The 10 Top Social Media Tools Brands are Using to Succeed in 2019

4 months, 7 days ago

Marketers are faced with an ever-growing list of responsibilities. From social media marketing to customer experience and advertising, it can be a challenge to stay on top of everything.

Luckily for us, there are a plethora of great social media tools on the market to help you succeed in your role and stay productive.

Tools for content curation, discovery, scheduling, publishing, analytics, and more can be used to enhance your effectiveness.

This week on The Science of Social Media, we’re exploring the top 10 social media tools brands are using to succeed in 2019. Utilizing these tools in your daily workflows will help improve results across the board.

Let’s dive in!

The 10 top social media tools to try in 2019

Here are some of the most-used social media tools used by some of the world’s top brands:

#1: BuzzSumo
#2: Google Trends
#3: Buffer Publish
#4: Canva
#5: Unsplash
#6: Animoto
#7: Feedly
#8: Buffer Reply
#9: Native Analytics
#10: Todoist
Honorable Mentions

1. BuzzSumo

Social Media Tools: BuzzSumo

Website: https://buzzsumo.com/

Pricing: Plans start at $79/month

Details:

BuzzSumo is a tool that lets you find the most shared content and trending influencers. You can use it to analyze which content performs best for any topic and all you need to do to get started is to search for a topic or a domain.

Through BuzzSumo you’re able all gather a better understanding of your impact on social media and develop smarter content strategies by seeing which of your own pages were engaged with the most. BuzzSumo will break the results down by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit shares.

This provides the added benefit of being able to see which articles are performing well across the web without having to constantly monitor multiple social channels.

Similar tools: Ahrefs, Meltwater, Mention

2. Google Trends

Social Media Tools: Google Trends

Website: https://trends.google.com/trends/

Pricing: Free

Details:

Google Trends is a completely free tool that Google created to help anyone search for trending topics online.

Brands use it to monitor notable things that are happening in the world. Many professionals use this as a way to discover and share information related to what’s most popular right now.

You can also use Google Trends to monitor keywords to see if they are trending and how their current volume compares to previous months and years. You can then use this information to inform your content and social media marketing strategy.

Similar tools: Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, WordStream

3. Buffer Publish

Social Media Tools: Buffer

Website: https://buffer.com/

Pricing: Free (paid plans start at $15/month)

Details:

Buffer is a social media marketing platform designed to make it easy for businesses and marketing teams to schedule posts, analyze performance, and manage all their accounts in one place.

For example, Buffer allows you to set up a schedule for your social media profiles, and after you add content to your Buffer queue, it will publish at the times you’ve designated.

Buffer also provides a robust analytics dashboard so that you can see which of your posts are most popular on social media, and easily Rebuffer them to your queue.

In addition to our web application, we also have both Android and iOS apps as well as a fantastic Chrome Extension that’s great for Buffering while you’re browsing the web or on the go.

Similar tools: Hootsuite, Falcon.io, Sprout Social

4. Canva

Social Media Tools: Canva

Website: https://www.canva.com/

Pricing: Free (Canva for Work starts at $12.95/month)

Details:

Another fantastic tool that absolutely every brand or business online should know about is Canva.

Many times social media managers and marketers need to be able to create beautiful images without a designer. It’s what makes up part of a great social media strategy.

Canva is the tool so many marketers rely on for making great-looking social media images quickly. You can use the ready-made templates, icons, and illustrations to make your images look professional without having to do much of the actual design work.

Canva has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface plus a massive library of over two million graphic elements.

Similar tools: Crello, Buffer Stories Creator, Bannersnack

5. Unsplash

Social Media Tools: Unsplash

Website: https://unsplash.com/

Pricing: Free

Details:

One of our favorite tools in the design, photography, and video space is Unsplash. Unsplash is a massive library of free professional photos you can use — free!

Unsplash photos are really popular with many social media marketers because they can help give your content a professional, polished look.

And there are so many Unsplash collections to explore. We recommend finding a couple of creators whose photos you really enjoy and following them so you can always find their latest work.

Similar tools: Pexels, Storyblocks, Videvo

6. Animoto

Social Media Tools: Animoto

Website: https://animoto.com/

Pricing: Plans start at $5/month

Details:

Animoto is one of our go-to social media tools for quickly creating stunning marketing videos.

Their video maker turns your photos and video clips into professional content in just a few minutes. They describe it as “fast and shockingly simple,” – and we would agree with that.

There are so many benefits to being able to quickly create engaging marketing videos. Video is a content format that we know a lot of people struggle with, but Animoto helps to bridge that gap.

We’ve used it to create quick recaps of recent blog posts for social media, videos promoting a big announcement, and videos around product launches.

Using Animoto, there are plenty of opportunities for you to add value to your audiences’ lives.

Similar tools: PowToonAdobe Spark, Crello

7. Feedly

Social Media Tools: Feedly

Website: https://feedly.com/

Pricing: Free (paid plans start at $5.41/month)

Details:

Our next tool is Feedly. Feedly is great for so many things. Maybe you work with influencers and want to follow their blogs, or you need to keep up on industry news, or any other reasons that you might visit several websites. Instead, you can add all those RSS feeds to Feedly and see them there. A huge time saver.

Feedly is also great for content ideation. You can add several of the blogs, writers, and publishers whose content you like to one feed and see them in one glimpse.

It even has a Buffer Publish integration so you can schedule your content to go out right from the Feedly dashboard.

We also want to give Flipboard a quick shoutout here, too. While it’s not an RSS aggregator like Feedly, you can follow topics on Flipboard and it curates the world’s news stories to help you stay informed.

We’ve used Feedly to follow specific influencers and industry news, and Flipboard to keep up to date with bigger stories.

Similar tools: Flipboard, Quora, Pocket

8. Buffer Reply

Social Media Tools: Reply

Website: https://buffer.com/reply/

Pricing: Plans start at $50/month

Details:

This next tool is one of our very own at Buffer: Reply. I think we’ve mentioned it a few times on the show but we’ve never gone too deep.

Buffer Reply makes social media engagement easy for marketing and support teams who need to respond to social conversations. It’s all in one inbox.

What’s great is that through Reply you can see social conversations across social networks:

On Twitter, you can see public tweets that @ mention your handle, direct messages, and any searches you have set up for keywords or hashtags.
On Facebook, you can see comments on your Facebook Page posts and ads, visitor posts, private messages, and reviews.
And for Instagram business profiles, you can see comments on your posts and ads as well.

It’s a single inbox where you can see all of these conversations happening. It’s a huge time saver. In our case, our customer support team and social media manager, Bonnie, spend a lot of time in Reply every day, and we know that when someone reaches out, they would be getting an answer from us.

Similar tools: Hootsuite, Mention, Sprout Social 

9. Native Analytics

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention native analytics for each social platform, which is completely free.

Let’s quickly go over the top three, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Facebooks Analytics

Facebook Analytics

Under the Insights tab on your Facebook Page, there is just so much information. Everything you ever wanted to know about your engagement, number of likes and followers, how your posts are doing, and, of course, Facebook’s Pages to Watch which lets you compare the performance of your Page and posts with similar Pages on Facebook.

You also get insights for Facebook Groups so if you run a Group definitely check those out.

Instagram Analytics

Instagram Analytics

With Instagram Insights, you can see activity around how frequently users interact with your posts, see how your posts are performing over time, and find out where your audience is from as well as their age range, gender, and when they are online.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics

Starting with Twitter, their analytics can reveal a lot of valuable data about your audience, how well you’re engaging your following, and what your top performing content is.

All you have to do is go to analytics.twitter.com to log in and start learning more about your audience and their interests.

10. Todoist

Social Media Tools: Todoist

Website: https://todoist.com/

Pricing: Free (plans start at $3/month)

Details:

The last tool we want to mention today is related to your productivity as someone managing social media: Todoist.

Specifically, within Todoist, I have created a free Social Media Calendar by Buffer that you can use to make sure that your brand and business are posting to important social accounts on a regular basis.

This type of calendar is important because, by consistently posting great content, you’ll be able to grow your audience, increase engagement, and build a community online.

This sample social media calendar is based on real content and scheduling times from Buffer’s own social media accounts.

Similar tools: Wunderlist, Trello, Any.Do

Honorable mentions (more social media tools)

Although we couldn’t cover all of our favorite social media tools in this episode, we wanted to share some more of our favorites!

AdRoll
IFTTT
Zapier
Iconosquare
Quuu
Brand24
Buffer Analyze

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Hailley on Twitter and Hailley’s Website
Brian on Twitter and Brian’s Website

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 20,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

Read more: feedproxy.google.com

The Best Laptops for Graphic Designers 2018

7 months, 22 days ago

This article was contributed by DesignBold.

Graphic design is a challenging job that requires serious hardware and software. In the current digital nomad haze, laptop characteristics such as mobility and weight have also become extremely important. As with every profession, the laptop choice is always a subtle game of balance between performance and weight, large screen and portability, maximum features and affordable price.

Luckily, laptop providers produce products for different categories and professions. In this article, we’ll provide a general buying advice on how to choose the perfect laptop and list some of the best laptops for graphic designers on the market in 2018. Keep in mind that for simple social media graphics you don’t need impressive hardware power and online graphic design tools can run effectively on any computer.

Need more power or a bigger screen? See here for the best desktop computers for graphic designers.

As 2018 progresses, we will endeavor to update this list.

Related posts:

Best computers for designers
Best printers for designers
Best monitors for designers
Best tablets for designers
Best mouse for designers

Best Laptop for Graphic Design 2018

What factors define the best laptops for graphic designers?
Performance

Laptop performance and speed are the sum of three parts: processor, RAM and Storage Drive.

The processor is an integral part of a laptop that ensures that multiple open applications can run smoothly. There are numerous processors to choose from but here are the most suitable ones for graphic design related projects: Core i5, Core i7, AMD Ryzen and Intel Xeon.

RAM aka Random Access Memory is a hardware that stores data inside the computer. RAM stores data temporarily so, when you switch off the computer, all RAM data gets lost. RAM allows the processor to process more data, which can dramatically improve laptop performance.

Storage Drive or Hard Drive – unlike RAM, Storage Drive can store information permanently. SSD can ensure super-fast boot and wake time and better processor performance.

Screen

Perhaps, the most important part of a laptop selection process is choosing the right screen. A screen with higher resolution would mean better details and color accuracy. The size of a screen matters too. A larger screen makes tinkering with the design a lot easier. A 15-inch screen size is a golden standard in the graphic design world.

Keyboard and touchscreen

Graphic designers rarely do design only. They usually work in a team or with clients. So a convenient keyboard is a must. You don’t want to keep missing the keys and spend hours on editing your emails. Additionally, designers often use keyboard shortcuts so proper placement of keys and ergonomic design can be critical for your work speed.

Looking to buy a laptop with a touchscreen? There is no universal approach among designers when it comes to touchscreens. Some love them as they provide a quick and easy way to zoom in and out, others hate the touchscreens since they don’t add much to the experience. But, certainly, after some time, you get used to the touchscreen and it ceases to be a nuisance.

Battery Life

Most graphic designers love novelty, as it brings inspiration and new ideas. You probably have a favorite workspace, but also venture out to coffee shops or co-working spaces. The absence of plugs at your favorite coffee shop can sometimes be frustrating. But with a good battery, you can take your laptop wherever you go and get the work done, all the while enjoying the digital nomad freedom. 12-14 hours of battery life will get you as far as across the Atlantic and through a long productive day.

What is the best laptop for graphic design?

These are the top 8 best laptops for graphic design in 2018.

Apple Macbook Pro
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Dell XPS 15
Acer Predator or Aspire
Lenovo Flex 5
Asus ROG G752VS
HP ZBook Studio G4
Dell Inspirion 13.3″

1. Apple Macbook Pro

Apple Macbook Pro

If you are a creative you need to appear as such. Right? Personal brand image and operating system are the two main reasons why graphic designers choose Apple products. But the Apple MacBook Pro is also a powerful machine with its Intel i7 Quad Core processor and 16GB of RAM. However, this laptop is not for everyone. If you’re an avid Windows user, it will take some time for you to get used to the new system.

This laptop also doesn’t have any USB ports, which creatives might find uncomfortable. But for the outstanding design experience that Apple offers, and the courage to push its user base towards innovation and technology, the Apple MacBook Pro certainly deserves an ovation. Graphic designers will find AMD Radeon Pro Graphics and the high-resolution screen a pleasure to work with. The only drawback of this laptop is it’s a hefty price. See here for a list of expert recommendations.

Learn More

($2299+)

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface 2

The Surface book screen is smaller but the performance metrics of this laptop are on par with MacBook Pro. The laptop runs on Core i7 processor and with a screen resolution of 3000 x 2000, it’s the best laptop screen for sketching and creating graphics. The Surface Book is highly portable and can easily be transformed into a tablet. Add a touchscreen and the included stylus and you’ll get a laptop that is perfect for creatives who hate to overwork their fingers. It comes in 13.5 and 15″. To save some more cash you can go with the earlier Microsoft Surface models.

Learn More

($819-$1600+)

3. Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS

Dell has always been known for producing reliable bargain machines. But it has recently entered the graphic design space with a powerful and still affordable product. The Dell XPS 15 features a 15.6 inch display, runs on Core i7 CPU and has 16GB of RAM.

Dell might look too business-like for a designer’s taste but it delivers one of the best performances on the market. There are plenty of ports including an HDMI, two USBs, a Thunderbolt, and an SD card reader. Couple it with 512GB SSD and an amazing graphics card and you have a high performing laptop for a sweet price.

Jacob did an in-depth review in 2016 about the differences between the Dell XPS 13 Vs Macbook Pro. Also see number 8 on our list for a lighter, smaller, more affordable option.

Learn More

($1429-$1738)

4. Acer Predator or Acer Aspire

Predator Laptop

This laptop is classified as a Gaming Laptop, meaning it was created to process high-level graphics. As a graphic designer, the way your laptop displays graphics has a direct influence on the quality of your work. So it makes sense to look into Gaming Laptops. This one is equipped with Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.

Depending on your graphic design needs, the laptop comes in two sizes: the 17.3’’ and 15.6’’ screen size versions. The larger screen size version weighs 9.26 pounds, while the smaller size version weighs 8.16 pounds.

Learn More

($1049)

You could also consider their Acer Aspire 15″ which has similar specs at a cheaper price tag ($599), and a more business professional look.

5. Lenovo Flex 5

Lenovo Flex

Another laptop that combines reasonable price and outstanding quality, the Lenovo Flex 5 is equipped with a 14-inch screen, features a Intel Core i5 and possesses 8GB of RAM with 256GB of space which can be upgraded. While this laptop might not run as smoothly as MacBook Pro or Microsoft Surface Book, it still offers a great graphic design experience at a fraction of the price.

If you’re just starting in graphic design and don’t have much of a budget, this laptop is a perfect choice. Its performance is good enough for graphic design purposes and its screen display is of top-notch quality. You might find the touchpad too sensitive, but this can easily be solved with the help of an external mouse.

Learn More

($579)

6. Asus ROG G752VS

Asus Laptop

If you’re looking for a laptop with a unique design, then Asus ROG G752VS is your best bet. The laptop has the Armor Titanium and Plasma Copper surface which gives it an authentic, almost alien look. The laptop is also packed with high performance hardware such as Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX.

The battery life of this laptop is slightly over 5 hours, but for such an affordable price it’s a great laptop, that can become a hero at the meetings and showcase your work in the best light.

Learn More

($1599)

7. HP ZBook Studio G4 Ultrabook Mobile Workstation

HP Mobile Workstation

The company classifies this laptop as a “mobile workstation”. It’s equipped with Intel Core i7-7500U along with 32GB RAM and AMD FirePro W4190M graphics card. It’s one the most powerful machines on the market. Some designers might find the production capabilities of this laptop a little over the top, but for those who are dealing with 3D graphics, HP ZBook Studio provides a super fast work experience without taking all the valuable space on your office desk.

Learn More

($1939)

8. Dell Inspirion 13.3″

Dell Inspiron

For designers that travel a lot, a smaller, lighter laptop is ideal. Introducing the 2018 Dell Inspiron 13 which has a flexible 13.3″ touch display, an Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core CPU and 8GB memory. This is the perfect balance of performance and portability.

Learn More

($723)

So what is the best laptop for graphic designers in 2018?

Graphic designers tend to have a specific list of requirements for laptops. But rarely can you tick all the boxes from the list. More likely, you’ll spend hours researching all the different options and trying to find the best price-features combination.

The Apple MacBook Pro still remains the #1 preferred option for many designers due to its stunning design and top performance. But other brands are also catching up with high performance offers, that are no less pleasing to the eyes.

Related posts:

Best computers for designers
Best printers for designers
Best monitors for designers
Best tablets for designers
Best mouse for designers

This post was contributed by the DesignBold team. DesignBold is an online graphic design tool that aims to redefine the boundaries of design and technology, empowering all users and organizations to share their visions, products and services.

Read more: justcreative.com

New Generation Tool for 3D Printed Lithophanes is Free and Easy to Use

7 months, 25 days ago

According to Thomas Brooks, who has developed a free lithophane generation tool, Google Analytics show that the searches for lithophane-related subjects have doubled over the past three years. These searches increase even more in December, as people all around the world think that lithophanes are great Christmas gifts. They’re also an ever-expanding use case for 3D printing.

For those who are unaware, lithophanes, 3D printed or not, are thin (or not), transparent sheets of material, such as plastic, that reveal an image once a light is placed behind it. It’s fairly easy to create an STL file for a 3D printable lithophane these days, but LithophaneMaker, the new generation tool that Brooks created, takes it to the next level.

This free tool can automatically give lithophanes features that users would otherwise have to manually add later on, such as an interface adapter to a nightlight, a frame, or holes to hang the lithophane up by a string.

“So far, 116 unique users have used the tool and I estimate that it has saved people 170 hours of time. I have shared the tools on the Facebook groups “3D Printing”, “Lithophanes”, and “3D Printing Lithophanes”, and I have gotten a very good reception. These groups have helped me debug and improve the tool, and I think it’s ready for a larger audience,” Brooks told us.

Brooks is hoping to gain a larger audience for his LithophaneMaker, as “people genuinely appreciate the time this tool saves them.” He says that anyone can join the Facebook groups to search for the tools and put them to good use.

Night Light Lithophane Design Tool

Some of the most common sources of backlighting for lithophanes are night lights, sunlight, and LED strips, and LithophaneMaker can help you create lithophanes that are perfect for each and every one. While Thingiverse has models for several night light adapters, they might not fit your particular nightlight, and unless you manually combine the lithophane with the adapter using another software tool, you won’t achieve a one-piece lithophane. In addition, while you can use sunlight to backlight your lithophane by hanging it in the window, most generation tools for lithophanes don’t add the necessary hole.

“Either of these backlight options take time and effort to implement, but fortunately those steps are no longer necessary! Thanks to the free lithophane generating tools that you can find at www.LithophaneMaker.com, it is easy to create a lithophane that can use those light sources in one or two minutes,” Brooks explained.

The free tool includes three ways to generate lithophanes: a night light lithophane generator, a framed, hangable lithophane generator, and a framed, curved lithophane generator. For the first option, the generation tool will automatically create a lithophane with an attached night light adapter in one solid piece. The dimensions can be changed easily to fit most night lights, and the surface of the lithophane can include a curvature, while also “staying the proper distance from the night light.”

The framed option for hanging your lithophane creates one surrounded by a customizable frame, which prevents the lithophane from wobbling on a small base during 3D printing and also makes it stronger. The frame includes two holes, which allow you to hang the lithophane in a window with string and a suction cup hook.


The last option can generate a curved lithophane with a customizable frame, so you can “elevate a votive lithophane to the height” of a candle. This also makes it possible to produce a stronger curved lithophane than one without a frame. While this type of frame is highly rated on Thingiverse, Brooks explains that it takes “time and effort” to generate a lithophane that’s compatible with those models…which is why he recommends his new, free LithophaneMaker.

Brooks is always adding new tools and features to LithophaneMaker – send your ideas to support@lithophanemaker.com, and he just might incorporate them in the future.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Read more: 3dprint.com

Our Best-Selling Barbecue Tools, Part 2

8 months, 1 day ago

A few weeks ago, we published a list and description of the best-selling equipment in Steven’s popular Best of Barbecue line. Below are more tools you’ll want in your arsenal.

Best of Barbecue Meat Shears: Sturdy meat shears of drop-forged stainless steel with riveted handles will make quick work of halving or spatchcocking chicken or game birds and give you years of service. Reasonably priced, they lock for easy storage.

Best of Barbecue Kebab Skewers: The problem with conventional skewers, either wood or metal, is that their round shape guarantees your food will spin when you attempt to turn it. Not so with these flat skewers. A full 17 inches long and 3/8 inch wide, they’re modeled on skewers used in the Middle East where they know a thing or two about kebabs. Even wet vegetables, like tomatoes and mushrooms, will stay put.

Extra Long Suede Gloves: For more than a decade, these handsome elbow-length suede gloves have been protecting the hands and forearms of grillers and pit masters from coast to coast. A full 18-inches long, the gloves (they come in a pair) are pliant enough to maintain dexterity. Pair with the skewers above for a gift that will be appreciated for years to come.

Cast Aluminum Charcoal and Ash Scoop: This tool, highly rated on amazon.com, will help you scoop fresh charcoal out of the bag, keeping your hands clean, or remove spent ashes from the bottom of your firebox. It’s made of cast aluminum and is rust-proof. A must for tailgaters.

Rib RackBest of Barbecue Ultimate Rib Rack: It’s been one of our best-sellers for years. This thoughtfully designed rib rack will dramatically increase the amount of real estate on your grill grate by accommodating four racks of ribs in the space normally occupied by one. Ribs practically baste themselves. And its sturdy metal nonstick surface is easy to clean (hand wash, please).

Best of Barbecue Lumatongs: Tongs with a built-in flashlight? Genius! It’s true: A powerful halogen flashlight is attached to one arm of the tongs to illuminate whatever’s on your grill or smoker—particularly useful during fall and winter’s shorter days. (The flashlight can be easily removed when it’s time to wash the tongs.) Insulated Bakelite handles and a locking mechanism add to the tongs’ appeal.

Ultimate Grill Brush: You’ve seen this brush on Steven’s shows—Project Fire and Project Smoke on American Public Television. A full 30-inches long with both brass and stainless steel bristles for different grill grate surfaces, this brush won’t shed like cheaper models. A built-in scraper enables you to loosen baked-on food. Remember Raichlen’s Rule: Keep it hot; keep it clean; keep it lubricated.

The post Our Best-Selling Barbecue Tools, Part 2 appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

Read more: barbecuebible.com

Move Over SEO: How Developers Can Generate You More Traffic

8 months, 12 days ago

developers

I’m a marketer. I know more about traffic generation than most others, and I surely know more about marketing than developers.

But what if I told you that developers can generate you more traffic than an SEO or any other type of marketer?

And no, it’s not because the developer implements changes to your site… they are just able to produce more traffic.

What’s crazy about this is that it’s cheaper in the long run than paying marketers.

Most of you know that I have an ad agency, Neil Patel Digital. And although I always want more big companies to pay us, typically a developer can generate you more traffic than I (or any other ad agency) can drive.

It sounds bad, but it’s true.

Here’s what I mean…

My traffic growth

I’ve shown you my traffic over time. You already know I get a lot of traffic, but, in case you forget, here’s my latest traffic numbers:

traffic np 31 days

In the last 31 days, you’ve helped me generate 1,864,246 unique visitors and 4,764,739 pageviews. That’s not too shabby!

Even at my level, I still haven’t tapped out as only 25.1% of my traffic is repeat visitors.

Now, can you guess how much traffic I had during the beginning of the year?

jan traffic

808,747 unique visitors.

So how have I grown from 808,747 to 1,864,246 in 10 or so months?

Well, one thing that helped was the purchase of the KISSmetrics blog. By combining both of the blogs together, I instantly increased my traffic.

It helped me generate an extra 510,442 visitors per month.

kissmetrics

But that’s not what I am talking about when I say developers can drive you more traffic with SEO.

There was another thing I did this year which really helped my traffic grow… more than the KISSmetrics blog purchase.

Can you guess what it is?

Ubersuggest.

How much traffic does Ubersuggest generate?

I bought Ubersuggest back in early 2017, and I ended up merging the tool into NeilPatel.com in February 2018.

The moment I merged the tool into NeilPatel.com, here’s what happened to my traffic (keep in mind the last month is on a partial month):

ubersuggest traffic

My traffic went from 808,747 to a bit more than 1,176,243 visitors a month between February and March.

The original Ubersuggest (version 1.0) doesn’t look anything like what it looks today. It looked more like this:

keyword overview

And…

suggestions

The original tool cost $120,000 to acquire and $15,000 on development to clean up the code, add some simple features, and merge it into NeilPatel.com. In addition to that, I had API expenses that cost me around $2,000 a month.

That alone got me Ubersuggest 1.0.

Now I didn’t have to buy the tool, I could have created something from scratch like my SEO Analyzer, which I am currently redoing and merging into Ubersuggest.

The first version of the SEO Analyzer cost me around $30,000 and since then I have continually spent more to improve it.

seo analyzer

As you can see from the graph, the SEO Analyzer has driven me 435,115 unique visitors so far this year. And those visitors generated 3,143,220 pageviews.

The best part about the SEO Analyzer is that it is easier to maintain than my blog. It only costs $1,173 a month for hosting.

All in all, tools have generated me more consistent traffic than anything else. I don’t have to worry about social media algorithms or Google updates… people just keep using them even when you stop putting effort into them.

How hard is to generate traffic through tools?

At this point, you are probably wondering how hard it is to market these tools. Because if you pay a developer, they probably won’t just get instantly popular.

And you are right, they won’t.

But it isn’t rocket science. If you build something that is somewhat decent, it will naturally gain popularity.

All you have to do is write a blog post or two about your tool and just be patient. If you can get others to blog about your tool, it will, of course, help even more.

Just look at Ubersuggest. It has continually grown even though I haven’t done much marketing for it till the last 30 days.

search console

As you can see during the earlier months it kept growing in popularity just because I kept it up and running.

If you don’t have an audience as I do, what I’ve found is people will mention your tool if you just email them. I know link building is tough, but not when you are giving away free tools.

You can search Google for list-based posts within your industry. Some of these lists will focus on or include other tools. Just email out people and see if they will mention your tool.

Hey John,

I love JohnChow.com and I have to say I am a huge fan for years.

I know you are busy so I will get to the point. I noticed that you wrote a blog post called “10 Marketing Tools You Ought to Use” but I noticed that most of those tools cost money.

I recently released a free marketing tool called Ubersugget and it helps people get more traffic from Google for free. 🙂

Let me know what you think of the tool and I would be honored if you included it in your list.

Cheers,

Neil Patel

In addition to that, you can always put your tool on Product Hunt.

When I wrote a blog post about the latest release (Ubersuggest 2.0) and then I got on Product Hunt, I saw a big spike in traffic and usage.

new traffic

Over time, the traffic normalized and came down… but as you can see from the graph above, the traffic is still better off than before.

Best of all, it is also causing my brand signals to go up, which is a huge factor in Google’s algorithm.

Just look at the chart from Google Trends. I am catching up to Buzzsumo and Ahrefs fast. SEMrush, on the other hand, is still crushing me.

google trends

The crazy experiment

You guys know I am crazy, or at least my friends say I am. So, in the spirit of craziness, I thought it would be fun to make Ubersuggest a good marketing tool instead of something that was mediocre.

You’ve already seen how I have cleaned up the UI and added data from sources like Facebook.

keyword ideas

And just by doing that I got a 38.12% increase in branded traffic.

comparison

In the next few weeks, I am going to make the tool even better by adding more keyword ideas.

I am going to take concepts from Answers the Public and start showing comparison and question-related keywords.

answers the public

From there I am going to add traffic estimation data on URLs, which I hope to release by the end of the year.

That way, you’ll be able to type in a URL and get data on how many visitors from Google a site is generating as well as their top keywords and pages.

ubersuggest overview

And then I am going to add all of Buzzsumo’s features.

ubersuggest ideas

The overall goal is to keep releasing new features, and then announce them each time.

As I do this, my brand queries and traffic should increase each time. This is how I am going to grow from 1.8 million unique visitors to 3 million by the end of 2019 (that’s at least my personal goal).

Conclusion

It really is easier to grow your traffic by just paying a developer to create free tools than it is to pay marketers.

I know I am a bit crazy and am spending more than most people are comfortable with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow in my footsteps.

Just go on Google and search for “scripts” within your industry. For example, if you are in the real estate industry, search for “mortgage calculator scripts”.

You can do this for any industry.

You’ll find tools that you can buy for a few hundred dollars (sometimes even for free) and use the code and just put it on your website. This will allow you to have a tool that you can release for free with little to no effort.

Now, I will warn you that you won’t do as well as me because I am spending a ton of money on development. But you will probably do better in the long run than just burning money on ads.

In an ideal world, you should release tools, do SEO, run paid ads, send promotional emails, etc. In other words, you should use all of the channels out there to grow your business. Especially leveraging developers!

So what do you think about the concept of generating traffic through developers? Are you going to start leveraging it?

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