If you are a blogger, or a webmaster, or just getting started online I am going to show you 11 FREE tools from Google that you need to be using! Trust me, they will make your life so much easier. I use each of them regularly and most of them daily!
The great thing is that, because all of these tools are Google products, they all sync together across all of your devices. As long as you have a GMail account and are signed in, you have easy access to each and every one of them on your computer, smart phone, or tablet. Also, because everything is stored in the cloud, you can access them from anywhere, even if it isn’t your own personal computer or device.
Now I am going to do a quick overview of each of the 11 products. This is the first post, or the “Table of Contents”, of my next series of posts describing in much more detail everything Google has to offer!
I will begin with the Google essentials that can be used by anyone and then move on to some of their resources specifically designed for bloggers and website owners.
Google Chrome is Google’s version of the web browser. A browser is basically a program you use to access “The Internet”. If you’re not already using Chrome you’re probably using Internet Explorer (God forbid), Firefox, or Safari (if you’re a Mac person).
Google has really streamlined Chrome to make it very sleek and easy to use. Also, it integrates seamlessly with all of the resources I will be talking about after this. So, if you are considering using any of these tools, I would highly recommend using Google Chrome as your default browser.
Gmail is Google’s email platform. It is filled with all kinds of functionality that will make your life much easier, especially if you are using Chrome as your browser.
Of course, GMail's primary function is email; however, you can also chat with your contacts using GChat, have a live video call and speak face to face, or even call their cell phone!
If you are super disorganized like I am, Google Calendar will be your own personal life saver. Seriously, I use Google Calendar to keep everything straight, from my meetings, work assignments, meals, plans with friends, and much more organized.
Docs is Google’s direct response to the Microsoft Office Suite in that it provides a Document Editor (Word), Presentation Editor (PowerPoint), and a Spreadsheet Editor (Excel). It also gives you the ability to create forms and draw pictures all from withing your browser!
Instead of being a piece of software that is installed on your personal computer that you can only access from that computer, Docs are web based and everything is stored in the cloud. This means that, no matter where you are or whose computer or phone you’re using, you can still access all of your documents and files!
Drive gives you the ability to access ALL of your files, no matter their file type, anywhere in the world and from any device. Basically, you install a small application on your computer and you are given a new “drive” in which you can store your files.
Now, anytimes you save anything into your “Google Drive” folder it will automatically be uploaded into the cloud and accessible from anywhere. This is especially great if you’re frequently changing locations and/or devices. It basically eliminates the need for external hard drives.
Google Plus is Google’s direct challenge to Facebook. While it has been super slow to catch on, especially in the United States, it is slowly becoming more and more important. This is especially true when it comes to blogging and running a website.
Not only does it allow you to build a social media presence, but it also reinforces your sites legitimacy and authority when there is steady engagement between your websites and your Google Plus profiles. You also just might make a friend or two!
Google Alerts is an interesting resource that I will be the first to admit I haven’t taken full advantage of. What Alerts allows you to do is set parameters for what you are interested in. Whenever Google picks up a new page or post or resource that matches your parameters, it will send you an email informing you of the new material.
For example, if you are really into space exploration you could create an alert based on “Space + New + Discover”. Now, whenever there is some new content or news regarding a new discovery in space you will be notified! It’s really helpful to stay current in your niches and/or if you want to keep tabs on your favorite celebrities or sports teams!
AdWords is Google’s proprietary advertising platform. This is where Google makes a majority of its billions of dollars! It is also where you can pay to advertise across their search engines by targeting certain keywords and search phrases. You can also advertise on content relevant website as well (see AdSense below).
AdWords can generate A TON of traffic to your sites/products and has the potential to be very profitable. However; it can also be dangerous and a very deep money pit if you do not know what you’re doing!
AdSense is the other end of Google’s advertising network. AdSense allows you to place advertisements on your website. When a visitor clicks on one of these ads you will get a commission for generating leads to the advertiser's website/product!
Usually each click is worth pennies on the dollar (depending on your niche), but the clicks can add up to serious money if you have a large amount of traffic to your site. There are some people who literally make a full-time living from AdSense alone!
If you have a blog or website, Analytics will quickly become your best friend. Once you verify your website you will be given access to more data regarding your visitors than you know what to do with.
Seriously, I’m still trying to make sense of all the data! You have to be careful though that you don’t get stuck looking at the numbers and read too deeply into them, especially when you’re just getting started.
Webmaster Tools is probably the single most important resource you can use if you own your own website. Essentially, it gives you an assortment of tools you can use to better optimize your website according to Google’s specifications, determine if there are any errors, analyze the most popular search terms, submit sitemaps, etc.
Some aspects of Webmaster Tools are quite advanced and definitely not things beginners need to worry about; however, there is lots of good stuff. If you haven’t yet utilized everything Webmaster Tools has to offer you are missing out!
If you have any questions regarding these 11 resources, please leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond ASAP! Also, if you want to be updated when I publish the follow-up posts further describing these Google products (plus other future posts) please sign up for my email list here: