11 Super Useful Sites
11 Sites We Like...And Why
Useful is good right? I consider something to be useful if I’m always going back to it, if it makes my life easier, if I can’t do without it. And in terms of key algorithm metrics—things like stickiness and return visitation suggests usability (which is a good thing!).
Now. This doesn't mean that in order to win at SEO, you have to be the next Google. But when you’re looking to improve your SEO, don’t think about improving your SEO but think about how you can be more useful, and keep that in mind – cause if you are, the good SEO juice will follow.
Here’s my list of sites that I turn to for advice and find most useful in my work day.
11 Useful Sites
Gmail. We do most of our business communication with clients using Gmail. Unlimited storage and cloud storage makes it a no-brainer for most businesses like ours.
Usefulness: Can’t do without.
Google Docs. All our docs are on the company drive. We use the Google suite to collaborate, share and maintain all of our documents. It’s incredibly cheap and in terms of version management — there is no better tool out on the market.
Usefulness: All day, every day
Hubspot. Our CRM and pipeline management. We use Jira for our day to day project management, but for sales and customer management – Hubspot is king.
Usefulness: Mornings and afternoons.
Wordstream. We stumbled across this awesome tool that we use to help manage our clients PPC campaigns.
Usefulness: Couple of times a week.
Jira. There are two types of people. Those who hate Jira, and those who don’t understand it. It's still down my list of usefulness as it drives me mental, but I’m assured it’s because I don’t understand how it’s supposed to be used. Can absolutely see the potential for it.
Usefulness: All Day. Weekdays only.
Google. Still the premier search engine. Tried Bing a few months ago for work and it was enough to know that they still have a long way to go.
Usefulness: Every day.
Usefulness: Every trip
Facebook. Surprising that it’s so far down the list - and it might change now that we’ve decided on upping our social presence. But for work, when I’m on FB, I feel as though I should be on something else.
Usefulness: Weekends and after hours.
Facebook Business Manager. FB BM usefulness fluctuates for me. When we’re knee deep in a FB campaign for a client, then obviously it’s getting the full workout, but usually day-to-day, it just isn’t in my go-to pages. I love what it gives in terms of value around audience insights and the audience segmentation…But I suppose for HJ, it’ll be a while (hopefully not too long) before we have the kind of numbers for our own page that we can actually start to explore.
Usefulness: Great for clients, not so for ourselves.
Stumbleupon. It’s an old favourite of mine. Terrific for procrastinating and just stumbling upon random, but interesting content. I’ve learnt more from Stumbleupon that I have from any other site out there. Big call I know, but in terms of if you just want to sponge something random. Then buckle up. This could go anywhere. The only problem I have with Stumble, is that when the rubber hits the road, it’s one of the first thing that goes. My highest stumbling was when I was in a role that I seriously despised. I still got a lot done, but I’d need a good hour or two just to build up the engagement to get going.
Usefulness: Great when bored
SMH. This was a close run thing with the Guardian. Local news is still a big drawcard for me. Living in a city that I wasn’t born in still has me automatically typing SMH each time I feel as though I need to check up on the news. I love that you can still bypass the paywall/article limit with the flick of private browsing, and am quite happy to browse the front page only to right click on the link and ask chrome to go incognito. Sorry Fairfax. Ironically, the only reason why the Guardian was bumped off is due to it’s abysmal reporting of the AFL. As an ardent Sydney Swans Supporter, Go Swans, it’s tough to read that much about cricket.
Usefulness: Once a day.
Other useful sites not in our top 11, but nonetheless useful:
Asos. Pretty much the only place I buy clothes online. So much variety. So easy to get hold of clothes.
Slack. Their app is better, but when I’m ‘appless, slack.com works a treat.
Spotify. Again, better as an app. But - if the app goes down and you need music. Man I miss Radio.
Design Rush one of the best content marketing & copywriting directories.
Why are these sites useful?
I suppose it’s a combination of things. Obviously, there’s a distinct need of mine that they are filling. Whether it’s replacing the outdated and expensive office suite (financial) on my computer, streamlining my client’s PPC activities (skill), or allowing me to stumble upon some awesome, tailored content (time). But — there’s something a little bit extra. There’s the constant surprise and delight. It’s the Gmail integration with Hubspot that let’s us track and log emails directly into our CRM, or the extra data configuration and analytics that Jira promises – some call it surprise and delight - the way I think of it is a bit simpler. It’s the “can I do without this? Test” and if the answer is no, then - it’s useful.
Why is useful important?
It’s about stickiness. If people find your site useful, they are going to come back time and time again. It’s really difficult to be useful - as my needs are always changing. When we’ve been planning the design of our own site, it’s one of the questions that we constantly ask ourselves - how can we use the site to be useful to our clients. Not only do we have to fulfil our client’s needs - but judging by our own list, we have to do it in a way that means they can’t do without it!