Google analytics—I know you’ve heard of it. The (mostly) free tool that gives you an insight into traffic and behaviors within your website is a must-have instrument. But Google also has other free tools you should consider using.
Find out what your audience is searching with Google Trends. Take a look at Google’s Top Charts to see trends across multiple industries and arrange results with a variety of options. Adjust findings to filter by region, date, category, and type of search to narrow down trends to a specific audience. Set a date range or look at Google’s historical reports to find market tendencies or responses for a given time of year or past event.
Google Trends is useful to monitor search queries on your competition too. Gauge interest in certain products, services, or content the competition is pushing and compare results to your own. After you’ve compiled an analysis, implement the findings in your marketing efforts in a way that gives you an advantage over your competitors.
Subscribe to customized reports gathered by Shopping Insights to see rising products and product lines every week or every month. Here, you can add up to four products in a single report in the same way you would in Google Trends.
Set up alerts for your own brand, your competition, your product categories, and more. Alerts can be highly customized: determine how often you get alerts; track all or only highlighted results; track all online mentions or just videos, blogs, news, etc. Use the keyword search modifiers like quotations for words that need to be together or minus signs (for negative keywords) to keep specified words and searches out of your alerts.
This can help you stay up-to-date on newly indexed content, backlinks, company and competitor name or product mentions, employer mentions (typically just executives), and other industry topics. You can track URLs and social mentions too.
While I think Gtmetrix is an awesome tool for detailed site diagnostics, Google’s own tool should definitely be considered. Both allow you to compare your results with competitors, but Google can help you estimate the impact your page load speed has on consumers if you give them average monthly visitors, conversion rates, and order values for a unique report. That report will include expected revenue gain for different incremental speed improvements.
Google’s Consumer Barometer is a good starting place for marketers to understand how their audience uses the internet around the world. Consumer Barometer is a place to find graphs on predetermined audience segments and allows you to narrow those down to segmented audiences within a country.
Another awesome tool Google has for new companies or one’s striving to reach new markets is Market Finder. Input data you’ve found from previous market research such as a target audience’s disposable income to allow the tool to recommend a market for you.
Once you’ve gotten that far, Market Finder will guide you through things like international payments and logistics. Their suggestions can be highly insightful to help you reach newfound markets.
Somewhat of a toolbox within itself, Create with Google will give you a step-by-step guide to creating effective Ads on YouTube, search results, dynamic ads, and other design-driven activities. The YouTube function will help you preview your ads before they launch as well as give you tips along the way.
In addition to YouTube ads, Create with Google includes guides for more experimental things like augmented and virtual reality.
While this tool isn’t free like the others, it can be a great way to use Google’s different platforms to get marketing insights. Ever seen a survey before a YouTube vid? That was done here.
Other Google-related tools
Google Predictive Search
Find trending videos within YouTube’s trending feed to stay up to date on cultural trends or subscribe to YouTube Re:View to get emailed notifications on the latest trends circulating YouTube.
Customizing your news feed to local regions and cities or specific categories that are relevant to your customer and target audience is a great way to stay on top of critical information within your industry.