When most people think about Google, they associate it with search engine optimization and those pesky updates that make us think harder about how we carry out our marketing. Well, okay, not all of us find the updates exactly pesky because we are already doing things right, but there are some who get pinched.
Okay, so most of us know about the standard Google tools like email, Google+, Chrome and Adwords, but it just seems like every time I turn around, I am wowed by yet another super cool tool from Google - they seem to be almost everywhere, serving us in so many varied ways.
I decided it was time to put my shoulder to the, uh, monitor I guess, and roll out a useful summary of as many cool marketing tools, and some that may not exactly fit in the category but that I just couldn't resist coz they're super neat.
To start with, here are some of the more typical yet very effective marketing tools that are most visible to people and come without cost.
Well Known Free Google Tools
- Gmail - The defacto standard of email tools, configurable to use your business domain like: email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org
- Calendar - Another cool tool that can be used as-is or with a small snippet of code can be embedded in your website. Set it up to stay in sync with Outlook Calendar and others
- Drive - Bring on the cloud and access your stuff anywhere you need it - your first 30GB free
- Docs Sheets Slides - Google's version of MS Office: very capable and can import/export to MS Office
- Sites - Site building utility using templates - no coding required
- YouTube - well, no introduction necessary
Beyond these utilities lie the basic set of business tools that work with the above and take things a step further
'Must-have' Google Business Tools
In spite of paid versions of the following tools, it's just hard to beat 'free', particularly when these solutions are so robust and bring such value to the table. Even though you may have marketing software that you use, the information brought to the table by Google Analytics is indispensable.
- Google Analytics breaks down visitor behavior and visit count into great detail.If you have a website, you cannot do without Google Analytics. Create an account and browse through all the options in the left margin including a detailed report on the audience viewing your site and their activity page by page, details on the type of traffic you are receiving: organic, direct, referral, social media, email etc.
- Google Trends - a big part of enabling your site to get found on line is by creating content your audience is interested in. Finding the latest topics to write on that will boost your rankings is something that always takes work, but take a look at Google Trends to see what is current and being talked about. You can also evaluate keywords that you have in mind to see how they are trending online.
- Think Insights - Get in on what Google is keeping an eye on in their own research. 'Think Insights' brings you the results of ideas Google is tracking including hard data and statistics - it seems to be on the cutting edge of everything
- Google Public Data Explorer - Thirsting after more information and data to leverage in your content creation quest? Check this tool out, it's nothing short of fantastic. It accesses publicly available date and puts it in a format that you can make sense of. For example, check out this graph derived from public data showing when China and India are expected to surpass others in economy size
- Google Fonts One of the coolest things about Google Fonts is that it enables you to use any of the types that it has right in your own website without the need for it to be available on your web host. There is a simple snippet of code to enter on your site that instructs visiting sites to locate referenced fonts from Google - super liberating for creative web design!
- Webmaster Tools are another website management tool that you must have to manage your website. It allows you to find problems, ask Google to crawl your site and more
- Google Places - Here's another cool tool that many businesses somehow miss. When you do a search on Google, sometimes a little map shows up with those little red pins al over it that correlate with the businesses that show up at the TOP of the search results page, yes? well, that's a free service just waiting for you to take advantage of for your own business and it only takes a few minutes to set up. Not a big investment to get to the top of the first page of Google!
- Google Flights - This is Google's airline fare finder and a favorite for those of us who travel frequently. The really useful part of it is the pricing histogram (bar chart) that appears along the bottom when selecting travel dates. You can easily see dates when it is less expensive to travel which is helpful if you have a flexible schedule.
There are many more free Google tools available, these are our favorites, what about you? We'd love you to take a minute and post them in the comments section below.
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