The right tools make any Internet marketing you do easier and more effective. These are “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. 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), where they are coming from, how many of those people are repeat visitors, how many people visit your website and leave before clicking to another page (“bounce rate” and a high bounce rate is not a good thing!), and a lot more. It’s free from Google. Personally, I think the more Google knows about your website the better. Don’t forget 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 it 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. Google will also alert you if your website gets infected with malware and also gives you the tools to remove 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’ve 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’m talking 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 want to watch for. It’s a good way to monitor what people are saying about your business (if you use your business name as a targeted phrase). It’s also a good way to keep your eyes on your competition or the “wedding industry.”
(5) Google My Business
Google My Business, formerly Google Places, is basically a snap-shot of your business at Google. In a lot of ways it’s kind of a mini-website Google creates for your business. It often shows up on a search engine results page if someone searches for your company name. It’s important to claim / verify and properly configure your Google My Business listing. It’s also an important factor in your business showing up in Google Maps. I believe it also plays an important part in your overall search engine optimization strategy at Google. It’s another free service from Google.
ACTION: If you haven’t already, 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 and looking for any warning messages that may be adversely impacting your listing at Google.
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Chris Jaeger produces Book More Weddings and writes the BOOK MORE WEDDINGS NEWSLETTER (weekly). He is the Founder and Director of the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WEDDING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS (IAWIP) and a wedding industry marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience marketing to brides and grooms.