Free Small Business Web Tools

by Andrew Lock

This week's grab bag of Web tools – all of which are free -- includes a file format converter, a keyword tool and a nifty way to search all locations on Craig's List.

Andrew Lock

YouConvertIt File Format Converter

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got all kinds of software utilities on my computer to convert files from one format to another. I’ve got one that does videos to mpgs, I’ve got another one that does Word documents to pdf and so on. And it’s a mess because very often I forget how to use a particular piece of software, and I’ve even bought the same application twice because I had forgotten that I had it.

YouConvertIt.com; web tools
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So here's a Web tool that gets rid of all of that. It’s an online resource that converts file formats for free -- zero technical knowledge needed on your part. Now there are a few other services that have tried to do this, but this one really is streaks ahead and I’ll show you why.

Go to YouConvertIt.com and just look at how simple the interface is. Now, the really great part is the site converts more than 120 of the most common formats of documents -- audio, video, to images. Want to convert mp3 format to wave? Word document to pdf? Quicktime movie to flash? It handles all of those, and it does it really quickly.

What’s the Buzz Keyword Ranking Tool

What’s the Buzz is a keyword research tool that you can use to find out who’s talking about a certain keyword or phrase. You simply enter a keyword or phrase that you’re interested in, and What’s the Buzz will display the following information after it completes its research.

  • Technorati blog popularity chart showing how popular that keyword has been in blog posts for the last 90 day
  • Google Trends chart for that keyword,
  • Several example blog posts tagged with that keyword
  • Several example blog posts that contain the keyword in a regular, straightforward search

What's the Buzz closes out the report with a series of social bookmarks tagged with the particular keyword that you’re searching for. 

For example, if you enter the word "business" into the search field and click the What’s the Buzz button, it does a few calculations and contacts Technorati and Delicious, a social media, social blog bookmarking Web site.

What's the Buzz?; find keywords; Web marketing; marketing tools
What's the Buzz?
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The results: the keyword “business” has been talked about, used within all the blogs that Technorati tracks for about an average of about 20,000 to 30,000 times every day for the last three months. 

Clearly it’s a very common keyword. Following that, there is a Google Trends charts for this keyword of “business” that shows it’s actually trending slightly down over the last couple of years in blog posts. However the news references indicate that it’s actually trending slightly up over the same period.

The bottom of the report lists a handful of recent blog posts that have been tagged with “business.” And then at the very end lists social bookmarks on Delicious that have been tagged using the keyword or the key phrase “business.”

If you're looking for help with finding good keywords for your Web site, What’s the Buzz is a very quick and easy way to do keyword research.

Search All Craigslist

I love SearchAllCraigs.com. It’s a website that allows you to instantly search all of Craigslist. Now, I’m not sure how much you know about Craigslist, but it’s a very powerful site with a big disadvantage, and that is that you can only search within a very small geographic region.

SearchAllCraigs.com; web tools
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Here’s how you can use SearchAllCraigs to your advantage. Let’s say you’re looking for someone to help you with some aspect of your business like Search Engine Optimization. Type in “SEO Service” and see what comes up. On the first result we found someone who’s an official Google person -- what do they call themselves I wonder?

Anyway, it’s someone who offers help with SEO. So for any outsourcing services you might need in your business, check here first. You might find what you’re looking for. Again, that's SearchAllCraigs.com. It's a good one.

You'll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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This article was originally published on Monday Jul 19th 2010
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