Google’s 12 Lesser-Known Tools for In-House Agencies
As a software development firm that partners with in-house agencies, we make it our business to stay on top of all types of web and mobile tools and trends—so Google is one of the players we follow. They have the most valuable search data in the world and some of the most useful marketing-related technology resources available.
Recently, we compiled a list of Google’s lesser-known tools, offering our fellow IHAF members easy access to resources that may support your next marketing initiative or web/mobile build. Aside from Google Consumer Surveys, all of these tools are free to use—categorized below by research, optimization, and design/development.
RESEARCH TOOLS & RESOURCES
Google Trends helps you see the relative popularity (or “trending”) of specific search terms and topics over time based on Google search data since 2004. This is objective data that you can sift through by seasonality, geography, related topics, and queries. For example, you can search for brand names in your industry and compare insights into the relative popularity of each over time (each brand must have sufficient search volume to be in the data set). Coke versus Pepsi is interesting.
Google Correlate is like Google Trends, but it works in reverse. Enter a real-world trend and you’ll receive a list of search terms that correlate in a similar way to the trend based on Google search data since 2003. For example, enter “boating” and you’ll see the most correlated search terms which you can investigate further to determine what ideas to pursue. You can also upload your own set of event counts over time as the trend.
Google Alerts constantly monitors the web to locate and alert you when content matches the search terms you’ve earmarked. When Google finds information relevant to your alerts, you receive an email directing you to the item(s). For example, you can set up alerts to help stay on top of specific themes or topics in your industry or related to your products and your competitors’ products.
Think with Google is a website and newsletter that presents research and insights from Google on a variety of marketing-related topics including consumer, mobile, video, advertising, measurement, programmatic, retail, and more. Think with Google also provides special reports such as The Google Marketer’s Almanac, which includes data, insights, and consumer trends/events for marketers to reach consumers at seasonal moments. (Definitely worth signing up for this newsletter!)
Google Shopping Insights (Beta) helps retailers understand how consumers shop for products using Google and Google Shopping. You can see product interest at national, regional and local levels, trends over time, demand during shopping seasons, and use of mobile and desktop devices. Available data is limited to the most popular 5,000 products within a specific date range.
Google Consumer Surveys is a market research tool that reaches thousands of validated respondents across the Internet to answer survey questions you pose. Respondents complete surveys in exchange for access to high-quality content around the web; content publishers get paid when users provide answers. Choose your target audience, add your questions, and watch as responses start coming in. NOTE: This is a paid service.
OPTIMIZATION TOOLS & RESOURCES
Google Data Studio (Beta) allows you to create dynamic and interactive reports and dashboards from a variety of data sources, including Google Analytics and Google AdWords—reports you can share with people across your organization. Additional data connectors to SQL databases are available, so you can use your own internal data to generate reports and dashboards. The tool is currently in beta and allows you to create up to five custom reports with unlimited editing and sharing.
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) provides a collection of tools and diagnostics that offer visibility into how your web properties are performing in Google search results, plus ideas for improvements and alerts to critical site issues. For example, from here you can implement an XML Sitemap to automatically alert Google to new content on your sites and use their Structured Data Tool to enhance the display of your listings in Google search results.
Google Mobile-Friendly Test analyzes how well your web properties work across mobile and desktop devices. The tool reviews the URL you enter and, in real-time, provides scores for mobile friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed. If you would like Google’s improvement suggestions, you can enter your email address and a more-detailed report will be issued to you.
DESIGN/DEVELOPMENT TOOLS & RESOURCES
Google Fonts is a directory of open-source designer web fonts for any design project. All font licensing and hosting is handled by Google, so the latest version of each font is always available for anyone to download and use. Fonts are organized by popularity, style, thickness, and other criteria. You can also create your own customized font collections.
Google Tag Manager helps you manage the marketing tags in your websites and mobile apps. After technical set-up, add new tags to ensure you never miss a measurement or marketing opportunity. Google Tag Manager runs on Google’s infrastructure, so it’s secure, reliable, and fast. Just add one snippet of code to your site or mobile app to get started.
Google Developers is a resource portal for developers to get technical information for each of Google's products and services. There is an extensive index of support topics from app testing to analytics to maps, payments, and more. It’s highly organized and helpful for your technical resources when using Google products and services for your web and mobile applications.
Of course, if you have questions about any of these tools or resources, you’re welcome to reach out to me directly at 212-691-1134 or email@example.com.
Jim Curran is a Partner at Nylon Technology—an IHAF member company that brings over 19 years of development experience helping in-house creative teams with the technical side of web and mobile projects.
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