Google knows websites and search engine rankings. They also know what search engine users want from websites. Based on that knowledge, Google offers a generous collection of free tools that help you enhance your website’s performance in search rankings and user experience.
Among other information, website owners need to know how their website looks on different devices, how to optimize their site for better performance, and how to find the ideal keyword terms for online content.
We’ve created a short list of the 5 free Google tools we feel provide the most value to website owners and website marketing professionals.
More websites use Google Analytics for website traffic analysis than any other service. Google Analytics is a free tool that provides robust information about website visitors.
Online marketing strategy depends on collecting and consolidating critical data about user behaviors and interactions across multiple platforms, web applications, and devices. Google Analytics consolidates your website data for invaluable reporting about your website’s visitors. This information is presented in customizable reports.
Google Analytics measures all website traffic from all sources, and what that website traffic does once it gets to your website. In short, Google Analytics provides all the website visitor data most website marketers will ever need.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools) in another impressive, free Google tool for website marketers. While Analytics focuses on web users that land on your website, Google Search Console focuses on how your website gets those visitors to your website in the first place.
In terms of SEO, Search Console enables you to see search terms people use to find your site, where you rank on average for the terms, and how many clicks actually went to your website from those search terms. You can monitor and fine tune your SEO by using the data provided by Search Console.
Search Console also tells you how often Google crawls your website, and it enables you to submit new website pages to Google’s index. It also identifies problems that may cause ranking issues, such as server errors, broken links, and duplicate content.
If you want your website to rank well organically on Google, Search Console is a must.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
The AdWords Keyword Tool is a useful research tool for both SEO and PPC campaigns. The Keyword Tool started out as a way for web marketers to plan their PPC budgets. While it is still used for that purpose, it has also become a great keyword research tool for SEO and content marketing.
The Keyword Tool helps you do research for SEO planning by identifying words and phrases people will use to find your website. It also shows the level of competition and monthly number of searches for those keyword phrases.
As you can imagine, the information provided would make any SEO, PPC, or content marketing campaign much more effective than simply guessing keywords.
PageSpeed Insights will tell you how fast your website loads on both mobile and desktop devices. One nice feature about PageSpeed Insights is that it does not require a Google account for access, so you can also investigate your competitor’s page speed performance.
Improving your website’s page speed helps improve the user experience AND search engine results. Two birds, one stone – what are you waiting for?
Google Mobile Friendly Test
With the mobile-friendliness of your site now impacting search engine results, testing your website to see if it is mobile friendly is a must. By definition, mobile friendly means a website viewer does not need to zoom or scroll horizontally to see the webpage, any links are easy to tap, and no uncommon software (like Flash) is needed for viewing.
Google provides a very easy way to test your website. Go to the Google Mobile Friendly Test, enter your URL into the search box, and click the “Analyze” button. In a few seconds you will know if your website is mobile-friendly (or not).
While Google offers many, many more tools to website owners, these are our current favorites. If you own a website, or are in charge of marketing one, these 5 tools provide invaluable information. The best part is these tools are free - take advantage of them to get your website running at peak effectiveness.
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