Five Google Tools You Should be Using

A photo of a tool box.Optimizing your website for search engine rankings is a full-time job. When you aren’t creating content you’re linking, when you aren’t linking, you’re analyzing your code structure… it’s a never ending process. If only there were some tools out there that could make the whole process easier. If you’re seeking search engine optimization guidance, don’t worry – Google’s got you covered. Google, that all mighty search engine that everyone wants to covet, is making SEO just a little easier thanks to a handful of great online tools. Oh, and did I mention, they’re all free to use?

Five Great Google Tools Worth Bookmarking

1) Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Keyword research is one of the most important steps in SEO – target the wrong keywords, and your site could be lost in search results forever. Luckily, Google can help you narrow down your keyword search with their nifty Keyword Tool. While this tool is designed for marketers that use Google’s pay per click program, AdWords, it is also extremely useful for organic keyword research. Use the tool to search out keywords that aren’t highly competitive, yet have a decent search volume.

2) Google Insights for Search

Keywords, like fashions, fall in and out of vogue over time. The search terms that people are using today, won’t necessarily be the ones they’ll be using tomorrow. In order to stay on top of these search trends, content creators should consult with Google’s Insights for Search tool. This tools lets you compare search volume across chose time periods, geographic areas, categories, and more. The tool sorts through all of your parameters and will provide you with information that will help you target the best keywords for new site content and blog posts.

3) Google Places

I discussed this tool in a previous blog post, but it deserves a second mention today. The Google Places tool is a definite must-use for small businesses that rely on local shoppers to survive. Create a listing using your business’s physical location, and Google will automatically display your store on a Google Map for any associated keywords. Remember to use important keywords in your listing in order to increase your visibility.

4) Google Webmaster Tools

You don’t have to be a total techie in order to understand Google’s Webmaster Tools. In fact, the average small business owner can navigate the tool with relative ease. Once you’ve verified your site, you can set up a number of diagnostic tools to ensure that your website is playing nice with search engine crawlers. Top search queries used to find your site are also displayed in the tool, along with other useful information.

5) Google Website Optimizer

Google’s Website Optimizer is a great testing tool, and one that every small business owner should utilize. Designed in consultation with Future Now, Inc., the online conversion rate specialists, the Google Website Optimizer tool lets website designers and small business owners try and track different scenarios and setups online, in order to decide which layouts are the most likely to convert. If your traffic is high, but your conversion rates are low, the Google Website Optimizer can help you determine what the problem is, and provide you with great solutions to the problem.

What tools do you use to help monitor the effectiveness of your website? Leave your recommendations below.

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