Google is more than just a search engine. In fact, in addition to its search engine, there are tons of free tools GOOGLE provides that can be hugely valuable if you’re a marketer. When it comes to content marketing, the tools you use and the strategies you employ will have a major impact on the end result.
Regardless of how much experience you have in the past, you know that there are always a bunch of ways to boost your performance. With so many free Google tools offered, it can be hard to know where to begin. But, don’t worry. Below is a short-list of some of the top Google tools for digital branding and content marketing to get you started.
12 Helpful Google Tools for Digital Marketers:
1. Google AdWords: Keyword Planner
As a content marketer, you should always be searching for keywords that can give your website or a particular blog post a boost. Keyword research helps you identify the best keywords to target.
If you are seeking a tool that helps you find and target the best keywords for your business, the Google AdWords Keyword Planner is the best option. It can help you search for new keyword ideas and suggestions.
Out of many tools available, the Google Keyword Planner remains one of the best ways to conduct keyword research. It is user-friendly, with an intuitive interface. You just have to experiment with the tool for a while — running a search after search — for you to understand what works out and give you a better idea of which keyword to use.
The fact that it’s extremely simple to use makes you like this free tool a lot. Keep in mind you will need to set up an AdWords account to use the Keyword Planner, but that doesn’t mean you actually have to create an ad.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is probably one of the most powerful Google tools that you can use as a content marketing professional. This tool helps you to get an instant snapshot of your performance over a particular period of time. This alone will give you a clear idea as to whether or not you’re on track to achieving your goals.
How long are people spending on your site? Does it have a high bounce rate? How are people finding and navigating your site? All of these important analytical questions can be answered by Google Analytics. This tool also provides a wealth of information like:
- Demographics – Learn more about your audience, including their gender, age, geographic location, and language.
- Social Engagement – See what social networks visitors come from and how they interact with your website’s social plugins (custom coding must be implemented).
- Technology Used – Find out what browsers, operating systems, and networks your visitors are using to view your website.
- Mobile Information – Curious if you need a mobile website? Find out how many of your visitors are using mobile technology.
- Traffic Sources – Analyze what websites, keywords, search engines, and other referrers send traffic to your website.
- Top Content – Get a handle on how effective your content is by seeing your top entry and exit pages. This will help you as you continue to produce new content.
- What Leads to Conversions – You can also establish goals in Google Analytics to see which of your site visitors complete conversions such as purchasing a product or signing up for a mailing list.
For more specific campaigns, such as email marketing, paid search, and social ads, Google Analytics allows marketers to link their Google Adwords account to Google Analytics for data syncing. Overall, Google Analytics could be used as the basis for measuring each marketing effort.
3. Google Trends
How do you consistently produce quality content for your blog? Do you find it difficult to continually generate fresh ideas? The tool ‘Google Trends’ allows you to see topics currently trending, as well as the current news stories trending. With “stories trending now,” you can find a topic or news story that matches your industry and make your next blog post culturally relevant.
In addition to the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Google Trends can be a great tool for helping you make smarter keyword choices. It enables you to evaluate the popularity of certain terms, compare them against other keyword variations, analyze how their popularity varies over time and in different regions/languages and shows related keywords, which can be helpful in getting new keyword suggestions.
4. Google My Business
Want to get yourself some free advertising on Google? Want your local business to show up before organic search results? With Google My Business (formerly known as Google Places), you can easily get a free business listing on Google.
All you have to do is claim or add your listing on Google My Business, complete your profile (phone number, address and business category), add photos & videos, and your business can get featured in the search results (as well as in Google Maps) for local searches.
The benefits of using Google My Business include:
- The opportunity to put your business in front of customers who are interested in what you have to offer.
- People can learn more about your company, based on the information that you provide.
5. Google Alerts
“Google Alerts” is also a worth mentioning tool that can be highly useful for content marketers. It helps a lot in discovering relevant published content on the web.
‘Google Alerts’ enables you to monitor the web for mentions of specific keywords or phrases. Once set up, you’ll receive either email alerts or results via RSS whenever these phrases have been mentioned online.
Google Alerts keeps you apprised of the latest news, and lets you know anytime someone mentions your brand, company, products, executives, or your competition, whether on a 3rd-party review site, or even a social network, blog or forum.
This PR tool is a great way to keep up with your competition and see where they are getting mentioned and react to online mentions of your brand in a timely manner.
6. Google Webmaster Tools
Want better insight into how healthy your website is in the eyes of Google? Just set up a Google Webmaster Tools account.
Google Webmaster Tools is another free Google product that provides a large amount of valuable data. It is a must-use for webmasters and SEOs. If you have already set up your website with Google Analytics, you can easily add it to Google Webmaster Tools to start learning the following.
- Site Configuration – This section checks your website’s settings on the web, including change of address, preferred domain canonicalization, site links, URL parameters, and users who have access.
- Site Health – This section includes crawl errors, stats, blocked URLs, and malware alerts.
- Site Optimization – This section includes your sitemaps, HTML improvement suggestions, content keywords, and other resources.
- Site Traffic – This section includes search queries, internal links, and +1 reports.
Google Webmaster Tools will alert you to any red flags that could prevent your site from getting found in search results, and help you analyze your existing search traffic so you can understand how visitors are currently finding you. Google Webmaster Tools also provides options for users to view reports to find broken links, to de-index pages that were accidentally indexed in Google.
7. Google Search Console
In addition to reviewing the overall health of your site, there are several other things that you can do with this tool. For example, Search Analytics allows you to quickly analyze your performance on Google Search.
If you’ve ever wondered how your keywords are performing, you can click the Position box to learn more. This will show you the average position for all of the keywords that appear in Google Search.
8. Google Docs
As you know, a big part of content marketing is content creation. If you’re doing a lot of writing, make sure you’re 100% comfortable with the tool that you’re using.
Google Docs is a simple sharing platform, used for sharing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and tables with others to view online, download or edit, or just give access to a read-only version of documents. You can even create forms and send them via a link or directly in an email to collect survey answers, crowdsource post information, and other data.
Here are some of the things that Google Docs does, as you work through the creation of a blog post:
- Checks for spelling errors.
- Provides an accurate word count.
- Allows you to easily insert screenshots.
- Makes it simple to collaborate with multiple users and share the document with them.
There are other options out there, such a Microsoft Word, but Google Docs seems to be the best option.
Google+ is a place to connect with others, including business partners, while also sharing content. Google+ may help you to grow your network of contacts and to discover content that can impact your business. And thanks to personalized search results, you can actually rank higher than normal in search results for those you are connected with on the network.
10. Google Mail (Gmail)
A big part of content marketing is getting and staying in touch with a variety of contacts. Since email is one of the best ways of doing so, you better be comfortable with the application you’re using.
With so many plugins to choose from, you should be able to customize your inbox to meet your every need as a content marketer. This alone can save you quite a bit of time and money.
Gmail is Google’s free email platform, boasting a smart inbox filtering system. One of the best features in Gmail is the ability to filter messages into multiple labels and have them bypass the inbox totally, or just label them to be archived. Using your Gmail filters wisely can help you keep your inbox clean and organized.
You can also use a variety of plugins to ensure that your Gmail account does exactly what you need. For example, WiseStamp helps you to create a custom signature, while FollowUp.cc helps you to never forget to follow-up on an important email related to your content marketing efforts.
11. Google Sheets
Content marketers need a system for recording, tracking and even sharing data. For that, Google Sheets is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to record data, track changes and collaborate with others.
While Google Sheets may not offer the same functionality as these tools, it’s still one of the best ways to remain organized. Regularly updating your spreadsheet, will have a positive impact on your content marketing efforts.
12. Google Calendar
Being organized is key to being a productive marketing professional and Google Calendar is one of the top organization tools that can help you. It doesn’t have all of the features that might be included in some of the paid tools, but it provides more than enough to keep you on track at all times.
Google Calendar allows you to set up reminder alerts that appear as popups when you’re logged in to your Google account or via email. You can use Google Calendar to keep track of guest posting opportunities, Twitter chats, advertising expiration dates, editorial calendars, etc.
You can share your calendar with other users or even to the public and embed it onto your website.
You may not use all of these tools from the search engine giant. And, some of these tools may not suit your marketing strategy. Even so, I’m pretty sure that you’ll find one or two that can change your approach for the better.
Have you used any of these free Google tools to improve your content marketing efforts? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.