How To Take Full Advantage of Google Tools For SEO
Apr 15, 2019
Search engine optimization or SEO is a very opinionated process that has many different types of strategies to help you achieve the same thing: organic Google results. Fortunately, Google offers a plethora of helpful online tools to help make this job a little bit easier for online marketers.
In this article, I will briefly go over my favorite Google tools for SEO and how to properly use them for marketing efforts. To kickoff the list, I will go over one of the most well known tools Google offers: Google My Business.
1. Google My Business
GMB or Google My Business has been around for a long time and serves as the main hub for your company’s presence online (besides your website). Here is where we fill in our business hours, address, service areas, and the usual business information. However, over the years it has been updated with new features and metrics that not a lot of people use currently. In 2016, we were introduced to Attributes. These were added to help businesses stand out from the crowd with extra business features such as free wi-fi at a coffee shop or Vegetarian options at a restaurant. Filling this section of your business listing will help highlight some of the added benefits of your business that your competitor does not offer!
When you enter into your GMB account, you will most likely see a navigation bar on the left of your business listing. From there, you can go to “insights” to check out some cool business metrics. You can view how customers are finding your business whether that be through discovering your business via products or services or through direct search of your business name. It even goes a step further giving you the details about how many business searches you received during a time span. With this, you can analyze and review the popular queries people are using to find your business. This should be pertinent for all business owners as this can tell if your SEO efforts are paying off and if you are having success with your current lineup of keywords. I can type up an entire paper going over all of the cool metrics Google My Business offers but instead I would recommend you to go visit it and check it out yourself to see how customers find your business online!
My last feature I want to quickly go over that is in GMB is the posting feature. Once again, this can be found on the left hand side of your screen when viewing your business listing. This posting feature is not like your standard social media platform. This is displayed when people search for your business and view your company’s knowledge graph on the right hand side of the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). This can help business’ highlight any new events or products they offer. This is a big one because you should not be posting blogs for customers to check out on here. Stick to eye-catching offers to reel in your customers to your business. I should also mention that these posts can have a button attached that can make it super easy for customers to buy from you or contact your business via phone or contact forms from your website. Metrics on these posts are also viewable in Google My Business so you can see how clients are consuming your offers.
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console or previously known as Google Webmaster Tools is a great tool that every online marketing agency should be utilizing to help completely optimize their clients’ and own websites. It has been extremely useful for checking the indexing status of a website and to look for any errors you may have on a sitemap or a robots.txt file. Lately, Google has been adding some unique features onto the tool. Since late last year you can view your website metrics on the SERP. One of our favorites at Vertex Visibility is the average position metric. It is pretty straightforward and it tells you out of all the keywords your website ranks for, where you fit on average around Google. Keep in mind this metric is not limited to your target keywords but all search queries your website ranks for. Overall, Search Console is wonderful for checking the indexing status of a website and to spot any irregular issues that may or may not appear.
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is your number one tool from Google to help identify, track, and report website traffic. Launched 13 years ago, Google Analytics quickly became one of the most pertinent and famous Google marketing tools out. This is because of the sheer amount of different bells and whistles on there that allows you to see important details of users and their interaction with a website. On Analytics, we recommend utilizing as many reports you can about your users and their interaction with your website. This will tell you how effective is your website in converting new or old site users to clients or customers. Another interesting report Analytics provides is their “Real-Time Report” which gives you live data about what users are doing on your website currently. It is interesting to see because you can identify a trend of how customers navigate around your website and to see where are you gaining/losing customers.
Another important metric to analyze is your “Sessions By Country” report. If you are a local coffee shop in Las Vegas, NV and are getting a high percentage of web sessions from Japan then you may want to dig deeper into why people from Japan are visiting your website. There is a wide array of reasons why that can happen but it will be up to you to pinpoint it and resolve it. However, this report can also be a pretty cool metric for different businesses as well. Say you owned an e-commerce clothing company in Los Angeles, CA and are getting a high percentage of sessions from Toronto. This is interesting information as your company/brand may be popular over in Canada which you can use to your advantage with different marketing tools. The sky’s the limit with what you can do with Google Analytics and it should be monitored daily or weekly depending on your goals.
4. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is pretty straightforward. It gives you the tools to help you identify and plan keywords for a Google Ads campaign that are vital in your industry. You have the option to place your website link into the planner to get recommended keywords in your industry; however, we recommend that you simply put in your services or products instead. Afterwards, you are given a long list of potential keywords with important details about how often the keyword is searched, the competition level on Google Ads, and more. From here, you have to identify the proper keywords for your campaign. If you want to get specific you can set filters to get only the most relevant keyword suggestions for your website.
Lastly, don’t forget about your location details! This can drastically change the performance of your PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign. If you are offering your products and/or services in San Diego, CA you want to change your target location to San Diego AND any surrounding cities or towns you are also willing to serve. This can really be a game changer when you are offering say Gym equipment only in the West Coast but you have your target location set for the whole country. Not only will this provide you with inaccurate data about your keywords, but you will most likely be disappointed when your Ad Campaign isn’t performing as well as you expected it to.
5. Google Pagespeed Insights
Google Pagespeed Insights is easily the best tool you can use to optimize your website for speed. Obviously a tool created by Google to help websites optimize for page speed will be the best tool to reference when improving website performance. Take full advantage of both mobile and desktop speed metrics to make sure your site is performing well on both platforms. Over the last ten years we can see that global website traffic from mobile phones have drastically increased. Not only is mobile optimization pertinent in 2019, but some industries like news networks tend to have a vast amount of traffic coming from mobile users. This means page speed and performance is crucial for customer retention. No one wants to be waiting 20 seconds for a news article to load on their mobile phone. This is where AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages come in handy when you are doing mobile optimization.
All of the metrics that you can improve to make your website load faster is provided on Pagespeed Insights and you should take care of this immediately. Your Pagespeed score ranges from 0-100 so don’t stop optimizing until you are in at least the late 90s.
6. Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Probably the least used Google tool in this list, the Structured Data Testing Tool can be extremely useful when setting up your schema markup for your website. Structured data helps Google understand the content of your website in a format that Google’s crawler can follow easily. We would recommend taking full advantage of the Structured Data Testing Tool to fine tune your markup so that it follows Schema guidelines and that it is completely filled out with correct information about your website. Some structured data examples are your business address, URL, phone number, review count, etc. You can also take a deeper dive into the world of structured data by visiting the official schema website.
This concludes our list of Google tools you can use to take full advantage of your SEO efforts for your own business or your clients. Vertex Visibility utilizes all of these tools to help clients show up organically for their desired keywords. If you want to learn more about our different marketing services we provide for clients, feel free to look through our services page. Stay tuned for more SEO Tips, Tricks, and updates on the Vertex Blog!