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When we think digital marketing, we generally think about quiet guys sitting behind computer screens looking at tons of data and making weird noises when they see a spike in activity.

This isn’t very accurate, though based on how our office looks sometimes, it isn’t exactly inaccurate either. Anyway, we got a few digital marketers to share what are some of the free tools they use and how it can be effective for you.

Open Site Explorer (https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/)

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Open Site Explorer homepage

This free-to-use backlink and spam analysis tool is a must-use for all digital marketers. It quickly analyses your website to test your existing backlinks to identify what works for you and what is actually damaging your online ranking.

Pro-tip: you can also use this to test your competitor’s website rankings and see how you can up your game and what has worked for them in terms of backlinks.

Google trends (https://trends.google.com.sg)

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What Singaporeans are interested in on the 4th of Dec 2017

With our limited attention span and the wide variety of topics being discussed online, services like Google Trends helps us quickly and easily track mass consumer interest through their search. There are no numbers, but gives you an idea of the hive mind of your local community.

Pro-tip: This is a great tool for news websites and blogs looking to tap into relevant trends for their audience. You can identify and then create content relevant to the consumer searches.

Canva (https://www.canva.com/)

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Design is simple with Canva

Huge Canva fanboy here. Be warned. I will fight anyone who doesn’t love Canva. This has been the greatest online design tool ever created for the poor marketer. Social media templates, infographics, simple design, and so much more. Thank you Canva.

Pro-tip: Their templates are awesome, and even design-illiterates can make a simple, but professional looking graphic in minutes. This is great for social media posts if you want to make them look like it was done by an agency.

Google Analytics (https://analytics.google.com/)

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Another Google product we need

We all need to know who visits our website, where they come from and what they do. Short of running into the street and asking people, we just use Google Analytics. How this works is, that it analyses all traffic to the site and gives digital marketers an insight into the UX, analytics, and basic user behaviour. It is usually for campaign measurement, to see if users visit your website or microsite, even focused on your call-to-action page.

Pro-tip: Campaigns need to be tracked, so using Google Analytics you can track visits before a campaign and visits during the campaign to showcase the success. It is also great for simple AB-testing, to identify which version has a better conversion rate.

Buffer (https://buffer.com/)

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Buffer’s home page

Buffer has a free-forever version, which I use and use extensively. This lets me connect a profile from each network (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and to schedule up to 10 posts for each network. This does limit it, but if you’re active enough, it is a great way to keep your social media platforms manageable.

Pro-tip: If you’ve got a global audience, schedule the same content twice a day to match the peak times for different time zones. This will limit repetition and reach a much wider audience. 

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Well here are some simple tools to start you on your path to becoming a proper digital marketer. These are free and quite effective ways to help your brand, blog, or business get that competitive advantage.

This article originally appeared on Tech Collective and is republished with their permission. For more articles from Tech Collective, click here!