A Primer on Google’s Free SEO Tools
Jan. 31, 2020
A Primer on Google’s Free SEO Tools
Implementing search engine optimization (SEO) into your digital marketing strategy is key to your business’ success. But how do you measure your progress once you’ve actually started, and how do you continue to track changes in your ranking and traffic?
You need the right SEO tools, and luckily, you have options. There are many powerful SEO tools out there for the newbie or expert to take advantage of. Although many of the best tools are paid, you may not need to pay at all to use the best SEO tools available. Google offers a variety of free tools that you can use to optimize your site, analyze changes in traffic, and plan your content strategy, among many more.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a key tool for your SEO efforts. Anyone can use it, even if they’re not professionally trained in SEO. If you have an agency handling your SEO efforts, or if you’re an agency owner who offers SEO, you can and should understand how Google Search Console works to analyze your or your clients’ sites.
Google Search Console lets you:
- Make sure that Google can find and crawl your site in the first place
- Fix indexing problems
- Ask Google to re-index any new or updated content
- See what sites are linking to your site
- Get alerts when something is wrong with your site
- One of the key things Google lets you do is view Google Search traffic data for your site. This includes:
- How many times your site shows up in Google Search
- What people are searching for that leads them to your site
- How many of those people click through to your site when they search
Google Analytics is another important tool for SEO, because knowledge is power. Without knowing the details Google Analytics offers about your site, you can’t make smart decisions about your SEO strategy.
Google Analytics allows you to analyze your website for a variety of things that affect SEO, including:
- The top landing pages for search traffic
- Keywords driving the most traffic
- Which search engines are sending the most traffic to your page
- Top exit pages (what pages are visitors leaving from) and entry pages
- Conversions by month and over time
- Page loading times
- Your audience and demographics
- Breakdown of mobile traffic
- Bounce rate of your site and each page
You can then use this data to optimize your site for faster loading times, better landing pages, a better mobile experience, and more.
Google Ads Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner isn’t just for pay-per-click ads. Keywords are vital to any SEO strategy, especially your on-site SEO, i.e. your content, copy, title tags, and meta descriptions.
With the Keyword Planner, you can:
- Find new keywords to use
- Discover trends in keywords
- Find historical data for a variety of keywords
- Filter results based on the location, language, and date
- Filter results by average monthly searches, competition level, organic impressions, and organic average position
- These insights can direct your content strategy so you can target the right keywords.
Google’s Pagespeed Insights lets you know how your website scores for loading times, and allows you to analyze issues with your page’s performance.
These insights are incredibly important for SEO, since Google prefers faster loading websites and will rank them higher than slower sites. Loading times also affect conversions and bounce rate, so it’s important to know your score and keep track of how it improves.
Take advantage of these free tools from Google to make your SEO strategy stronger and sharper than ever.
Daniela Chamorro Mantica
Professional and creative writer with a passion for digital storytelling. I hold a BA in English from Amherst College, and have over 4 years of experience writing for a variety of industries, including non-profits, higher education, custody law, and marketing.