your website: http://domain.com, https://domain.com, http://www.domain.com, and https://www.domain.com. The reason behind that is that google considers each subdomain as a separate website. You can also set a preferred version of your website that will appear in the search engine (like https://domain.com).
Google analytics is a free tool for showing analytics about website traffic. Unlike the webmaster tool, Google analytics cover all sources of traffic like the direct one, social media, web referrals, search engines, and all other sorts of traffic. In addition, it shows important data like bounce rate, average time spent by users, your customer base locations, most visited pages, devices, etc.
Integrating Google analytics with the website is quite easy. All you need to do is to copy/paste a code snippet generated by Google into your website pages. If you are using CMS like WordPress, you find many plugins that can do it for you. Please keep in mind that some browser addons may prevent google analytics from working (like uBlock origin).
Let’s encrypt is a free service for securing websites using SSL or TLS. As you might know, search engine favors secured websites (https) over those unsecured ones. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on buying SSL certificates for your domain, you can secure your websites for free with just one command. The only drawback of this service is that their certificates can last for only 3 months. To overcome this problem, you can create a periodic job (crontab) to update all the certificates you have.
Hosting your website or application can cost you a lot. Unless you are enrolled in one of the big accelerator programs, hosting your product can consumed big part of your budget. I have tried Google Cloud (GCP), Amazon webservices (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and DigitalOceans. All these services are excellent and reliable ones. However, when it comes to pricing, DigitalOceans faces no competition.
In order to illustrate the price difference, we will show the hosting service price in all platforms for a virtual server with certain requirements. These requirements are: (memory: 2 GB RAM, storage 60 GB SSD, and CPU: 2 cores). This server will cost you $48 in AWS, $46 in GCP, $43.5 in Azure (1 core only), and $15 in DigitalOceans. If you like to try their service with no obligation, use this link to claim free credits.
If you’re using WordPress for blogging, you need to try this plugin. It can help in writing a search engine friendly post with no external help. In addition, it generates the sitemap, make sure your posts have acceptable readability score, generate the META tags, adjust robots.txt, etc. This plugin comes in two versions, free and premium. The free version is enough for most of us.
If you will publish your own blog or design your website pages, you will need to have royalty free images. There are many websites out there that offer stock images for free like Pexels, Unsplash, and StockSnap. If you are looking for eye-catching stock photos, you may need to subscribe in one of premium stock images agency like ShutterStock, iStock, and DepositPhotos.
Although all these agencies have lots of images common between them, each one has its own strength and weakness. ShutterStock is the best one in finding you a premium image matching your keywords in a short time. On the other side, DepositPhotos is the most affordable service. For example, if you are looking for an annual plan that allows you to download 10 images each month, iStock will charge you $840, ShutterStock will cost you $348, and DepositPhotos will cost you only $100.
To rip the benefits of both, you can register an account with DepositPhotos and search for the image in ShutterStock. Once you find the best image you like, you can use its thumbnail URL to find it in DepositPhotos. You can also use the image title to search for it in DepositPhotos.
If you’re writing a blog or like your product to appear in search engine, you need to optimize it for search engine. You need to know how the people are looking for your product or blog. There are free and paid tools for keyword planning. If you created a campaign in google ads, you will probably have access to the kw planner tool. This tool can estimate the search volume and suggest alternatives with no limitation. There are also other paid tools that offer advanced features like keyword difficulty (SEMRush and KWFinder) and number of backlinks you need to be ranked in the first page (ahrefs).
Social networks one of the most important marketing channel for any business. Unlike Facebook, twitter doesn’t prevent the organic reach through their platform. TweetDeck is a product owned by Twitter that allows individuals and businesses to manage multiple accounts, schedule unlimited tweets, handle notifications, and much more. In addition, this product is completely free.
Google tag manager
Google tag manager is a generic tool built for injecting tags and scripts in any page in your website. For example, if you can use it to add google analytics tag without editing your website code or using any third-party tool. It can also be used to add tags related to social tracking, displaying ads, etc. As with Google analytics and webmaster, this tool is completely free.
You will find this tool useful if you are writing blogs and want to make sure that your content is unique. As Google penalizes plagiarists, your content has to be unique to be ranked in Google. This tool can check your content and make sure it’s completely unique across the internet. In addition, its free features are more than enough for most bloggers.
You have two options to setup a business email with your domain for free. The first option is using Zoho mail. Zoho offers site owners to create 5 business email account for free. The second option is setting up your email with Yandex. Yandex allows website owners to setup up to 1000 email accounts for free. The only problem with this service is that Yandex severs are not trusted by Google. So, if you are trying to email a google hosted address (like Gmail), most probably it will go to the spam folder.
Cloudflare offers a free DNS service for any website you have. In addition, it offers free DDoS protection for your website. Furthermore, the performance of their DNS query is very good when compared with other similar services. Most domain name registrars have restrictions on maximum number of DNS queries per month. By using Cloudflare, your website will have no any DNS limitation and will be protected against DDoS attacks for free.
One signal is a great tool for sending instant notifications to your customer. This tool can help you notify your website visitors when you publish a new content or try to push them any other sort of notifications. This can increase your website traffic significantly and make first-time visitors return back regularly. Surprisingly, this tool is completely free. In addition, it offers free plugins for popular frameworks like WordPress, Shopify, Blogger, SquareSpace, etc.
As you might know, Google prefer fast website over the slow ones. Google built this tool to help website owners know how to improve their website loading speed. This tool will also grade the website in mobile and desktop devices. In addition, it shows the bottlenecks and suggests approaches to speed-up the website performance. As with all Google tools, this one is completely free.
If you are writing content to get traffic, you may need to check Google trends before you start. This service can help you decide which topic to write that will get most attention from internet users. In addition, it can help you pick the keywords to use in your article. If you are trying target people in specific location, google trends can show the trend per location. Unlike Keyword Planner, this service doesn’t display search volume. Instead, it can show the interest trends for any query.
Did I miss any tool? Feel free to post a comment below!