One of the core ingredients to any online business is a solid website. If you've been in business for very long, you may be able to relate to the fact that you'll never, ever be done optimizing and improving your site. We'll always be striving for more subscribers, better engagement, more useful content, better converting calls-to-action and so much more. Lucky for us there are some really useful, and wait for it...FREE, tools out there to help us on our quest.
Here's a breakdown of three I'm really into right now:
Launchrock is probably the quickest, easiest way to set up a website intended to start building an audience. The site builder is simple and intuitive--you describe your idea, upload a nice image and point your domain name to the site. Launchrock then provides a simple form asking potential customers to sign up to be notified of the pending launch of your product. In less than an hour, you can have an great site that helps you build a list of potential customers and prospects.
We've been working on a major change at my online marketing company VerticalResponse, and we've been using LaunchRock to collect e-mail addresses for folks that want to get the scoop, or be a part of a beta. We're loving it.
Cost: Free with no limits to how many e-mail addresses you can collect.
We regularly use tools like Optimizely to test our landing pages and homepage of our site, but when I discovered FiveSecondTest I was intrigued. The site is a crowd sourced usability test for your home page, landing page, e-mail marketing, or your app. Here's how it works:
- You upload a screenshot or mockup of your page, app, etc.
- You pre-load a few questions for testers to answer.
- Then the fun begins. Testers have five seconds to view your image and must then answer the questions you have set.
- FiveSecondTest collects all of the responses for you, extracts the frequent keywords and then presents the data with easy-to-understand graphs.
You can also participate by taking a minute to serve as a tester and get free testing points for doing it. It's pretty eye-opening to see how sites are presented and just how much there is to digest in five short seconds. It can make you think about your own site through a different filter.
Cost: Free and paid options.
Besides having a tent full of cocktails and fun at SXSW, Conduit enables you to create a mobile website and mobile apps in a snap. With so much web browsing being done on mobile devices, it's a no brainer to get on the mobile site bus now and thanks to the Conduit folks you can do it by simply copying an auto-generated code into your regular site. Anyone that visits your site on a mobile device will be redirected to your mobile site--just like that. Conduit's mobile app maker is equally as friendly with a nice selection of designs and templates, you can customize your app to complement your company look and feel and you're good to go. Where was this when we built our mobile app?
Cost: Free and paid options.
Got any other cool website tools to add to my list? Share away in the comments, I'm always game to try something new!