Digital Marketing Resources

Digital Marketing Resources for Small Business

Tools to help you grow

Articles to keep you up to date

We have spent countless hours over the years researching and building our library of WordPress Resources that you will find below. This knowledge and experience is used in all the WordPress websites we build for our clients.  If you would like a specific recommendation, we suggest you check out our WordPress Coaching.

These WordPress resources are GENERAL recommendations, there is no guarantee that this will work for your specific website or application. Please note, some of the links below are affiliate links.

WordPress Hosting for Small Business

Getting the right hosting solution is important for a small business.  Google includes site performance as a search engine ranking factor, websites need to be more secure from hackers then ever and your users don’t want to be staring at a screen waiting for a page to load… in fact they won’t.

There are plenty of more expensive hosting solutions out there.  There are also cheaper.  One of the benefits of Siteground WordPress Hosting is that it is affordable and scalable so it can grow with your needs.  Their support, security and page speed all tick the boxes also.

Siteground also offers some great built-in WordPress resources like their Optimiser, CloudFlare, daily backups, and more.

Email Hosting for Small Business

Email Hosting for Small Business

There are a few reasons you would want to host your email separately from your website.  For instance, if there is any issue with your website getting hacked, and your website host shuts down your account – your emails will remain unaffected.

For us it is simply peace of mind.  Your website is looked after by people who do website hosting, your emails are looked after by a business that specialises in email hosting.  That means your emails are backed up in the cloud and accessible from any device.  You have them synced wherever you go and get the bonus of synchronised calendars, documents and more.

We use Google Apps for this, Microsoft 365 is another alternative.

Integrating email newsletters and email newsletter opt-ins

Okay there are LOTS of options here too and they vary significantly.  Firstly consider do you want:

  • A simple form in your website sidebar
  • A pop-up or scroll box (appears in the bottom right, as people scroll down the page)
  • To offer something in return for their subscription (i.e. a free guide, template, e-book etc.)
  • To add someone automatically when they fill in your contact form?

This may be when you call out for some digital marketing support, so that you can setup some more advanced strategies, or if you want to give it a go yourself, try:

Opt-in Forms this is a free plugin and works with Mailchimp.

Bloom by Elegant themes (we just recently fell in love with this one!!) this is a powerful tool that has a large range of options.

Gravity Forms – more on this later, but it makes it really easy to create great forms that integrate with your email marketing platform.

Leadpages – this helps you create marketing opt-in landing pages for specific purposes (webinars, workshops, events, courses, give-aways, etc.) and then it hands over the details to your email marketing software.   Great for anyone that is stepping up their online marketing.

Checking your WordPress site for broken links.

Broken links are URLs (website address links) in your website that are not functioning or opening.  This can happen for a number of reasons, but broken links are considered to be of negative value as far as search engine optimisation of your website is concerned, plus it could be an important link for users of your website to access information.  So, how do you identify broken links?  Two options, Google Webmaster and a handy little plugin:

Broken Link Checker for WordPress is a great (free) plugin that even emails you if a link on your website is broken.  This isn’t just links to other (external) websites, it can be links to your images, videos, other pages and more.  Very handy to ensure that everything is functioning as it should be! Broken links can affect your search engine optimisation, so this is one of our favourite WordPress resources.

The Google Webmaster option is a little more complex (especially if you do not already have Google Webmaster setup) but this is a great run through to help you identify the broken links that Google has found on your website.

Search engine optimisation for your WordPress site

We recommend that your website has the Yoast SEO plugin installed – the free one is great and the Premium paid version is even better! This is a really simple to use, and VERY helpful SEO tool – and SEO on your website is critical. This is one WordPress resources you can’t afford to skip.  It will get you thinking about search engine optimisation on every page, post and title you create.  It also helps you craft the ‘snippets’ that appear in search engine results – why is that important?  Well, if you are listed in Google search engine results with 10 of your competitors, you want to ensure what is written convinces people to click through to your website!

Payment gateways (options for taking payments on your site)

Payment gateways are a very business specific item.  If you have a good accountant talk through your options with them.  Many banks will steer you towards their facilities / options – always check the fees and costs associate because these can add up quickly.  The most important thing here is integration – you want your systems all talking to each other.

For getting setup quickly check out Paypal, we still use it, there are no ongoing monthly costs and so when you are just starting this can be a great option.  It isn’t the cheapest but it works and it integrates and it has become a trusted symbol for online payments. Stripe is another great option, and has slightly lower transaction fees than PayPal, but these are constantly changing so check everything before you do anything!

Other than that, it is very difficult to make suggestions because INTEGRATION is KING.  You will want a payment gateway that works with your e-commerce platform, your accounting software, any point of sale system you might use, and other aspects of your business.

Securing your site (added protection from hackers)

Change you users from ‘admin’ to something personalised.  Use a secure password!!!  There are great options like TeamPassword that can help you manage all your passwords and keep them secure.

Then add a plugin like:

IThemes SecuritySucuri or Wordfence and follow their instructions.

Also make sure you keep your software up to date (WordPress and Plugin software) plus store your backups somewhere other than with all your other website files (i.e. download it to your computer, save it to Dropbox, etc.).

Backing up your website

While we are talking about backups… we have written a whole separate post on this topic!  Check out our article “How to Backup Your WordPress Website“.  In it we mention, the top four often recommended plugins (and here we have included a bonus, number 5 which has just come to ur attention):

 
Please note that some hosting options include automated backups – daily, weekly or monthly. It is worthwhile reviewing exactly the type of backup, and if there is a fee to restore your site to a previously held backup.

Stock images & vector graphics

We are big fans of Adobe Stock, Freepik and VectorStock. To break these down a little further:

  • Adobe Stock is great, premium, stock library with fantastic images that you will struggle to find elsewhere. Despite this, it is still quite affordable.
  • Freepik offers a massive range of images and vectors, and you can either access a great deal of these for FREE or sign up to a paid plan and access unlimited downloads
  • VectorStock is great for illustrated / layered graphics. Not only can you sign up for a subscription, you also have the option of pre-purchasing "credits" which can be used as the need for a vector arises.

Video Creation - Animated/Infographic style

There are a multitude of video makers available online, however we have found our favourites to be:

  • Biteable - a simple platform that has some great templates to get you started
  • Renderforest - a bit more "clunky" in it's design than Biteable, but there are some fantastic logo animation and presentation pack templates that can be used
  • Lumen5 - if you are looking for a fast and effective way to turn your blogs into videos, Lumen5 is a fantastic option.

Other mentions go to InVideo and Promo.

Graphic design / social media graphic creation

Whilst we do a lot of this ourselves in tools such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, for those that aren't graphic designers these tools can be rather overwhelming! That's where tools such as Canva and Snappa make life a heck of a lot easier. 

  • Snappa - more affordable than Canva, Snappa has a great deal of features (including the ability to resize graphics) and templates allowing you to create graphics for a variety of purposes. You can also add team members/users so everyone has access to the one set of graphics.
  • Canva - proudly Australian, Canva is a great tool to produce a range of marketing materials from brochures to Facebook posts, logos to YouTube channel art. Be warned though, the "print ready" PDF files for brochures, posters, etc may not be up to standard for your local printer.

Email marketing - newsletters, automated emails, etc.

Our top three picks for email marketing are as follows:

  • ActiveCampaign - this platform is fantastic for those looking to bolster sales where follow up / longer sales cycles are required. Not only does the platform feature robust email marketing capabilities and template automations, it also has an inbuilt CRM and sales pipeline. 
  • Klaviyo - fantastic for eCommerce businesses, Klaviyo has a direct integration into many ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify, allowing automated abandoned cart emails, follow up browsing emails, birthday emails and so much more. The reporting within the platform is also fantastic.
  • Mailchimp - if you are looking for a good place to start with your email marketing, Mailchimp is a hard one to skip. Mailchimp continue to expand and grow their platform, with the aim of being a "one stop shop" to simplify online marketing for small business owners, however we find it to be a case of "jack of all trades, master of none".  

Social media management

When it comes to social media marketing for your small business, many owners find it very difficult to find the time to prepare posts and share them on a consistent basis. For this reason, we strongly recommend the use of social media planning software, allowing small business owners to schedule their social media posts when they can find free time - ideally setting aside 1-2 hours every fortnight.

  • SocialBee - this is a great tool that allows you to load up content against a variety of content categories and automate the deployment of them according to your schedule. For example, you can schedule in 30 different relevant industry articles or inspirational quotes and set the schedule to send one from each category on a Monday or Thursday at 9am.
  • Loomly - one of the few tools that allows you to incorporate Shopify links, it also allows you to quickly and easily customise content (eg. text/images) for each social channel.

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