Before you spend any money on a search-engine-optimization campaign for your website, take advantage of Google’s free tools to optimize your site and increase its PageRank. And if you are just starting out with SEO, check out Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide PDF.
Here is a list of free Google tools for your website’s SEO campaign. There are keyword and trend tools, website optimization tools, tools to increase your backlinks, and more. All of these tools are free.
Google Analytics lets you measure sales and conversions, and gives you access to your visitors’ behavior. Understand which parts of your website are performing well, measure the success of your social media programs, and create better-targeted ads. Price: Free for users with less than 5 million page views a month.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools show you how Google crawls and indexes your site. Learn about any problems Google is having indexing your site’s URLs. Identify the top search queries that drive traffic to your site, as well as any links to your site. Share information, such as how often your important pages change, to improve your site’s visibility. Price: Free.
Google Insights for Search
Google Insights for Search lets you compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames for any search term or phrase. Track search terms, and find potential customers based on their search volume. Price: Free.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a great way to get keyword ideas and find the best text for your audience. Identify what words or phrases will drive the most traffic to your site. Determine what keywords are the most profitable if you plan to use Google AdSense. Price: Free.
Google Alerts are, according to Google, “emails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term.” Enter a keyword or phrase, the type of data you want to retrieve, the volume of results you’d like, and get it all via email. Monitor your competitors or track the latest relevant Google results. Price: Free.
Google Trends give you popular search terms. You can also compare trends for multiple search terms, or get daily unique visitors for multiple sites. Take advantage of trends in your keyword campaigns to get a jump on your competitors. Price: Free.
Google Website Optimizer
Google Website Optimizer is Google’s website testing and optimization tool. Test individual elements or complete page layouts, and identify your most effective site elements. Fix and deploy compelling landing pages. Identify the winning content combinations that drive conversions. Price: Free.
DoubleClick Ad Planner
DoubleClick Ad Planner is a tool to help you plan an effective online advertising campaign. You can also use it to search competitor websites for traffic statistics, such as page views and keywords searched. Use the information to tailor your own successful campaign. Price: Free.
Google Page Speed
Use Google Page Speed to analyze and optimize your website. Identify why your site is too slow, and apply best practices to make it fast. Reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates, and encourage the health of your site. Price: Free.
With Merchant Center, upload your site’s product data so it is available to Google Product Search — soon to be “Google Shopping” — and other Google search services. Allow shoppers to easily find your site using Google Product Search or Google.com. Price: Free.
Google Site Map
Google Site Map is a way to tell Google about the pages on your site. Creating and submitting a site map helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process. Use Site Map to provide Google with site information, such as content metadata or update schedules. Price: Free.
Google+ is Google’s social media platform to share, collaborate, and create. Starting a Google+ account and developing your brand through Circles helps get high PageRank backlinks to your website. Price: Free.