How to build Outstanding 404 error pages – making an error look cool and helpful

I love 404 error pages. Not all of them, but there are some pretty good ones out there (I will show you some of my favorite ones later in this article).

Whether you’ve typed a link incorrectly, or accessed a webpage that is no longer available, there’s a strong chance you’ll meet with a 404 page. That right there is a great opportunity for that website to either be remembered, or forever forgotten.

Maybe I’m over exaggerating a little bit, but still.

I, personally, am sick of seeing error pages that only give me the option to go back to the home page. Really? Really? This is the only thing you can do to help me? It’s like getting lost in a maze, and your only option would be to start from the beginning.

Why Do You Need to Customize Your 404 Error Page?

404 error pages are great opportunities for you to keep your visitor on your website for longer.

Because there are so many completely useless error pages out there, I believe that customizing yours is a great opportunity for you to redirect the visitor toward some helpful content. At the same time, the visitor will be able to explore the site further, and not become annoyed about the fact that he’s being redirected to the home page.

What Should Your 404 Error Pages Include?

First of all, even if you customize the 404 page, the visitor still needs to know that he’s landed on one. Also, use common language, so that you don’t confuse the user with jargon.

Second, what most 404 error pages lack is a search bar, a basic search bar.

Then, it’s all about the links. The visitor should be able to navigate wherever he may want from that point, so that he easily find the answer he’s looking for.

That being said, you need to include a link to the homepage, or a link or a contact for the support team. Other than that, show your visitor some of your latest article, or the most viewed ones, because chances are, that’s what he was looking for.

If you have a website that sells products, include product recommendations in the error page, so that the visitor can get back on track, right where he was lost.

You definitely need to put some effort into creating a helpful 404 error page. I’ve seen a lot of error pages, but unfortunately, some were more funny than helpful.

If the visitor is redirected from an external link to your website, you lost him if you don’t have a proper error page. If you didn’t put a little bit of effort in helping him find his way back, then he’s definitely not going to stick around, trying to figure out where to look for “it”.

“How not to do it” – Examples of 404 Error Pages

1. Google

The first example that comes to mind when it comes to bad 404 error page practice is <drum rolls> Google. You’ve probably seen it as well, but didn’t really give it much thought, because it’s Google we’re talking about here.

Nevertheless, their error page is simply dull. It doesn’t say more than we all know, and on top of that, the visitor is not even given the chance to find out what went wrong, and how they can find what they were looking for.


2. South Park

The second example is the South Park error page. You’ve probably heard or even watched South Park before, so you know the characters from the show.

For their 404 error page, they used its characters, and for each one of them, there is a custom message, which is created based on what the character would actually say, and what words he would use. The error page changes every time you go back to it.

I’m not saying that their webpage is not cool, because it is. I’ve included it here, because it lacks functionality. The only thing a visitor is able to do is go (back) to the home page. A search bar would have been just fine, though.


My Favorite Examples of Well Done 404 Error Pages

1. Virgin Holidays Cruises 

Their error page proves that you can adapt this page in a very creative way, no matter what type of business your website does.

It’s clear, it has a funny message, and the picture with someone’s legs on a deserted island are the cherry on top.

The visitor has the possibility to search for whatever he may be looking for. It’s just perfect!

404 error pages

2. Marvel

The Marvel App error page is very different than what I’ve seen so far. It’s very interactive. The background is actually a .gif, and you have the possibility to change it, and what another one and another, until you get bored.

Also, their error page gives you the possibility to email them, or send them a tweet. It is the first site I’ve encountered so far that has the option to tweet the company. I think that this is very convenient, because the visitor might receive a faster response on Twitter than on email.


3. Content Look

We’ve come up with a funny, but helpful 404 error page for our new online tool, Content Look as well.

As you can see, we used our dear Squirrel in this process, and we think it turned out really nice. We’ve included a button for the home page, and a search bar as well.


Let’s Have a Discussion

These are my thoughts on 404 error pages, along with some examples to show you how good practice looks like.

Now it’s your turn to share your thoughts, and tell me whether you think it’s worth investing a little bit of your time in these error pages.

Also, what are the coolest and the most helpful error pages you know?

How a High Content Blog Will Improve Your Sales

Blogging has become highly competitive in today’s market. It’s not enough to just have one. Modern companies need a blog with high quality content to attract readers and improve sales.

How Blogging Will Improve Your Sales

Content marketing enables you to attract readers, inform prospective buyers, demonstrate the value of your products/services and gain trust so that you’ll stand out amidst competitors.

According to statistics, 9 out of 10 organizations market with content. Blogging is the vessel you can use to improve your sales. Here’s how you can do it.


improve your sales                                                         Photo Credits: Yann Ropars’ Flickr

Establish Your Business As An Authority

The main reason you want authority is because authority automatically brings trust.

When potential customers have an issue or a problem, if you’ve provided them with valuable information in a previous post, they will automatically think of you first before any of your competitors.

You must provide consistent content that's simultaneously enjoyable to read and valuable. Click To Tweet

Statistics estimate that 50% of the time consumers spend online is spent reading content.

This also involves being active in communities which prospective customers frequent and helping them when they need it.

Comment, encourage and humbly share your experiences. This shows your interest and knowledge and leads them to trust you.

Also, combining your experiences with real life situations that potential clients truly relate to builds credibility.

If you provide content that leaves the reader wanting more from you, you’re prompting their willingness to enter into your sales funnel. It’s lead generation in disguise and it’s half the battle of converting a reader into a customer.

Attract Readers

There’s two parts to this aspect.

i). The first part involves producing quality content on topics that are up-to-date and relevant.

When you create a copy, make sure you incorporate keywords that are commonly looked up on the web and include them in your headlines, subheads and weave them into your paragraphs.

Always remember when you're writing that your ultimate goal is to improve your sales. Click To Tweet

ii). The second part involves sharing the content on social media outlets.

If you’ve created high quality content, your articles will be memorable. The advantage of memorable content is twofold.

Readers will be more likely to share and comment on your posts and your products/services will be the first they think of when they need help or advice.


social media

Lead Readers To Your Sales Funnel

Because the evolution of the Internet emulates a ‘do it yourself’ type of learning/shopping experience, prospective customers respond well when they can read about your products/services and reach their own conclusions.

High quality content leaves its readers feeling like your business is the answer and makes them want more. This is the perfect time to convert them from readers to customers and lead them right into your sales funnel.

A carefully crafted call to action that’s placed into a highly informative, engaging post is highly effective.

However, its power lies in direct correlation to the content. The content must fit the aforementioned aspect before a call to action is introduced.

If you’ve related to your reader, provided a solution to a problem and been authentic about what your products/services provide, you will easily improve your sales using this method.

If you want a successful blog that improves your sales, you need a system that produces high quality content on a consistent basis. Would you like to learn how to get 300+ readers per article? We’ll show you how to do this for free. No more grasping at straws trying to get more leads or more shares. The answer is here and it’s free. Take a minute, follow the above link, leave your email address and let us start helping you increase your sales today.

How to Get The Most Out of Google Analytics

Every website owner has to be able to precisely analyze their content’s performance, regardless of its type. In that case, there’s mostly just one solution: Google Analytics (GA).

You’d be amazed how many aspects it can track! And does it for free. You don’t need to pay anything – except attention to the following lines.

Learning the ins and outs of GA is a must for all website owners. Not just because marketers say so, but because it’s a good way to grow your business.

Here are the top tips on using Google Analytics and getting as much as possible from the data (and how to precisely read the data).

Set Up Your Goals

Are you running an eCommerce business?

Are you selling certain services?

Have you developed a SaaS and people are downloading it?

Regardless of what the answer might be, you should always clearly define your goals in Google Analytics so you can track and analyze it better.

Downloads, form completions, add to cart, successful sales – everything can be defined and tracked through GA. You should do this right at the start because your decisions should be based on the goals and conversions you focus on.

google analytics

To define these goals, head to your Google Analytics and click on the Admin wheel. Then, click on Goals from the right column and on the red button NEW GOAL. The tool provides you a user-friendly wizard which guides you through the entire process.

Track Your Events

Part of setting up your goals is Event Tracking.

By using just a bit of extra code, you can start collecting data on countless extra activities that can’t be tracked with the regular GA code. These are actions you can’t track because they don’t lead to a Thank You page or follow up page.

Events include aspects and actions like:

button clicks,
clicking on links,
email addresses,
social media icons,
file downloads.

Setting up events is just like setting up goals, except you’ll have to add a specific code.

If your site is using Universal Analytics, you’ll need to use this code:

ga(‘send’,’event’,’category’,’action’,’opt_label’, opt_value)

There are a few variables that will change with each different event you track:

Category – grouping events into desired tracking groups
Action – the action the user takes
Label – to differentiate this event from the others (optional)
Value – perceived dollar value of event (optional)

If you want your visitors to download something without taking them next to a Thank You page, you’ll want to input the following:

  • Category: Downloads
  • Action: Click
  • Label: Whitepaper/Plugin
  • Value: 0

Thus, the code you should implement on your page looks like this:

ga(‘send’, ’event’, ’download’, ’click’, ’plugin’, 0);

Sync Your Google Analytics with Google Webmaster Tools

For the uninitiated, Webmaster Tools (now officially rebranded as Google Search Console) is another free application which lets you check the indexing status and optimize the visibility of your website.

By connecting your Search Console property (website) with your GA account, you gain full access to Google’s new Search Engine Optimization reports.

These come in three forms:

  • Queries,
  • Landing Pages,
  • and Geographical Summary.

In addition to helping you discover your top performing search queries and landing pages, the data can also be used to identify:

  • Keywords that have a low click through rate, but high average position. Once you know what these are, you can change the meta title and description of your page to improve their CTR.
  • Landing pages that have a good click through rate, but low average position. These pages can then be put through an on-page optimization process to improve their rankings.
  •  The countries your organic visitors are browsing from.

Filter Out Your Traffic

Do you and your colleagues have your website set as their home page, or do you visit to test and update content? Of course, you do.

Accessing your website over and over again can actually alter your analytics data.

To prevent this, and to exclude yourself and your co-workers from your Analytics data, you will need to set up a filter under the Admin panel.

If you have a static IP address, go to All Filters, click on Add New Filter and set a Predefined Filter to exclude traffic from your given IP address.

If you don’t know your IP address, just google ‘what’s my IP.’ Be aware, though, this will ONLY work if you have a static IP (most business broadband packages come with a static IP these days).


Every website owner needs to use Google Analytics, regardless of the stage of their business.

This fantastic free tool can answer so many questions, be them simple or complex. Without it, you can’t possibly know the answer to essential questions, such as:

  • How many people visit my website on a daily basis?
  • Where do these visitors access my website from?
  • Are they using mobile devices to browse my site?
  • Which pages on my site are the most popular?
  • How many visitors are converted into customers?

And the list can go on and on.

If you have additional questions about Google Analytics, please post a comment below.

If you found this article helpful, you can share it with your audience on social media.

6 Tested Personal Branding Tips For Social Media Authority


Almost anyone with a smartphone and an Internet connection is using a social media network.

Numbers don’t lie.

Facebook is still the leader of social media networks with about 2 billion monthly active users. Instagram has about 700 million users, while Twitter has about 328 million.

So building your personal brand includes having a presence on social media.

Here are six personal branding tips for your social media profiles.

1. Clean Everything Up and Be Professional

Before you get started with anything regarding personal branding, do a general clean-up.

You may have some embarrassing photos you posted years ago. You may have left some foul language comments at a certain point. Do a complete sweep of your profiles. Including games – clean those up as well.

Then turn everything towards professionalism.

Use great quality photos that showcase your professional side. In case you don’t have any, get to work. Dress nicely, put a smile on your face and take the best photos you can. Use a white background.

2. Be Consistent

It is vital to be consistent on all social media networks you are using. This doesn’t involve posting the exact same thing. No, it’s about having the same style of images and including your logo. This is how people recognize you.

personal branding tips

You want to send a steady message to your fans and followers, not confuse them.

So if you chose a specific color for your most popular social media profile, use the same on the rest. If you picked a specific style, implement it everywhere.

Be consistent on all social media networks. That's the first step towards a great personal brand. Click To Tweet

It is also essential to make sure your style and colors present on your social media profiles match the one on your website. If you have great SEO, many users might find your website before getting to see your social media profiles.

3. Apply These Personal Branding Tricks to Your Facebook Profile

Creating a vanity URL is an important step. Since your name is what defines your personal brand, it should be visible. For example, your Facebook profile URL should be

personal branding tips

Creating a Facebook Page for your brand is a must. Granted, content that you share on your page might not reach a lot of people. But pages let you manage things better – including ads. A page can be followed by people you don’t personally know as well.

Provide as many details as you see fit. Your job description should be the most important information. Next are your education background and degrees. Last but not least, mention all the great causes you contributed to.

Find relevant communities and be active. Engage with people and help them solve their problems. When it comes to groups, make sure you stay a member of only those that showcase your brand.
Personal branding tips: Your job should be the most important information you post, even on Facebook. Click To Tweet

4. Here’s What You Should Do for Your Instagram Profile

Instagram is owned by Facebook. As mentioned before, it has about 400 million users. So it is a place where you should be. However, the decision should be based on your niche.

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If it makes sense for your personal brand to be on Instagram, you should do the following:

  • Remember consistency – make it look as close to your Facebook profile as possible.
  • Let people know why you are there and why they should follow you.
  • Maintain a balance between fun and professional posts.
  • Interact and engage with your audience.
  • Know your hashtags – here’s a great guide that will help you achieve that.

personal branding tips

Create an Instagram landing page on your blog and link it to your profile. Do everything you can to make it mobile friendly. Instagram is mostly a social media network for smartphone users.

Personal branding tips for Instagram: Keep a balance between fun and professional posts. Click To Tweet

5. You Must Be Present on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place where you should emphasize your professional side the most. Think of it as your online resume. Don’t neglect the SEO aspect.

personal branding tips

Here are a few personal branding tips for LinkedIn:

  • Take time to provide useful details – Google always shows your city, position, and the company you work for
  • Create a unique URL for your profile –
  • Use a professional photo
  • Make it public – it’s not a personal place but a professional one
  • Add relevant links to your profile – your blog, social media profiles and so forth
  • Connect with professionals you know – thought leaders in your domain
  • Publish great content on the channel – you will position yourself as an expert
LinkedIn is the place to showcase your personal brand's true value. Click To Tweet

6. Personal Branding Tips for a Professional Twitter Profile

Consistency is a must. So your Twitter profile should look pretty similar to your Facebook profile in terms of colors and profile picture.

personal branding tips

To grow your followers and increase brand authority, do the following:

  • Keep an eye out for live Twitter chats – join in on discussions related to your niche
  • Whenever you get mentioned, reply
  • Engage with thought leaders – retweet, reply and so forth
  • Look for Twitter lists relevant to your personal brand
  • Follow the trends and be an early-adopter

A tweet is limited to 140 characters, so it shouldn’t be that hard. You’ll spend most time retweeting thought leaders in your niche. Twitter isn’t as time-consuming as Facebook.

Personal branding on Twitter: engage with thought leaders - retweet, reply, start conversations. Click To Tweet


These personal branding tips will get you six steps closer to achieving your goals. It will take time, so you need to be perseverant and stick to your plan.

If you’re using other social media networks – like YouTube or Tumblr – the same “rules” apply. Keep in mind that Tumblr is more popular for the fashion niche. To be successful on YouTube, you’ll have to dedicate a lot of time and effort into creating great video content.

If you’d like to learn more about personal branding, we got you covered. We’ve put together a great eBook on this topic that you can enjoy for free. Get it from here.

personal branding tips

Back to you: What other successful personal branding tips for social media you know? Tell us in the comments section below.

5 Most Inspirational SEO Trainers In The World [infographic]

Our mini “5 most inspirational people” series continues. This time is about the most powerful SEO trainers in the world (at least in our opinion). There are so many out there that it’s hard to choose even 5 of them.

Probably you already know about our Udemy Course: Content Marketing by Squirrly Academy. We were curious to see other amazing trainers and take a look at who we found out. They are amazing people and you should take a look at their courses.

The most powerful seo trainers are:

 5 most inspirational seo trainers in the world

Have you ever attended one of their courses? They have really interesting training courses. You can check them out on Udemy and their personal sites.

Do you have other SEO trainers in your lists?

Also, if you want to review the other infographics, here you can find them:

5 Most Inspirational Bloggers In The World

5 Most Inspirational Bloggers In Asia

5 Most Inspirational Bloggers In Content Marketing World

3 things to learn from the most successful startups

I’ve already spoken to you about Successful startups. From dream to reality!. I told you how easy it can be to make your dream come true, by putting some few tips about content marketing, SEO, influencers, investments, etc. to good use.

Now, we all blink in ecstasy when we hear the great name of the glamorized success: SILICON VALLEY. What people love is the all encompassing, on the spot, wild success. When it comes to the “been there, done that” successful startups’ list, I guess Dave Kerpner has a point in saying: “Building a sustainable business takes more than a good idea.” (Read more…)

3 successful startups. Lesson taught. Lesson learned

successful startups

I want to go into 3 of his examples and provide you a detailed lesson of success. I want to show you how you can catch the gold fish of startups.

  • Kaltura. It is an open-source video platform. It enables its clients to host, manage, publish, monetize, analyze and distribute video content. It offers a wide range of video products across several areas, such as publishing, education and enterprise. It has also launched a new Media Go product, which allows clients to create their own Netflix-like video portal across multiple devices. Lesson taught: Target and cater for several niches: enterprise, education and media. Kaltura has built specific features and taken care of the needs of each of these fields. As they say on their site: “Over 300,000 websites are already using Kaltura’s flexible platform”, including Groupon, Bank of America, Harvard and HBO. They have recently raised $25 million.  Lesson learned: Don’t try to catch all the fish in the water, set in bait for only a few species.


  • Voxy. It is definitely one of the most successful startups. It is a mobile app that helps Spanish speakers learn English through bite-size, daily lessons based on real-life experiences. They wish to address the needs of each learner, as they know that no two people are the same. So, they personalize each of their courses to suit the needs of their clients. They update the courses on a daily basis and they offer pragmatic and realistic learning, by providing users with videos of people going along their daily tasks, audio recordings of real-life situations, and karaoke-like music lessons. They also provide up-to-date news stories, so as the learners can perfect a contemporary use of English. Lesson taught: Stick to your principles. Voxy could have expanded their service to other languages, but they decided to stay focused on teaching English, particularly to Spanish speakers. “By keeping this focus, Voxy has established great presence on the market and has over 3 million users and $15 million in funding.” Lesson learned: When you catch the gold fish, don’t trade it for any other.


  • Pandora. It is a personalized music-recommendation service, but it’s only available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. It plays musical selections based on the user’s artists selection. When it has to select future songs, it does so by making use of the feedback provided by the user, be it positive or negative. Over 400 different musical attributes are considered when selecting the next songs, which are combined into larger groups called focus traits. In total, there are 2000 focus traits, such as rhythm syncopation, key tonality, vocal harmonies, and displayed instrumental proficiency. Lesson taught: Offer personalization. You benefit from a personalized listening experience, music selected just for you, so you enjoy a unique experience. Pandora is expected to raise $231 million in the sale of 10 million shares. Lesson learned: Design your gold fish’s water bowl.

What all of Dave Kerpner’s 10 Wildly Successful Startups teach us is that you don’t have to come from Silicon Valley to be great and successful. It takes something else. What do you think this is?

How to control crawling with robots.txt

What is crawling? Avoid it by using robots.txt.

When users surf the web, content is made available for them by search engines through 2 main ways: crawling and indexing.

The former takes place when search engine crawlers access publicly available webpages. So, it basically involves looking at the webpages and following the links on those pages.

Indexing, on the other hand, means gathering information about a page, so that it is made available through search engine results.

The problem with crawling is that sometimes you might not want to allow crawlers to access areas of your website. Such is the case with accessing pages that use limited server resources. That’s why you might want to use the robots.txt file.

What is the robots.txt file and why is it so important?

It is a text file which allows you to specify how you’d like your site to be crawled. Crawlers generally go through the robots.txt file from your website, before they crawl it. The robots.txt file is so great because you can specify which parts can and cannot be crawled.

It’s so important because it allows you to control access to the files and directories on your server. It’s like an electronic NO TRESPASSING sign. It tells the Googlebot and other crawlers which files and directories on your server should not be crawled (nor displayed in search engine results).

What is the file’s location?

In order for it to be valid, it must be located on the root of the website host.

For example, in order to control crawling on all URLs below, the robots.txt file must be located at:

A robots.txt file can be placed on subdomains: or on non-standard ports:, but it cannot be placed in a subdirectory:

 Add a robots.txt file to your webiste

It’s really easy to do it and I have a great source for you. Click here to learn how to create the file: . You’ll find all the needed information.

If you want to re-check it, click here:

And we’re done! Hope your robots.txt file will prevent your site for gathering unneeded annoying crawling!

The Social Media SEO Trick to Get More Traffic via Social Networks

With their humongous user counts, main social media networks seem like traffic gold mines.

But, the promise of thousands of users or followers comes with a downside – how are they supposed to get to all the content you’re publishing, appreciate it and maybe – hopefully! – eventually, convert?

The key concept I’m going to give you is this: “social media SEO”.

That’s right, SEO optimization is not just for the “overt” search engines like Google and Bing. Social networks also employ their own search algorithms, so the whole «great social presence will automatically gain me lots of brand awareness» rhetoric will only bring you disappointment.

Throw great, hard-worked content out there in the social tangle just like that and you’re practically asking your target audience to look for a needle in the haystack. Which, of course, they don’t have the time and the willingness to do.

So, before putting your AdWords or remarketing campaign in place, there is another step to be completed: taking into account the most basic elements of your shared content.

Like links, for instance. Or meta description. Or author display.

Simple tweaks like these could be decisive in getting a social traffic boost. So, it’s time I disclose the social media SEO trick you need to employ, in order to drive more people to click on your shared content.

It’s called the Open Graph Protocol and it grants you control over the look of your content on social platforms.

Making sure you have this Social Media SEO element within the overall SEO strategy is one step further towards driving the traffic you need from social networks.

social media seo

Understanding Social Objects

Just like a smart shopfront which compels passers-by without them realizing it, a neat social profile makes it easy for readers to notice your posts.

And by ‘neat’ I actually mean ‘flawless’. No weird-looking links, no inaccurate thumbnails, no issues within the social graph structure.


Social Graph is basically another name for Social Network. In other words, a map encompassing all its user interactions on social media, a medium which displays “social objects” like:

  1. media items
  2. properties (e.g. websites)
  3. links

For these objects to be ‘share’-able across websites and social networks, there needs to be a data structure enabling the whole process.

The connection between this structure and other websites is the Open Graph protocol.

What it essentially does is it takes object-related details and passes them to the graph. These details called Open Graph tags are necessary for an ‘object’ to be added to the social graph.

I know, it seems a tad too abstract. So let’s take a basic example.

You have your most recent blog post. The elements you’ll need Open Graph tags for are:

preview data

They will need to be integrated within social networks’ native environment. Otherwise, your shared link would look somehow like a nagging banner ad – something no one likes, right?

You’d want something like this:

social media seo

The Open Graph Protocol

“The Open Graph protocol enables any website to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook.” –

A rich object is an element (your website) which presents the same attributes as any object which is proprietary of Facebook. It allows for seamlessly integrating your webpage into the News Feed, so that you get a better representation of your content.

The second you paste a URL in your status box, Facebook starts searching for that page. It finds the page and it reads it.

It reads the meta tag which provides the image, title and a short snippet which gets shown in the post you’re sharing. Meta tags provide information relevant to search engines.

There are 5 attributes:


They help Facebook find attributes of the content meta-tag to help it read the article properly.

Without the use of Open Graph, the Facebook crawler takes just the basics of your content to share and doesn’t get you the proper distribution or insights gathering.

Tags, Properties, and Other Attributes

Open Graph Meta tags were introduced by Facebook in 2010. What they do is they allow other websites to become rich “graph” objects and to function as other Facebook objects.

social media seo

So, you can control how information travels from a website to Facebook when you share a page, like it etc. The information is sent via Open Graph Meta tags in the <head> part of the website’s code.

Squirrly SEO will grab the data from your Page/Post content and will build the Open Graph, so that each social share will represent your article type.

In case you notice your URLs are not displayed as rich objects, you can check them in the Facebook for Developers section to check whether you have the right parameters set up.

The 8 Tags to Rule Social Media SEO

8 tags, one condition. The condition is you need to put them in the header of your page.

og:title – Pretty self-explanatory. You put your article title here.

og title

og:site_name – Your website’s name.

og:description – A short description about the linked content. Think of it as a google snippet.

og description, site name

og:url – The pages URL. Note that this acts like an identifier for Facebook’s crawler, so having the canonical URL allows you to track your links progress with analytics tools.

og url

og:image – The image associated with your article. It’s obligatory your image is .JPEG and has a size of at least 200×200. For the best results, your image should have a ratio of 1.91:1, otherwise Facebook will crop it or even worse revert to a less visible link preview.

og image

fb:app_id – The unique ID which lets Facebook know the identity of your site. This is crucial for Facebook Insights to work properly. Here’s a link to their documentation in case you want to learn more.

og fb app id

og:type – Specifies the type of media you’re linking. In our case, it’s an article.

og type

article: author – Links to the author of the article. It can link to either his Facebook Profile or Facebook Page. This allows for ‘expanding the current follower base of the author’.

These are the basics which will offer you a welcome social media boost.

If you want to go even further with Open-Graph, has a list of all the currently available meta tags supported by Facebook.

One Setting, No Social Shares Trouble

As marketers, control is what we could very well use in our lives.

social media seo

It all starts with the attention we’re paying to details – and social media SEO is one of them. Checking that you have the Open Graph Protocol all set is pretty much the foundation of your social media marketing edifice.

Weave your posts in the social fabric and don’t allow any loose ends. A simple SEO setting will do the job and will make sure no reader is dissuaded from clicking on those links you worked so hard for.

In Squirrly SEO Plugin, here’s how you can take charge of your social-driven traffic, with a simple setting:

Control your brand to the smallest of details! 

In fact, at Squirrly, this is what we’re constantly working towards: helping everyone become #BetterMarketers with swift integrations and handy features.

Not long ago did we launch the latest, Quick Squirrly SEO, which also helps with your Open Graph integration. If you don’t already have it installed, you might want to click here and give it a try. It has never been easier for you to manage on-page SEO right from the WordPress editor.

41 FREE Marketing Tools that Are Actually Worth Your Time

41 FREE Marketing Tools that Are Actually Worth Your TimeIt’s hardly a secret: Tools are of excellent use when it comes to getting online marketing work done faster and often with less effort on your part.

But, at first glance, the say the best things in life are free doesn’t seem to apply to tools.

Free marketing tools that actually deliver results are often labeled the same as non-fattening chocolate or time travel – too good to be true. 

Brighten up. There’s good news coming your way.

The tools mentioned in this article cover a variety of different uses and needs. They will help you:

  • Save time
  • Work more efficiently
  • Be more consistent

And they have one more thing common.  They won’t cost you a cent! I hope you’re excited. I know FREE makes me happy.

So let’s get to it then.

The tools you need for content creation

1. SEO: Squirrly Plugin

free marketing tools

Want content that is both SEO-optimized and human-friendly? In other words, do you want your content to be appreciated by both Google and your human readers? Was that a Yes? Well, download Squirrly SEO now and increase your site ranking for free. See what’s included in our free plan.

See all the Squirrly SEO 2016 features here. Needless to say, we think it’s awesome.

2. Text Editor: Hemingway

free marketing tools

Hemingway app is an excellent tool to help make your writing bold and clear so that readers can easily navigate and understand your content. The app highlights dense, complicated sentences and unnecessary use of adverbs, among others.

3. Keyword Research: Ubersuggest

free marketing tools

You can use Ubbersuggest to find new keywords. Useful for SEO, PPC, and content marketing campaigns. The app also offers an easy way to visualize the most common terms associated with your query via “the world cloud” feature.

4. Design: Pic Monkey

free marketing tools

The app helps you create better images to illustrate your blog posts, stay active on your social media accounts, keep your site looking fresh, and more.

What’s great about Pic Monkey is that you don’t have to be a professional to make the most out of it. You can edit photos, make collages, and create attention-grabbing designs as fast as a monkey can eat a banana.

5. Video: Wistia

free marketing tools

Video and YouTube have almost become synonyms. But if you’re looking for a less competitive platform, Wistia is an alternative you should consider. Whether you want to improve your video marketing or just need a basic video hosting solution, you should check out Wistia.

6. Blogging: WordPress

free marketing tools

Maybe the most popular free marketing tool in the toolbox, WordPress couldn’t miss from our list.

Running your website or blog via WordPress is not only cost-efficient, but it also offers an easy way to build a new landing page to support your projects and strategies.

Also, there are many widgets, plugins, and themes to help you easily customize your site. Go WordPress!

7. Title Generator: Blog Topic Generator

free marketing tools

Content ideas – we could all use more of those, right? If you need inspiration, you should check out Hubspot’s blog topic generator. Simply write down the terms you’d like to write about. The tool will automatically generate several blog post titles you can choose from.

8. Grammar Checker: Grammarly

free marketing tools

No tool can replace a human editor. However, Grammarly – we’re talking about the free version here – is pretty good at spotting writing errors. It checks for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. It does a pretty decent job at spotting verbosity.

9. Market Research: Answer the Public

free marketing tools

Any marketers’ desired superpower is to read their audience’s minds. This tool won’t exactly turn you into a psychic.

However, it will give you a hint of the motivations and emotions of the people you’re targeting. Enter a keyword, and the tool will give you a report of the most common questions people have regarding your query.

10. Content Ideas: Portent’s Content Idea Generator

free marketing tools

Stumped for ideas? This fun and easy-to-use tool can help you overcome writer’s block and get you excited about writing a new piece. What we like about this tool – besides the fact that it’s free – is its humor and creativity. Give it a try; you’ll see what I’m talking about.

11. Headline Analyzer: CoShedule

free marketing tools

Want more traffic to your blog, more click-throughs, and more social shares for your articles? Sure you do. This tool supports those goals by helping you write compelling headlines.

You just enter the title of your post, and the tool will grade its quality based on several criteria such as word balance, length, headline type, and more. We typically try to score at least 70 for our articles.

12. Photo Library: Pixabay

free marketing tools

Want free images and videos you can use everywhere without having to worry about someone suing you for copyright infringement? All pictures and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights.

This means you can download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free to illustrate your posts, create marketing campaigns, and pretty much everything else you can think of.

The free plan offers a decent selection of photos, illustrations, vector images, and videos from a wide array of categories.

The tools you need for social media

13. Social Media Scheduling: Squirrly Social

Squirrly Social – If you want to have time to interact with your audience but never miss a social post this is the tool you need. From simple kinds of calendars and scheduling to super advanced schedules, profile posting rules, Squirrly Social has it all and it’s willing to grow as you grow. You’ll only ever get to the advanced stuff once you’re ready and it will be a breeze to set it all up.

Cool Feature: Squirrly Social doesn’t just help you schedule but also helps you find great resources to share and it enhances all your posts. What I mean is that with a click of a button you get automatic hashtags and emoji to any post you find or create. That’s amazing.

14. Reports: FollowerWonk

free marketing tools

FollowerWonk offers insightful reports to help you optimize your social profile, engage users and ultimately grow your brand. The free version lets you:

  • View Social Authority Rankings
  • See Followers and Their Locations
  • Find out when followers are active

15. Track Social Shares: SharesCount

free marketing tools

Online, content can spread in leaps and bounds. This tool helps you see how your content has diffused across the web. Of course, you can use it for other sites as well; it doesn’t just have to be your own.

It’s particularly useful for getting some information about sites that don’t show social media share button numbers.  Enter your web address into SharedCount to track URL shares, likes, and more.

16. Share Buttons: Digg Digg

free marketing tools

If you want to be seen across the Internet and get more traffic, you have to make it easy for others to share your content.  This free marketing tool from Buffer aims to help you do just that. You can install the Digg Digg plugin for free, and get different share buttons that include the latest social networks.

17. Twitter Engagement: Must Be Present

free marketing tools

This free marketing tool comes from Sprout Social. Must Be Present determines your Twitter engagement based on how quickly you respond to comments and questions on Twitter.

18. Find Trending Topics on Twitter: Trends 24

free marketing tools

Yep, your intuition is correct. This particular tool shows you trending terms from the last 24 hours, broken out hour-by-hour and country-by-country. Particularly useful for social media campaigns research.

19. Hashtag Recommender: RiteTag

free marketing tools

Write down your hashtag and get insight on the #’s popularity and reach. The cool thing about this tool is that it also offer suggestions to help you find better alternatives to your hashtags.

20. Facebook Performance: LikeAlyzer

free marketing tools

By evaluating your activity, this free marketing tool helps you measure and analyze the effectiveness of your Facebook Pages, as well as their potential.  You get detailed information and explanation of identified issues. As a bonus, the LikeAlyzer also provides tips on how you can fix those problems to help you improve your results on Facebook.

12. Growing Your Pinterest Community: Pin Groupie

free marketing tools

Pin Groupie is an excellent tool for finding group boards on – you’ve guessed it – Pinterest. You can filter the group boards based on category, their number of followers, likes, or repins. Use it to reach a broader audience for your pins.

22. Find Tweetable Snippets: SavePublishing

free marketing tools

Wrote an article and want to promote it on Twitter? Or what to share an article, but don’t know how to tweet about it? Save time with SavePublishing.  Once you install the bookmarklet, this free marketing tool will reveal any tweetable sentences (140 characters or fewer) from your article.

Overall Business Management

23. Web Analytic: Hotjar

free marketing tools

Free marketing tools like Hotjar are very efficient when it comes to helping you understand your web and mobile site visitors better, and make changes accordingly. Through heat-maps, click-maps, scroll-maps, and visitor recordings, you can “spy” on your visitors and find out more about how they are using your website.

24. Productivity: FreedCamp

free marketing tools

If you have to manage a team or work project, FreedCamp can help you stay organized and get things done faster. You can create task lists, work on a set of tasks using sticky notes, and more to get a clear overview of what you and your team are working on.

25. Team Management: Slack

free marketing tools

When it comes to free marketing tools, Slack is a clear favorite. The free version offers tons of functionalities to keep all team communication in one place. You can create groups and assign different members,  share files, instant message team members and more.

26. Task Management: Trello

free marketing tools

If you aren’t yet using Trello, we recommend giving it a try today. In a nutshell, the app is basically the modern version of a Kanban board on steroids. You can create lists, fill them with cards representing tasks. You can assign team members, add comments, attach files, add labels and due dates – all for free.

27. Usability Testing: Peek

free marketing tools

This free marketing tool lets you see and hear a 5-minute video of a real person using your site or app. It’s an excellent way to get insight on the visitors’ experience on your website. Getting a fresh, unbiased opinion will help build a better site.

28. Email Marketing: Rapportative

free marketing tools

Install  this Chrome extension to find out more details about your contacts without having to leave your inbox. You can see their job, company, photo and LinkedIn profile. Thus, you can create better, more personalized emails and grow your network.

29. Influencer Monitoring: MentionApp

free marketing tools

Similar to Google Alerts but more comprehensive, MentionApp is a tool that monitors the web and automatically informs you whenever someone mentions your name, brand, or other keywords you think are important (like the name of your competition).

However, you can also use this tool to keep track of influencers in your industry and join in on the conversation. Being at the right place at the right time can open up plenty of new opportunities. You can sign up for a free trial and explore more of this tool’s capabilities.

30. PR: Google Alerts

free marketing tools

Ignorance is bliss, but not when it comes to your business. With Google Alerts, you can monitor the web and get notified via email whenever there are new results for any topic you’d like to keep tabs on. This way, you can keep up to date without constantly having to do Google searches for the same words.

31. Never Forget an Idea: Evernote

free marketing tools

If you typically work using multiple devices, this is the tool for you. Evernote lets you capture, nurture, and share your ideas across any device. If inspiration strikes while you’re out to dinner and you get a cool marketing idea, you can make a note of it. It will become instantly available on all your devices.

32. Customer Relationship Management: Charlie

free marketing tools

Properly manage current, and future customers is no easy feat. But it’s paramount. Charlie can help you stay on top of your game and ease your workload. You can get started for free in exchange for your email.

33. Get Press Coverage: Haro

free marketing tools

A tool often used by journalists, Haro deserves a place among the best free marketing tools. You can use it two ways. You can ask questions and get leaders and specialists in your industry to share input on a certain topic and create insightful blog posts (it’s what we did for this article).

Alternatively, you can be the one offering to share your expertise, and maybe get some press coverage, or get featured on a site with authority.

34. Email Newsletter: Campayn

free marketing tools

How many emails do you send a day? With Campayn, you can send more.  The free version allows you to send up to 20,000 emails per month. They also offer a library of free email templates that can help you create better emails that reflect your brand. Not too shabby.

35. Measure Site Performance: ContentLook

free marketing tools

Use ContentLook to see how well your site is performing in terms of digital marketing. You can get all-around information for six significant categories: Blogging activity, SEO, Social Media Performance, Traffic, Links, and Authority.

Get to the bottom of your site’s problems and get inspired to find the best solutions.

36. File Storing: DropBox

free marketing tools

A veteran when it comes to free online tools, DropBox is still a reliable option for safely storing your files. Particularly useful for teams, DropBox lets you access file across multiple devices, create online documents, privately share and comment on files, and more.

37. Create Surveys: SurveyMonkey

free marketing tools

Gathering data for research purposes is essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In exchange for your email address, this tool allows you to create surveys and get answers to relevant questions easily. This way, you can take informed decisions and draw the best conclusions. The basic plan includes:

  • 10 questions
  • 100 responses
  • Standard email support

38. Track Your Projects: Asana

free marketing tools

This is an excellent tool that can help teams monitor their progress to increase efficiency. Asana lets you track projects from start to finish and ensure all members of your team known what they should be doing. You can get started for free using your email address.

39. Spy on Your Competition: MOZ

free marketing tools

You may have already used this addicting free tool to check out your website’s search engine authority. But that’s not the only way you can take advantage of the functionalities it offers for free.

It can also help you spot who is mentioning and linking to your competitor. Take inspiration to come up with better marketing strategies.

40. More Traffic to Your Site: SlideShare

free marketing tools

Upload your professional videos and SlideShare presentations. SlideShare averages 25 million views each month alone, so there’s an opportunity to increase the traffic flow to your site. Google is not the only traffic source out there.

You can check out one of our presentations named Top 7 SEO Tools to Boost Your Content Marketing right here.

41. Slow Down: Do Nothing for 2 Minutes

free marketing tools

We get that you want to go a mile-a-minute and reach as many of your goals as soon as possible (we’re like that too). But sometimes, the best way to get faster results is to slow down.

You’ve been a good sport and made it all the way to the end of this long post. Take up on the challenge to do absolutely nothing for two whole minutes.

Which of These Free Marketing Tools Will You Add to Your Arsenal Today?

The point of this article wasn’t to sugarcoat the truth. The reality is that some of the best tools out there don’t come cheap – but are well worth the money. If you can swing it, there are some definitely plenty of tools out there that can help you grow into a stronger marketer.

There are also those you will probably regret spending money on.

The point of this post was to inspire you and show you that you have options. Which kind of means that we as marketers have one less excuse to make up for our failures  and one more resource to succeed.

So shake up the belief that free automatically means low-quality, and take advantage of the benefits offered for free by the tools mentioned in this article.

To end this article, I want to point you towards another resource you can access. You can find more inspiration and learn more about the tools that power growth by watching our shows. They’re also FREE.

Heading out? Make sure to tell us what are some free tools you think should have made it on our list. We’d ♥ to hear your feedback.