Even with new search engines popping up in cyberspace, Google is still the world’s number one search engine, connecting millions of people from all over the world while offering the best search experience. It is for these reasons that online marketers regularly use the tools and resources offered by Google.
Applications for webmasters, calendars, email, web analytics, document collaboration or live video are some of the most commonly used Google platforms in the online marketing industry.
If you are a small business on a shoestring marketing budget, you may feel you have a limited set of options to choose from. The fact is, you don’t! There are several cheap and even free Google marketing resources that you may not be aware of. The following is a list of some of the best.
Resources for Market Research
Think Insights has actually been around for a couple of years, though the site has been recently updated. It’s largely self-promotional, but it also gives you free access to studies that show you how certain demographics use the worldwide web.
This alone can already give you a good idea as to what particular online campaigns and projects can benefit your brand the most, but you can get even more inspiration from the site’s gallery, which shows you some very creative campaigns.
You might hesitate to use Google’s Surveys when you learn that this resource is a paid service, but you need to realize that stepping outside the usual email list by doing research with surveys will always entail monetary cost.
Besides, the cost of $.10 per general response and $.50 for surveys targeted to a specific demographic make it an extremely cost-effective solution, especially when you consider that it offers highly accurate data and a very quick turnaround time.
Global Market Finder
This resource helps you determine who your potential customers are in the global arena. All you need to do is enter a keyword related to your product or service, and then choose the region where you want to promote your business.
Market Finder will then translate your keyword into the language used in your chosen region, and rank each location in the region based on the opportunities they have to offer. Factors such as suggested bid price, competition for each keyword, and local search volume all affect the opportunity-based ranking.
Resources for Tagging and Analytics
Tag Manager is something practically everyone involved in online marketing will benefit from. It was released in the latter part of 2012. Although it has experienced a strong growth since its launch, there are still a lot of marketers who are unaware of its existence.
What it essentially does is allow you to manage tracking tags centrally without touching the back end code, as long as someone in the IT department has already added the main container. This is marketing liberation: no more begging to the IT geeks!
It promotes flexibility and enhanced performance, thus offering broad and powerful possibilities. Google may not be the first to come up with a tag management resource, but their resource might just become the most popular.
Google has an extensive FAQ section that explains how the Tag Manager feature works, and also addresses common queries that business owners may have about managing their tracking tags.
This is actually the Chrome extension of the Tag Manager, so if you’re using, or planning to use, the former, then it could indeed be a good idea to use this as well. It makes the task of double-checking your tag configurations a lot easier. You can immediately view the details of a particular tag simply by clicking on the blue arrow located towards the right of the tag’s status.
With a simple click of the blue arrow towards the right of a tag’s status, you can view the details of that specific tag. Flickr.com photo by Wrote
Universal Analytics is an improvement of Google Analytics, and just like its label implies, it’s not bound solely to all things inbound. Rather, it affects practically all online and offline marketing disciplines, which means all businesses can possibly benefit from it.
Google Analytics is the world’s most widely-adopted analytics platform, but if this release is any indication, we might be looking at an extensive overhaul of the service. Although Universal Analytics is still in beta form, it is expected to change your way of thinking when it comes to marketing analytics. It is also expected to change the way you use analytics, bringing in a new functionality and flexibility to reporting.
It allows you to include offline data and offers a multi-channel tracking option, among other things. With everything it has to offer, Universal Analytics is believed to promote improved performance overall.
Resources for Search History and Data
Google Trends is perhaps the most well-known resource on the list, but it is also one of the most overlooked. You’re probably aware that search behavior has a fluid nature and like most marketers, you probably get your volume estimates from the AdWords Keywords Tool most of the time.
However, if you’re planning long-term campaigns, you should use Trends as well, as it provides valuable historical search data that can give you a good idea of how your target market will conduct searches in the future. You can also use it to check seasonal patterns of specific keywords for the entire year.
Additionally, Trends can help you track brand recognition as compared to your competitors’ over a specified period of time. It even has a “Top Charts” section that shows you the currently trending searches with the use of visual navigation, making it perfect for determining the best content angles.
Although its usefulness hasn’t really been established yet, the new live visualization of Hot Searches feature is definitely very entertaining.
Unlike the other resources on the list, this isn’t really a data set or a tool. It is more like an interactive recap of search trends and events for any year you choose. When you use the resource, you also have the option of viewing a recap of current search trends for a specific country.
Additionally, you have the option of viewing a recap of trends in a specific country for a specific year. It can be an excellent resource for getting inspiration for content angles based on a historical context.
Google’s tools have helped a lot of businesses expand their reach to foreign markets. The ones discussed here are just some of the most underappreciated, yet extremely useful, resources Google has made available to you. Why not give them a try?