Free Google tools are constantly being rolled out by Google in an effort to help us with maintaining our blogs, but their true potential is often over-looked.
You could have the best, all-singing and dancing, jaw-dropping website around, but if you don’t study your statistics and keep a check on your site's health then things can go very wrong very quickly.
There are numerous tools available to help you keep track of all the things that really matter. But did you know that Google offers all the utilities you need to keep on top of these issues? For free! These are just five of many free Google tools that are available online. Everyone should be using them to keep their website Google and user friendly.
What are the Best Free Google Tools Available?
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is one of the most popular free Google tools provided by Google to diagnose any issues once you create a website. It also helps keep your site search engine friendly.
Using Webmaster Tools (now called Google Search Console) will help you to identify any potential issues within your website that could be causing you to lose traffic, such as 404 pages. You can also use Google Admin Tools to help the search giant understand which search queries your website is best suited to. You can then get a detailed overview of the queries, impressions and clicks from within your website which will help you to understand more about your users browsing behavior.
As you create pages on your website; and after you do your Google Site Map submission, use Webmaster Tools to track which other sites link back to these pages as well as how many times the pages appear within Google's search results.
By analyzing this data provided on Webmaster tools you will begin to understand which pages are the more successful within your website and can then adjust your strategy to optimize on this.
All this makes Google Webmaster Tools one of the most powerful free Google tools available to use online.
Google Analytics, one of the more in-depth free Google tools, improves on the analytics you can gain from within Webmaster Tools and really lets you deep-dive into your websites data. The standard reporting tools are perfect for beginners, making it simple to measure and understand the engagement across your site. But once you’re comfortable with this data and want to know more, Google analytics also allows you to segment your visitors so you can drill down into the data and find the stuff that really matters to you. You can also create custom reports, set goals and find your websites KPI’s (key performance indicators) allowing you to evaluate your success. Google Analytics is one of the most used free Google tools available for webmasters.
BONUS VIDEO FROM MS. ILEANE: Social Media Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics
Google Plus (Is this really one of the free Google tools? Of course it is!)
Whether you’re a multinational, faceless, mega corporation or just a kid writing blogs from a room in your parents home, you will understand the value of social media. By using Google Plus to promote your website or blog, you are reaching out to your core audience and saying to them “hey come and check this out!”. These are the people that are most likely to be engaged by your content as they are already subscribed to your social channels, such as your Google Plus profile pages. There are even more handy free Google tools to use within Google Plus. Ripples is my personal favourite as it allows you to see who is sharing your content publicly which, in turn, allows you to easily find the major influencers within your circles to share with and spread your content further.
UPDATE: In August 2014 Google Closed the Authorship Program
Google Authorship is one of a new bunch of free Google tools for bloggers. This is still a relatively new tool, but it is taking off in a big way. If you are a blogger worth your salt then you would have noticed that within Google's search engine results some blog posts are now beginning to show a thumbshot image of the author. This means that those bloggers have taken the time to create a Google Authorship account. By following a few simple instructions from Google you can implement this to your blog easily and ensure that each of your posts return a head shot next to your article within Googles search results. This will attract more clicks to your articles as you stand out from all those who have yet to still set up Google Authorship.
Your Authorship as well as your Author Rank are tied to your Google Plus profile and will display the image you use here. Its worth experimenting with your Google Plus images to see if you can increase traffic further by improving your picture.
Google Insights for Search
Google Insights for Search is one of the most overlooked free Google tools available. It allows you to compare search patterns and trends across the world or within specific regions or countries. You can use this free Google tool to help you determine which search terms will gain you relevant interest. For instance; say you have a product to sell with two or three great selling points but are unsure which would be the best to push for maximum return with your marketing strategy, Google Insights for Search can help you make better informed decisions.
By studying things that may affect your sites traffic such as seasonality or time of day, for instance you can also allocate your advertising budget more effectively.
You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on expensive analytical tools or outside agencies. There are a large range of free Google tools available for everyone to use that provide everything you need to optimise and market your blog or website. So if you are not using them already then start now and watch your websites natural growth improve.
How about you, what are your favorite free Google tools?