With Google’s smarter algorithm the need for unique content along with SEO strategies has become a necessity. So has the need for your site to deliver best user experience in the particular niche. Fortunately there are a lot of free SEO tools online that can help you assess the work done thereby helping you achieve your SEO (and business) goals.
The keyword planner tool in Google Adwords forms the basis of most SEO strategies today. This free tool from Google can be used to search keywords, ad group ideas and also get an understanding of how a particular keyword might perform. You can also get help in choosing competitive bids and budget to go with your SEO campaign. While this is a free tool it requires you to setup a free account with Adwords before accessing the tool.
One of the most used free tool in the industry today, Ubersuggest provides a neat and organized list of keywords that many other tools fail to do.
Incognito google.com search
This one though not a tool, goes a long way in helping identify top keywords that are being searched worldwide. When searching for a particular keyword the suggestions provided by google gives an insight as to what users are looking for in the particular field. Simple shortcut to Incognito is Ctrl + Shift + N.
The site helps identify duplicate content within the site, be it in the meta-tags or content within the site. In today’s scenario where Google algorithms strictly check for duplication Siteliner is very beneficial.
A special tool to check for copied content from other sites. More often than not bloggers are seen referring content from other sites and using them without any modification which is strictly against SEO rules. Copyscape can help detect any copied content to be placed within the site.
Once you have created your meta-tags, it is important to check the optimization levels of the keywords used in them. Google has penalized several sites for over optimization and hence using Remove’em over optimization tool to check the same is highly beneficial
Google and Bing have their own respective Webmaster tools that can help keep your site optimized and also help check the site’s indexing. Apart from this the tool also provides insight on website traffic patterns, reach, visibility, speed-metrics and authorship statistics.
Moz is considered to be one of the pioneers of SEO and their open site explorer sites will help you understand the various off-page SEO techniques. With Moz open site explorer ou can gauge site’s influence, view subdomain, inbound links to the site, root domain and analyze the link pages.
As the name suggests, the tool helps create a robots.txt file which can be used to instruct the search engine about pages in your site that are allowed to be indexed. Apart from generating the file you can also enter pages that you want the search engine to not crawl without having to do manually.
Ahrefs is a site explorer and backlink checker and is probably one of simplest yet effective tool available. It is well known for its ability to filter backlinks and referring domains. Can be useful in analyzing online strategies to compete with your competitors.
This site will help you create a schema based on which Google and other search engines make sense of content in your HTML. For people new into SEO creating a schema might be difficult to grasp and Schema Creator will turn out to be a huge help for them.
WordPress has become an extremely common platform to submit content online. The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin goes a long way in taking care of all the technical optimization and helping write better content in terms of SEO.
Google Analytics offered by Google, is a service that provides detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and its sources. It also keeps track on the conversions and sales. You can look into our article on Google Analytics for more insight into using the tool.
Are there any other free SEO tools you use that you feel should be on this list? Do let us know in the comments below.
Using the tool, one can analyse data on a monthly basis to understand who is coming to your website, what are they doing there and what is driving them to come to the website or transact with you. Google Analytics a powerful yet free tool which can help grow your digital marketing strategy. To get you started, here is a slideshare with list of Top 10 Things to Analyse your website using Google Analytics.
As part of our in-house knowledge sessions we have created a slideshare on the basics of Search Engine Optimisation from the perspective of entrepreneurs. It include insights on creating content for users, site speed, creating good quality links as well as influencer marketing & blogger engagement.
Google Adwords is a powerful online advertising tool that helps people find a business at the precise moment they are searching for the product/service that the business offers. Every business can use Google Adwords to grow their reach and achieve their business goals which may be to generate leads or enhance sales.
Below you can find a slideshare presentation on the basics of Google Adwords and what one needs to know before starting their first Pay Per Click campaign. This has been made from practical experience of multiple team members at Social Beat (a Google Partner).
Google Adwords offers a whole range of ad types to choose from depending on the objective of the campaign. Ad types include plain text ads for the search network on desktops & mobile phones, text or image ads for the Google Display Network (GDN), Product-listing ads and Search, display and In-stream video ads on YouTube. Prior to running a campaign, it is important to understand each type and how they function.
Keyword research forms the basis of an Ad campaign on the search network. The keywords must be specific and include all possibilities and variations keeping in mind the interests of the target audience. A clear understanding of the keyword types – Broad match, modified broad match, phrase match and exact match and using the right mix of them in a campaign is essential to building a successful campaign. It is also important to carry out research for your negative keywords (not sure what negative keywords are? Watch out for our next blog post on the same)
Similar keywords would need to be grouped together to form different Ad groups and then multiple ads would have to be created for each group. For example, for a dental clinic they Ad Groups could be Dentist, Dental Clinic, Dental Care, Orthodontic Treatment etc. These might seem similar from a business perspective, but from a search and Adwords perspective they need to be broken down into separate Ad Groups.
The quality of these ads is of paramount importance as these will attract the user to click on them and get to your website. There are a number of rules to be followed and techniques to be learnt. One interesting technique, which helps make the ad headline appear longer the 25-character limit when the ad is shown, is to add a full-stop at the end of the first line of the description. The ad must always include the key selling points and adding a keyword in the display URL would help enhance quality score.
Quality Score & Ad Rank
Quality score of an ad takes into account the expected Click Through Rate (CTR), Ad relevance and the Landing Page experience. Keywords need to be optimized to enhance Quality Score which will eventually impact the Ad rank (which is the Quality Score multiplied by the CPC bid). A good understanding of ad rank and quality score is essential to running a good campaign.
Once the campaign is up and running, improving it and optimizing it is a continuous process and involves managing bids, refining keywords based on conversions and adapting ads based on their response.
Are you ready to run your first campaign? Have any questions? Feel free to drop them below and we’d be glad to answer them.
The Team at Social Beat is excited to announce that Social Beat is now an accredited Google Partner for Google Adwords/Pay Per click Advertising.
Our newly acquired Google Partner badge certifies us as a company trusted by Google which is capable of providing the highest levels of service to clients.
Social Beat becomes Google Partner
We have fulfilled Google’s three main requirements for being a Google Partner
Google requires the team handling Adwords to prove their advanced AdWords knowledge by getting certified in AdWords. All team members handling Adwords campaigns at Social Beat are certified by Google to have the required levels of competency and proficiency to run successful campaigns.
Google Partners are required to demonstrate that they have mastered the essentials covered in the Google certification exams and are maximizing their clients’ performance by implementing Google’s recommended best practices in client accounts.
Google reviews Partner agencies’ client accounts to make sure that their clients are getting excellent service, including the type and frequency of the changes being made, client retention, and whether they’re making the most of their clients’ budgets.
A minimum spend of at least USD 10,000 over the last 90 calendar days is required to indicate the state of an agency’s business health.
Being awarded the honour of being in the elite group of Google-approved marketing agencies reaffirms our expertise and ensures that our practices conform to Google’s advertising guidelines and are proven to drive ROI.
Contact us to get your Adwords campaign started or to optimize an existing campaign for better ROI.
A large number of people still consider Google+ to be a ghost town, sparsely inhabited and sans activity – not worth investing time and effort to create and maintain a presence on. If you’re one of them, it’s time to give this thought some serious reconsideration.
In less than three years of its existence since its launch in the second half of 2011, Google+ has shown tremendous growth with the total number of registered users recently crossing the 1 billion mark and the number of active monthly users crossing 540 million. To gauge the growth in activity – 1.5 billion photos are uploaded every week and +1 is clicked more than 5 billion times a day. If these massive numbers are not reason enough for you to include G+ as part of your social media strategy, here are seven strong reasons why you must begin using Google+ as a business marketing tool.
1. It’s a Google product:
No other social network has the kind of web assets leverage that Google has. Think about it. Apart from being the world’s most used search network, Google owns one of the most popular browsers in Chrome, one of the most-used mobile Operating systems in Android, the largest video sharing website in YouTube, the world’s largest email service in Gmail, one of the most popular photo-editing platforms in Picasa, a versatile cloud-storage application in Google Drive and the most popular mapping service application in Google Maps. Google is the leader of the online world and is already using all its might to ensure Google+ gains popularity and acceptance. Apart from this, the use of Google+ also provides seamless integration with all other Google services.
Google+ your business
2. Higher Search Rankings:
The boost to SEO is one of the biggest benefits of Google+. Almost all SEO experts will tell you that content on Google+ is indexed faster than other content across the web and any links on G+ positively impact SEO results. This is because unlike most other social platforms like Twitter, where all links are placed with a no follow tag, Google+ links are follow links and G+ pages are treated as web pages. This increases website visibility and accumulates Page Rank and thereby, by actively participating on Google+, you are increasing the visibility of your brand.
A recent scientific correlation Study by Moz to discover the qualities of web pages that have a strong association with ranking high in Google, shows that Google+ posts have multiple SEO benefits unlike other social platforms. The study also found a strong correlation between Google +1s and higher search rankings, clearly indicating that sharing content on Google + has the potential to influence search rankings in many ways.
3. Enhanced search results:
When a user searches for your Google+ optimized business online, the results show the most recent G+ post, the number of followers, profile name and image, any +1 recommendations from friends and Google map directions to the business. And, if the person searching is already following your business on G+, the brands content appears even more prominently in the search results.
Recent Google+ posts in Search results
Apart from the right hand space on the Search results page, where Google+ information currently shows up, Google is also experimenting with including recent posts, most relevant to the search query keyed in, in the Search results space itself. The example below shows a relevant Google+ post of a play school, displaying in the results for the Search query “play school in Velachery”.
Enhanced Search results with Google+
4. Google+ Authorship:
Google Authorship includes the author’s photo and byline with the search snippet on search results pages. It is activated by linking the author’s Google+ profile to the website he is a contributor to, through an email address on that domain. Including the author’s credentials lends reliability and trustworthiness to the content and enhances ranking on Search Engine Results Pages(SERPs) while also improving click-through-rates, thereby increasing the reach of your content and traffic to your site.
5. Unfiltered Updates:
Unlike Facebook, which constantly tweaks its Edgerank algorithm to decide which of your updates will be seen by your fans, updates on Google+ are currently unfiltered and chances of your updates reaching your fan-base are higher on Google+ than Facebook. Also, unlike Facebook, whose primary source of revenue is Ads, Google’s primary source of revenue comes from search advertising and it presently does not need to force users to pay to gain visibility on Google+.
6. Google+ Ads:
The above does not mean that Google will never attempt to monetize Google+ through ads. Google is already testing paid +Post ads for Google+ content and apart from Google’s experience with Adwords expected to make the Ads a great product, the possible game changer would be access to the whole of the Google Display Network through Google+ Ads.
7. Google+ Hangouts:
Hangouts are probably the best and most important feature of Google+. Think of it as a free webinar tool where you can include upto 9 participants and automatically broadcast live to your Google+ page as well as your YouTube Channel. Hangouts are an excellent means of communicating with clients and potential clients to educate them about a product/service and share ideas and case studies.
The world’s second largest social network is here to stay. So, get on it, establish your presence and learn how you can use it effectively to grow your brand. The proverbial early bird always gets the worm and being early to Google’s party is sure to have its benefits in the long-term.
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikimedia Foundation once said “If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.” We stand in an era where no one would deny what Jimmy said. More than 90% of the market share in search engine belongs to Google. With gazillions of data available on the web, how do you get the exact information you’re looking for from the Google search? For example, when you want to look for Jaguar (the animal), the keyword you are likely to enter is “Jaguar.” Wait. Please find below the Google search results for the keyword “Jaguar.”
This conflict between your mind and Google’s search engine can be easily avoided if you master these 10 tips and use it effectively. This will also save your valuable time and optimize your search results.
You get to read a lot of contents online in the form of news articles, blog posts, tutorials, e-books etc. Have you ever found yourself taking a pause in the middle of reading a cover story only because the word or the phrase was so alien to you? In this case, you would either reach out to a pre-installed dictionary software or Google it by randomly choosing a website from the search results page one.
Instead, remember this simple syntax and let Google tell you the definition, origin of the word and synonyms. You can also listen to the pronunciation of the word. Use define:in front of any word to learn the definition of it.
E.g. define: legerdemain
Quotes are very useful if you are looking for something specific on your search results. Imagine this scenario. You remember the title of an article very well, but you vaguely remember the website’s name. Using quotation marks in your search could be really helpful in those cases. Check out the below example where the search for Digital Marketing Trends for India in 2014 without using quotation marks results in a lot of websites suggestions which have these words arranged in any manner.
If you include quotation marks for the same sentence, you get totally different results, the results you desired for. So, if you are looking for a specific phrase and you want only those websites which have the same phrase in the exact order, use quotes to refine your search results.
E.g. “Digital Marketing Trends for India in 2014”
3. File type
Of late, we have been witnessing a lot of religious protests against films leading to censorship by several state governments across India based on the Cinematograph Act. So, you decide to read about it thoroughly to avoid feeling lost in the conversations happening on social media platforms. If you plainly search for “Cinematograph Act” in Google, you’ll get editorials and op-ed columns of popular publications as results.
Instead, use the following syntax to zero in the particular file type you are looking for to read about the topic in-depth. You can search for specific file types by adding the 3-letter abbreviation of the file type. E.g. PDF, PPT, XLS, DOC.
E.g. cinematograph act filetype:pdf
4. Case-sensitive and Punctuation
Please note that Google search is not case-sensitive. If you search for either New Delhi or new delhi, your results will be the same. So, you can stop being conscious to case-sensitive words in Google search.
Search overlooks punctuation too. You can ignore it as well and save time.
This technique is useful for all digital marketers who are researching for competitors in a particular space. It helps to find websites which have similar content. For instance, if you are shopping on Flipkart and want to find out similar e-commerce websites, this tip could help you.
Using the syntax related: followed by the website address will give you websites similar to that in search results.
6. Include or Exclude Words in Search
This trick helps you to include or exclude a specific word in search results. For example, if you want baking recipes with egg as an ingredient, you need to highlight the word Egg by using quotation marks in the search.
To include egg in your baking recipes, the syntax should be baking recipes “egg”
If you are looking for baking recipes without egg, the syntax should be baking recipes -egg
7. Search within a site
Have you ever struggled to find something specific within a website? This syntax could be your solution. For example, if you want to read editorials on The Hindu website and you find that the search box in the website doesn’t work. Fret not. Use the syntax site:website to search within a particular website.
Got an interesting Google search tip? Please share with us in the comments.
Anuradha Nair and Sunil Elango from Social Beat attended the GDayX event organized by Google Business Group – Chennai last month. The event which was held in Hindustan University, Padur included inspiring sessions, business presentations, a panel discussion and an unconference on latest trends in digital marketing and internet technologies from various speakers including Sunil Rao, the country head of Google Outreach programs. The conclave had a good mix of entrepreneurs, social media experts, SEO professionals and web developers. Below is a partial list of key takeaways from the day-long conclave.
Google Web Academy: The most important announcement from Google was the launch of Web Academy for Small Businesses for India. The academy currently has five modules on Communicate across Platforms, List Your Business Online, Survey Your Customers, Create and Share your Newsletter and Meet Virtually for Business. “In the next 6 months, 25 – 30 modules will be added to the academy,” said Sunil Rao.
Make your site crawlable: Search engines use some programs called “crawlers” to index web pages. If the search engine can crawl through the entire content of your website without any difficulties, it means your website is crawlable.
Images & Flash: If your web page is loaded with images, ensure that you use the alt text attribute and title in HTML. Avoid designing your website with flash content. It makes it difficult for the Google bots to index your website.
Google Plus Authorship and Rich Snippets: Applying for Google Authorship is the best way to gain credibility to the content you create/write. Once your authorship is approved, the author’s name and the profile picture start to appear in search results. Rich Snippets are nothing but displaying author’s name and the byline in search results. So, authorship adds certain value to your content and of course, the search results.
Fresh and Unique Content: Create unique contents in order to gain good visibility in search results. Invest more time in content creation than chasing the SEO trends.
Hindustan University Auditorium – GDayX Conclave
Use Resources Effectively: Regular updates on SEO trends and tutorials on various topics are available at Webmaster Central Blog and the Support websites of Google. Glance through the sites and update your knowledge on the recent trends and optimize your business results.
Site Speed: It is one of the important ranking factors that Google pays attentions to. Site speed is crucial since a slower site speed means a bad user experience and ultimately belittles the customer satisfaction. So, pay heed to the site speed of your website.
Responsiveness and UI: Creating unique content is not sufficient to achieve your goals. It needs to be recognized and shared across the web to yield satisfying results. Websites which are more responsive allow users to look for contents on your page. If you want your content to be shared broadly, making a user-friendly website is a prerequisite.
Google Plus Integration: The integration of Google Plus with search results was not unexpected. But it culminated three months back when Google announced hashtag search options. To cut the long story short, when you search for a keyword with the # symbol, you are expected to see Google Plus posts related to the keyword on search results. Get on Google Plus and build your community if you already haven’t.
Keywords under “Not Provided”: The number of keywords listed under “Not Provided” is increasing day by day in Google Analytics. It makes it difficult to identify the keywords which are helping organically. Running Adwords campaign seems to be only solution, at least for now.
Google India has launched an ambitious initiative to empower women in India. This initiative aims to bring 50 million Indian women online by the end of 2014. On August 20th 2013, Mark Zuckerberg released a draft plan titled “Is Connectivity a Human Right?” that explained in depth how to make world more open and connected. Exactly three months later, now, Google India comes up with this commendable initiative to make women aware the benefits of Internet and how it could uplift their lives and their families.
The Digital Divide
As per the IAMAI report, the number of Internet users in India has reached 205 million this October. We are all set to overtake the United States as the second largest country in the world after China in online penetration. Yet, only 30% of the women users in India have access to Internet which is a stark contrast. Google aims to decrease this disparity by bringing 50 million women users online by the end of 2014. But, that is definitely not going to be a cakewalk taking into account the online penetration in rural India. In rural India, there were 68 million internet users in October and it is estimated to reach 72 million by December 2013, says the IAMAI report. Also, 40% of the internet users use community service centers and cyber cafes in rural India. This clearly indicates the lack of access points to surf the web in rural India.
Reference : I-cube report, Nov 2013
About the initiative
‘Help Women Get Online’ is a website launched by Google to kick-start this campaign. Google has also planned for a mass media campaign including a TV commercial to promote its exclusively designed website. The website has a number of step-by-step guides on various topics including computer basics, internet skills, chat & email and watching videos online. Each topic has different chapters ranging from how to start and shut down your computer, how to create an e-mail account and of course, how to download Chrome. In addition, the website also offers contents on various interests of women such as childcare tips, household tips, beauty tips and cooking/recipes tips. It also provides assistance through toll free helpline at 1800-41-999-77. All learning materials and video tutorials are available both in Hindi and English.
Image : A screenshot of HWGO website
To accomplish the target, Google has joined hands with a number of partners like HUL, Johnson & Johnson, Axis Bank and Babyoye. For example, Shaadi.com is the partner to offer Relationship Tips. So, whenever someone clicks on Relationship Tips, they are bound to visit Shaadi.com which is nothing but more visibility for the partner’s website. Interestingly, Google also has a “Partner with us” option in the website to invite brands to partner with Google to provide internet access points across the country and help spread awareness about the campaign.
All we can do is educate the women in our family and our neighborhood about the basics of Internet. That would be one of the first steps to empower women and for an inclusive growth in the digital world.
Google added a new dimension to data visualization few months back by introducing an animated and colorful interface for real-time hot searches. Google’s passion for effective utilization of data has been evident in its other services as well. When it launched customizable Google Maps for users, it took data visualization to the next level. The real-time search can be customized by choosing the number of rows and columns in the ‘Grid Box’ on the top left side of the page as you can see in the image below. We can select either a particular country or ‘All Regions’ in the bottom left of the page to narrow our search options.
With this captivating interface to search for real-time ‘hot trends’, Google has proved yet again that it is ambitious to offer more sophisticated ways of using data in future. As of now, it offers search results for 13 countries including India. Check out the sample real-time search for 25*25 for All Regions below.