I love tools. There are so many kinds of them and they are so different that it's fascinating. Sometimes you pick up something at a flea market and have to guess at what it does because you have no idea why that tool exists, but it exists for a reason. Somebody designed that tool to help them do something that needed to be done.
I don't necessarily use all the tools out there, but I am around them a lot and I've made some observations over the years about some universal characteristics all good tools share:
- They are designed by someone who needed that tool to do a specific thing.
- They are designed to do that specific thing well.
- They are designed to keep on doing that specific thing as long as needed.
- Most multi-function tools don't work as well as several specific tools will, but that's not a universal rule.
Would you add anything to that list? It works for kitchen tools, woodshop tools, automotive tools, sewing tools, and many more categories. It also works for tools you won't find at a flea market. Kelsey Jones came up with 14 of The Best Paid Search and SEO Tools for Search Engine Journal, and it looks to me like they fit my list of "good tool" characteristics.
The thing about tools is that what works for one person may not work for another. As people use tools to work on things there's a natural selection that occurs, and certain tools get used frequently because they work well for the job at hand. There are a lot of paid search and SEO tools out there but they don't all have to be in your marketing toolbox. We've talked about tools for small business many times on this blog because it's good to know what is available, but you have to decide what works best for your business and use them the right way.
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