Out on the interwebs there are thousands of tools focused on helping webmasters, site owners and business owners to get more out of their websites. These tools can range from statistical analysis to link building and traffic generation.With all of these available it can easily become overwhelming for a individual who doesn’t deal with it daily to get confused and easily fall into a scam or end up with sub par tools.After all the last thing we want is to do something that’s going to get you site banned in the search engines because the tool you used was not completely on the level.
Thankfully the company that is the Google machine has taken the time to provide us with some quality tools that are not only legitimate but also actually provide value to webmasters.Google has plenty of applications, most of them free of charge, available to the online community to perform various activities in their personal and professional lives.Today we are going to focus on five of them that are specifically helpful to people who run websites and/or businesses.
- Alerts – http://www.google.com/alerts
Google Alerts allows users to be notified by Google when a particular word or phrase is used on a website.As Google spiders websites on the internet it checks the contents of the pages for matches to the alerts that users have setup.Once a match is found the user can be emailed with a link to the page that contains the term. This becomes especially helpful for small business owners that want to be notified any time they are mentioned on the web. This gives those users a chance to go find out what people are saying about them and possibly get involved in a conversation about their company.
- Local Business Center – http://www.google.com/local/add
Google’s local business center allows large and small businesses to create listings in the search results for geo-targeted phrases.An example of a geo-targeted phrase would be “LA car wash” or “Seattle internet cafe”. This works as a great opportunity for businesses to get another listing in the results pages for free.After all having more then one result on a search term results page gives you a higher percentage of getting your listing clicked. Local business listings normally show up above the standard results like this:
- Adwords – http://adwords.google.com
Adwords is a pay per click, PPC, advertising program designed and run by Google. The general problem with traditional online advertising programs such as banners is that normally business owners pay on a per impression basis.This means that users have to pay every time their ad is shown whether the user clicks on their ad or not.Adwords being PPC means that business owners only pay when someone clicks your ad and gets sent to your website.Google adwords places your ads on keyword specific results pages and are normally displayed on the top and right side of the results.As I previously mentioned its a great way to get more traffic but can be costly depending on the keywords you target.
- Analytics – http://www.google.com/analytics
Most hosting companies, including Weberz, provide some sort of website statistics package for webmasters and business owners to gain information about the traffic visiting their sites. Google’s analytics program takes that concept and expands on it tremendously. Analytics will not only allow users to get the basic stats information about visitors but also allows webmasters to track conversion goals, create custom traffic reports and even view traffic patterns on your site. All of this is done by entering a small snippet of code on your site that Google provides after signing up for the program.
- Webmaster Tools – http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools
This one has to be the best tool that the Google machine has ever come up with.Webmaster tools allows users to help influence the way Google displays your results in the search engine results pages, SERPs.It also allows webmasters to upload a sitemap file in XML format to help the Google robots find all the pages on their websites. Webmaster tools also provides additional reporting about errors and mistakes Google finds while checking those pages that relate to search engine optimization, SEO, type problems.In my opinion this is one Google tool that no business should ignore.
These tools can certainly help make any business webmasters life a little easier and provide them with some excellent data on their websites and how it relates to search engines, specifically Google.Can anyone think of any other Google tools that the business webmaster can’t live without?Leave a comment below and let us know.
Post by Robert Rolfe