Useful tools and resources for online marketing and advertising (broken down by each stage in our recommended 5-step process).

1. Optimize User Experience

Google PageSpeed InsightsPingdom Website Speed Test | GTmetrix
Tools for analyzing your webpage speed, load time, resource usage, etc. Figure out what’s slowing down your website and get recommendations on how to improve things.

Chrome DevTools (for Chrome Browser)
Web authoring and debugging tool built right into Google’s Chrome browser. Useful for website development, debugging, and monitoring what requests are being made. Invaluable for investigating ad tag placement and behaviour on any site. (On a Mac, press Option + Command + I while in Chrome to bring up the interface. Ctrl + Shift + I for Windows users.)

Crazy Egg
See a “heatmap” of click and interaction activity on your website. Useful for optimizing web design for usability and interactions.

Visual Website Optimizer | Optimizely | Content Experiments (by Google)
Three popular choices for A/B testing site elements. Quickly test design variations to determine an optimal layout for your goals (maximize lead form fills, conversions, purchases, clicks, etc.).

2. Understand Your Audience

Quantcast Audience Insights (example)
Understand your site audience. See a breakdown of traffic by demographics (e.g. age, gender, income), platform, shopping interests, political interests, and more. Invaluable for campaign planning and prioritization of new content.

Google Trends
Keep up with online keyword search trends and see a breakdown of keyword interest by region. An invaluable part of any SEO or search marketing strategy.

Google Search Console
Monitor and optimize the way Google crawls and indexes your website.

Bing Webmaster Tools
Like Google’s Search Console, but for Microsoft’s Bing search (which also powers Yahoo Search)

Beginner’s Guide to SEO (by Moz)
A solid introduction to SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

SEO Periodic Table (PDF by Search Engine Land)
A useful mapping of the major On-Page and Off-Page factors that are most likely to affect your search rankings.

Moz Open Site Explorer (part of Free Moz Tools)
A free backlink analysis tool. Keep track of your inbound links, see potential spam warnings, etc. Part of Moz SEO, a set of products/tools for keyword search, link building, webpage performance, and more.

SEO Spider Tool (by Screaming Frog)
A website crawler that analyzes site links and onsite elements for SEO purposes. Available as a free download as a desktop app, with additional features as part of their premium offering.

3. Define goals and funnels

Google Analytics
Monitor website visits, interactions, and set up goals. Measure your advertising ROI. Typically the first piece of third party Javascript I install on any project or site.

Google Keyword Planner (part of Google AdWords)
Figure out what search keywords to target, both for SEO and SEM  purposes. Includes rough search volume counts and tools for generating similar keywords. Note: you will have to create at least one AdWords ad and enter billing details to get access.

4. Layer on Advertising Campaigns

Ghostery Browser Extension
Easily keep track of all third-party tags firing on any site. Useful for keeping up with all analytics and advertising technologies implemented on your own site (especially if an external party, such as an ad agency, has the ability to add tags to your website code). For individuals, a useful way to monitor exposure to tracking technologies online.

Facebook Ads | LinkedIn Ads | Twitter Ads | Pinterest Ads
Useful for advertising your business directly to social network users. Potential reach is easily in the millions. Note: we recommend you set up conversion tracking and establish clear goals before spending any money (it’s easy to burn through a lot of cash with little to show for it on these platforms).

Google Tag Manager
Planning to have multiple third-party tags firing on your site? This is common when building out a multi-channel marketing strategy. With Google Tag Manager (or a similar tag “container” technology), you can make tag changes without redeploying your whole site.

URL Decoder/Encoder
For dealing with those pesky long JavaScript URLs.

Ad Tech terminology (by OpenX)
Confused about all those three letter acronyms and obscure industry terms? A glossary should help clear things up. Warning: you might soon be asking your DSP about the estimated ROAS for a CPM-priced RTB campaign focused on PMP inventory.

5. Test and Reassess

A/B Significance Test (by Kissmetrics)
A quick and dirty calculation of significance. Note: this will produce misleading results if the underlying experiment was not set up properly. If you need help executing a proper A/B test, please get in touch.

A/B Test Sample Size Calculator (by Optimizely)
Computes the minimum sample size you will need (per variation) for a statistically significant test result (defined as the Minimum Detectable Effect, or the minimum relative change in conversion rate from your baseline conversion rate).

* * *

Last updated: November 2017