Wednesday, December 17, 2008

16 Free Google Search Marketing Tools

I found this very interesting list of Free tools from Google at Dave Chaffey's blog.

Search Marketing Tool Best for… What to watch for…

1.Google Keyword tool : Descriptive words or phrases tab

Finding popularity of keyphrases related to a keyword

Quickest method to find number of searches with different qualifiers related to a topic. No one should write copy without it!

Best to set to exact match for more precise results. Can export to CSV. Provides results for individual countries.

Have to select relevant country.

See my Keyword Tool Tutorial

2. Google Keyword Tool : website content tab

Recommending range of keywords for a page

The Keyword tool also has a site-specific tool recommending top keyphrases to optimize for, for a specific site. Useful to compare to words you are targeting from SEO/PPC. Does Google think your site is about the same themes as you do?!

You can use this for a single page, e.g. homepage or for an entire site if you check the box.

See my Keyword Tool Tutorial

3. Google search-based keyword tool


Identifying relevant keyphrases for a page

A similar tool to the to the site analysis tab of the Google Keyword Tool , this can be used to identify popularity of keyphrases relevant to a particular page, so can be used to expand keyword list for paid search marketing.

New in December 2008, I personally find this inferior to the standard Google Keyword Tool. However, it does have better integration with your AdWords account so better for identifying new keywords which is why Google built it – more competion, more ad revenue.

4. Google Insights for Search


Quick summary of keyphrase popularity by country, hot topics.

Great for showing seasonality for generic terms in different countries.

Doesn’t work so well for lower volume terms

“Rising Searches option at bottom can be useful for finding market opportunities

5. Google traffic estimator


Estimate paid search traffic and costs for a specific position

Part of AdWords, but does not require access to Google AdWords to use. Shows relative volumes between keyphrases well.

Can compare broad vs phrase vs exact match for the same keyword to see number of qualifiers used to see importance of long-tail keywords for a phrase.

Only gives clicks/day for #1 position if you set max bid amount high, so have to multiply this by 5-20 times depending on type of search to get an indication of actual search volume.

Less accurate, particularly for low-volume phrases. Results <0.1. clicks/day can be significant for SEO in some niche sectors. Results fluctuate.

See end of my Keyword Tool Tutorial

6. Google Ad Targeting Preview tool


View Google search results in different countries

To view how paid and natural search results appear when accessed from different countries in different languages. 

You can also use URL hacking for the same effect using these two parameters which are relevant:

It is generally said that the best option to perform well in a given country is to use a country-level domain e.g., (with a sufficient number of backlinks). This video post shows another option – using the Geotargeting facility in Google Webmaster tools to specify a country for each sub-folder which is submitted as a separate URL.

There is also a Firefox plug-in, theGoogle Global Firefox Extension

7. Google Webmaster tools


Reviewing pages in Google’s index

Too many facilities to list exhaustively, but most useful features for SEO are:

  • Submitting Google Sitemaps enables you to compare pages in index to pages submitted (some SEOs believe this is unnecessary)
  • Number of external and internal backlinks by page
  • Google webmaster tools is intended for sites you own or manage which you can verify. It can’t be used for competitor sites. In which case the Yahoo! Site Explorer is the best free if clunky option to see internal and external backlinks.

    8. Google Trends


    Showing seasonality in searches

    Searches can be trended through time to see relatively popularity.

    Gives search volume estimates if logged in via Google Account.

    Can be useful for comparing brand strength.

    9. Google Trends for Websites


    Showing relative popularity of sites

    New in 2008, Google Trends for websites can be used to compare site audience levels / popularity and gives limited information on top searches for sites.

    Gives unique visitor estimates if logged in via Google Account

    10. Google AdPlanner


    Comparing site popularity and demographics

    Also new in 2008, Google AdPlanner gives an estimate of the number of unique visitors and page views of larger competing sites in sector by country.

    Similar to Google Trends, only tends to work for larger sites. But it does include demographic estimates.

    11. Google Adwords campaign reports

    Gives an accurate indication of the relative number of impressions (searches) in period for a particular phrase for Google AdWords advertisers.

    Figures only available if you set up keyphrases for advertising.

    Have to use [exact match] since broad match is inflated. May also include impressions on content network sites. May underestimate or give the wrong relative values if daily budget too low for some campaigns.

    12. Google Suggest


    Show alternative phrase qualifiers

    Shows related phrases and additional qualifiers in order of popularity.

    Originally available in Google Labs now only available as part of Google Toolbar and less valuable since it used to show number of results.

    13. Google Advanced Search


    Date of page and related pages

    The most useful of the Advanced Search syntax for the SEO are:

    • Date: (how recent the page is)
    • Where your keywords show up (e.g. in title, links to the page):
    • Page-specific tools : Find pages similar to the page (“related:” syntax) and Find pages that link to the page (“link:” syntax)

    You have to expand the link “Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more” to see some of these.

    Note that the page-specific tools are not comprehensive, i.e. link: doesn’t give all backlinks.

    14. Google Analytics

    Analysing search terms driving site visitors.

    The Traffic section of Google Analytics gives:

  • Number of visits to site from different search keywords broken down into paid and natural
  • Top referring search terms to a page
  • For search engine marketing, this is most useful for comparing natural to paid search keyphrases overall or for a page. It needs a tweak to reveal actual searches from paid search for an AdWords campaign.

    15. Google Analytics URL builder 

    Implementing campaign tracking

    Specify parameters for tracking different types of online marketing campaigns from paid search, to banner ads, to email marketing in Google.

    Many basic installations of Google Analytics don’t have tracking setup to compare campaigns or keywords. This tool is useful for illustrating the principle through adding different parameters.

    16. Google conversion optimizer 

    Improving conversion rates

    Use the conversion optimizer for AB or Multivariate testing.

    Analyse and improve conversion rates for content combinations on different page types