Improve Online Rankings and Increase Visibility: Six Google Tools for Your Business
By Bob Goricki, Director of Digital Marketing, Marcum Strategic Marketing
In a recent blog, we explained how Google’s Core Web Vitals Initiative would become a new ranking signal in 2021. Essentially, this means that the website user experience is now a top priority for Google — and by extension, it should be yours, too. The good news: Google has provided a helpful tool – Google PageSpeed Insights – that enables you to measure how your website performs relative to the new Core Web Vitals Initiative standards.
In this blog, we explain the basics behind PageSpeed Insights, as well as other Google-based tools that can help your business boost its online rankings and visibility.
PageSpeed Insights is a tool that helps measure your site’s performance relative to Google’s standards. One thing you’ll notice is that Core Web Vitals are front and center when you pull a report for any webpage. This allows you to visualize how your site compares to Google’s benchmarks.
While measuring up to benchmarks is important, the true value of the tool is the immediate suggestions for improvement it provides. For instance, it can provide you with a list of images that may have large file sizes, pinpoint inefficient code, and offer other helpful suggestions to speed up your site and improve user experience.
PageSpeed Insights also provides separate reports for desktop and mobile versions of your site (see below for examples). You may find that your site performs well on a desktop with a fast connection—yet it may be a different story on a mobile device with a less-than-ideal connection.
Google My Business
Once you’ve brought your site up to speed, now it’s time to focus on attracting more visitors. Google My Business is the ideal tool to start with for businesses of all sizes and scopes.
The Google My Business interface is easy to use and provides you with many options to promote your business.
This enables you to update basic contact information and hours of operation, as well as post announcements and promotions right to a page in Google’s search results. This saves the searcher the time of having to dig around to find basic information.
Spend time in your Google My Business dashboard and update all relevant information for your business including products, services and photos. The more relevant information you include in your profile, the more visible your business can become in Google results—and the easier it will be for searchers to find and contact you.
While many businesses are familiar with Google Analytics and have it installed on their websites already, we find that some companies don’t always take full advantage of the insights available in the program.
Indeed, some of the most powerful elements of Google Analytics are the abilities it gives you to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns.
This can easily be achieved in Analytics through the use of goals and conversion tracking. Whether customers can purchase directly on your site, request a quote, or simply sign up for a newsletter, you can use Google Analytics to measure these activities, determine where these visitors came from, and build out a strategy to increase conversions going forward.
This tool can also be used to learn more about your site visitors — where they are located, types of devices, and browsers they use and much more.
Google Search Console
While Google Analytics is commonly used on many websites, Google Search Console is a less used and understood tool. However, it can be immensely valuable for improving search engine optimization.
Google Search Console is full of highly valuable reports.
One of the best tools in Search Console is the performance report that gives you a clear view of specific keywords that are driving traffic to your website. You can quickly see which keywords are ranking at the top of the search results and which keywords need improvement.
It can also help you quickly find any errors that Google comes across when indexing your website by reviewing a record of broken links appearing in Google search results.
There are plenty of other useful features, such as the ability to submit your sitemap through Search Console, review any penalties Google may have implemented against your site, and review other sites linking back to yours.
With the speed at which information flows today, timing can be everything in terms of how you react to industry news and information. One of the easiest ways to stay up-to-date and ahead of your competition is through Google Alerts.
Setting up alerts is easy—simply choose your topic, set filters and preferences, and save. That’s it. The latest results will be delivered to your inbox at the frequency of your choosing.
While Google Ads is generally a paid platform that allows you to promote your business on the various channels that Google owns (e.g., Search, Display, YouTube), it does also offer free tools that you can use for planning organic search campaigns and more.
Depending on the goals and objectives of your online advertising campaign, Google Ads will walk you through setting up the right campaign and channel for you. You have access to place ads directly in the search results as well as through the vast Google Display network on third-party sites and Google-owned YouTube.
In addition to the paid placement planning, one of the most valuable free elements of Google Ads is the Keyword Planner feature. Keyword research is essential when creating new content. The keyword planner feature is a great tool for starting your keyword research. You’ll get search volume metrics, search trend data, and a huge list of potential relevant keyword ideas to use in your upcoming content or even future content topics.
Questions about Google tools for your business, or other digital marketing issues? Please contact us through our contact form or call Bob Goricki at 440-459-5961.