Google is so much more than just a search engine. In fact, Google has around 100 tools and resources that can help you run, improve and grow your business. Whether you’re a local florist or an international corporate organisation, this fundamental truth remains the same – the more you understand about your online presence and operations, the more you can improve them.
Over the years I’ve gained experience utilising Google’s tools that have enabled me to help clients achieve their online goals. I’ve invested a vast amount of time into learning search engine optimisation techniques, search engine marketing and data analysis. From this I’ve helped businesses grow their online presence through long-term strategies and data-driven insights.
For the vast majority of businesses having a website is crucial, but understanding its performance and visibility should always be a priority. Here’s a short summary of 5 free Google tools and resources, and how each can help improve your website’s performance.
Google Analytics tracks and reports activity on your website.
From the moment a user visits your website Google Analytics is building a picture of your customers, and can report this information back to you in real time. Reporting is organised into four categories, these are:
The audience reports provide insight into your users. The typical data you can find here is; how much traffic your website is getting, how many pages are visited per session, how much time users spend browsing your website, where these users are located and what devices they are on.
The acquisition reports help you understand how users are getting to your website. There are many ways in which users can discover your website, such as; directly, organically, through paid search, social media, email marketing, referral from another website, digital advertising and more.
The behaviour reports document the actions people are taking when they are on your website. Here you can see your most popular pages or areas of your website, what users are searching for, and also track specific interactions such as playing a video, downloading a resource, or even how far users are scrolling down the page.
The conversion reports track the completion of activities that are important to the success of your business. For lead generation websites this could be the number of times a user subscribes to your newsletter, submits an enquiry form or clicks on your email address. For e-commerce websites this would mainly be looking at sales and revenue.
Google Analytics plays a large role in understanding your website’s performance and provides insights on where improvements can be made. Whether you use it for basic analysing, or configuring custom reporting to understand complex user flows or actions, Google Analytics is equipped to help.
To learn more about the benefits of Google Analytics click here.
Google Search Console helps you measure and improve your website’s performance on Google.
Most business will appear on page 1 of Google for their brand name, but won’t also fully understand what other keywords they rank for. In other words, you need to consider the fact that the vast majority of your audience might not have heard of you. Therefore, if you’re not paying attention to the other keywords (not brand terms) that represent the products and services you offer – you could be missing out on being found by new customers.
Google Search Console tracks and lists the keywords your website is ranking for. Better yet, it will give you detailed information about their impressions, position, and clicks. Ideally, you want to see an increase in impressions and clicks, and a decline in the average position metric. Google Search Console will also tell you if there are any technical errors on your website which may be effecting your rankings.
To learn more about Google Search Console click here.
Google Ads is a paid digital advertising platform which can help put you directly in front of your customers.
There are 7 different types of Google ads campaigns, these are; search, display, video, shopping, app, local and smart campaigns. Each of these campaign types has their advantages and helps businesses connect with their unique audiences.
Search campaigns, also know as PPC, is the most common type of paid advertising. In simple terms, PPC is where you bid against the competition to appear in prime positions in Google’s search results for your chosen keywords. Ranking organically for the keywords that represent the products and services you offer can take time. Even then, paid adverts will sit above the organic results – stealing clicks away from hard earned search engine optimisation. I often suggest a well balanced search engine marketing strategy consisting of both PPC and SEO.
Fundamentally, Google Ads is a means to help drive targeted traffic to your website – the effectiveness of your website will then take over which will hopefully result in a conversion. The two come hand in hand and can learn from one another, with the end goal being to create a system which yields a positive return on investment.
To learn more about Google Ads click here.
Google My Business is where you can list your business on Google.
Creating a business profile lets you manage how your business appears on Google search and maps. A well managed profile will help Google’s gain a better understanding of your company and the services it provides, which only will help increase your visibility.
Google My Business is much more than just a business listing, you can create promotional posts, manage reviews, respond to messages, manage an image library, showcase products and list your services. You’ll also appear in map packs for people who are local to you. Profiles are quick and easy to create and often require little to no maintenance.
To learn more about Google My Business click here.
Google Data Studio allows you to collate data from multiple sources into a fully customisable dashboard.
Reporting can be time-consuming and confusing, especially when the data is spread across multiple platforms. Google Data Studio allows you to pull data from numerous data points into one consolidated and simplified dashboard to help you easily monitor the information that’s important to you.
Integrating data from most Google tools such as; Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Ads and YouTube, is completely free. For those who would like to take it a step further you can integrate data from platforms such as; Facebook Ads, Shopify, LinkedIn, Twitter and many more for a premium. Each dashboard can consist of multiple pages and can also be exported as a PDF report for easy sharing. This will save you a vast amount of time in both analysing your data and drawing conclusions through data-driven insights.
To learn more about Google Data Studio click here.
The world of Google and digital marketing can be very overwhelming – which Google are well aware of!
To help combat this they created Google Digital Garage Online Courses which explains the basics in a digestible and easy to understand way. If you’re looking to take control of your online presence and start taking your website to the next level, this resources is a great please to start.
Alternatively, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help, you can find our contact page here.