Do you agree that using Google services helps your website’s search placement?
Although I haven’t seen substantiated, written evidence of my theory, many web developers and professional communicators share my perspective — that when you use Google webmaster tools on your site, you’re adding Google juice that benefits your site’s page rank and search placement.
Here are a few Google tools I recommend all websites utilize:
Even if you have a relatively small site with only a few dozen pages, incorporating Google Search on your website is a good idea.
If for no other reason than having Google index your site, it’s a good idea.
But it’s also a good idea from the perspective of usability. Is it easy for people to navigate your site and locate information? Even if you think it is, have you done usability focus group studies to determine if that’s really the case?
Why not add Google Search, a free tool, to help your site visitors fine what they’re looking for faster?
And if you don’t like the paid ads that show up in search results, pay the $100 a month for the Google Custom Search Business Edition to remove them.
As communicators you’ve got to measure your efforts to show which direction the needle’s moving.
Google Analytics provides a pretty good, basic understanding of website traffic and referring sources.
You can use Analytics to compare your online activity with offline campaigns like sales, an advertising push or articles that may appear in the media or blogosphere about your product or service.
Are there correlating peaks and valleys? Is there no correlation?
These are important considerations in our day of integrated marketing communication.
This is one of my favorite tools, especially now that they’ve added Socialize to the FeedBurner add-ons. You can read what I wrote about the Socialize plugin last month.
FeedBurner takes your native feed and puts it on steroids. It allows people to easily and quickly add your feed to their RSS reader, regardless of which reader they’re using. It also allows the reader to choose to receive your feed in their email inbox (its most valuable feature in my opinion).
FeedBurner has a host of additional plugins that allow you to add a logo to the feed and control how the feed subscriber can interact with and share your feed.
Since a key Web strategy is making your content portable and sharable among social networks, it’s almost a no-brainer for you to use FeedBurner.
Google XML Sitemap for WordPress
And for those of you who use WordPress to drive your site or blog, be sure you’re using the Google XML Sitemaps Generator plugin.
Those are my favorite Google tools. Do you have others you think should be a priority?
And if you care to learn more, I highly recommend you spend some time on the Google Webmaster Central Channel on YouTube.
You’ll probably learn more than you ever wanted to know.