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15 free tools for SMEs and startups to help in digital marketing

By Navneet Kaushal

Every small business owner is well aware that, it is expensive to build an online business without the help of digital marketing tools.

They also know that these various digital marketing tools greatly help them with their everyday tasks.

Startups are all about getting the most bang for their buck, particularly when it comes to marketing. Hence, they should have sufficient expertise coupled with a sold digital marketing strategy.

I have shared below 15 such free digital marketing tools that will prove very useful in the implementation of an effective digital marketing strategy.

SMEs and startups entrepreneurs can easily learn to master these free digital marketing tools, and it will only boost their productivity.

Google Analytics


Launched in 2005, Google Analytics is undoubtedly the world's most recognized free web analytics service. Thousands use it regularly. It has been setting industry standards by combining multiple analytical features for mobile as well as traditional user


To put it plainly, Google Analytics must be the very first feature that you ought to install on your site. It will record just about everything, the moment that you go live and will track for you what is working and what isn't. What makes it unique are its tracking codes… The number of metrics that you get is incredible and to think that you get all of this for free.

To put it plainly, it the backbone of any marketing campaign… and will provide you with just about any information that you need. If you don't have it, get it installed right away.

Keyword Planner


Keyword Planner is a focused version of a combination of the Google AdWords Estimator Tool and Keyword Tool… It is one of the best research tools available and is ideal for SEO purposes. There are multiple metrics pertaining to keywords, but the tools focus is on a keyword's traffic volume and competitiveness... So, it is of no surprise, that it is the core for commencing any new search campaigns or expanding existing campaigns.
You can search for relevant ideas pertaining to your keyword, assess the performance of a keyword, or try creating a combination of new keywords and a variety of options. It also has a free AdWords tool… for which the Keyword Planner helps in selecting competitive bids to use with your AdWords campaigns. The Keyword Planner will be of a big help, whether you're a beginner or an expert in digital marketing and online advertising.


You can search for relevant ideas pertaining to your keyword, assess the performance of a keyword, or try creating a combination of new keywords and a variety of options. It also has a free AdWords tool… for which the Keyword Planner helps in selecting competitive bids to use with your AdWords campaigns. The Keyword Planner will be of a big help, whether you're a beginner or an expert in digital marketing and online advertising.



mo helps provide more information to digital marketers through valuable content. It is obvious that content marketing is not only essential to SEO, but to digital marketing as well. The means that you must have access to useful and relevant content, and you must also stand out from the crowd.


A particular topic or keyword may have done well in the past, and many people may have shared it… but if it has lost its popularity, then you are wasting time promoting it. It is here where comes in…

Just input the key phrase or long-tail keyword that you wish to promote… and you get a list of the most popular posts (related to your niche) that are currently trending. All you now have to do is to draft a suitable marketing strategy.



ite is one of those early multi social networking clients, which integrated most of the popular Social Media platforms. This helps businesses, SMEs, and startups to execute amazing social media strategies across their organizations… so that their message is converted into relationships that matter.
This helps you manage all your Social Media accounts from one place, which itself save considerable time. The Free version permits the user to connect and manage up to three social media profiles…and comes with a 30-day risk free period.


Hootsuite is an excellent SEO analysis tool for your social media accounts. In short, it is almost a necessary marketing tool for SMEs and startups in this digital age.



SimilarWeb, is an online digital market intelligence tool… that provides traffic and in-depth marketing insights for any website. With a single click, users can not only get a quick overview of a site's ranking and reach... but also its user engagement. By entering a specific website URL, or doing a category search by industry or country, users get access to data from the top 50 websites.


The tool displays Global, US as well as category rank… with snapshots of audience breakdowns… by countries and traffic sources. It also provides a rich visual dashboard with a wealth of data and metrics. While the free version enables you to compare two websites, you can compare up to five websites with the PRO Version.

This will help users discover their market position by comparing key digital metrics, with direct competitors and leading companies… and also craft suitable marketing strategies.



Boomerang is one of the more unique and good email marketing services… that allow you to monitor your full-email campaigns with ease.

Boomerang, an effective plugin for Gmail, will schedule outgoing emails to hit consumer inboxes at an optimum time… You can also set up the "boomerang" effect where you can have the outgoing email sent back to you when you haven't gotten a reply from the original recipient… thus making it an effective email follow-up reminder.

Boomerang not only allows you to create and monitor your email campaigns with ease, but is also easy to integrate with your social media accounts… it also comes with a variety of reports, help, and support options. Highly recommended for email marketing, regardless of the user's level of experience with marketing and the internet.



The SEMrush Tool helps to research your competitors' keywords and helps you dominate your niche in search rankings. Most digital marketers have indicated that SEMrush as one of the best SEO and competition analysis tool out there. Most of them also feel that it needs some expertise to get used to it.

Developed by SEOQuake, SEMrush tool is an awesome tool to analyze your competitor's website traffic… check their backlinks, find better if not suitable keywords and also helps your fix any website issues…. In addition to a lot more.

SEMrush analyzes over 120 million keywords and 39 million domains in their US database alone… making it the perfect place to start your keyword research. It is of little surprise that why these 61 experts selected SEMrush as the Best Tool for Keyword Research.



Hotjar is a powerful marketing tool that has been designed specifically for webmasters to analyze and study their traffic better. That is to say, it is a complete website and mobile analytics tool… that enables web developers, analysts, digital marketers, and UI developers etc… to optimize the usability and conversion rate of their sites.

To put it in a nutshell, Hotjar combines both feedback and analysis tools to give users understandings into how visitors interact with their website, how they could enhance that visitor experience and finally, what they can do to increase conversion rates.

Hotjar adds a tracking script and integrates into your website, similar to how Google Analytics does. For WordPress sites you can either install the tracking code yourself or with the help of a plugin.



Canva is a free simple graphic design tool for non-designers to create info-graphics as well as other presentations, visuals and graphics.

Canva has a huge range of info-graphics, images, visuals, layouts, templates… for your Social Media, Content Marketing, Blogging, and at times even Advertising needs. It is a much-needed free tool that simplifies the design process.

While some of them are free, the others cost a dollar each. The best part is that you can upload your images and apply text from using a gallery of fonts and text styles… and when finished, you can download these images or share them on Social Media.



SimplyMeasured is a marketing tool that is used by SMEs, startups as well as large corporations. It provides them social media analytics and metrics… to measure their online media campaigns, social media performance, etc…. and also assist them in the monitoring of online mentions of specific keywords which triggers for specific instances.

SimplyMeasured makes decision making a lot simpler and which eventually leads to extraordinary results.


Charlie is a must have tool… as it easily organizes your digital media collection. Just before a meeting, it compiles just about all the important info about the people that you are scheduled to meet, and stores them in your organizer or diary.

It makes sure that you have all the info to project… an awesome impression of you to that company or the executive that you are about to meet. You will have most of their personal info, such as common hobbies that you share, personal preferences, and their professional history, and much more…, which breaks the ice in any meeting.

Most successful people all have a secretary or assistants to do this work; the only difference is that Charlie takes over here, helping you make an awesome impression. Check it out!


Social media platforms have also played an important part in digital marketing. Likewise, businesses manage multiple Social Media platforms and their activities. The SocioBoard platform being an open source tool makes it very easy for digital marketers, SMEs, and startups.


SocioBoard, is one of the most prominent and best open-source social media management tools that is currently available in the markets. Understanding the importance of social media platforms and the various changing trends of social media, SocioBoard ensures users to get the maximum out of Social Media advertising.



Wistia provides online professional video hosting services… for businesses, individuals, SMEs, and startups. It is very much a pro-business oriented service, and helps SMEs to grow their brand and business. It tracks marketing performances through its built in metrics, analytics, and video marketing tools.


Wistia also has tools for customizing videos, building brand awareness, increasing traffic via video SEO, and generating new leads. Video has also become an important part in optimizing your content marketing strategy. You can also upload your own videos to Wistia's video hosting services and let its professional video marketing services take over. It is also very easy to upload, share, and embed videos.



The quiet giant of content marketing, SlideShare is the biggest, albeit a simple photo slideshow software, that provides professional results, Simply put, SlideShare is the " YouTube of PowerPoint presentations",

SlideShare gets over 130 million-page views and over 60 million visits every month. It is among the 200 most visited websites and is also the largest community for sharing presentations, Apart from presentations, SlideShare also supports PDFs, documents, webinars and videos.

SlideShare application is one of the simplest, easiest photo slideshow creators with all-round versatility. It offers a variety of input and output choices as well as editing tools with images, effects, transitions, and music.



Rapportive shows just about everything connected with the contacts in your Gmail inbox. To put it plainly, Rapportive will put up the social media details of the email sender.

This is a free blogging tool and is a blessing in disguise for those who receive tons of Gmail from you-don't-know-who! Rapportive helps you get a peep into who is behind the email address. It also allows you connect with Social Media profiles of these emailers. In addition, it is the perfect tool if you are contemplating to bring LinkedIn functionality to your Gmail inbox.

The above mentioned are only a few of the many digital marketing tools that are available for SMEs and startups.

While some of them, if not most are free… some of these tools are definitely worth upgrading if your budget and digital marketing work increases. They will definitely pay off at some point in time. Whatever be the case, you can considerably improve your marketing capabilities and achieve better results for your company.

Remember, you don't have to break the bank to get hold of these free SEO digital marketing tools. I wish you great success, and hope that the above tools help you in your digital marketing efforts. Please feel free to add any other tool other than the above-mentioned 15 free digital marketing tools for SMEs and Startups, in the comments section below.

The author is a first generation entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of one of India’s most award winning SEO Agency, Page Traffic. He also works as an advisor and consultant with many large companies. He helps value-conscious businesses build site traffic, increase the user base, and boost web sales and bolster customer satisfaction. He can be reached @navneetkaushal on Twitter.

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