Digital marketing changes by the second, and here at Highforge we are always listening to podcasts, scanning our feeds and reaching out to the hive mind for new tools to try and test. There are thousands of marketing hacks to optimize things at every stage of the process, and we’re all about creating efficiencies and maximizing results. We’ve found some nifty software to make your life easier in 2022. Here are five of our favorites these days.

Rank Math: Transforming SEO for WordPress

There’s a new tool that we’ve been using lately, and it’s been awesome. In the past, the big SEO tool that we were using on all of our WordPress websites was a plugin called Yoast. When we first started using it was by far the most popular piece of software out there, it was really everything you needed to do SEO properly, but since it came out, the ecosystem has become very competitive, and there’s a new tool that’s really risen to the top of the heap. It’s called Rank Math, and it’s awesome. If you haven’t used it before, test it out. If you’ve used All In One SEO or Yoast in the past, try Rank Math on your next site build. Drop it in and import all your data from Yoast into this new tool. It’s just so much more intuitive and streamlined. It has so many more features, and it’s free! The free version includes almost everything you need and the paid version offers way more features for the money than you get with the older plugins like Yoast. Once you see it, it’ll blow your mind. It’s awesome.

Google Trends: Keyword Research Amplified

Another marketing tool that we can’t live without is Google Trends. When we start planning Google Ads, writing copy and optimizing for SEO, it usually starts by looking for keywords. The research phase is really critical to get the process right. One of our favorite tools in the world is a free tool that not a lot of people know exists. It’s called Google Trends. Go to trends.google.com and start typing in searches that you think your customers might be using. It will tell you how many people are actually doing that search, any related searches, and how much traffic those searches are getting. It is a plethora of beautiful, amazing data that can absolutely change the trajectory of your business and save you thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars by keeping you from aiming at the wrong targets with the wrong keywords.

Fathom: GDPR Compliance for Websites

Another awesome tool that we’ve started using on our client websites is called Fathom. It can be a game-changer. Do you hate those GDPR cookie pop-ups that happen on every site and force you to accept or reject cookies? This tool will help you bypass that on your websites. It’s called Fathom analytics. A good friend of mine named Chris Lema recommended this to me, and we’ve started implementing it for a lot of our clients. It is amazing. It’s super-fast, it works as well as Google Analytics does for website reporting. The big difference is that it doesn’t keep or store any data, so you’re absolutely GDPR compliant. We also hate GDPR requests, and our clients hate them even more. With Fathom Analytics, if somebody puts in a GDPR request to the agency, all we have to do is say, we don’t have any data. It keeps us privacy-friendly- this thing takes care of everything!

Markup.io: Streamlining Design Feedback

Whether we’re creating a website, a PDF, a graphic or a blog post, we always incorporate client feedback to make sure the project achieves their business goals. In the old days, we had to hop on a phone call or send multiple emails back and forth to obtain this feedback. Not anymore! Now we’re using Markup.io.This tool has reduced our back and forth communication work with clients by up to 80% for design projects.  It’s nothing short of miraculous how easy it makes requesting and sending feedback on complex layouts and designs of all types.

Zero Spam: Cutting Out Form Spam

A lot of what we do involves driving traffic to lead forms to obtain qualified leads for our clients. The last thing we want is a bunch of junk leads wasting their time and clogging up the CRM. We added Zero Spam to our sites and it’s made a big impact. If your WordPress site has Gravity Forms installed (the most popular form builder for the platform) then this free add-on is a must!  It significantly reduces form spam with no effort or cost.

We hope these recommendations give you some ideas, lighten your load, or open up new opportunities for you. Hit us up on Twitter at @highforge to tell us what tools YOU’re loving in 2022!

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