Developing a successful online business is not easy despite what you may have heard. You are going to need all of the help that you can get and there are lots of tools available to assist you. Here we will look at what we consider to be the essential tools that you need for your online business.
Keyword Research Tools
A good online business always starts with good keyword research. You need to know what terms people are entering into search engines to find the information that you provide. If you have an ecommerce store then what are the terms that people use to find the products that you sell for example?
There are a number of tools available that will help you to identify the keywords that people are searching with. One of the best tools is completely free and is called the Google Keyword Planner. You just need a free Google account to access this tool.
You need to use a “seed” keyword to get things rolling with the Google Keyword Planner. So if your ecommerce store sells shoes then you can start with the term “shoes”. This is a very broad term so you might want to refine it a bit to “womens shoes” or “mens shoes” for example.
The Google Keyword Planner will not only tell you how many searches there are each month for these terms (by country) but it will also provide related keywords that you could use for your online business. You can download any keywords that you find in a CSV file or a Google sheet and save them.
There are a number of paid keyword research tools available as well. All keywords have a degree of competition and if you want to rank your pages in the search engines for free traffic then you need to know how competitive each keyword is. The Google Keyword Planner will not tell you this but others will.
You are going to need a word processing application and probably a spreadsheet application for your online business. There are other useful document applications too such as slide presentations.
Google Docs is totally free and has some very useful document applications. All you need is an Internet connection. If you prefer the applications to be installed on your computer then you can purchase Microsoft Office or choose one of the free application suites such as Open Office.
Building an email list is highly recommended for your online business. Very few visitors to your website will make a purchase the first time and you can lose them forever. If you can capture their email address then you can send them emails about your business at any time.
The best way to capture emails and build an email list is to use an autoresponder service. This is a service which allows you to send an automated sequence of emails to new subscribers and a broadcast feature where you can send an email out whenever you want. You will pay monthly for an autoresponder service.
It is essential that you know what is going on with your online business so that you can make important decisions about it. The Google Analytics package is free and very comprehensive. You can see how many visitors you are getting for your web pages, where they came from, how long they stayed and much more.