Better, Faster, and (More) Profitable: Vital Online Tools for Any Successful Business

There’s a lot that goes on behind-the-scenes to keep a business operating online. It’s not just a matter of slapping together a website and calling it a day. Take all the normal essentials of the operations and then double up.

You’re now at the helm of dozens of essential tools that will help the business:

  • Turn a profit
  • Grow
  • Meet customer demands

There are your typical online tools and then the ones that make all efforts possible. There are many to choose from but if you were to pick a sample, then what you’d find are these essentials…

Website Hosting

The best website hosting is one which provides an ideal balance between pricing, features, uptime, and support. Most will lean toward using companies like BlueHost or HostGator because of their great reputation and services. The host also comes packed with backend tools for business including email services and eCommerce solutions.

Why it matters:

  • Speedy websites increase engagement
  • Stable uptime reduces bounce rate
  • Site data (content) attracts leads
  • Platforms, plug-ins, and add-ons allow for transactions

The server is where your data is stored which, besides the domain, makes it the foundation for everything site related.

CR Channels

CR (customer relationship) tools create the communication channels. In the past, it was limited to emails but has since evolved into comments, social media interaction, streaming video, live chat, and VOIP. The options reduce barriers for visitors and customers to get in touch (and vice versa).

Why it matters:

  • Customers are likely to spend more when engaged on social media
  • Live features expedite response time to reduce waiting and boost satisfaction
  • Most prefer online chat before calling a company
  • Public communication promotes inclusion and transparency

Popular tools for these communication channels (beyond the obvious – like an email client) include SalesForce, HootSuite, Skype, Olark, or Vee24.

Keyword Research & Planners

The keywords are what helps search engines pair what’s said to what’s offered. People query search & social using phrases and keywords and get delivered relevant results. A lot of business owners and teams rely on guesswork in keyword selection. The better approach is to use research and planner tools to pull data from analytics and put it in action.

Why it matters:

  • Correct keyword usage results in relevance thus higher rankings
  • Reveals content ideas
  • Allows for organic, intertwined growth by leveraging popular pages

The second part goes to the planner which dictates how the keyword selection is best used for content development, social media marketing, advertising, and search engine optimization.

Training (Else Outsourcing)

In-house training takes longer to establish but has the greatest potential in the contribution of growth. Whereas outsourcing is a solution for quick (and inexpensive) results but can be troublesome to manage.

Why it matters:

  • Expand into new markets or improve existing offers via new ideas & understanding
  • Reduce project time and stress by spreading the tasks

Platforms like Udemy, edX, Lynda, and Coursera are a great introduction to training about new tools, platforms, and strategies. Outsourcing is favorably done using platforms like Upwork, 99Designs, Elance, Freelancer, or via job postings on Indeed, Monster, or Dice.

Choices, Choices, Choices

The only problem with the number of available tools is the distraction they’re likely to bring the “chasing the shiny object” syndrome.

Use a mix of tracking and reporting to find opportunities in improvement. Then seek the appropriate tools that will fill these gaps and encourage a boost in productivity.