These days, digital tools are more important than ever if you run a business. However, not every business owner has a great grasp of technology. With that in mind, it’s important to seek out advice from experts

Over the years, we’ve compiled a selection of free guides to a range of essential digital tools. These include must-have tools for running a business online, to time saving aids which can make your operations more efficient.

This is incredibly valuable if you run a business, as nothing can replace bringing in industry specialists with the latest expertise in web, social and content techniques. When someone works with tools day in and day out, you can trust their opinion on what actually works.

But, for any business, the more you understand about the online world the more it can be used for your benefit.

The modern business landscape grows more digitized by the day. With so many daily tasks and functions handled online now, from accounting to project management, tapping the potential of digital tools is essential for any organization hoping to maximize productivity and efficiency.

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The rise of remote and hybrid workstyles among employees and reliance on cloud computing has also necessitated adoption of helpful digital apps for collaboration. Whether you manage an agile startup or enterprise corporation, leveraging the right software, platforms, and automation tools has become critical not only for optimizing workflows, but maintaining a competitive advantage. Implementing the following 100 top digital tools for improving business performance in areas like marketing, design, writing, HR and more is one of the smartest investments an organization can make this year.

The time saved and efficiencies gained will rapidly justify any costs. Read on for an expansive guide to the must-have digital solutions for boosting productivity across all facets of your business.

In this guide, you’ll find an overview of the most important digital tools which will help you run a business. You’ll also be signposted towards our various guides, reviews and overviews relating to each of these.

Essential Digital Tools To Grow Your Business (Full Guide for using digital tools efficiently)

Essential Business Digital Tools

Some digital tools are essentially non-option in the world of modern business. This is anything which your business needs to remain competitive, let alone to get ahead of your competitors.

As one obvious example, very few businesses today are able to thrive without at least a basic website. With only a few exceptions, having a web presence is the most effective way for most businesses to reach new customers.

The following tools have a similar value. That is, these are the bare minimum of digital tools that your business should be taking advantage of, in order to keep up with your competition.

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Google My Business is one of the simplest and easiest ways to boost local traffic for your site.

We’ll start with a giant of the online world and our comprehensive blog explaining how you can use free Google tools to benefit your business. One highlight is Google Maps. This is, at times, underused by companies as a way to help potential customers find your premises using accurate, updated information.

For local businesses, Google Maps is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to reach new customers. This is because it’s one of the single most important ranking factors for local SEO.

You should also take a few minutes to read about Google Assistant and Alexa, as the world of voice search will be coming to your business soon. As the way people use the internet changes, it’s crucial to stay abreast of how this affects your business.

Other essential free guides cover apps and software to assist with vital areas of your business, such as business analytics, financial software and productivity apps. These should all be used to save costs, by improving the day to day operations of your business.

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Digital tools can be used for a range of different business functions. Image credit: ProfileTree

Blogging, Website Management and SEO

These days, content marketing is more important than ever for attracting web traffic. As we said, having a website is the minimum you can do to stay competitive. However, in most industries, this is far from enough.

It’s also vital that you ensure that your website attracts as many visitors as possible. Otherwise, your competitors will be the ones reaping the benefits. The most cost effective way to do this is through effective content marketing.

This largely involves publishing blogs on your website, and translating your content through a website translation service, such as Centus, to enhance global reach. As such, you need to know how to do this in the most effective way possible, as well as how to write articles which perform well in search engines.

For uploading and managing content, we’re big fans of WordPress – a platform you can use easily for blogging – and of the Yoast plugin, which helps improve the SEO potential of your writing.

But first, read our guide to understanding blogs, and what they can do for you, then take a look at the blogging platform alternatives before a deeper dive into WordPress.

A quick note about blogging – taking a moment to understand the importance of copyright-free images is a great investment, as is taking time to move from Canva (a free design tool) to Photoshop.

A highly recommended next step, then, is to learn about the WordPress plugin, Yoast. Our Ultimate Guide to Yoast is best read alongside our quick read overview of Yoast Academy, the company’s own in-depth tutorial series.

But there’s no value in trying to rank for keywords if you don’t know which keywords you need to target. SEMRush is a great place to start and is covered by a free ProfileTree guide.

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Digital Tools: Social Media and Video

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Of course, having a great website isn’t the be all and end all of running a business online. That is, your website is one way to attract and engage customers, but it is not your only option.

Social media and video are other excellent ways to reach and sell to interested people.

These offer a number of benefits. For one thing, social media offers you a great ability to reach very specific audiences. This can be based on demographics, interests or behaviour, as well as custom audiences which are fed by your other marketing channels.

Additionally, social can be used to reach users both organically and through paid ads.

Again, we’ve joined two subjects together as they overlap into each other beautifully.
Not only will your business need to have a good grasp of the social media platforms out there, but also the social aggregator tools available to make better use of those platforms.

In particular, TweetDeck is an easy and extremely useful starting point. Our user guide is here.

It’s hard to imagine a business investing in social media marketing without considering the power, and potential ROI, of video content and video marketing.

Our free guides cover essential video subjects like Facebook Video Ads, creating your own YouTube channel, the benefits of YouTube Premium and monetising your YouTube content.

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Personal Development

Perhaps not a digital tool in the traditional sense, but more of a career tool in a digital world.

Our guides to personal development have included emotional intelligence in the workplace, essential personal development theories, self-motivation and public speaking.

These have always been incredibly important business skills.

More recently however, a range of digital tools have emerged to help professionals to develop the right soft skills to thrive. For example, our market is more globalised and diffuse than ever. This has led to a rise in demand for language learning apps.

Similarly, there are more digital platforms than ever before which offer education for both personal and professional development. This allows you to continually grow, as well as helping business owners to get the absolute best out of their employees, both online and offline.

statistics and trends in digital tool usage for 2023, sourced from reputable industry research firms:

General Trends:

  • Remote work boom: Global remote work population increased by 143% between 2020 and 2023, driving demand for collaboration and communication tools. (Statista, 2023)
  • Cloud adoption skyrockets: Cloud service market size worldwide expected to reach $556.8 billion in 2023, indicating widespread adoption across businesses and individuals. (Gartner, 2023)
  • Mobile-first access: 56% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices, emphasizing the need for mobile-friendly and app-based tools. (Statista, 2023)
  • Security focus intensifies: 61% of organizations worldwide now require multi-factor authentication for remote access, reflecting increased cybersecurity concerns. (Microsoft, 2023)

Specific Tool Usage:

  • Project management: user base grew by 108% year-over-year in 2023, showcasing the popularity of collaborative project management platforms. (G2, 2023)
  • Communication tools: Zoom saw over 500 million monthly active users in 2023, solidifying its position as a leading video conferencing platform. (Zoom, 2023)
  • Social media marketing: Social media management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer experienced increased demand as businesses prioritize social media engagement. (Social Media Today, 2023)
  • Content creation: Canva boasts over 55 million active monthly users, demonstrating the prevalence of user-friendly design and content creation tools. (Canva, 2023)
  • Data analysis: Business intelligence (BI) and data visualization tools like Tableau and Power BI are seeing greater adoption as companies leverage data-driven insights. (Technavio, 2023)

Emerging Trends:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI): AI-powered tools for task automation, data analysis, and content creation are gaining traction.
  • Low-code/no-code platforms: User-friendly platforms enabling non-technical users to build software and applications are on the rise.
  • Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR): VR/AR tools are finding applications in various industries, from training and education to design and collaboration.
  • Metaverse integration: Tools and platforms designed for navigating and interacting within the metaverse are beginning to emerge.

The Essential Digital Toolbox for Business and Marketing Mastery

In today’s digital hyperdrive, businesses and marketers need a streamlined arsenal of tools to navigate the marketing jungle and conquer growth. Ditch the clutter and focus on these must-have essentials that pack a punch:

Marketing Mastermind:

  • Social Media Management: Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social – Tame the social media beast with scheduling, analytics, and audience engagement tools. Rule every feed with ease.
  • Email Marketing: Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Klaviyo – Craft captivating email campaigns, automate workflows, and track your marketing magic. Make every inbox your canvas.
  • SEO Optimization: Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz – Climb the search engine ladder with keyword research, competitor analysis, and website optimization insights. Be seen, be heard, be unstoppable.
  • Content Creation: Canva, Visme, Adobe Creative Cloud – Craft stunning visuals, infographics, and presentations to captivate your audience. Tell your brand story with every pixel.

Design Dynamo:

  • Canva: Your one-stop shop for stunning visuals, even if you’re design-challenged. From infographics to social media graphics, Canva empowers you to create like a pro.

Bonus Essentials:

  • Google Analytics: Your data dashboard, revealing website traffic, audience insights, and campaign performance. Understand your audience, refine your strategy, and watch your success soar.
  • Cloud Storage: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive – Work seamlessly across devices, collaborate in real-time, and never lose a file again. Say goodbye to data silos, hello to streamlined collaboration.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Slack, Zoom, Teams – Connect with your team, hold virtual meetings, and brainstorm together remotely. No more silos, just one connected team.
  • Password Management: LastPass, 1Password, Bitwarden – Secure your digital fortress with strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and peace of mind. Protect your assets, focus on growth.


  • Master the must-haves before venturing into the long tail. These tools provide the foundation for effective marketing and business operations.
  • Experiment and personalize your toolbox. Discover niche tools that complement your workflow and fuel your unique brand story.
  • Collaboration is key. Leverage team features and integrations to work seamlessly, amplify your impact, and conquer your marketing goals together.

Digital Tools: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which tool is best for my specific needs?

A: The best tool depends on your individual business and marketing goals. Consider your budget, team size, and marketing channels you focus on. This list offers a starting point, but explore and experiment to find the perfect fit.

Q: Do I need all these tools?

A: Start with the essentials like social media management, email marketing, and SEO. Gradually add additional tools as your needs and budget evolve. Remember, quality over quantity – choose tools that offer genuine value and complement your workflow.

Q: How much do these tools cost?

A: Many tools offer free plans with limited features, while others have paid plans with more advanced functionality. Compare pricing and features before choosing a tool. Consider free trials to test-drive options before committing.

Q: How can I learn how to use these tools effectively?

A: Most tools offer extensive documentation, tutorials, and webinars. Consider attending online courses or joining communities to learn from experts and fellow users.

Q: What are some other helpful tools for businesses and marketers?

A: The digital landscape is vast! Explore tools for project management, customer relationship management, analytics, and content creation. Remember, prioritize quality over quantity and focus on tools that truly empower your growth.

Digital Tools: Conclusion

The digital landscape is your oyster, but navigating it requires the right tools. This curated list of essential tools provides a robust foundation for business and marketing mastery. Choose wisely, experiment fearlessly, and collaborate with passion.

Remember, the most powerful tool is not software, but your own creativity and drive. So, unlock your digital potential, wield your tools with purpose, and conquer the marketing jungle with confidence! The world awaits your brand story – tell it loud and tell it proud.

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