Any of you who have spent some time crawling around our website might already know that we are a huge advocate of inbound marketing. In our opinion, marketing has definitely changed from outbound to inbound.

According to Hubspot, the top name in the inbound field, 

Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product."

Having the right tools to implement a marketing plan is vital in this brave new world. One of the easiest ways to jump on the inbound train is to become familiar with Google & the tools it provides.  Using these tools can help you gain the insight you need to increase traffic to your website, and in turn, generate more leads.

This blog post is part of "Your Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation" blog series.

 

Some of these Google tools may be recognizable, and others you may never have heard of. I was familiar with most of them, but this webinar inspired me to actually start to use some of them more actively, such as Google Alerts.

Here are several Google tools to help your company improve marketing effectiveness:

 

 

1. Google Adwords

These place your ads in the top and to the right of search results. Having your ad placed in the right area will ensure maximum clicks, and sending more people to your content acan help your company with lead generation. Research shows that 25% of online searchers will click ads, BUT Google Adwords should not be considered a replacement for organic optimization. It's really just an addition onto it.

Google Display Network, an addition onto Google Adwords, enables ads to get placement on other relevant websites. Google Adwords also can provide you with accurate testing of your keyword title and content variations, and can help you find demand and where people gravitate.

 

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Get started with Google Adwords by taking advantage of available Google Adwords training. You can then select a well performing offer from your personal website, create an ad, design a call to action, and launch and monitor your offer's performance.

 

 

2. Google Drive

Google Drive is an online data storage for collaborative and personal documents. Think of it as your personal file holder, accessible from anywhere or by anyone with access to an internet. It helps you organize your documents and collaborate with others on other work documents.

This is especially useful in storing and collaborating on social media calendars, documents to be presented to clients, or campaign ideas.  Staying organized will help keep your office focused on coming up with the best marketing ideas, and will keep everyone updated.

You can get started with Google Drive by creating a Google account (or logging in) and clicking on "Documents". You can then create or upload your first document to collaborate on, share documents with those who will be working on project, view real time editing by others, and use the chat feature to discuss modifications within your document. Your drive can also be used to create spreadsheets, presentations, and folders.

 

 

3. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a valuable Google tool as it allows you to monitor the net for when certain keywords appear. You can also stay on top of newly indexed pages for terms you choose and receive emails when that term shows up online.

Get started with Google Alerts by choosing terms you want to track (i.e. brand name, competitors, your website…) Then proceed with the further setup, which will allow you to monitor the term. This is especially useful in creating new content strategies. 

 

 

4. Google News

With Google News, you can create and monitor successful PR topics. Essentially, monitoring what's buzzing in the world will help you curate your blog/website content to what's current. For example, you may choose to write content on newsworthy topics while throwing your own spin on it.

Moreover, understanding what is trending with your consumer base, especially since some trends change so quickly, will help you produce more relevant content that will generate leads. Staying on top of the news can help your company create useful blogs and other content before the rest of the industry.

Get started with Google News by visiting http://news.google.com, sign in or make an account, then personalize your news feed for the content you are interested in. Check for hot news often.

 

 

5. Google+

Google+ is one of the newest tools that Google has available, and it might yield the most return in the inbound marketing world. Google+, though not as widely used as other social media sides available, is highly beneficial for a company because it helps SEO crawlers validate your website. After all, SEO is really just the practice of aligning your website to be better discovered on search engines. Why not align yourself with the world's #1 search engine's own social media site? It will only gain you brownie points from Google's spiders.

Some people may have noticed that more and more companies are starting to show up on Google+. This is extremely beneficial for brick and mortar local storefronts because affiliation with Google+ increases local marketing presence.

Get started with Google+ by signing in or making a Google account, adding contacts to your Google+ account, establishing a company Google+ company page, and asking close friends or family (non-employee) to leave your business an honest review. This will assist Google in elevating your rank from an SEO standpoint.  Having a higher SEO ranking will send more traffic to your website, and users will be able to find content relevant to their search, increasing the chance of lead generation.

More ways to generate leads for your business can be found in our free guide, The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks, and Ideas.

 

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What's your favorite Google Tool? Leave us a comment below and let us know if we left something out!