Using Google’s Free Services to Improve Your Website
Most people think of Google as being an all-conquering search engine that they use to find the things that they are searching for online, but Google offers an even wider array of services and many of them are free. A lot of these free tools are useful for building SEO for your website and some services that they offer are essential to creating and running a successful company website. Some of these sites can be accessed for free without the need to even sign in, while others will require that you create a Google account. Having a Google Account can be a real asset to a business, especially a smaller one, as it gives the account holder easy access to services like Gmail and Blogger, Google’s free blog platform. The Google Accounts dashboard lists twenty services that are available to everyone but this list is not exhaustive and many of the most useful services are not included.
One service that could be useful to anyone who is designing a website is the Google Adwords Keyword tool. This service allows users to test the popularity of keywords for their niche to determine which ones would be best in order to try and dominate, or at least compete for, within their particular niche. The Keywords Tool is also useful for suggesting synonyms and connected words and phrases that you may otherwise have had to spend hours compiling on your own. Search queries produce a table of results that lists the number of searches for each term and compares it to the number of sites that have been tagged with the same keyword. Using this tool effectively can give your web page dominance in the SERPs for important keywords that describe your business, while helping you to see the keywords that you will have to compete for more aggressively.
Google Analytics is another useful free keyword tool that allows users to track the traffic that comes to their website via the search pages according to which terms were used in the search. This tool can help to clarify which of the keywords you are using are the most effective in driving traffic to your website. The tool works by generating a short piece of code that you insert into the HTML at the end of your page, enabling it to monitor the traffic to your site; it then compiles a report for you on the Analytics site on demand.
Another keyword tool that is often useful is Google Alerts, which will automatically sendto anything new that is indexed in the search engines that contains the keywords specified in the alert request. This can be useful to keep up with the conversation in your niche and even to stay informed about what your competitors are saying. Related to this is Google Trends, which will show you the latest trends for the keywords that you use. When you enter a search term, Trends will produce a graph that compares the number of searches related to the total search volume across the internet and subsequently connects this with new content that is tagged with those keywords.
If your business is based at a specific location, then you also need to embed the appropriate Google Map that shows your customers where they can find you. Google Places also offers a free listing that allows you to fill in a comprehensive business profile that will appear in the SERPs for searches in your niche for your location. When you think that you have optimized your page and are dominating cyberspace, it is time to go to Google’s Page Rank Checker to fill in your domain name and find out your page’s score, on a scale from one to ten.