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Everywhere you look on the Internet these days there is a tool being touted to do something fabulous for your websites. Some of these tools are great. They can help you identify competitive keywords; they can help you research what your competitors are up to; and they can help you to measure the success of your online marketing campaigns.

The important words in that summary were ‘help you’. There is one thing that marketing tools won’t do, and that’s make your business successful. Yet if you listen to some of the sales hype, these tools on their own can take your business to new levels. Frankly, they won’t, they can’t, and they never will.

A simple example. I have a hammer but it won’t build my house for me. I have to use the hammer, and use it well together with a host of other tools and building materials – and that’s just for starters. I also need house plans and most likely the services of professional tradesmen like electricians and plumbers.

Your online business is no different. Tools are very handy and in the the right hands can deliver a lot of information that you can use to improve and build your business. There are times when online business owners, particularly those new to online marketing, try to use too many tools. The end result is a rather confusing array of suggestions and data, none of which makes much sense.

Internet marketing tools can be a real bonus to business owners, but only if you take the time to understand what they do, and what sort of information they are providing. What is more important is to understand what you can then do with that information. Many of the tools on offer today are expensive and, in reality, of not much use to a novice. You would be far better off seeking the services of a professional internet marketing consultant – over time, the cost would be the same but the results far different.

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