Why Every Website Owner Needs a Google Account
A Google account offers website owners a wealth of free tools that are must-haves for becoming successful online. Following are my favorite ways to use a Google account and how it helps make my site better every day.
My editor for The Sage Age – Blending Science with Intuitive Wisdom was the first person to tell me about Google’s free offerings. She suggested I sign up for Google Alerts to receive email notifications any time my name or the book’s title was mentioned online.
I found it to be a convenient way to track the press I was receiving. And it became very helpful later when my book-related articles http://www.sageage.net/articles.shtml were syndicated.
And, I had a quick way to discover who might be posting my content without proper attribution.
About two years ago, blogs began allowing a commenter to identify themselves via their Google account. I immediately optimized my account with a current picture and links to my site.
In fact, because I have sites for my book, wood carvings, and website training (here on BlogAid), I optimized a Google account for each one so I could use it when commenting on a blog in that genre.
I also signed up for a free Gravatar account for sites that offered that verification instead. My comments then showed a picture of me and suddenly became a source of traffic and backlinks to my sites.
Several years ago I started with static sites that I coded myself, but as WordPress continued to gain in popularity I realized that I was missing out on better SEO and site management features, so I made the switch.
One of the first plugins I installed was Google Analytics and it has been an invaluable resource in helping me track what my readers are responding to most as well as the best days to post certain content.
If you own a brick-and-mortar or have an office where you offer your services, the very best favor you can do your business is to claim your listing on Google Places and optimize it. You’ll show up in the map that appears on the front page of Google when someone does a search for your business or service type. Local search is one of the hottest growing areas online and you need to take advantage of it if you can. (Read List Your Business with Local Search Now or Disappear for more info.)
Over the past couple of years I’ve significantly increased my collection of favorite blogs. Instead of visiting each one every day to see if there has been an update, I simply subscribe to their RSS feed and view all of them in my Google Reader.
Now that a lot of these blogs also have a presence on Facebook, I’ve become fond of following them there as well. But, I still rely on my reader to help me quickly scan post titles and to sort the info that is most interesting and relevant to me. As a technology consultant, I have to keep up with what’s new and my reader is the only way I can do that efficiently.
Google Keywords Tool
Content rules the Internet. I quickly learned that if I wanted folks to find my content, I had to help it rank well in the search engines.
Google has one of the best keyword search tools available. You don’t actually have to have a Google account for these, so think of them as an added perk.
Google’s Wonder Wheel has become one of my favorite tools to help me think like a search engine. I write my posts and pages to be both candy for readers and search engines.
Adding video to your online marketing mix is a great way to increase viewership. Google owns YouTube and you can use your Google Account to sign in to upload and/or record videos.
Google also purchased Feedburner, which is the best free RSS feed delivery service. I use it on all of my sites because it optimizes the feed format for the device on which it is being read, like a mobile device or desktop.
It’s All Free
Having a Google account has become an invaluable resource for me. Best of all, it’s free. It comes with so many other features including Gmail (for email on-the-go), Google Docs (online word processor and spreadsheet), and Google Checkout (for safe online shopping).
Get Started Now
It’s easy to get a Google Account. Go to https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin Look on the right side for a little blue box that states “Don’t have a Google Account? Create an account now!”
You’ll be amazed at how essential having a Google Account will be to helping you become a successful site owner.