All of the Google Tools Your SEO Strategy Needs Allie Wolff Google may be the one to impress when it comes to your SEO, but the search engine mega-giant doesn’t expect you to go it alone. There are a wide range of Google tools optimized to help you optimize, and plenty of the best ones offer basic features for free. From what content to cover to what consumers are responding to most on your site, Google apps can help you improve your SEO strategy and dig deeper into the data that you need to know in order to rank. And to get you started, we’ve put together this handy overview of the free SEO tools that Google offers. Let’s get to it. Content Planning Google Trends It can be hard to know what topics to cover with your content, but Google Trends can help. This incredibly useful free tool gives you a full picture view of what people are searching for and where they’re searching from, in turn offering a lot of helpful information about what sorts of content you should write if you want to get your brand in on the conversation. Google Search This isn’t a tool or app exactly, but the Google search page is an often underutilized free resource for guiding your content planning. Use it to see what questions people are asking about certain topics, as well as to inform your team about what your competitors are ranking for and how they might have gotten there. It’s a great place to start when you’re stuck, and one of the best methods out there for honing in on impactful ideas. Google Keyword Planner Keyword Planner is a free tool offered under the umbrella of Google AdWords. It’s PPC focused, meaning you’ll get the most utility out of it if you use to guide keywords in your ads. Discover the keywords that are converting, research your current keywords to see if you need a shake up, and get suggestions on bid amounts — all of which can help you put together an SEO ad plan that truly makes an impact. Google Optimize Google Optimize, formerly Google Analytics Content Experiments, works with your Google Analytics account to help you test and measure how your content is performing with your audience. See what’s working and what’s not, then use that information to plan content moving forward. Data Sourcing Google Analytics You’re probably already quite familiar with Google Analytics, which is pretty much the go-to source for tracking the ROI of your SEO-driven campaigns. With Analytics, you can track ad performance, monitor traffic on your site, and get more insight into your customers. And while you can pay for more advanced features, many of Analytics’ most useful tools are available for free. Google Forms Consumer insight is key in helping you optimize your site, and with Google Forms, you can gather that insight quickly and easily. Create surveys, share them with your audience, and then analyze the data — all from one place. As a bonus, integrate Forms with Google Sheets to organize your survey data more efficiently and get as clear a picture as possible about what the results are saying. Site Management Google Search Console Formerly Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console lets you see a ton of data about the various elements of your site all in one place, including traffic, performance, broken links, crawling issues, and more. You’ll get an email alert if there’s a problem with your site, plus lots of useful insight you can use to drive your SEO efforts. Google PageSpeed Insights A lot of factors go into deciding how your page ranks, including how fast it loads. With Google PageSpeed Insights, just type in your URL and get insight data on how fast (or slow) your site is loading, plus how it compares to other sites on the same browser. You’ll also get diagnostic advice for speeding up the loading time. Google Tag Manager Your site code is one of the less glamorous parts of SEO, but it’s still crucial. With Google Tag Manager, you can manage tags in your code without having to go in and make manual edits — that speeds up development and deployment, and also directly integrates with Google for faster tag updates. General SEO Google Alerts An oldie but a goodie, Google Alerts helps you scan the web for interesting content — including all mentions of your brand. While you can also use it to help develop content, we think Google Alerts most useful functionality is its ability to tell you when your name comes up. By tracking mentions, you’ll know when you need to respond, as well as hone in on opportunities for backlink requests. Google My Business List your business for free using Google My Business and get an instant boost in ranking, particularly in local search. In addition to getting more control over the information that’s shared about your business, you’ll also make it easier for your customers to find, connect, and engage with your brand.