Digital marketing can be tough… and expensive. But with a good structure and the right tools, it can be easy, fun, and cheap.
In this article, we’ll look at free marketing tools that help you gain traffic to your site, convert that traffic to sales, and drive repeat business.
We’ll also show you tools to analyze who your visitors are and what they do on your website – all in the context of the tour and activity business. Ready? Let’s go.
A working website with all the relevant information is crucial for your business. WordPress allows you to create your own homepage or your personal blog without any HTML-knowledge. You can also add different plug-ins for additional functions and features. All in all, it helps you build the base for your online business.
We analyzed dozens of activity provider sites to find which technology they used the most. The answer?
And why wouldn’t it be? It’s free and gives deep insight into who visits your site and what they do on it.
Knowing this information, you have a way to tailor your online experience and offers based on who your ideal audience is.
Speaking of improving the online experience for your visitors, we can’t miss Hotjar.
Hotjar offers a free starter plan that lets you see how website visitors use your site. From the most common places, they click to how far along they scroll and where they move their mouse.
Not only is this super cool, but it also lets you gradually improve your site’s performance and conversion rate.
For example, seeing that most people scroll through only 50% of your page, you know it’s a good idea to include your best deals near the top of the screen.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With Hotjar, you’ll be able to benchmark your website’s performance and continually improve it. This way, both you and your customers get a better experience on the web.
MailChimp is a pioneering online tool when it comes to email marketing.
For years, MailChimp has helped large and small companies communicate with their customers and leads via email. They developed a particular strength when it comes to online selling so the platform is widely used in the eCommerce space.
With MailChimp’s free plan, you can create beautiful email templates and run automated email campaigns. It’s a great way to offer promotions that entice your leads and customers to try out your activity or come back again over time.
If you like keeping things simple, Gmass is another email automation service that’s free of charge for up to 50 recipients a day. All you need is a Gmail account and a spreadsheet with email contacts to get started.
Gmass is a Gmail extension and it uses Google Sheets to pull out your list of contacts. This means it’s especially loved by Google fans.
As long as you include a name and/or other details in the spreadsheet, Gmass can personalize each email without you having to do it manually.
So if you’re a Google fan looking for a quick and easy way to send personalized emails in bulk, Gmass is a great free option.
See a pattern here? Some of the best free ways to market your activity business come from Google.
The Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) helps you optimize your website’s visibility online.
Among other things, you can analyze Google search clicks and test how visible your online content is (i.e. how easy it is to understand for search engines).
This helps you learn more about your target audience and how they find you online. Knowing this information, you’ll be well-equipped to fix issues and make sure people can easily find you and buy your activity online.
To make sure your potential customers find and visit your website it has to be optimized for Google. Most of the online traffic is generated via search engines so playing by their rules is essential for your online success.
The business tools provided by Ryte show you all factors that have to be optimized to get good ranking results on Google. Ryte crawls your website in order to deliver suggestions for improvement. It pays attention to all relevant factors for Google like page speed, alt tags, headings, duplicate content, and many others. After the crawl, you just have to evaluate the suggestions and change your website accordingly and you are all set up to be found on Google.
Now that we’re going in the SEO realm, we can’t miss Ahrefs. Boasting “the best and most complete data in the industry”, they help you research competitors and grow your online search traffic.
Among other things, Ahref’s free version lets you see the top search results for a given keyword (let’s say “segway berlin”). Then it shows you the estimated traffic to top-ranking pages. You also get a “difficulty score” which indicates how hard it is to beat the top results.
That’s a small part of Ahref’s full capabilities but even that’s enough to start improving your online presence. Once you know the keywords to rank for and the traffic you can expect, it’s much easier to predict your return on investment from content marketing.
If social media is a central part of your marketing strategy, you’ve likely heard of Buffer.
Instead of posting on each of your social accounts manually, Buffer lets you do it once and then works its magic. Your content will automatically get pushed to all your social accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The free plan lets you connect up to 3 accounts and comes with other nice features like scheduling and reviewing basic stats.
Hootsuite is another tool that lets you manage multiple social media accounts at once.
While the free plan is similar to Buffer’s (above), Hootsuite is a more comprehensive platform suited for heavy social media use.
So if you run a large and popular activity, Hootsuite will give you the extra capabilities that a social media team needs.
If you design images, icons, and edit photos often, Canva is a great free alternative to software like Photoshop.
You can choose from a ton of templates, free images, and icons to use anywhere across your marketing. From logos to social media and blog posts.
So if your design needs are not super heavy, try out Canva and see if it makes things easier for you.
If you want to provide a great customer experience, getting regular feedback is crucial.
Typeform is a popular tool that lets you create beautiful forms and surveys. Their focus is on making data collection a breeze for you and a delight to your customers.
So when someone books your activity online, it’s a great way to use their email and send them a quick Typeform about their experience. The best and most powerful insights will always come from your customers.
Well, not really free but you do get a credit when you sign up (use this link). By using Google Ads (formerly Adwords) you can place your ads for selected keywords. These ads will be presented to your customers as soon as they search for these terms. You only get charged for actual clicks on your ad, so even with a small budget, you can be successful using Google Ads.
Today we looked at a comprehensive suite of free tools to help you market your activity.
We covered attracting more traffic with SEO tools like Ahrefs and social media services like Buffer. We also looked at how you can drive more sales and repeat business with email tools like Gmass. To top it all off, we explored how to analyze your website performance with tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar.
We hope at least one of these services will become part of your marketing tools arsenal and change your business for the better.
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