Bernadette Schwerdt (pictured below) is an online marketing specialist and author of ‘How to Build an Online Business’ (Wiley). In this guest post, Schwerdt reveals her pick of the tech tools every marketer should have in their kitbag…
For the last two years I have had the pleasure of being on the judging panel for the ORIAs, the Online Retailers Industry Awards. They like the Oscars, but for online business. Being a judge, I get to read all the award applications and see what’s ‘under the hood’ – so to speak – of how these incredible entrepreneurs took their startups from zero to hero.
Let me tell you folks, reading those applications is like getting a PhD in entrepreneurship, digital marketing and web development, all at once. I’d like to share a few of those insights here. They’ll fast track your learning curve and help you achieve greater success more quickly. That’s worth reading about, right?
This is a doozy. Want to know how much website traffic your biggest competitor is getting? Just plug their website URL into the site and it’ll tell you everything you want to know about that site – and more. You can benchmark your website against any competitor in the world to see how well you are really doing in terms of overall visits, time on site, bounce rate and page views per visit. You can see any website’s organic and paid keywords, trending keywords, how much traffic they generate and discover the search ads associated with them. Powerful stuff.
- Hot Jar
If you really want to get serious about user testing you need to know about Hot Jar. This heat map testing software tracks eye movements, and reveals exactly where on your website people are looking. For example, do they look at the headline or the image first? Do they scan the copy or read each word? Do they use the site nav or the search bar? The heat map shows you where users look and how they intuitively use the site, which means you can design the site with users in mind, not the other way around.
- Zen Desk
In the online world, people want instant attention and if you can’t give it to them, they’ll go to someone who can. But what if you can’t afford to have a raft of staff on call 24/7 to deliver that level of service? That’s where Zen Desk comes in. They’ll provide a virtual team of customer service officers to answer queries, respond to emails, answer phones and much more. If you need to offer a greater level of service than you can reasonably afford, then Zen Desk may be the right solution for you.
- Dragon Dictation
My personal favourite tech tool is the speech-to-text app, Dragon Dictation. It’s hardly a world-shattering app but if you need to respond quickly to client or staff queries, this little app is priceless. For example, I can speak faster than I type, so when I want to send an email or write some copy, I don’t have to pick up a pen or hit the keyboard. I just speak and the app translates the speech into text. It offers an accurate and super-efficient way to communicate complex ideas quickly without having to type them out. I love it.
So there you have it. Four nifty little tools some of Australia’s top digital mavericks use that’s helped them achieve incredible success in such a short time. Look these tools up and give them a go. Whilst you may not win an ORIA (or Oscar) for your efforts, you’ll find these little tech tools to be worth their weight in gold.