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15 Google tools for website operators and their digital agencies

Google Analytics

With Google Analytics, companies can analyze the traffic on their website. On the basis of the analysis data, conclusions can be drawn for the optimization of the content offered. Where do the users of my website come from, which are the most popular individual pages, how long is the dwell time, and which pages achieve the most conversions, such as newsletter registrations, sales and whitepaper downloads? These are just some of the questions that Google Analytics (now part of the Google Marketing Platform) can answer. The variety of functions of the web analysis tool, the set-up of Google Analytics (apart from the simple installation of the tracking code), the correct interpretation of the data and the implementation of the actions to be derived from it require a lot of dedication and detailed knowledge. But if you as an entrepreneur want to really understand the ticking of your website core, you cannot avoid intensive work with the tool, or you can commission an external service provider with a corresponding budget.

Google Analytics ⎟Cost: (still) free

Google Search Console

Among other things, the Google Search Console answers the question of which search terms potential customers use to find the individual pages of their website in Google (impressions), and how many of them actually clicked on their pages on the search hit pages (clicks).

With this valuable information, you can further improve the visibility and CTR of your website, and that without having to purchase a paid SEO tool.

The Search Console not only provides information about the search performance, but also informs you regularly via email about technical errors, such as dead links or display problems in the mobile view. You can check the index status of your website and upload new sitemaps, inviting the crawler to index.

Like any more complex tool, the Google Search Console has a learning curve. Since Google is constantly working on the user-friendliness of its search, and user-friendly pages are the alpha and omega, there is no shortage of training material, such as this training video:

Google Search Console ⎟Cost: (still) free

Google Custom Search

Google Custom Search is a free Google tool that you can use on your own website. The Google search replaces the search function of your website and offers the precision of the well-known Google search only for your website. If you have to refinance your content with external advertising and have no problem distracting searchers from your offer, you can optionally display Google Ads to searchers.

You can see the working principle of Google Custom Search here:

Google Custom Search ⎟Costs: free of charge ⎟Revenue sharing model possible by displaying Google Ads after participating in the Google AdSense program.

Google Tag Manager

The Google Tag Manager is a really useful tool. Many websites use some different analysis software in order to be able to analyze and test the website really comprehensively. However, with every additional software of this type, there is also another JavaScript snippet, which in turn must be integrated into the website. And each snippet loads an external script. At some point it becomes confusing, annoying and slow. Do you understand what I'm getting at? The Google Tag Manager combines all the snippets into a single code snippet, which then only needs to be inserted into the website. You can now add or remove further analysis providers without having to touch the code on the website again.

Google Page Speed ​​Insights

This tool helps you to optimize your website for speed. Enter your (or any) URL, click "Analyze", and you will get the results. They are split up again into mobile and desktop. The higher the score your website gets, the better. What is really valuable about this tool are the suggestions for improvement that they give you after the test. This way you can gradually build up an optimally fast website.

Test of optimization for mobile devices

With this tool, you can quickly find out if your website is optimized for mobile devices. Nowadays, a mobile site is becoming more and more important, because a lot of visitor traffic now comes via tablets and smartphones. You should offer these users a really well-optimized site. Therefore, a general test with this tool is always worthwhile. After a test, the tool offers you further information.

Google Ads Keyword Planner

The Google Ads Keyword Planner is also a really good tool for those who don't use Adwords ads. Because you can use the Keyword Planner to find out which keywords or keyword combinations are being searched for in Google searches. If you work with this tool, you can optimize your blog posts much better for the search terms that are really in demand.

Think with Google (formerly Insights and Trends)

Think with Google offers you a case full of tools that will give you an insight into Google Search. Follow the latest search trends with Google Trends and use Google correlates and Google consumer surveys. Just enter a search term and you can see how that term is developing. Compare your search term with others to see how user interests develop. Overall, this tool collection offers you a very good opportunity to optimize your articles effectively for Google search.

Google My Business

Google My Business helps you to be found better online with your company. With Google My Business your company is present on the internet. Your customers will then be able to find your website and business relatively easily in Google Search, Google Maps and Google+. Registering once means being found in all Google services.

Google Drive

Google Drive is the direct competitor to Dropbox, so basically just another cloud provider. Here you get 15 GB of storage space for free if you sign up for a free account. You can save all of your data, such as photos, videos, and other files. These can be shared with others at any time and you can access your data from anywhere in the world. There is an app or application for every device that you use.

Google photos

If you want to entrust your photos to a company, i.e. store them in a cloud, then you should definitely consider Google Photos. Because your photos and videos enjoy unlimited storage space here. One restriction: If you want to save your photos (or videos) in their original size, the photo storage space will be counted towards your Google Drive quota (maximum 15 GB). However, if you save your photos / videos in high quality, then you have unlimited storage space. High quality means 16 megapixels for photos and 1080p (HD) for videos.

Google Alerts

Alerts are a practical thing. These are alarms that can be specially set. With the Google Alerts you can, for example, be informed if your company or your website is mentioned anywhere on the internet.

Google Keep

The best way to capture and organize your blog ideas is with a good note-taking app. Google Keep (called Notes in Germany) works on your phone, tablet and computer. Content you add to Google Keep is synced across all of your devices, so your reminders, plans, and ideas are always at hand. Apps exist for Android, iOS, Chrome and the web.

Google Fonts

Google Fonts has become one of the most important resources for web design in the past few years. You can choose your favorites from more than 700 web fonts and use them on your website. In this way, the boring standard fonts of a website can be exchanged for a web font in no time at all.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a service that makes it easy for you to communicate with others. You can send text messages via Hangouts or make video and phone calls. The special feature of text messages is that you can have group chats. With Hangouts on Air, you can broadcast live conversations to the world. One app is required per device. These are available for Android, iOS and desktop.

The current version of Google Hangouts has been discontinued. It is still unclear when the app will be switched off. Rumor has it that this could last until spring 2020. In any case, Google is already working hard on the successor. This listens to the name Hangouts Chat and is set to become a pretty direct competitor to Slack. part of Chat becomes an extension called Meetwhich in turn allows video meetings.

Structured data

Google search is known to try to understand the content of a web page. By adding structured data to a page, explicit hints are given to Google Search, so that ideally a small snippet appears in the Google search.

Structured data is the ultimate way to standardize information about a page and to classify the page content. For example, you can have a recipe page displayed in a graphical search result thanks to structured data. And to achieve that and test the validity of the data, the Structured Data tool is good for that.

Some bonus tools

Of course, there are more tools in the Google universe. However, it would go beyond the scope of this article to introduce them all in detail. Therefore only a short link to other interesting tools from Google.

Conclusion

Google offers a lot of good and free tools. Many of them are already well known, but are not always used. But you should take a closer look at the tools for optimizing your website, because they could be the decisive factor in making your blog even better known in the future.

(This post first appeared in November 2015 and has been kept up to date ever since. The last update is from March 31, 2019.)