Posted by : Amanda Stein Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If you are just starting out with your online activities for profit or simply to build a reputation, Google has an array of useful SEO tools that can help you to begin your venture with zero initial investment. Since it is common for most bloggers or Internet Marketers to target Google's search engine before any other, it makes sense to be in Google's good books. And all it takes is for you to take advantage of the free SEO tools that Google provides.

1. Google Plus

Chances are, unless you have been living under the proverbial rock, you have a Facebook account. Chances are, also, that you have heard about how Facebook can help you with your SEO. Well, here's the latest news from Moz and Searchmetrics: your content gets a bigger boost from getting more Google +1s than any metric other than Page Authority. Translation? You stand to gain more from getting Google+1s than from Facebook shares.

People who use Facebook for social sharing do not invariably feel like migrating to a new platform like Google Plus and having to understand and create 'Circles'. If you are serious about your online activities, however, you'll have to ignore the bias (assuming you have any) and place at least as much emphasis on Google Plus as you do on Facebook. It should be easy, even though there is a lot to learn, because the main point is to have fun, get to know people and build a network. If you don't yet have a Google Plus account, it is high time you got yourself one. You'll have to make an effort to utilize all its options to actually leverage on the +1s that are going to be your target (among other things), but getting that account and getting active is the first course of action.

2. Google Keyword Tool

There is not much to say about this one - everyone is familiar with it. And we suspect one of the primary reasons why many budding entrepreneurs opt for paid options is that they cannot grasp the enormous potential of this keyword analysis tool which comes absolutely free. Before you build your site, you need keyword research, and this should suffice for a very long time until you know exactly what extra features you are looking for.

3. Google's PDF on SEO

Get it straight from the horse's mouth before you read others talk about what the horse likes. This PDF is, you guessed it - absolutely free, and designed for a very pleasant reading experience. Don't just download it -read it too!

4. Google Webmaster Tools

This one cannot be described adequately in a paragraph or two. Suffice it to say that with this package, free again, you'll need very little else to understand how your site is operating, what the kinks are, what keywords drive most traffic to your site and, most importantly, get an insider's perspective on how Google sees your site.

5. Google Page Speed

Site load time is the single most important factor that determines whether you have initial visitors or not after they have clicked on your link in SERP. Initial traffic, because visitor retention depends almost entirely on your content and site design. Use this Google tool to understand if your site is loading optimally or you could have people clicking away even before they have seen what you have to offer.

6. Get Your Business Online

This doesn't apply to anyone living outside the US, but the initiative is so unique that it deserves a mention. And if you happen to be among the persons this was created for, you'll thank us in an hour, because that's how long it will take to get your business online. Your domain and hosting are going to be covered by Google for an entire year. This initiative is to help small businesses, vital to America's economy but frequently without an online presence, grow and contribute to the nation's GDP. If you are starting out online while already having a small offline business, scratch everything else and get this invaluable tool now.

7. Go Mo

Back to your site whose loading speed you were about to measure: did you make it mobile friendly as well? Use one of the many free options on the Web to achieve this because as far as sales go, smartphones are measuring a steady edge over conventional computer based net access. Now use the Go Mo tool to verify if your site is, indeed, mobile friendly. If anything should be amiss, use the developer links to set things right immediately.

8. Google Mail, Drive and Keep

We have clubbed these together because with a Gmail account you get access to the 5 GB free online storage of Google Drive (additional storage can be purchased), and with Google Keep, a small app that operates out of your browser, you can type notes, upload images, set reminders and sync everything to your Google Drive on the go. Everything that you put in your note is saved automatically. This three-tool combo is a must when you are starting out and we firmly believe that you'll never want to be without them once you understand the benefits.

9. Google Think Insights

When you are starting out, you are in a learning mode - or ought to be. The learning never stops, but it helps to have a good teacher to begin with. Google think insights will help you to understand your site better and improve your ad campaigns, provide you with case studies and resources on how good businesses are run and keep you updated with the latest findings and tips. There are numerous helpful articles and resources to understand the how businesses work on the Web and how things are changing. When you use the Insights, you'll have to make fewer general searches on the Web to find what you are looking for.

10. Google Analytics

We did not save the best for the last - only because it is difficult to say which is the best. However, this 'Enterprise Class' analytics which comes at no cost at all is probably one of the more stupendous efforts by Google to help budding and experienced webmasters alike. You might begin to wonder how other, paid options are still thriving with this amazing free tool lying around. Optimize your site, understand just about every metric that affects it, monitor traffic and conversion, take note of your weak points and, generally, do just about whatever you wish to do about site maintenance and optimization with the Google Analytics tool.

Top 10 SEO tools are a relative concept - and we gave you our list based on certain assumptions regarding what 'starting out' means according to us. The best advice we can give you at this point is, explore Google before you go anywhere else - you'll save a lot of grief, a lot of money, a lot time, and stand to lose absolutely nothing.

Author Bio: Bernard Naylor is an Online Manager for Beaver Mountain - luxury design or build advisory service for those desiring the log homes lifestyle. Bernard likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.

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