Google offers many free and paid services for business owners to leverage. From making your website more usable and tracking site traffic to improve your website’s local search engine optimization (SEO) quality and online advertising campaigns, Google offers various tools to help you.
1. Google Webmaster tools:
Google Webmaster Tools is a free service by Google for webmasters and website owners. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. Verifying your site with Google Webmaster Tools gives you access to reports about your site’s visibility and ensures that your site is indexed by Google on a faster / more regular basis. It isn’t necessary, but it’s a smart way to help your search ranking.
It has tools that let the webmasters:
- Submit and check a sitemap
- Check and set the crawl rate, and view statistics about how Googlebot accesses a particular site
- Generate and check a robots.txt file. It also helps to discover pages that are blocked in robots.txt by chance.
- List internal and external pages that link to the site
- Get a list of broken links for the site
- See what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs, and the click through rates of such listings
- View statistics about how Google indexes the site, and if it found any errors while doing it
- Set a preferred domain (e.g. prefer example.com over www.example.com or vice versa), which determines how the site URL is displayed in SERPs
- Highlight to Google Search elements of structured data which are used to enrich search hit entries
2. Google Analytics:
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. The service is free of charge and a premium version is available for a fee and add a host of extra features.
To add Google Analytics to your site, sign-up for an account and add your site to that account.Google will provide you with a block of code to add to your site. Copy this code – you’ll need to paste to a specific area of our editor.
Google Analytics can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines and social networks, direct visits and referring sites. It also displays advertising, pay-per-click networks, email marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.
Google Analytics is the most widely used website statistics service, currently in use on around 55% of the 10,000 most popular websites. Another market share analysis claims that Google Analytics is used at around 49.95% of the top 1,000,000 websites (as currently ranked by Alexa).
3. Google AdWords:
Pay-per-click (PPC) is the most popular form of online advertising, and Google AdWords is the Internet’s largest PPC ad network. Here’s how it works: A user bids on keywords that target customers are using to search for the types of offerings that the business sells, and then ads that are tagged with those keywords appear on Google’s search results pages when a person uses those keywords to search. The PPC client is only charged for the advertising service when someone clicks his ad. Performance-based costs at its best.
The Google AdWords program lets users create simple four-line text ads related to the keywords they select. You set a daily budget for your PPC advertising campaign and then monitor your progress using the AdWords analytic tools. You can get started with AdWords by spending as little as $1 per day. This is a great way to advertise online and drive traffic to your website.
4. Google AdSense:
The most popular way to make a little money from the visitors you’ve already attracted to your site is by putting ads on your website using Google AdSense. AdSense ties into AdWords by placing content-related ads on your site. You choose the size of the ads and where they’re displayed. When a visitor clicks on an ad, Google splits the ad revenue with you. Thus, Google AdSense can help you generate some extra revenue through your website.
5. Google Places:
Google Places generate the listing that pops up for a business when consumers search for related terms through Google Maps. By default, Google includes what it knows about a local business, including customer reviews from throughout the Web. But you can beef up your listing — and attract more customers — by submitting your own information to Google Places.
Creating a Place page on Google Maps is free. In addition to basic business information, you can post updates about coming events, describe specials and more — anything that might attract potential customers who may be searching for certain kinds of nearby businesses.
Many small businesses are using video marketing to attract customers, and they’re using YouTube, Google’s video sharing community, to do it. You can produce your own videos for relatively low cost and then post them on YouTube for free — and gain exposure to some of YouTube’s millions of users. As it costs nothing to upload a video to YouTube, this platform is an affordable way to promote your business online.
The new Google+ social network is Google’s attempt to compete with Facebook and Twitter. Within a few months of its launch, Google+ had more than 50 million users. You can tap into this by creating your own Google+ brand page, encouraging customers to add your page to their Circles (Google’s version of Facebook friends and Twitter followers) and then feeding followers a steady stream of interesting and useful posts. Use Google+ in addition to Facebook to round out your company’s social media program and further build community and customer loyalty. All it costs is a little time because marketing on Google+ is free.
8. Google Checkout:
Many people use the Internet to shop. One of the drawbacks of online shopping involves transmitting your personal information over the Internet. If you want to purchase items at different Web sites, you have to enter all your information multiple times. Google saw the opportunity to create a tool that would allow merchants and users to take advantage of a universal checkout system.
Here’s how it works: first you create a Google account. If you already have a Google account, you’ll need to enhance it by providing a credit card number, billing address, shipping address and a phone number. Once you complete this step, you can go shopping.
All you have to do is log in to your Google account and look for Web sites that subscribe to Google Checkout. When you see the checkout symbol listed next to an entry on a search results page, you know that you can purchase items from that site using your Google account. You’ll be prompted to provide your Google Checkout password, but you won’t have to enter your credit card number or personal information again. You make your selections and Google handles the rest of the transaction. The merchant never even sees your credit card number.
Google Checkout is free for consumers. Merchants must pay 2 percent plus 20 cents per sales transaction. But Google gives a discount to merchants who use Google AdWords. For every dollar a merchant spends in AdWords advertising per month, Google will process $10 of sales without charge
9. Google Forms:
Google Forms, a capable and easy-to-use survey tool, is a free Google Drive add-on you can download at the Chrome Web Store. Create your survey from question templates (choosing between types such as multiple choice, checkbox, scale, or text answers), then either post it in a Google+ Hangout or distribute it via email. Recipients submit the completed form by clicking a button at the end. The survey itself and the responses are all automatically stored on your Google Drive, and you can view the results in either summary form or in a spreadsheet.
10. Google Docs:
The Google Docs suite marks Google’s attempt at getting into the online productivity software game. The free suite includes a word processor, a spreadsheet editor and a presentation application. In short, it has the basic software applications many businesses need. Instead of saving all your data to your computer’s hard drive, you save your Google Docs files to a remote Google file system. Because the files are hosted on the Web, you can access them from any computer connected to the Internet. Your documents aren’t tied to a specific device.
Another feature of Google Docs is the ability to share documents and editing capabilities with other Google users. Multiple people can make edits to the same document at the same time. With traditional desktop applications, a project manager might have to handle multiple copies of the same file as various collaborators make edits and additions to the document. With Google Docs, everyone can make his or her changes directly to the file saved on Google’s servers. Google Docs also keeps track of earlier versions of the document — project managers don’t have to worry about someone accidentally deleting an entire section.
One drawback to Google Docs is that none of the applications are as robust as popular desktop productivity software suites like Microsoft Office. If you only need basic functionality, Google Docs can be useful. If you’re accustomed to creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations with all the bells and whistles, you’ll probably want to stick to traditional software.