Data is important. We established that several times already but finding the right tools to get this data and to analyze it can be rather difficult and confusing. Luckily big G, our almighty favorite brand, has some tools for you to help you out getting started. And since we’re all on gmail anyways your privacy doesn’t matter that much to you it seems so using google services shouldn’t be that much of an issue 😉
1. GOOGLE ANALYTICS
As we already established data matters and hence it seems like a no brainer to discuss the number one tool to gain insights on your website performance first. Google Analytics is, by now, the old school data collection tool around but obviously gets updated all the time.
Per definition Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. The nice thing is that you can create lots of goals by yourself meaning you can customize the reports you get and hence make them more relevant to your overall campaign goals. You can use all those stats and the conversion tracking to get the most of your analytics information and use it to improve your website’s content, user experience and optimization for better results.
A few of the highlights of Google Analytics are the ability to identify the Source / Medium of your website visitors. This is just one of the few tools that helps to see whether or not you’re doing a good job on different channels to increase your success. If you keep track of those stats over time you will be able to see where you need to invest more / less or if you should change your focus towards other options.
2. GOOGLE DATA STUDIO
Second point on the list and now quite likely already the first name that you haven’t heard before. Google Data Studio isn’t as famous as Analytics but powerful nevertheless. In fact Google Data Studio should be way more famous as it helps to turn your analytics data into easy to understand reports. This is incredibly helpful not only for beginners but for everyone who has to produce easy to understand reports on a continuous basis.
If you need some elaborate reports you might still have to do that by yourself in Analytics but Data Studio is a good choice for everyone who needs some easy to understand reports. Also seeing your data all visualized probably makes it way easier to understand.
According to Google, and I agree here, Google Data Studio allows you to create customizable data visualizations and reports. You can also share the results with your clients which can save you quite some time!
Do it now: Check out Google Data Studio Gallery to duplicate its samples and customized them to your own priorities. After that you will be able to change and edit all the metrics to make them fit your needs.
3. GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
This one also has been around forever and was formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, now rebranded to Google Search Console.
I can’t emphasize how much Search Console helped me with all things SEO. It makes things way easier as it helps understanding your site’s performance and highlights if there are any problems (crawling issues, etc.). It even let me know when one of my sites got hacked so I was able to take action right away. Thx, Google.
As soon as the website is tracked by Google, you’ll be able to view your organic search results right alongside the performance statistics for the organic search queries. You can see how both, paid and organic, results are performing.
You could even go further down the data whole and try to identify search queries based on traffic volume and find the best keywords to target out of that. This could also make sense to use in relation to Google Ads later on. As you can see all those tools work quite nicely together.
4. GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
No brainer. Be on there. Now. If you’re operating an actual business with an offline presence you need to be on GMB. It is very helpful to improve local SEO strategies and to keep track of your local search results performance.
GMB shows you what’s happening with your brand on the search results, lets you know if something is wrong, and suggests edits that could make sense to improve your visibility.
It’s from utmost importance that you always keep your information updated, keep pictures, videos, reviews, etc. active and curated and to not forget about your GMB page – as that’s what happens just way too many times.
5. GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER
Back to basics. The Keyword Planner is one of the most basic tools that needs to be in everybody’s tool belt. Honestly, if you’re trying to rank without doing keyword research, you’re just guessing. The Keyword Planner helps you to find related keywords, similar keywords, and shows you potential to grow as well as the competition for each keyword.
In order to use that tool however you have to sign in to your Google Ads account. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free – and it’s not like they don’t have your data already anyways. You’re reading an article about Google tools after all: http://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
6. GOOGLE TAG MANAGER
A great example of using this tool would be the use of the Facebook Pixel. Most businesses don’t really do that these days even though it’s pretty beneficial and should be a ‘must have’ for every serious marketing campaign.
7. TEST MY SITE FROM THINK WITH GOOGLE
The first time I came across this tool I thought ‘oh wow, they actually give all this information to us?’ – not that it’s super secret, but it’s pretty helpful to see how google actually sees your site. Loading speed and mobile optimization are crucial to rank your site and the Test My Site tool from Think with Google to check your website score on mobile performance are a great addition to your tool belt.
After a short time of running it you will receive recommendations on improving your website performance across all devices.
You can also request a more detailed report upon subscribing to the think with google newsletter which comes with some nice recommendations as well.
8. GOOGLE PAGESPEED INSIGHTS
As mentioned before page speed is very important for a good ranking. The PageSpeed Insights Tool is a great tool to actually analyze speed and tips and tricks to optimize your website better.
Google Pagespeed Insights shows interactions of the First Contentful Point (FCP), the measurement when a user sees a visual response from the page. DOM Content Loaded (DCL), as well as the measurement when the HTML document has been loaded and parsed.
Some of the tips from PageSpeed insights are:
- Avoid landing page redirects
- Enable compression
- Leverage browser caching
- Minify CSS
- Minify HTML
- Optimize images
- Prioritize visible content
- Reduce server response time
9. GOOGLE TRENDS
Google even has a tool that shows you the latest trends out there. Even country or category wise. If you know the latest trends you will be well prepared to find content to craft relatable content.
When using this tool you can also view the interest traffic of search terms. This could also help with planning your campaigns and the keywords you’d be using for that.
10. GOOGLE ALERTS
Last but not least Google Alerts. This helps you to be aware of particular topics (or your own brand) and all the related information that’s been published. Google Alerts delivers all the information to your inbox and notifies you every time updates happen.
When using this tool it might be smart to avoid search terms that are too generic as this will only give you results that are too broad. The more specific your terms, the more specific and detailed your results.