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3 Free Tools That Any Start-Up Business Can Utilize

This article is written by guest-blogger, Josh Olswanger, owner of Thrive Web Designs, a Boise web design firm.

As you venture off to start a new business, you will undoubtedly have a list a mile long of marketing ideas, how you’re planning to find new business, operating procedures, finances, and the list goes on. Creating a business plan should be a necessity when deciding to go for the gold. With today’s day and age, there are so many tools available online to help you not only monitor the status of your website’s traffic, but also help you grow your presence and client/customer experience.

Below are 5 tools that are free and very effective for any business, regardless of what industry you’re in.


1. Google Analytics

Google analytics is a free application that you can integrate into each page of your website to help you monitor traffic. It allows for you to do a very precise drill-down to see how visitors are finding you, which keywords they are typing in to find your website, as well as many other elements including bounce rate percentages. A bounce rate percentage is measured by how long a visitor stays on your website.

Learn more about what a bounce rates and what they mean.

Setting up a Google Analytics is very easy and only requires that you have a gmail account setup, as well as access to the html code of your website. You will enter a snippet of code provided by Google when you setup the account.

Click here to start a free Google Analytics account.


2. MailChimp for E-Newsletters

Including a newsletter within your website by giving away something for free, is a great way to keep visitors coming back for more. Giving away information or advice away is very popular. If you know that your business will definitely grow by the use of a newsletter program, then MailChimp is the weapon of choice. MailChimp is by far the most advanced and intuitive newsletter program available. Even better, it’s free of cost up to 2,000 subscribers, and then affordable packages for over 2,000 subscribers are available. With MailChimp, you can monitor traffic to your newsletter, get in-depth reports on new subscribers, create free newsletter templates using easy-to-use editors, as well as create sign-up forms for your website or blog.

For more information on this great newsletter software, visit MailChimp.com.


3. Blog

Although the importance of a blog and “blogging” is no secret anymore, often times, businesses will overlook this simple but very effective marketing tool. As your website competes for relevancy and ranking power on Google and Bing, search engines are paying more attention to the frequency and quality of the content on each page. Using a blog and integrating it within your website, can prove to help your SEO, in many cases dramatically help.

WordPress is arguably the most popular blogging platform available today. Not only is it free, but also it allows you to customize your own website for those brave enough to handle the task. WordPress also includes many add-ons or “plug-ins” including ones that help your search engine marketing.

As a golden rule, just having a blog doesn’t mean your website will necessarily do better, but including relevant and unique content along with frequently posting new entries usually makes an impact. WordPress offers two different options for setting up a blog. A wordpress blog setup at www.wordpress.com will allow you to host your blog directly from their site for free. This means that your domain name will look something like “www.yourdomain.wordpress.com.” The other option is setting up the blog on your own server/hosting account by going to wordpress.org to setup.

For more information on setting up a custom blog, visit WordPress.org.

Article written by Josh Olswanger of Thrive Web Designs, an Idaho web design company.

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