Software and Tools to Build a Thriving Online Marketing Business

Whether you run a local SEO agency or a local business, Google My Business is not the only tool in your arsenal. You still need some additional software and tools to build a thriving business.

In preparation for 2022, the DigitalBull GO Team started listing down all the software and tools we had purchased in the past and used. After about half an hour, we came up with a list of 16, which we thought was already more than anticipated.

After checking with our team, emails, and the accounting (payments through credit card), the final list was 25. This also included some one-time purchases and unused tools!

The good thing that came from this exercise was a thorough examination of the purchased or used tools and whether we needed to renew them or try out newer ones in their place.

We also broke down the entire set of software and tools into 5 categories and further sub-divided them into 5 more for ease of management and to understand their importance or requirements within our team.

Of course, your list of categories and the slotted buckets can vary.

Repeat. Reiterate. Reaffirm. Your 5 x 5 list can be different!

Without further ado, here is our list: 

  1. Accounting/Admin

Accounting, Invoicing, Payroll, Taxes, and Human Resources.

  1. Communication & Project Management

Office Suite, Project Management, Messaging, VOIP, and Internal Chat.

  1. SEO Software and Tools [5x5x5]

Research, Technical, On-page, Content, and Backlinks – Audit tools, Editors, Rank Trackers, Analysis, and Reporting.

  1. Development [Both WordPress and Non-WordPress]

Staging, Development, Testing, Security, and other WP Tools & Plugins

  1. Marketing

CRM, Marketing Automation, Proposals, Analytics, and Heatmap. 

  1. Here are some tips based on our experience of buying, using, and building some of these tools.

    1. Always check the free 7 or 14-day trials. Ignore this advice if you are already late to the AppSumo deals or any other great one-time offers!
    2. Ask for a demo if you have special requirements or do not fully understand the tool. Email or message the requirements beforehand to make the best use of time for you and the tool provider.
    3. Always ask your team’s tool users to attend the demo or webinar, try out, and get their feedback before purchasing the software. You can then decide what is best for your business.
    4. Software purchased from the EU and some other countries may be liable to GST. Enter your GST number and save. Understand the dollar to euro or other currency conversions before choosing the right option.
    5. Do not commit to long-term deals unless you are saving a minimum of 25% to 40%. Check out forums like G2Crowd and Capterra for reviews and improvement feedback to help drive a bargain.
    6. Understand the licensing model and payment options. Go through all the pricing plans carefully. They may be freemium, lifetime, one-time, monthly, annual, perpetual, etc. Be sure to check if additional licenses cost extra. If it isn’t you can give each team member separate login credentials. Some software makers make it extremely difficult to opt out. Be sure to ask the tool provider these questions during the demo to avoid confusion down the road.
    7. Using a credit card instead of a bank transfer or debit card will help in case you want to file a dispute. Use a dynamic number card if available within your country.
    8. Look out for automatic card charge surprises! Always note down the dates of purchase to keep track of your card payments and avoid embarrassing declines or stoppages.
    9. Free is always an option so don’t splurge on costly tools when a free tool can give you 80% of that functionality. After all, you still have brains in your team, and tools are not the be-all and end-all of SEO. You still need the smart guys and gals who know how to make the best use of the tools.
    10. As tool developers ourselves, it takes years of perseverance, grit, and tears to design and develop tools that can attract paid users by the dozen. Respect the developers for their effort and offer feedback and suggestions that will motivate them to do better. Don’t leave spiteful reviews when a quick chat could have possibly resolved the issue.

    Here’s to spending your budget wisely on tools and bright people for your agency or business!