Local Marketing

The best marketing tools for small businesses

Everything you need to give your business the edge it needs against larger competitors with more resources

Quick summary
  • Small businesses that leverage the best marketing tools typically get much higher returns from their marketing efforts.
  • Choose tools that best suit your marketing strategy, business goals, and budget.
  • Semrush Local is an all-in-one marketing tool that can quickly boost your online visibility and reputation.

With fewer employees and limited resources, small businesses need all the help they can get to compete with rival businesses vying for online visibility.

Fortunately, today’s affordable marketing tools empower small and medium business (SMB) owners to go head-to-head with larger corporations—and all for free or a low monthly subscription.

But which are the best marketing tools for small businesses with modest marketing budgets? And which marketing tools are best suited to small business owners with no experience?

Why use online marketing tools for small businesses?

The best marketing tools for small businesses level the playing field and allow SMBs to compete effectively, streamline operations, and drive growth.

Many small business marketing tools are budget-friendly, reducing costs for a stronger return on investment (ROI).

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Leveraging online marketing tools for small businesses means more targeted, data-driven campaigns that yield better results and contribute to your business's long-term success.

Identify your ideal customers more accurately and create personalized marketing campaigns that resonate with them.

Stack different marketing tools to:

  • Automate various tasks to reduce the time and effort required for manual work.
  • Simplify repetitive jobs like email marketing, social media scheduling, and lead nurturing.
  • Foster better communication between sales and marketing departments with CRM integrations.
  • Maintain a consistent brand image and messaging across various marketing channels.
  • Track your progress with easy-to-understand visuals that make reporting a breeze.

As your small business grows, the best marketing tools will scale with you. You can add new features, integrations, or users as needed, ensuring that your marketing system evolves to meet your changing requirements.

Feature-rich: Listing management, local SEO, reputation monitoring, customer engagement… Semrush Local ticks a lot of boxes for one affordable marketing tool.

Online marketing tools for small businesses you should consider

From email marketing solutions that enable personalized customer outreach to social media management platforms that streamline engagement across multiple channels, these tools help small businesses make a big impact.

Mailchimp

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Email marketing remains a powerful tool for engaging your customer base.

Mailchimp is one of the most user-friendly email marketing platforms for small businesses. With email templates, automated campaigns, and detailed analytics, Mailchimp helps you send compelling emails that drive customer engagement and conversions.

Plus, Mailchimp integrates seamlessly with various e-commerce platforms and CRMs, making it a versatile choice for businesses of all sizes.

Semrush Local

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Semrush Local is one of the best marketing tools for small businesses that need quick business listing distribution, simple review management, and position tracking.

Many small businesses find themselves priced out of SEO agencies, freelancers, or dedicated in-house marketers. Semrush Local is the hugely effective alternative.

Plus, you can also consider using the main Semrush platform's keyword research tools to build your content marketing and SEO strategies.

Semrush Social

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Maintaining a consistent and active social media presence fosters brand loyalty and attracts new customers.

Semrush Social is the time-saving marketing tool for scheduling social media posts, monitoring mentions, and analyzing performance across multiple platforms.

Canva

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Canva enables small businesses to produce professional-looking visuals without the need for a background in graphic design.

The affordable software simplifies the creation of eye-catching social media graphics, blog post images, flyers, and more, with its user-friendly templates and tools.

Google Analytics

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Understanding website performance is crucial for optimizing your small business’s online marketing efforts.

Google Analytics is a free tool that provides detailed insights into traffic, user behavior, and conversions. By tracking key metrics like bounce rate, traffic sources, and conversion rates, you can make better decisions to enhance your website and marketing strategies.

HubSpot

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HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing automation platform that offers email marketing, CRM, content management, and more.

With HubSpot, you can nurture leads, build landing pages, automate marketing tasks, and track customer interactions.

While it has paid plans, HubSpot offers a free CRM platform that can be a great starting point for small businesses.

Google Trends

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Google Trends is a free online tool to explore and analyze search trends on Google. It provides data on the popularity of search queries over time and by country, as well as related topics.

Stay ahead of trends, make informed decisions, and effectively engage with your target audience with relevant content.

Google Search Console

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Google Search Console helps you monitor and improve your website's performance in Google Search results.

Check important website stats like clicks, impressions, click-through rates, and average positions. Use insights from Google Search Console to enhance your website's visibility, performance, and user experience.

Google Business Profile

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Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, allows businesses to create and manage their online listing on Google Search and Maps.

The platform features a range of tools to help local businesses stand out in search results and engage their target audience.

Bing Places for Business

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Microsoft’s search engine has its own Google Business Profile competitor, Bing Places for Business.

Businesses can take control of their listings, which also populate results in Bing Maps, as well as add posts, photos, and videos.

Free audit: Kickstart your collection of online marketing tools for small businesses with a free audit from Semrush’s Listing Management. Discover how your business is performing online, identify opportunities for growth, and take the first step towards dominating your local market.

How to decide which online marketing tools for small business are right for you

When choosing which marketing tools to shell out for, small businesses should focus on getting the most bang for their marketing bucks.

Start by clearly defining your marketing objectives. Are you looking to:

  • increase website traffic
  • generate more leads
  • get better average ratings
  • boost social media engagement
  • improve email open rates
  • rise up in local rankings

Knowing your goals will help you prioritize the tools that best align with your business objectives.

Determine how much you're willing to invest in marketing tools. Some tools offer free plans or trial periods, while others require monthly or annual subscriptions right out of the gate.

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The first tools to get are the ones that help you understand your target audience’s online behaviors and preferred communication channels. Once you have that data, you’ll have a better idea of what tools you need next.

If team members with limited marketing training will be using the tools, opt for user-friendly solutions that include guides. A tool's usability can impact its efficiency and your ROI.

Consider the availability of quality customer support. Responsive customer support can be a lifesaver when you encounter issues or have questions.

Take advantage of online reviews and recommendations from other small business owners. User experiences can provide valuable insights into a tool's strengths and weaknesses.

Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, engagement, and ROI to determine which tools are delivering the best results.

Gather feedback from your marketing team and stakeholders. Be willing to adapt and switch tools if they are not meeting your expectations or if better options become available.

Hassle-free reports: Say goodbye to complex analytics, and say hello to Semrush Local’s easy-to-understand reports that help you make informed local SEO decisions.

Building a smooth system of marketing tools that work together

Building a well-integrated system of the best marketing tools for small businesses streamlines your marketing processes and improves efficiency.

Choose a core set of marketing tools that align with your strategy. These tools should cover essential areas such as email marketing, social media management, content creation, SEO, and analytics.

If you already use other software like a CRM, e-commerce, or analytics platform, ensure the marketing tools you choose seamlessly integrate with your existing systems.

Don't feel pressured to adopt all the tools at once. Begin with the best marketing tools for small businesses that align with your immediate goals. As your business grows, you can gradually add more tools to your marketing stack.

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Ensure you and your team are comfortable using these tools effectively and encourage collaboration using project management and communication tools like Trello, Slack, or Asana.

Check your
local listings for free

Start your journey to better online visibility with Semrush Local

The best marketing tools for small businesses take care of multiple parts of your strategy.

Semrush Local is an all-in-one marketing platform designed to empower small businesses with the tools they need to boost their online visibility and reputation.

Publish business listings easily

Small businesses that prioritize their visibility can expect an uptick in website traffic, better online reputation, and customers coming through the doors.

Whether you're a small restaurant, a boutique store, or a service provider, Semrush’s Listing Management offers a straightforward solution to enhancing your local online visibility.

Use the tool to publish and manage business listings across 70+ online directories, search engines, and review platforms effortlessly.
Potential listings discovered by Semrush’s Listing Management

Track your ratings growth

Smart businesses understand that it takes a lot of hard work to build a solid online reputation and strengthen customer relationships.

But with so many platforms for customers to leave reviews, knowing how well you’re doing can easily slip out of your field of vision.

Use Semrush’s Review Management to keep a close eye on your ratings growth and make sure your hard work is paying off.
A review progress chart in Semrush’s Review Management

Spy on your local competitors

The first step to edging out your rivals in local search is getting a firm grasp on what they’re actually up to.

With Semrush Local, you have one of the best marketing tools for small businesses at your service to discreetly and ethically "spy" on local competitors.

Monitor your rivals’ reviews and ratings so you can adapt your marketing strategies, improve your products/services, and innovate to stay ahead of the competition.
Heatmap, one of the best marketing tools available in Semrush Local

Reply to reviews with AI

Online reviews play a pivotal role in shaping a business's reputation and influencing customer decisions.

Responding to reviews, whether positive or negative, is a crucial aspect of maintaining a strong online presence and fostering customer trust.

With the help of Semrush Review Management’s AI, small businesses can streamline their review management process with timely, personalized responses.
The customer engagement interface in Semrush’s Review Management
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