A well known local courier company in my country has a slogan that says “Think Done”. Personally I find it a little too exaggerated but this slogan is a perfect fit for tech-industry, I mean after reading a post about urine cell charger on Mashable I have to agree with the slogan!
E-commerce industry is progressing at bullet speed than any other industry present today and that is why people competing in the online word are using everything that can help them save their time and offer a better return on investment.
Business owners in the online world are shifting towards tools or websites that help them do their work faster and free of any errors. There are tons of online tools and websites available that people can use at different steps. So what tools/websites would I need to quickly build my online brand that looks professional and respectable to my targeted audience?
Note: For the rest of the post I will assume that you have a start-up idea ready and you or someone is ready to invest on your idea.
Related Resource from B2CWebcast: PR Hacking: How Ideas Spread And What Marketers Need to Know
The business plan is ready and all the paper work is done; now it’s the time to choose the name of your start-up!
- Name Check [FREE]
It is really important for a brand name to be attractive, simple and short so that targeted audience can easily remember it. In the online world it is equally important to have a domain and social profiles name available for your brand name or else your efforts might help some other company or brand.
Name Check is a tool that helps you do this for FREE. Just write your expected brand name and it will research all the information about domain availability, social profiles, trademarks and more.
If you are a brand who is more concerned about identify theft or is extra protective about your brand’s image then you should ideally acquire almost all major domain names and similar social profiles.
Done with your brand name? Next step is the Logo Design!
- Design Mantic [Paid]
There are multiple ways you can have a logo for your brand that includes contacting a graphic design artist to design a custom logo for you, using crowdsourced websites to let professionals design your logo or use websites like design mantic to make your logo yourself and get it instantly.
The reason why I will prefer to go with the last option is because this way you will be able to save your time and money .You will also be able to get a professional looking logo that most likely represents your brand’s image within minutes.
- Zillion Designs [Prize Money]
Done with the logo and stationary for branding, now it’s the time to have a good looking responsive website that can please your targeted audience as well as search engines.
Again you will have multiple options available and you can choose any but if you are looking for a choice without investing much in it then crowdsourcing is a way out!
Professional graphic designers might not like the idea of crowdsourcing due to obvious reasons but from the business end this will help you get more choice in less money spent. There are multiple websites that includes 99 designs, mycroburst, crowdspring and more who offer similar services as zillion designs.
- oDesk [Pay For A Job]
Tools we have discussed up till now can help you finalize your brand name, logo identity and a professional looking website design but the most important thing about any online business is conversions.
Conversions without a compiling and attractive content copy are almost impossible and oDesk is a place where you as a start-up owner can find the right people to do this job for you!
Just take a look at the oDesk skill visualization and you will notice creative writing in the top five skills. All you have to do as a business owner is to interview and pick the right candidate and leave the rest to your employee.
Your content copy is everything for you so you can easily hire the perfect candidate for the job keeping their previous work reviews and samples in mind.
- VA Networking [Pay Per Hour]
Although you can find a virtual assistant on oDesk as well but I believe VA Networking will help you find some quality virtual assistant as this website is dedicated to connect business owners with virtual assistants.
As a start-up owner you might have lot of things to look in to and you probably can’t waste your time editing the blog post or managing your website’s blog and hiring a dedicated employee for this might not prove to be a good idea.
VA for few hours will be cost effective and help you get all your work done.
- Raven Tool [Paid]
Above discussed websites and tools will let you step up your brands name, identity and online presence so you are all set to present yourself to your audience. Although your website is complete as far as the design and development is concerned but in order to develop a website that search engines love and recommend to searches needs a set of rules to follow.
Raven tools can help you with that. All you have to do is to include your website and required details in the campaign and it will track the overall SEO health of your website which means technical details, on-page optimization, links, traffic, social and more.
You can analyze your website’s health with this tool and follow the guidelines in the tool to develop a search engine friendly website.
- Link Prospector [$2 per credit]
In order to stay in the market and progress for the longer period of time one needs to use some tactics that help them get links. It is very important to get links from diversified sources and for that you either have to do tons of research and find links of use. A tool called citation labs will do the research on your behalf and find you links that are important for your business.
Once you have the lists of link opportunities, next step is to outreach to potential link places and get a link back to your own website. Links will help you get better search engine rankings and better visibility by search engines which means more targeted traffic will visit your website and this will lead to better conversions for the business.
- Elite Email [Fremium]
Email marketing is also a part of the digital marketing strategy and the importance of it can never be neglected as this still contains the highest amount of conversion rate in most industries.
Elite Email is email marketing software that allows you to send updates and promotional email to your entire list within a single click. This tool offers your geo reporting, pre made templates, list segments, social sharing, personalization and more.
The reason why I recommend this software over others is because of their extra ordinary powerful and responsible customer service. Other tools who offer similar service include Mailchimp, mad mini and more.
Email marketing tool will help business owners to stay away from sending single email to their every customer/potential customer and save them time by sending tons of emails with a single click.
- Buffer App [Free & Paid]
Social Media is a vital part of the overall online marketing and branding strategy. If you an online business it is must for you to have active social media entities to brand your business in the social world.
Obviously it is almost impossible to stay on social media all the time especially when your time zone doesn’t match that of your targeted audience but with buffer app now you can schedule your Tweets and Facebook statuses and set the time so that it goes live on social media when you exactly want.
Buffer app also provides the stats of Tweets, shares and LinkedIn so that you can alter your online marketing strategy keeping the stats in mind.
- Google Analytics [FREE]
You have a website up and running , you may be getting some sort of leads for your business as well but to know more about how the traffic is engaging with your website is more important as this will help you in altering the areas of your website from where most people exit.
This is the part where Google Analytics comes in to play. It tracks the behaviour of your visitors that are coming to your website and shows the data on basis of that.
This might sound funny but Google Analytics data can help you find the weak areas of your website plus optimizing and altering the website keeping the GA data in mind will help you in increasing the conversion rate for the business.
- Kiss Metrics [Paid]
If you are much concerned about conversions and really want to know how your customers are reacting to your website or why people are leaving your website without converting. Kiss Metrics can show you your customers and bring some actionable metrics that as a result can improve overall conversions.
As a start-up, this tool is important to have as this can give a better insight of why your potential customers are not buying from you and leaving your website without converting. One you know the problem you can always fix it and provide a better and hassle free experience to your targeted audience.
There are many other tools and websites that can help you setup and grow your start-up in the longer run but the above discussed tool/websites are the most important ones for any new business which is planning to quickly launch themselves online without compromising the professional image of the business.
Do you use any other website or tool which helps you do your work ,save your time and money? Please do share in the comment section!