The right tools make any Internet marketing easier and more effective. These are my “must-haves,” and they are all free from Google.
I believe at this time that all of these free tools require that you have a Google Account (i.e. ****@gmail.com).
(1) Google Analytics
Google Analytics will tell you a lot about how people are using your website. It is a free tool from Google and can help you find out:
- what are your most visited pages (they might not be what you think they are!);
- how many REAL people are visiting your website (visitor sessions) and where they come from;
- how many of those people are repeat visitors; and
- how many people visit your website and leave before clicking to another page (referred to as the “bounce rate” – and a high bounce rate is not a good thing!).
Personally, I think the more Google knows about your website the better. Remember to set-up reports to automatically be sent to you via email on a weekly or monthly basis.
(2) Google Search Console
Google knows a lot about your website already and will gladly share that information with you through the Google Search Console. Formerly called Google Webmaster Tools, the Google Search Console will tell you if there are issues at your website that will adversely impact your indexing, visibility, and rankings at Google. It will also alert you if your website gets infected with malware and will give you the tools to remove any malware warnings that may appear with your listing at Google if it is is infected.
(3) Gmail (or G-Suite)
Gmail is a powerful email client that is a very popular alternative to Microsoft Outlook (and other email clients). You can configure Gmail to send and receive email with your business email address. I have used it for years, and it makes managing all of your email communications much easier! I think at this point all of the Google Tools I talk about here require using a Gmail account.
(4) Google Alerts
If you sign-up for Google Alerts, you will get a notification anytime Google finds the targeted keywords or phrases you are monitoring. It is a good way to keep up with what people say about your business (if you use your business name as a targeted phrase). It is also a good way to keep your eyes on your competition or the “wedding industry” in general.
(5) Google My Business
Google My Business, formerly Google Places, is basically a snap-shot of your business at Google. In many ways, it is a mini-website Google creates for your business. It often shows up on a search engine results page (SERP) if someone searches for your company name. It is important to claim/verify and properly configure your Google My Business listing. It is also an important factor in how your business shows up in Google Maps. I believe it also plays an important part in your overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy at Google. This is another free service from Google.
- If you have not already done so, verify your business with Google My Business.
- Make sure Google Analytics is in place at your website and properly tracking visitors. Set up automated weekly Google Analytics reports to be sent to you via email.
- Claim the Google Search Console for your domain and verify it. Spend 30 minutes looking around, particularly for any warning messages that may adversely impact your listing at Google.