7 Google SEO Tools Every Website Publisher Should Use
If you want to have a chance to compete in Google’s search results, you need the right tools to analyze your website. The seven Google SEO tools on this list are must-haves to improve your website on a continuous basis.
- Google Analytics
- Google search console
- Mobile-friendly test
- PageSpeed insights
- Page experience tools
- Google trends
- Search quality evaluator guidelines
Topping the list is Google’s web analytics tool, Google Analytics. The lifeblood for SEOs, this web analytics platform allows us to peek into the performance of a website from many different angles.
Google Analytics gives important data points on not only the organic traffic channel but also other channels as well. In short: You can get the big picture of website performance, audience behavior, and how marketing initiatives impact success.
UPDATE: Google has since released its Google Analytics 4 platform. For an overview and how to set it up, see Google Analytics 4: What It Is and How To Get Started. And you can also get our free e-book on the same topic.
Another vital Google SEO tool is the Search Console. A common question is how this differs from Google Analytics. This service is focused on improving a website technically for more visibility in the search results. This is where you can also find out if a Google penalty is impacting your site. Don’t forget to enable data sharing between Search Console and Google Analytics.
It’s no secret we are living in a mobile-first world. You can find the mobile-friendly test within Google Search Console, and you can also access it here. After inputting a URL, you’ll see a screenshot of how the webpage looks on a mobile device and whether it passed as mobile-friendly. The tool also suggests a list of usability issues that impact mobile friendliness.
A fast site is good for your website visitors and your bottom line. PageSpeed Insights analyzes a URL and gives guidelines on how to make a webpage faster. You can access page speed data points and recommendations within Google Analytics or go to the PageSpeed Insights tool here. You’ll also get data that will be helpful to prepare for Google’s Page Experience ranking update in May 2021.
Aside from the PageSpeed Insights tool, other Google SEO tools exist to help make a webpage better for the user.
Inside Search Console is the Core Web Vitals report. Core Web Vitals are part of Google’s Page Experience ranking update. In other words, these factors will impact how a webpage ranks in search.
But there are other tools you can use to improve page experience for the three Core Web Vitals:
1. To measure Largest Content Paint (LCP), or how well your page loads:
2. To measure First Input Delay (FID), or the interactivity of your page:
3. To measure Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which is the page’s visual stability:
Google Trends offers a lot of interesting data points that you can slice and dice to understand the popularity of search queries over time. You can input your keywords, follow current trends or even see the year in search. Use it for seasonal trends or compare many terms at once. (Read more on how to use Google Trends.)
So this one isn’t a “tool” per se. You can’t enter a URL and get instant data on how to improve a webpage. But what you can do with the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines is get a better sense of what Google believes is a quality site.
SEOs reverse engineer the information from Google’s “search quality rating” program to get tactical steps to improve websites. We’ve done that, too, and you can read the following for more: The Complete Guide to the Fundamentals of E-A-T and What Is Google’s “Needs Met” Rating and Why Should Website Publishers Care.
Every website publisher should have a tool stack that helps them improve their website. These Google SEO tools, which are available for free, should be a part of it — no question.
Feel free to comment below and tell us which Google SEO tools you think are indispensable. If you found this article helpful, please share it and subscribe to our blog to get future posts.
Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that gives website owners vital insights into their site’s performance, user behavior, and popular webpages. Google Analytics offers real-time data that informs decisions, from tracking visitors to monitoring pages that rank high in searches.
Google Analytics excels in tracking engagement and user interaction across various dimensions, providing insight into content engagement such as page views, bounce rate, and session duration metric data that provides an idea of whether visitors find what they’re searching for on websites. Such measurements allow marketers to optimize website design to enhance the user experience.
Beyond basic metrics, Google Analytics delves into more advanced aspects of website performance. Conversion tracking is a prime example. By setting up goals and tracking e-commerce transactions, website owners can understand the effectiveness of their sales funnel. This insight allows for targeted improvements, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.
Google Analytics doesn’t stop at tracking user behavior within the website; it also offers demographic and geographic insights. This information helps tailor content to specific audiences and geographical regions, maximizing the impact of marketing efforts. Moreover, the platform’s real-time reporting enables swift reactions to emerging trends and sudden changes in user behavior.
Step-by-Step Procedure: How to Leverage Google Analytics for Website Performance Insights
- Set Up Google Analytics: Create a Google Analytics account and link it to your website by embedding the provided tracking code into your website’s HTML.
- Define Goals: Determine the objectives of your website, whether it’s driving sales, generating leads, or increasing page views.
- Configure Goal Tracking: Within Google Analytics, set up specific goals to track user actions aligned with your objectives, such as completing a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
- Explore Audience Reports: Analyze demographic data, including age, gender, and location, to understand your website’s audience composition.
- Analyze Acquisition Sources: Examine which channels—organic search, social media, referrals, etc.—drive the most traffic to your website.
- Monitor Behavior Flow: Use behavior flow reports to visualize users’ paths through your site, identifying drop-off points and popular pages.
- Evaluate Site Speed: Check the Site Speed report to ensure your website loads quickly, providing a seamless user experience.
- Utilize Content Reports: Explore which pages are most visited and how long users spend on each page to identify high-performing content.
- Implement E-commerce Tracking: If applicable, enable e-commerce tracking to gain insights into product performance, revenue, and transactions.
- Set Up Custom Dashboards: Create custom dashboards to monitor key metrics tailored to your specific goals and preferences.
- Enable Real-time Reporting: Leverage real-time reports to react promptly to sudden changes in user activity or emerging trends.
- Utilize A/B Testing: Perform A/B tests on different website elements to optimize design, content, and user experience.
- Regularly Review Data: Schedule regular reviews of your Google Analytics data to identify trends, anomalies, and areas for improvement.
- Optimize for Mobile: Ensure your website is mobile-responsive and use mobile reports to understand mobile user behavior.
- Track Site Search: If your website has a search function, track search queries to understand user intent and improve navigation.
- Use Segmentation: Segment data to compare performance among different user groups and tailor strategies accordingly.
- Implement Campaign Tracking: Add UTM parameters to URLs for marketing campaigns to track their effectiveness accurately.
- Stay Updated: Keep up with Google Analytics updates and new features to continually enhance your insights.
- Seek Professional Help: Consult with web analysts or experts to interpret complex data and derive actionable insights if needed.
- Iterate and Improve: Regularly apply the insights gained from Google Analytics to make data-driven changes that enhance website performance and user experience.