20 Best Free Tools for Growing an Online Business
It can be a slow struggle when trying to grow an online business or blog. Building an audience and turning them into loyal customers takes time. But if you succeed, you create the ultimate lifestyle freedom, making money online wherever you are in the world.
If you are starting an online business on a tight budget (like a lot of us), these 20 FREE tools will help you speed up traffic growth, streamline your content, and manage your workflow. They also help you to create amazing visual graphics and provide in-depth keyword and competitor analysis.
20 Top Free Tools for Growing an Online Business
Free Stock Images: Pexels, Unsplash
Google Search Console
Bloggers Traffic Community
If you are looking for free tools to use while growing a business online, you are in the right place. We break down how you can use these platforms to grow an online business. Give some of these tools a go and let us know below how they work for you.
My Favorite free tool on the internet. I knew nothing about digital design or creating visual content, before Canva. The platform makes it so easy to become a pro at design.
It's perfect if you want to make banners for your website, design beautiful pins and Instagram graphics, or just play around and make some digital art.
Canva is incredible, it blows my mind how much you can do on the free account. You can upload and edit all of your own personal photos, use their extensive range of templates or stock images and animations.
You don’t really need their premium version when starting out, but they offer 1 month free if you want to seriously grow your content creation skills.
If you want to boost your social followings and streamline your Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, then you need Tailwind. You can schedule your social graphics to be posted at peak times so that they have maximum reach.
You also share content with your ‘tribemates’ and they share it with their audience. Its one of the best ways to get free traffic to your website.
On Tailwinds free account you can upload and schedule up to 100 pieces of content at one time. It also provides you with helpful analytics for your social media accounts like follower growth/decline and post reach.
Once you have used your 100 automatic uploads you can still manually upload your content, or upgrade your account here and we both get one month free.
The perfect free tool for bloggers or anyone who does a lot of writing. You can create as many online notebooks as you like and write notes here. I find it helps to visually represent my thought process while I work on my business than any other free writing site. It helps to keep all your draft content, ideas, and plans in one place on your computer.
You can use Evernote in your browser or download the app for your computer or cell phone. You can log in to any of your devices and pick up where you left off, helping you to get more writing done. Which means more content!
It’s so important for anyone running an online business or blog to understand the basics of SEO. When you plan content for your website, you need to do keyword and competitor research.
Ubersuggest gives you ideas for new content, shows you weak keywords in your niche, and analyzing your competitors to see how they succeed in ranking on Google. You can see how many times a keyword is searched per month, how difficult it is to rank, and who is currently ranking in the top 10.
The free account will be a great addition to your toolkit when you begin your online business. You can do some basic research on competitors and see what type of keywords people are searching for.
You can also trial the Pro account for free for 1 week, this is more than enough time to do a huge amount of keyword research and competitor analysis, save it to an excel and then cancel your account. It’s $29 per month if you decide you like the service.
Tip: Download all the relevant keywords that you find in your niche. Create a huge excel file and export all the data you find here. This will significantly improve your SEO over time and give you plenty of ideas for content.
5. Keywords Everywhere
Another free online tool to help you maximize Search Engine Optimization. Keywords Everywhere will revolutionize the way you look at the internet. You can do in-depth competitor research and see all of the keywords that a web page is ranking for.
If you want to grow an online business, add the Keywords Everywhere Plugin to chrome, this will allow you to see keyword stats for any Google search while you browse the internet. It will significantly help you in finding relevant keywords for your content.
Keywords Everywhere is perfect for any online business that also has a Youtube channel. You can use the free tool to analyze any Youtube video and see the tags your competition ranks for.
6. Free Stock Image Websites
To make your website or online business stand out, it needs to look great. The visual content on your site needs to be fully optimized, this means high quality, relevant images, and videos. It can take a lot of time to find the ideal photos to add to your site, but free stock image websites make the process much easier.
Grammarly is a free tool that helps to improve your writing quality. It’s basically spellcheck on steroids, it’s impressive how fast it works. It’s a fantastic way to improve your spelling and grammar, in fact, I’m using it as I type this article.
No one likes to read content littered with bad spelling or grammar, mistakes like that are a sure-fire way to lose traffic. You will seem like a less trustworthy resource and visitors will leave your site. When you are looking for ways on how to grow your online business, be sure to add Grammarly to your toolkit.
Hemingway is another tool that is crucial in improving the quality of your writing. If you are serious about growing a business online, you must ensure you can deliver a clear message, and engage your readers.
This free tool analyses your work and gives recommendations on sentence structure, and word choice. It highlights any parts of your writing that are difficult to read. I use it as my free online editor and coach. It is amazing how much better a piece of writing sounds after you edit it with Hemingway.
Hemingway is helpful to use after you have typed up your first draft and need to critique and clarify your content. Pair this with Grammarly and you will significantly improve your writing ability.
9. Google Alerts
Google has an enormous database, which allows it to analyze data on the internet faster than any other SEO tool. You can use their database to find easy backlink opportunities.
Backlinks improve your credibility online, as they are a vote of confidence from other websites. They link out to your site as they believe your content can provide useful information to readers. To grow a business online you'll need to work on consistently gaining new backlinks.
Google Alerts allows you to create notifications on any subject, topic, or keyword. You will get an email once a day, or once a week showing all the new webpages that could provide an easy link opportunity. This means you don’t have to search through thousands of pages yourself trying to get backlinks.
10. Google Analytics
To make money online it is crucial to understand who your customers are, how they behave, and how many potential customers you are getting to your website.
When you set up your online business, you can make a free Google Analytics account. You will be given a unique code to insert into the back-end of your website. Here’s a quick guide on linking your website to Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool to use when you are growing a business online. You can set goals to measure how well your website fulfills your objectives, like customer conversions, clicks on a call-to-action, number of sign-ups, etc.
Some of the ways that Google Analytics can grow an online business, for free:
How many people visit my website?
Where do my visitors live?
Do I need a mobile-friendly website?
What websites send traffic to my website?
What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to my website?
Which pages are the most popular on my website?
How many visitors have I converted into leads or customers?
Where did my converting visitors come from and go on my website?
How can I improve my website's speed?
What blog content do my visitors like the most?
Tip: Don’t get so obsessed with Google Analytics that you check it every couple of hours to see if you received any new visitors. It’s easy to make yourself feel ‘busy’ when doing these things, and it’s exciting when you start to see traffic roll in, but your time is often spent better elsewhere. You only need to check it once a week to once a month when starting an online business.
11. Google Search Console
The key to long-term organic growth for any online business is SEO. Your website needs to be optimized correctly for Google. This will help it get placed on the first page of Google when people search for terms related to your business.
Google Analytics provides a lot of information around your SEO, but for a deeper look at your Search Engine Optimization, you need Google Search Console. If you really want to know how to grow your online business, this is the tool.
It tells you how many times someone has clicked on your site in a Google search, how many impressions you have on the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages), your SERP ranking, the keywords your traffic searched to find you, where your traffic is from, and what device they use. Plus, it’s completely free.
All the information that Google Search Console provides is incredible. If you want to grow a business online that earns a passive income, you need to utilize this information. It will help you to better understand who your customers are and how they think. Which will get your business in front of them more often and find more customers just like them.
Hunter is a free tool that finds emails and relevant contact information for your business outreach campaigns. You can use their main site, or add the chrome extension. We recommend getting the extension to maximize your efficiency when searching for contacts.
When growing business online it is crucial to reach out to other online businesses. They can provide guidance, backlinks, guest posts, and social shares. Emailing is still one of the best ways to communicate with people online, but sometimes it can be tricky finding your contacts email.
With Hunter, you can go to any page on the internet, use their extension, and find relevant emails for any business. Use Hunter and Google Alerts together to take advantage of easy backlink opportunities.
13. Bloggers Traffic Community
Bloggers Traffic Community is an online forum for bloggers in all niches. Join their site and you can increase website traffic by sharing your content with other members, they will then visit your site, read other articles, and share your posts. All of this improves your website’s bounce rate, google rankings, social reach, and traffic.
The site works really well but you have to reciprocate the love with the other members. When they share their websites you need to click their links and stay on their website for certain amounts of time. Its a great community and will help you to get free traffic to your site early on. BTC motivates you to produce more content and you can get content ideas off other member’s websites.
Twitter is a fantastic free tool you can use to grow an online business. On Twitter, you can search for competitors and see the marketing strategies and content they use. This information will help you understand what your competitors are doing and help you create your own marketing strategy.
The content you publish should attract new followers, encourage new leads, boost conversions, and grow brand recognition. You want to engage your audience and get them to click on the links you post.
Who says no to free marketing? Twitter will build your website traffic for free. It’s a great place to interact with customers and build brand recognition and awareness around your growing online business.
With over 1 Billion active users, Instagram is a powerful marketing tool for anyone trying to grow an online business. With an effective Instagram marketing strategy, this free online tool will become a strong addition to your business social media profile. You want to build an audience of loyal followers, who you consistently share great content with and engage with.
Instagram only gives you one opportunity to directly lead someone to your website or blog. Add your website link to your bio to direct traffic to a landing page or online store.
Want to know how to grow your online business with Instagram? Stand out from other businesses by uploading high-quality images and videos that provide helpful resources and be consistent.
Instagram is a great option for anyone running an online store. Their feature ‘Shops” allows you to list your products on their platform. Your followers can visit your profile, click on your product tags, and purchase directly from you. This has given influencers an entirely new way of monetizing their Instagram accounts.
Pinterest is the social media of choice for so many entrepreneurs growing business’ online. It's a great tool for reaching your target market, especially those in a narrow niche. You want to spend time finding topics and keywords related to your business and target audience.
You also need to learn how to make great Pins, Canva is by far the best free online design tool for making Pins. Streamlining your Pins will maximize your social outreach, Tailwind is the best free tool to streamline your content and grow your Pinterest following.
You can monetize your following on Pinterest easier than other social accounts because the users on Pinterest are more ready to buy products or services. They use Pinterest to get ideas and inspiration on things to buy, rather than purely entertainment like on Youtube or Instagram.
The tutorials and guides you can find for free on Youtube are incredible. It is one of the best free resources for growing a business online. You can upskill yourself and learn almost anything on the platform. I watched a lot of videos from the income school when I was trying to find out how to make money while traveling.
The second benefit Youtube provides is the ability to promote your business. It is another way you can get more content out and engage a larger audience. Create a free channel, make videos related to the content on your website, then consistently post them. This will help you consistently grow new traffic.
To ensure you get maximum organic growth, research the tags or keywords relevant to your niche when uploading content. Find popular and easy ones you can target. Use Keywords Everywhere or Ubersuggest to help.
18. Alexa Rank
The last free SEO tool on this list, Alexa Rank. I have listed 6 tools that help with Search Engine Optimization because I believe it is the most powerful way to grow a business online. Especially if you want to create a long term passive income.
Alexa Rank provides crucial information for anyone starting a blog or trying to grow an online business. if you understand how to use it it can be a valuable tool that offers a variety of analytics and insights.
Alexa’s most useful function is the ability to compare your website with others in your niche — or to see where you stand in the market. This not only gives you an idea of what’s working in your niche but offers a goal to aim for.
19. Typing Games
If you are doing any sort of typing for your online business then you need to be a quick typer. It will save you so much time when typing out articles and emails. 50 words per minute is a good target. Check your speed here, it’s free of course (I got 46…).
The ability to type freely without looking at the keyboard is a skill for working efficiently. It is a skill I am trying to develop as it will help me produce content much faster. I write all my article drafts by hand and then have to type it. This was a slow process for me, but these games help a lot. Give this a read for more on my writing process and how to write content for a website.
To grow a business online you need to maximize your efficiency when working. It is important to keep track of how you are spending your time and whether or not there could be other places that time is better spent. Clarifying your workload will make it seem a lot more manageable.
Try a time management software to see how much time you actually spend growing an online business. Toggl is a free tool that measures how long you are spending on tasks and makes it easy to categorize.
The tool makes you accountable for what you can really achieve in a day. I use it frequently and it shocked me how much time I could waste on unproductive work. Fair warning, it could be a rude awakening. But use it as motivation.