There was uproar a couple of weeks ago when Google decided to shutdown Google Reader. It’s a useful free app that I currently use daily. But besides Google Reader there are many other useful apps that Google provides.
We have picked out 4 Google tools that are very useful with specific actions you can take in relation to them. I hope you find them useful!
1. Optimize Web Pages with help from Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is essential to set up for every website. Google provides you with information on what it sees when it indexes your site. Do you have duplicate titles on your web pages? Are you getting lots of dodgy links from sites? Which content is doing well or badly?
This information is a goldmine.
I know you like some action! So go to the Search Queries section and see what keywords people are using to find your content. Look for content that is getting clicks that are relevant.
In the example below, the search term ‘social media search’ was displayed 1,300 times and got 110 clicks. These clicks brought you to an article on RazorSocial which is about searching social media.
That was a click through rate of 8% which is quite good (see last line item in the image). But can we make that better…
Oh yes we can! One minor tweak we can make is to improve the page title and page description. These are known as meta tags. In search results this is how our post appears.
The words at the start of a page title are more important than the end so it would be worth our while changing the page title. We could also consider changing the page description so ‘searching social media’ is mentioned instead of ‘social media search’ and also make it more interesting so that people will click on it.
New Page title: Searching Social Media – 4 Great Tools to help
New Page Description – Searching Social Media can be difficult. Here are 4 powerful tools that will help significantly.
We could also optimize different elements on the page but that’s a whole new post that we’ll write!
Action: Read this post on how to increase traffic to your site using Google Webmaster Tools and go through posts that are getting traffic already for relevant keywords and optimize this.
2. Link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics
Google analytics is also essential to Social Media Marketing so you can check what traffic is coming to the site and what’s happening when they arrive.
Google analytics is not linked to Webmaster tools by default but linking them means you get information from webmaster tools displayed in analytics and vice versa. This just saves a bit of time trying to view data in two different places.
There’s no good reason why Google doesn’t automatically link Webmaster Tools with Google analytics. Maybe some day!
To link them logon to webmaster tools and under the manage site section select ‘Google analytics Property’ and on the next page specify the website you want to link to. That’s it!
Action: Link up analytics with webmaster tools, it’s straight forward to do and well worth it!
3. Create an Editorial Calendar using Google Calendar
There are some editorial calendar software packages that I’m currently investigating and will be writing a blog post about. But if you wanted a quick solution up and running then why not use Google Calendar? You could use it to track the blog posts you are going to write, white papers you are going to release, etc.
In the example below we have color coded our blog posts that we are scheduling. The ones in green are written already and the ones in red are planned but not written yet.
Over on the right hand side you can also see the tasks. You can create tasks which revolve around the content you are creating.
With an editorial calendar you can plan out your content much better. When you see the content you have planned out for the next couple of months it helps you work out what content you are missing, gives you new ideas about content and gives you a better structure to your content marketing.
Action: Consider how you are planning out your content. Start immediately using a Google Calendar and when I do the blog post about editorial calendars you’ll already be familiar with the process!
4. Use Advanced Functionality within Google Search
The basic search facility provided by Google is great but the advanced search is even better. Here are some examples of how it can be used.
a). When you search Google you are displayed the local search results based on the country you are in, but sometimes you want to see what another country sees. This works by typing in the country search you are interested in and appending ‘NCR’ at the end. NCR means no country redirect so you want Google to use the search engine you selected which may not be the one that is more relevant for the country you are in!
Example: www.google.co.uk/ncr – This will show you what somebody in the UK will see when they are searching in the UK.
b). Use some of Google’s advanced extensions to produce better results.
Facebook has a really bad search facility so if I wanted to search for a company page name it’s hard to find. But you can tell Google only to search specific sites. For example, if you went to google and typed ‘razorsocial site:www.facebook.com’ you get much more extensive results than going to Facebook.
There are many possibilities for this. For example, everybody on LinkedIn is indexed on Google unless they specifically turn this off. When you search on LinkedIn you are restricted to search results based on what level you have paid for in LinkedIn, however, these full search results are available in Google.
Action – Read this article on Google Advanced Search which will give you more detail on how to get the best out of Google search.
These are just some of the useful tools that we use. What tools have you found useful? What other tool tips would you like to share?
We’d love your comments!