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Most business owners understand the importance of Google for their marketing strategies. Without a doubt, you’ll need to work hard to appear high in search engine results pages. Simply setting up a website with all your business information won’t cut it. The majority of consumers won’t even go beyond the first page of Google search results, and many of those searchers won’t click past the first three listings.
Fortunately, there are several Google marketing tools you can use to your advantage. And these tools aren’t just about search engine optimization. The primary goal of these tools is to provide a full-fledged, 360-degree platform for all your business needs. Each of these tools play a critical role in the growth of your business, and you’ll need to leverage them to ensure long-term success.
Google My Business
The Google My Business tool is one of the easiest ways to increase your SEO and reach a wider audience. This is a simple way for businesses to manage to their online presence. Simply claim your business listing, and you’re on your way to free advertisement. Getting started is just as easy.
Once you claim your business, you’re sent a postcard to your address to verify that you’re the owner. After you passed verification, your business info will appear in Google search via a “card.” These “cards” will show up along the right side of the search engine if the potential customer is searching for your business name specifically, or in Google’s standard “local three-pack” cards on the main search if you’re using a general term. For example, if you search for locksmiths in Austin, this is what your results would look like:
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Ad spend on Google Adwords alone has increased by 23%. And with that, overall click volume has increased by 9%. So what does this actually mean for businesses? It means that, in a world where people are implementing ad blockers and ignoring traditional forms of advertisement, more consumers are paying attention to Google’s paid advertisements. With Google AdWords, you can put your business on the map, in front of the most relevant audience in your industry. The Google AdWords platform alone is so complex, it deserves its own books–and there are plenty of them out there. Check out Google’s success stories and case studies to give you a better idea of how Google Adwords can help you achieve your goals.
Google Keywords Planner
If you have the right keywords in place, everything else will follow. One of the biggest advantages of Google’s Keyword Planner is that they’re able to help you find new keywords based on their massive compilation of data. This data will tell you the worth of each keyword, allowing you to strategically plan both your AdWords campaign and your personal content.
Begin by entering a keyword that is relevant to your business. From there, Google Keywords Planner will spew out a list of related keywords that you might also be interested in, with detailed metrics about their search volume and monetary worth. With this information, you’ll be able to tell how many people are searching for any given keyword per month. When you search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category, click “Get Ideas” to receive a massive list of Google-generated ideas that are themed around that set of keywords. These are just a few features and benefits of using the Planner, but there are plenty of others you should take advantage of.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) helps you understand exactly how healthy your website is to Google. If there are any red flags that prevent your business from appearing in search results, they’ll be quick to let you know. This is where all Google SEO and reporting tools are housed. Unlike similar tools, this is completely free and can be a great way for you to glean incredible insight without paying a dime.
You can refer to the Console to see if you have any broken pages, check your site indexing, download error reports, and much more. One of the most helpful aspects of the Google Search Console is the “Search Traffic” section, which allows you to see the keyword search phrases that are being used to find your website. It will also tell you what pages on other sites contains links to your site, and which pages those are. This will provide you with invaluable information as to how people are finding you, and what content is most important to them.
Some businesses will benefit more than others by creating a Google+ business page, but because the setup is so easy, there’s no reason every business shouldn’t get a Google+ profile. After all, it can’t hurt you. Local businesses can especially benefit, because Google+ profiles complement your “Google My Business” listing. If you do decide to set up your Google+ page (and you should), don’t forget to add the Google+ share button to your blog and social content.
If you’re still on the fence, consider this: though Google states that simply having more +1s doesn’t help you jump higher in search engine results, independent studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the number of +1s a person has and how highly they rank in Google search engine results. Google +1s are content that users “+1” to essentially indicate that they like a post. A study conducted by Moz found that Google+ posts are crawled and indexed almost immediately, pass link equity, and are optimized for semantic relevance.