If you have a blog for your business, congratulations, this is a pro-active and important way to promote your business. And to improve the effectiveness of your content, below are 5 Google tools that you should be using on a regular basis.
1. Fetch as Google
If you don’t want to wait for Google to crawl your site, you can submit your new content via the Google Webmaster Tools using a service called Fetch as Google. Specifically once you have added and verified your site, follow these instructions:
• On the Webmaster Tools home page, click on a site you’ve already registered as your own.
• On the Dashboard, under Crawl click Fetch as Google.
• In the text box, type the path to the page you want to check.
• In the dropdown list, select Web.
• Click Fetch. Google will fetch the URL you requested. According to Google this can take up to 15 minutes.
• Once you see a Fetch status of “Successful”, click Submit to Index and choose whether you want to submit just the URL or the URL and all pages linked from it.
You can do this for every blog post as you can submit around 500 URLs in this manner every single week.
2. Google Authorship
If you have searched on Google of late, you will note that many articles or blogs have a picture of the author next to them. This makes the article stand out and it gives the content provider an air of authority. To set this up for your own blog, just activate Google Authorship. Basically, you’ll just need to make sure you are set up on Google+ and that your blog and Google+ account are linked together.
3. Google Images
Using images on your site is very important with respect to being found on sites and for boosting your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you source images for your blog, it is critical that you only use images that don’t have copyright restrictions. You can either use a site like Creative Commons to find images with no restrictions or Google has now included filter options for their image searches, which include the option to check for image rights.
4. Google Trends
If you are looking to create articles and blogs to promote your Caribbean business, it makes sense to know what is currently trending. One of the most effective ways to stay in touch with what is trending is to search via Google Trends.
5. Google Adwords
To advertise your business via Google, you will need to set up a Google Adwords account. But even if you don’t plan to run any pay per click advertisements, you should still sign up for Google Adwords. Why? Well, built in is a free Keyword Planner tool that offers great insight into what people are searching for on a monthly basis. You will most likely also find new keywords that are less competitive which would be great for targetting. And with this insight, you can then write content that is more relevant to your target audience.
Beyond the tools above, remember that you’ll want to balance the number of outgoing and incoming links. This means you should utilise ‘no-follow’ tags on a regular basis to ensure your site retains a positive balance of links going in and out of your blog. And when it comes to increasing your inbound links, avoid the temptation to pay for links or engaging in activity that will build spammy links to your blog. Google is becoming far more sophisticated in determining what is a genuine link or not and if you get caught out, your blog will plummet in the Google rankings. While you can recover from this sort of penalty, it’s best to play it straight.
Ursula Petula Barzey is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Moxee Marketing, a London based digital marketing agency.