Building a website requires you to use different tools and resources.
Tools make the work easier and can systemically repeat many tasks to free up your time to take those actions that move the needle in your business.
You can avoid many mistakes by employing tools as you build your website. This is especially true if you are just starting out in the online space and isn't very competent on the technical side of things.
However, most business owners make the mistake of mindlessly building their websites and fixing problems as they go.
While I am not entirely against learning by doing and correcting mistakes as you proceed, it can be a waste of time and money in some occasions and can be an obstacle to making progress fast.
We all know that success loves speed and so any task or procedure that you can eliminate in a process to achieve an end should be done away with. That is why you should use tools.
So, how do you choose the right tools to help you build your business' website? Here are some tips:
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1. Find Tools Based on Need
Businesses have unique needs. Your choice of tools should not be informed by what everyone else is using but what exactly your site needs.
Goal attainment strategies and processes become clearer when you clarify your goals and break them down to specific actions you'll take to reach the target. For example, when you are clear on the actions to focus on, you'll know whether your focus will be paid search advertising, media buying, SEO or content marketing.
All these marketing strategies require specific tools to make them a success. SEO, for instance, requires you to monitor your SERP rankings. Rank tracking tools come in all shapes, and sizes and your choice will be dependent on the number of domains you want to track, the number of keywords, how many times you want to refresh your dashboard in a day and how many team members a tool allows on board.
Ultimately, you want to prioritize your goals and strategies, so you are only using the necessary tools at the right time.
2. Compile Resources and Tools to Choose From
To make better decisions, you need to evaluate the pros and cons of a decision. To do this effectively, you have to know the benefits and drawbacks of the choice.
You should, therefore, compile a list of three tools for each category of your business that needs a tool. The content management column, for instance, could have WordPress, Joomla! and Wix.
Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each choice given what you want to achieve with your site and choose the option with the most benefits and the least opportunity cost.
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3. Read Reviews
After you've narrowed down to a few options, it is time to see what other people, especially paying users, think of the tools.
Independent, unbiased reviews will give you a clear picture of what to expect from using a tool. The best tools consistently get positive reviews. There may be a few negative reviews, but that is expected as no company or service can please everybody.
When choosing a hosting provider, for instance, you can compare the genuine user reviews for Bluehost, SiteGround, and Dreamhost. The web has a lot of such comprehensive reviews for almost all resources and tools. Actively look for them and you'll find a good unbiased review that can inform your decision.
4. Use Free Trials
Taking free trials is the best way I have found to evaluate if a tool is a good fit for your business needs. You employ the device as you would if you were a paying user and so you have adequate data and hands-on experience to see how well the tool suits your business.
The good news is that the trial period is always longer than a week, so you have much time to work with. Trial periods can be seven days, 14 days or even one month. That is an adequate time to test drive any tool.
Moz, one of the most comprehensive tools, for example, gives you a 30-day free trial. The same goes for Raven Tools. You'll be able to decide on whether or not to continue using the tool after the trial.
Systematizing processes and tasks will help you improve your productivity and also do those tasks that you cannot do manually. Tools are a great way to do this.
Do not be overwhelmed by the great number of tools available. When you clarify your needs and set priorities, you'll have a clear picture of what tools to use.
You can further enhance your decision-making process by compiling your options and weighing their pros and cons, reading reviews and finally signing up for a free trial to take the tool for a test drive.