There is a large list of free tools for digital marketing that should be used by everyone from beginners to experts in the field. Although Google in particular has released many free tools to help digital marketers, we’ve listed out the top 5 free Google tools for digital marketing and SEO:
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics has both a free and premium web analytics tool to help you track detailed visitor metrics, such as traffic sources, visitor behavior, demographics, conversions and sales on your site. By default, implementing basic Google Analytics tracking code would allow digital marketers to measure SEO and other marketing efforts through the tracking of organic traffic, referral traffic (social and non-social), and direct traffic. For more specific campaigns, such as email marketing, paid search, and social ads, Google Analytics allows marketers to link their Google Adwords account to Google Analytics for data syncing. They can also add URL tracking parameters to non-Adwords campaigns. The 5 UTM parameters for campaign tracking include:
- Campaign source
- Campaign medium
- Campaign term
- Campaign content
- Campaign name
Overall, Google Analytics could be used as the basis for measuring each marketing effort. The amount of data that can be collected through Google Analytics is tremendous especially because there is no cost for free version.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is another free tool from Google that is a must-use for webmasters and SEOs. Webmasters can perform a number of different tasks to help with indexation and visibility of the site, among other technical options within the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard. They can submit an XML sitemap to help Google find pages for indexation, set different crawl rates for the site, and generate a robots.txt file to disallow different pages from being indexed. Google Webmaster Tools also provides options for users to de-index pages that were accidentally indexed in Google. Other technical options include viewing reports to find broken links. Marketers can also benefit from some of the more analytical reports that include, but are not limited to search query impressions and click through rate metrics.
3. Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Google Adwords Keyword Tool was originally created to help PPC marketers build different keyword lists for ad groups and campaigns, but SEO personnel also can use the tool for organic keyword research. Keyword research is the first step in any successful SEO program, and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool makes it very easy to complete the research with its different features. Features include setting the search criteria using basic and advanced options to check the search volume on exact match keywords, phrase match keywords, and broad match keywords. After the marketers search one or more keywords, additional related keywords can be discovered, sorted by a number of different metrics, and even exported to an external file.
4. Google Trends
Google Trends is another free tool that can go hand-in-hand with the Google Adwords Keyword Tool during your digital marketing and SEO keyword research phases. Google Trends provide insights on one or more search terms to help marketers determine seasonality of different search terms in Google (ex: the search term “Christmas cards” would have more search volume and interest in December compared to April) or whether or not the keyword is in an upward or downward trend in search volume and interest. Marketers can benefit from this insight by planning different digital promotions around seasonality of search terms or optimizing a site around keywords that are in an upward search volume trend. Other search data that can be found with this tool includes, but is not limited to discovering the “fastest rising” keywords and related keywords.
5. Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Google Structured Data Testing Tool can be used to preview and verify rich snippet implementation for your website’s Google search results. Rich snippets (or structured data) are used for displaying useful information about a page alongside the search result. This includes data such as product price, product rating and reviews, website breadcrumbs, post/article authorship and other data that makes your site stand out amongst the millions of other search results in Google. The tool allows you enter the URL of a page or upload an HTML file for structured data preview and verification.