• Sharon Hayward

10 Best Free Google Tools

You almost certainly already know that Google are the leading search engine in the UK with a market share of just under 90%, but did you know they provide dozens of FREE tools to help business owners improve their websites and increase their organic ranking position?

Here are my 10 favourite FREE Google Tools.

1. Google Analytics

This is an absolutely essential tool for understanding how your website is performing. This information can help you not only improve your website, but understand which of the products / services you offer are the most popular, predict sales trends and assess the impact of your marketing activity.

If you're not convinced, read 7 Reasons Every Small Business Should Be Using Google Analytics to learn more about how Google Analytics can help you as well as how to obtain your Google Analytics tracking code to install on your website.

2. Google Search Console

Google Search Console helps you understand how Google views your business. You can submit sitemaps, monitor indexing or crawling errors and identify 404 errors before you suffer a penalty to your organic ranking position.

Google Search Console also provides some insight into how well your website ranks for various search queries, how many impressions and clicks you received, as well as rankings by landing page URL, since this data is no longer available in Google Analytics.

3. Google My Business

This is the place where you manage your listing on Google Maps, Google Reviews and also the side-panel which appears alongside branded search results with opening hours, your phone number and website.

4. Google Page Speed Insights

A simple webpage into which you can type any URL and receive insights on page load speeds. Google uses page load time as a ranking factor, so this useful tool will give you an idea of how quick your page loads compared to Google benchmarks and it offers suggestions on how to improve load time (most of which will require a website developer).

5. Google Campaign URL Builder

Once you are familiar with the Google Analytics Acquisition report, you can use this tool to create your own URL extensions which enables you to create your own Source, Medium, Campaign and Content parameters. The benefit is that you can create different URL extensions for different marketing campaigns which means you can compare their performance in Google Analytics.

6. Google Alerts

A simple tool which allows you to set up automated email notifications when a particular keyword is mentioned on the web. It can be a great way to stay know when your company or brand features in the news, to stay up to date with what competitors are doing or simply to follow a subject you are interested in.

7. Google Trends

Google Trends shows macro level trends based on worldwide (or regional) usage of keywords. You can track the popularity of pretty much anything over time, which can help with content ideas for your website or help you check the terminology / keywords with the highest search volumes to make sure you are using the right language on your website to appeal to consumers. All data is indexed (not absolute values) allowing comparison.

8. Google Ads

Google Ads is a powerful tool for promoting your business via search, display ads and even youtube. It also includes a useful Keyword Planner tool to help you understand which keywords are most frequently used in searches.

9. Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a tools which allows you to build your own customised and stylised reporting dashboards, integrating data from Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search Console and Google Drive for free. Paid integrations from email and social media platforms are also available.

10. Google Tag Manager (GTM)

GTM is a simple idea – instead of repeatedly asking your website developer to add tracking code or modify what you are tracking, you can install a ‘container’. Once this is installed GTM provides an interface for non-website-developers to define their tracking code. You can define and measure actions or events that website visitors take such as watching a video, downloading a guide or submitting a contact form. It does require some technical understanding however.

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