1) Google Analytics works great, it’s free, very high value and an industry standard; be aware it’s not 100% accurate, you will find some discrepancies with Ad Servers, Twitter traffic and even Bit.Ly URL shortening services. Has a wealth of data for site metrics, keyword analysis, time on site, content viewed, exit and entry pages and much more (click on “Google Analytics” to go to reg page).
2) Google’s Keyword Analysis Tool - this tool used to be unavailable without registration but Google has generously made it available over the public web; you get the same functionality in Google Analytics, but comes in hand some times if you don’t want to log in to your account. Be sure to understand how to use Broad, Exact and Phrase Search when looking at Keyword Traffic Projection.
3) Skype saves phone bills, has built in instant messaging which works great, enables you to record a call with third party apps, has built in conferencing and now even includes free video conferencing - the latter works great.
You occasionally may experience a dropped call, but certainly no worse than typical cell phone usage. Voice quality is excellent, it’s ubiquitous, used by tens of millions of people around the world. Also, now supports Iphone too.
4) Spyfu.com- best Pay per Click analysis service on the market bar none if you want to analyze competitor’s PPC campaigns and even organic search engine rankings. This low cost/high value Pay Per Click Service has a free (light) web based service with an upgrade (about $300. per annum) to a monthly or annual service.
It’s an invaluable tool that will save you significant time and money and give you a snapshot of exactly what and how your competitors are utilizing Pay per Click Marketing.
5) Aaron Wall’s Search Engine Optimization Book is much more than just a book; we use the free toolbar to get a quick snapshot of any site; but there is a back end community, sophisticated, meaningful training course and much more - Wall St. Journal, Wharton School of Business, PBS and many others have ranked this service well. There so much “SEO snake oil” being sold on the web but Aaron’s course and services are the real deal!
6) Constant Contact has been around for years - we’ve used their services for opt-in email campaigns many times; the service is not free, but it has so many extras; i.e. Analytics, Templates, Personal Coaching, Free sixty day trial and much more. Pricing plans start as low as under $50. per month - very economical - market leader in technology and customer service.
7) Aweber is best of breed Autoresponder but has also broadened out their services to include opt-in email campaigns as well, so some overlap with Constant Contact. Their powerful Autoresponder system is used by hundreds of thousands if not millions of web sites and will help you automate a great deal of your inbound and outbound marketing.
8) Snag It is a handy little application graphics and screen capture application that (under $50. USD) will save you a great deal of time if you are a Blogger that wants to quickly snag an image online (legally), make some image modifications and save.
Snag It does not mirror an Adobe app in terms of feature set, but our developers found that after they started using it their Adobe usage dropped dramatically. And the User Interface can be picked up by anyone in a few minutes, has a minimal learning curve.
9) Ginpic is a great little image search application that searches multiple search engines simultaneously - it’s powerful and free, works great, saves lots of time trying to find images online, shows you the source of the image in the search return and much more.
10) WordPress - we saved the best for last and could wax poetically about the breadth, depth and power of this powerful best of breed Open Source Platform - we, like many other agencies and businesses could not run a business without it.
It’s free, there is huge community of add on plug ins and applications that extend its functionality and a large number of developers that can easily be found to help you build a site on WordPress. In the last 1-2 years it has moved from being the defacto Blog Platform to an industry standard platform for huge web sites; it’s robust enough to support virtually any type of web site that you can conceive.
So, our short list of the Ten Best Tools for Building a Business Online - please contact us via our web site if we can help your business grow online. www.Twitter.com/LinkedMedia