Friday, 4 May 2012

Best Google Tools For Making Your Business

Google offers a variety of free tools to help your build your online business. Create social networks, site maps, track site statistics, and more. Best part - these are all free tools that can be customized and implemented even by beginners.

1. Google Analytics for Websites

Google offers free tracking for your website statistics. Create a Google account then log into Google Analytics. Input your websites' url and Google generates a code, called the "Google Analytics Tracking Code" (GATC) to track your website's statistics.
You will need to add the GATC to the bottom of each web page (just before the closing tag). If you have a large website, or use an HTML editor that does not support a global search and replace this can be time consuming. However, if you use Dreamweaver, you are in luck; use the find and replace feature for your entire site to replace the closing body tag with the GATCand body tag.
Reporting features are sophisticated, comprehensive, and can even be used to track conversion rates.

2. Google Analytics for WordPress

The same wonderful features (free tracking and comprehensive reporting) that are available to HTML website owners are also available to bloggers. Download and install the WordPress plug in for Google Analytics and you can track your blog's statistics.

3. Google Friend Connect

If you like to tinker with templates, you can add the code to the template itself. Many newer templates design are now including the option of adding the GATC.
Google's Friend Connect tools can help you build social networks through your regular website. You can choose from a variety of free gadgets to customize your network. Add polls, "share this" buttons, comments, ratings, reviews, events, scrolling bars, questions and answers, photos, and a variety of other features commonly used in other types of social networks.
Just tell Google the URL of the site you want to display Friend Connect options on, choose gadgets, and add the code snippet (Google generates it, but all codes can be customized) to your web pages (or blog) and you are done!
You can use Friend Connect on websites or on blogs to add social features or to begin building an entire social community - without any programming involved.

4. Google Alerts

If you need to stay on top of your industry, competition, or general news, Google Alerts is a powerful, free tool to cut down on your search time. Google Alerts prompts you to enter specific keywords you want to receive updated information about and will automatically email you a list of new articles, blogs, and posts on the Internet about any subject or keywords chosen.
You can chose how often you want to receive alerts, and can easily add, change, or delete keyword lists.
Google Alerts saves you time in two ways: Google hunts down information across the Internet for you and there are no accounts to log into. After you set up your alerts they are sent to you with links and snippets so you can choose at a glance what interests you most.

5. Google Insights for Search

Google has a great (free) tool to help you follow and discover trends on what information people are searching for on the web. You can micro search for news, images, or products.
One of the coolest aspects of this tool is its ability to provide historical data to study long-term trends. Search for recent information or go as far back as 2004 for data. Fine tune your data search by category, and click to see trends and rising trends by location and keywords.

6. Google Search-Based Keyword Tool (For AdWords Users)

To use this tool, you do need to have a Google AdWords account. This tool allows you to enter keywords and see in graph format if and how people are searching your website. The tool can make recommendations on fine-tuning AdWords.
If you do not use AdWords, opt for Google's Site Analytics tools to get in-depth information on how people are using your website.
You can also use Google's Keyword Tool External to get even more valuable information about keywords people are using. This tool reports numbers and can be used to study keywords across the Internet or on a specific website. The suggested purpose of this tool is to get ideas for improving keyword use.

7. Google Ad Planner

Even if you are not planning on using Google AdWords this is a fabulous tool to help you see traffic for competing sites. Enter a URL for any website (you do need to have a Google Account, which you can get for free) and see how many people visit the site, keywords they use, and other websites the are visiting.
If you love statistics and applying them to your own SEO and marketing strategies, this is a free tool worth using over and over again.
A few limitations: you cannot search subdomains, data from some countries may not be included, and it is hard to determine time frames for searches.

8. Free Google Tools for Webmasters

Join Google Webmasters Central for free to gain access to webmaster forums that specifically deal with topics relating to Google, search engine optimization (SEO), and other webmaster "how to's." One of the best things about the forums is having access to really "high tech" folks who are patient and willing to share their knowledge with "newbies."
You should also check out Google Website Optimizer. Use this free web development tool to optimize your website and run A/B tests (versions of different pages to see which one gets better response.)
Use your Google account to sign into Google's Local Business Center tool. Add your business to a local directory. You can include information about your business, website, how you take payments, and even add a coupon. Use the map and driving directions options to help people locate your business.
Google offers a basic overview on YouTube of their Local Business Center tool so you can see how it might help boost your business' viability.

10. Free Google Training and Information Seminars

Register to take a variety of Google's free business courses and online presentations in their"Do More With Less" series.
If you prefer to explore Google options and learn from videos, visit Google's Business Channel on YouTube.

11. Google Freebies Just for Nonprofits

If you are a public education institution or nonprofit, Google offers several free services for tax-exempt organizations. Google offers grants, free AdWords, free site search tools (for-profit businesses must be for ad-free site search tools), Google Checkout, and more.
If you use Google Checkout, YouTube offers nonprofits other premium services for free including the option to drive fundraising through a Google Checkout "Donate" button


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