You probably already know some of the most popular and useful SEO tools Google has to offer. Analytics, Ads, Search Console and Business Manager are some that likely sound familiar. But have you had the chance to explore beyond these commonly-used tools?
Google has a surprising amount of platforms for covering all sorts of jobs, from productivity to education. But today we’re focusing on those that are specifically helpful for Search Engine Optimisation. Here are 11 useful SEO tools from Google that you may not know about.
Rich Results Test
Rich Results (or Rich Snippets) form part of your site’s appearance when it shows up in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). They enhance your listing by adding extra useful content such as star ratings, images and prices.
For Rich Results to work, specific code needs added to your website (on sites like WordPress this can be done – to an extent – by free plugins such as Yoast). The Rich Results Test tells you the types of Rich Results that are available for your site based on the its code. If you can’t see anything, then speak to your developer about opportunities or download Yoast to your website.
The Rich Results Test could also be used to see what Rich Snippets your competitors are using. If they have some that you don’t, you can look into implementing them on your own site.
Structured Data Markup Helper
The Structured Data Markup Helper gives you the code you need to ensure your website is eligible for Rich Results. Enter a URL and the type of Rich Results you want to code for and you’ll be presented with a copy of the page. You then select and label various elements in order build the code.
Once you’ve added all the elements, you can generate code that can then be added to your site. You can add this yourself if you’re familiar with coding, or speak to your developer to insert it for you.
Note that the Markup Helper is only available for certain Rich Results.
Does your page load fast enough to provide users with a good experience? Can it be improved?
PageSpeed Insights lets your analyse a specific page to see how it performs on both desktop and mobile. A visual guide helps you quickly see problem areas, and suggestions are provided to help you make improvements. Some of these improvements you can make yourself, while others will require the support of a developer.
Learn more about PageSpeed Inisghts.
Google for Retail
If you’re running an e-commerce site, then Google for Retail is a mine of useful information and tools to help you continually improve.
The homepage is a great resource with some general tips for enhancing your site and making sure it performs as well as possible in Google Search. Google for Retail can also send you a bespoke report with specific recommendations. Just enter some basic details about your store and business and then follow the instructions to get personalised tips and suggestions.
Keep up-to-date with your industry with Google Alerts. Enter keywords and receive an email with relevant news articles whenever they’re published. You can track industry-related news, your business itself, and your competitors. It’s a great way to keep a handle on what’s going on, to log your press mentions, and to find content inspiration.
You won’t receive alerts for every single thing that’s mentioned across the internet, but Google Alerts is a good way of getting a feel for current topics.
Google Trends is a good companion tool to Google Alerts, as it gives you a more general overview of popular topics around the world or in specific countries. Using data from searches on Google, you can find out how popular a specific topic is now, compared to recent periods.
The homepage will provide you with some popular topics. As I right this, for example, Wimbledon is taking place, and lots of tennis players are trending.
You can also explore topics that interest you specifically, such as industry-related content. Type in a search term to get a report that includes interest over time, popular related topics, and related queries. You can even filter by time period and compare results for multiple keywords.
How mobile-friendly is your website? Does it function correctly and look good on smaller devices? Even in this mobile-facing world, lots of websites are yet to be fully optimised for mobile, and you can ensure you’re not one of that number by utilising Mobile-Friendly Test.
This is a fairly simple tool that basically gives you a ‘yes or no’ answer. You can preview how your website looks on mobile, and there is some information available on potential problems and details if your site isn’t mobile-compatible.
Note: Mobile-Friendly Test was previously known as Webmasters.
Lighthouse is a useful Chrome extension that audits pages you browse and then creates a report. It’s a combination of several Google tools, such as PageSpeed Insights, all in one place. You can also easily open it at any time when you’re browsing a site (as long as you have the extension installed).
You can choose what to audit from several options including performance, accessibility, best practice and SEO. The relevant report will then give you a visual representation of what’s working and what isn’t, including suggestions for making improvements.
Safe Browsing Site Status
Another simple tool, the Safe Browsing Site Status checks your website is free of malware, and ensures it’s not involved in suspicious activity. Though you may not be intentionally doing this, your site can be compromised if you don’t have adequate security. Hackers can then use your site to scam and spam users, which is obviously bad for you and bad for the users.
The Safe Browsing Test helps you address any problems. And, if you don’t have any such issues, then at least it gives you peace of mind.
It’s easy to use: just enter a website’s URL and hit search.
With Looker Studio you can extract and collate data from a number of other Google platforms – such as Analytics, Ads and YouTube – and external sites such as SEMRush, Facebook Ads and Shopify. You then create a customisable report that looks the way you want it to.
Once a report is built, it can be set to automatically update (e.g. to provide month by month data). It’s a great way of presenting simplified data to stakeholders, colleagues and managers.
Looker Studio does have a bit of a learning curve, as you need to understand how to extract the data you need. However, once you’ve figured it out, you’ll have a very useful flexible tool in your SEO arsenal.
Think with Google
Think with Google is jam packed with useful data and articles on consumer behaviour, search trends, and much more. If you’re doing any kind of business-related research, then this should be one of your first stops.
Using Google’s wealth of knowledge about user behaviour, as well as opinions and insights from experts in the field, Think with Google has hundreds of articles on consumer trends, consumer journeys, marketing strategies, emerging technologies and more.
Lots of Google tools, such as Analytics, Ads and Search Console, are widely known. However, there are many, many more tools available that you may have never heard of. From quick checks to more in-depth reports and information, these tools can help you work on your SEO and improve your website.