Everyone knows about Gmail and Chrome. But there are loads of free Google tools.
So many it seems like a list of them goes on for infinity.
Some of these tools provide handy information. Others are powerful resources that I don’t know how I lived before I found them. (Well, not really. But you get the idea.)
What’s amazing to me is that many of these free tools aren’t well known. In fact, I found out about several of them while I was researching this article. The more I dug, the more wonders I unearthed. My list of free Google tools kept growing.
Who knew Google provided all these great tools to make our lives easier?
After digging around, I came up with my list of nine free Google tools every marketer should know about.
1. Google Alerts
This is a great tool for finding new content or ideas. Give Google Alerts a topic. You’ll receive an alert in your email when a new article, video or other news story is published on that topic. It’s a great way to keep up with new trends. You can also enter your website or brand. Or your competitors’, so you can keep up with them.
The upside is you get these alerts automatically.
The downside is that your inbox gets stuffed with them fast.
Here’s an alternative.
2. Google Blog Search
One thing I like to do is search for recent blog posts in my niche. I follow several bloggers, but from time to time I like to see if there’s anyone else out there with something new or interesting to say.
Google Blog Search was the tool for that. You could just enter a search term, and Google would serve you the latest blog posts.
Sadly, this tool is no more.
A few years ago, Google did away with Blog search. But here’s a way to get the same results using Google search.
After you’ve entered your search term and Google has delivered the results, look up to the menu across the top.
Click on “news” then “tools.” A little menu will appear under the main menu. Click on the down arrow next to “All news” and select “blogs.”
Then you’ll get the latest blog posts. If you want to refine your search further, such as sorting by relevance or a date range, you can do that, too.
So, while this really isn’t a tool anymore, this process is almost just as good as the old Blog Search tool. Unlike Alerts, it’s not done for you automatically. But you can do this anytime you want to do a little reading or research.
3. Google Voice
Don’t want to publish your cell phone or office number? Just create a number in Google Voice, and you’ll be good to go to receive calls and text.
Google Voice also lets you track the number of calls you get, so you can test to find the best place to list your number on your website.
4. Google Trends
Google Trends is a great tool for giving you a sense of how enduring an interest in a topic or website is. You can enter either one, and get a graph showing you over time the search volume or traffic. The only catch is it won’t work for very low volume websites.
If you want to compare multiple websites, you can do that, too. Just enter both URLs, separated by commas. You can also narrow your search by region, change the time frame, or explore the related topics Google will suggest.
5. Google Digital Garage
Not sure how to get more leads? Set up a social media campaign?
Google’s Digital Garage can help. It’s a free online learning portal. Just sign up, answer a few questions, and the Digital Garage will suggest which courses to start with.
The courses are all free and cover everything from search to social media.
6. Google Display Planner
Google Display Planner is part of Google AdWords, so if you don’t have an AdWords account, you’ll have to set one up to use this tool.
But what a gem! It tells you to enter your landing page. Then it brings up all kinds of juicy data on the people who have visited your site.
There’s the usual demographic, age and sex, and desktop vs mobile. Then you can dig deeper into keywords, interests, topics and other data relevant to the users of your site.
Here’s a screen shot of a test I did, just to show you all the data you can glean from this one little tool.
Then there’s the best part.
You can enter anyone’s website. Like a competitor’s. Which means you can see what keywords or topics interest their customers. Kind of like giving you a way to spy on your competition.
7. Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster)
Google Search Console performs analysis of your website, its links, indexing, mobile performance, and more. In short, it helps you monitor all the Google search traffic to your site. It also points out crawl errors and other things that need to be fixed to improve the performance of your site and your rankings.
You can see in the screen shot some of the valuable information Google Search Console will provide.
Google Search Console also offers support, learning and community resources.
8. Google Page Speed Insights
It’s painfully clear that Google punishes slow-loading websites with lower page ranks. Users, too, will bail on a site that loads too slow.
But how do you know what’s causing your page to load so slowly?
The answer is Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool. Just enter your URL, and get your results.
Then breathe. Don’t panic.
When I saw my results, my heart about stopped and I was sure all was lost. But it wasn’t.
The tool gives you some advice on what to fix.
And this informative (and clearly written) article helps you take care of the biggest problems, even if you aren’t that technical.
9. Google Scholar
Looking for a way to deliver some fresh content to your readers? Or you just need an authoritative source? Or some good data?
Check out Google Scholar. Just enter your search term and give Google a second (or two) to serve you up a list of the latest research. You can sort the results by date, or limit your search to the current year or even set a custom date range.
As an added bonus, here’s a tenth tool to consider:
Google Voice Search
Google Voice Search is an extension you can add to Chrome so you can search by voice. Who wouldn’t rather just say their keyword instead of typing it?
Recent data is telling us that more people are using mobile while they’re on the internet. Anyone who’s tried to type on their phone will agree that doing a voice search is a whole lot easier.
Already many mobile users are making use of voice search. (See Point #2 in the linked article.)
Smart marketers will be ready to jump on this trend.
If you want to find out about more Google tools, check this out.
Anyone have other favorite free Google tools? Tell us about them in the comments!