Free Helpful Tools to Use with your Blog

Helpful Tools for Your Blog

Want to know who’s looking at your site? Want to make a little money from your site? Using these tools with your blog will help you accomplish those things and more!

**Note: Some links below may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission.

1.Google Analytics

What it’s used for: seeing who’s visiting your site, when they’re visiting your site, where they came from to visit your site, how long they stayed on your site and lots of other great analytical data. To sign up, go to google.com/analytics, log in with your Google/gmail account (if you don’t have a gmail account, just create one, you’ll need it for lots of stuff and gmail is a great email provider) and follow the steps. For step by step instructions, visit my other post ‘How to Add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog.’

2.Google Webmaster

What it’s used for: setting up a sitemap, helping you know your visibility on Google, letting you know if there’s ‘errors’ on your site and more. To sign up, go to google.com/webmasters, log in with your gmail account (that you’ve already set up!). You can link your Google Webmaster to your Google Analytics account as well. Log in to your Google Analytics account, click on Admin, Property, Property Settings and toward the bottom will be the option to link your site.

3.Google Adwords (Keyword Planner)

What it’s used for: creating ppc (pay per click) ads for your site and accessing Google’s Keyword Planner. Go to adwords.google.com and once again, login with your gmail account. Fill out your basic info; Google Adwords will require you to enter a credit card (or debit card) to set up your account, but you don’t need to actually run ads. If you’re not ready to run ads, just create a dummy ad then immediately pause the ad so it’s not actually running until you are ready to run ads, of course! Once you’re all set up then you can access Google Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner is a great tool to see what people are searching for. I use this tool to help me come up with ideas to know what to blog about.  Find Google Keyword Planner in your Adwords account under Tools then Keyword Planner. You can search for a main keyword you’d like to focus on and the keyword planner will give you groups of keywords related to your keyword that people are searching for. It will also show you how high the search volume is and the competition.

4.Google AdSense

What it’s used for: generating ads to display on your site. I’m new to using Google Adsense, but it’s a way to start making money from your site. Go to google.com/adsense and, you guessed it, log in with your gmail account and follow the steps to get your Adsense account set up. As a side note, once you place the code from Google Adsense on your site, they will run blank ads on your site for a few days to make sure it’s working properly so don’t expect to be up and running the day you set up your account.

5.Google Search Function

What it’s used for: Adding a better search form to your website. We all know Google is the best for searching (or even if we choose to disagree, the majority shows they think it’s the best, so we are rolling with it). There’s others you can pay for, but Google’s search is great and it’s free. Where to find Google Search to use on your blog? Under Google Webmaster, click on ‘Other Resources’, ‘Custom Search’, enter your website (if you want users to be able to search your entire site, enter your site with ‘/*’ after your URL, as shown), click ‘get code.’ Paste the code into ‘searchform.php’ on your WordPress blog them under ‘Appearance’ then ‘Editor’.

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