Search engine optimization, (SEO), is super important to the business. So, who wouldn’t want to befriend the giant search engine Google? For those of us looking to keep up with algorithm updates and aiming to get on Google’s good side – we have a plethora of resources and tools to tap into. But, the tools aren’t just for us. Anyone can explore and learn!
Leaning Tree Marketing uses these tools for client projects.
Whether you are a professional SEO or a business owner trying to make magic happen, these are the most important tools Google has to offer. (Links have been updated for 2023):
- Search Console: (Formerly Google Webmaster Tools) Evaluate & maintain the performance of a website regarding search results. Used by business owners, developers, and SEO experts alike.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.
- Google Business Profile: If you have a brick-and-mortar business, then you need a Google Business Profile. Showcase your products and services and appear in local search results.
- Google Business Profile Help: When you have trouble with your local business listings, this is a go-to for help.
- Google Tag Manager: Especially after the launch of GA4, Google Tag Manager is important for tracking metrics. It measures the success of your campaigns across desktop and mobile.
- Ai.Google: Google even has AI tools so that anyone can use the emerging technology to solve problems.
- Search Quality Rater Guidelines: Google is always improving its search. These guidelines explain how search works, what is changing, and what to be mindful of… especially regarding website content.
When it comes to the performance of a website, there are more tools to choose from. Some are free, partially free, and yet others require a paid subscription. Many are available on Chrome as an extension. Here are the top tools from Google for testing and identifying search trends. All of them are Chrome extensions:
- Lighthouse: A Chrome developer tool that audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more.
- Page Speed Insights: Find and fix issues slowing things down. This is an open-source tool called Lighthouse for Chrome users.
- Google Trends: Explore how data and keywords are trending across the U.S. including by state for popular terms. Trends for Chrome is a popular extension.
- Google Site Kit: Tells how people find and use your website. Easy management tool for Google products including GA4.
- MonsterInsights: Popular analytics plugin with excellent features- works with Google Analytics.
- Google XML Sitemaps: Helps Google, Bing, and Yahoo understand the contents of your website.
- Widget for Google Reviews: Displays reviews from your Google Business Profile to your website through an approved API without crawling and other unofficial methods.
- Maps Widget for Google Maps: Not recommended if you’re a freelancer and don’t wish to have a physical location made public. But, for most businesses, you’ll want to use a Google Maps API widget like this one.
- Reviews Widget for Google Reviews: Display and even filter real reviews from your Google Business Profile.
It’s really crazy how many tools Google offers to those who want to learn. Some of the below bulleted mentions offer “one-on-one” advice, while others are organized more like forums of experts.
- Google Search Central: Offers specific actions to improve the SEO of your website. Monitor, debug, and optimize.
- Grow with Google: Get training, tools, and resources to help grow your career. Get certified! Also, get information on how to grow your small business.
- Google One Team: Questions about Photos, Gmail, or Maps? This is a subscription plan but starts at just $1.99 per month.
- Skillshop With Google: Google’s e-learning courses, exams, and certifications. Learn quickly & apply skills right away.
- Google Analytics Academy: An introduction to Google Data Studio, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager including some fundamentals.
- Think with Google: Provides market insights & trends for just about anything. I love the “Year in Search” that is published at the end of each year.
- Google Digital Garage: Get an online digital skills course -everything from marketing to coding and more.
- Google Accounts & GSuite Learning Center: A variety of application tools to support & connect your business either by individual sign-in or through an organization.
- Google Blogs: Again, these are all free! Check out Google’s Blog, as well as the Webmaster Central Blog & the Google Research Blog.
- Google Learning: Learning for school, work, and life.
- Google One: Get more storage for a couple of bucks and also gain access to “Ask a Google expert.”
Checkout: Wikipedia’s Full List of Google Products (It has EVERYTHING Google, including outdated Google products.)
As you can see, Google provides a ton of resources and information to support its products. (Forums, blogs, newsletters, training, insights, case studies, etc.) Behind every technology giant, there are people. Smart people! On social media websites and LinkedIn, there are insiders to follow for regular advice, such as John Mueller and Danny Sullivan. These people regularly tweet, write, or can be connected within Google chats or webinars. With all of the support and guidance offered by key players at Google, it’s like having personal mentors.
Now it’s your turn. Either spend a ton of time learning SEO and keeping up with it – or invest in people who live and breathe it. You don’t need a ton of resources to build your digital team.