It’s sometimes hard not to get discouraged about comms capacity when you work in the not-for-profit sector. Our budgets are small and so are our teams. What that usually means is that special projects move forward very slowly (as we can find the time), budgets are sometimes cut, and the work has to be done for cheap or free.
But, since starting this course, I’ve been feeling really inspired to find and use as many free or cheap services/platforms as I can to help amp up our SEO, increase engagement on our website or blog, and uncover and fix issues that are affecting people’s user experience. I’ve been on an absolute tear lately — I can’t believe how many amazing free tools there are that I didn’t know about!
Here are just four of the tools I’ve come across that offer out-of-the-box thinking/approaches to improving online engagement:
Built With is a site that allows you to explore which sites use which tools and platforms on their sites. Say there’s a website that you really like, and you want to model your shopping cart or user engagement tools after theirs. You head over to builtwith.com, type in the URL of said site and find out what they’ve used to build out their functionality.
Domain Hunter Plus is a free Chrome extension that helps you to find broken links. This is a great way to increase your link-backs on other sites, as you can reach out to the owners of these sites and offer to replace the broken links with your own content.
Ahrefs is a site that allows you to research competitors in your online niche, see exactly where they’re succeeding (and why!) and gives you clues as to how you can better compete in your market.
SEM Rush is another competitor research tool that provides analytical data and customized reports on the other organizations working in your online space, how they’re performing and what they’re doing to get there.
As you can see, there are LOTS of useful tools out there that are either free or affordable, and I’m definitely capitalizing on it.
Are there any tools that you’re using for website optimization that I’ve left out? Comment with links to them below!