8 Google Products That Will Supercharge Your Blogging Effort
In one of our earlier post we discussed 5 important Google products that will surely increase your blogging success now in the second part of that post we present you with 8 other incredible but less used products by bloggers that could change the entire game for you and put you in the elite list of bloggers. In our earlier post we discussed about Google Accounts, Google Groups, Google Profile, Gmail and the awesome Google Chrome. Let us continue the post starting with another superb product the Google Calendar.
Table of Contents
1. Google Calendar
A very popular application Google Calendar helps you not just organize your schedule but also has many other great features which you will be amazed to know and will be using them to your benefit as soon as possible. Listed below are some features that you would not like to miss out:
1. Create unlimited calendars which can be color coded to segment according to groups.
2. Calendars can be shared with individual groups and you have a granular control on who sees what in your calendar.
3. There are five options for viewing your calendar: a day, week month or five days at a time, or Agenda view. The default view is the weekly view.
4. Creating a calendar, assigning access rights, and color coding them is very easy and intuitive. From the menu in the calendar you can simply go to the one you want to check out.
5. Google calendar automatically detects if you have any conflicting meeting schedules people in the groups who have free times so that you can get a quick view and schedule your meetings accordingly.
6. Setting up meetings with your team members is just a click away, you can add members to the meeting by adding individuals or groups, other details agenda and more information can also be included in the Google calendar.
7. You can meet with multiple guests very easily. The ‘Find a time’ tab allows you to see the availability of any guests you invite to the event. In this view, you will only see meetings that have a status of ‘busy’ and you will not see meetings that your guests have declined.
8. Google Calendar gives you full charge on whether you want to accept the invitation to a meeting or decline it. It also allows you to set reasons for the same and the person who has initiated the meeting will get an update on who is attending the meeting and who has declined it.
9. Google Calendar can also work offline and sync the details when it gets access to an internet connection and is also available for mobile devices.
Keeping track of your schedule, meetings had never been easy with Google Calendar, set up an event, meeting or agenda and you will get a reminder if you want to attend it. Read more about Google Calendar and the features being rolled out on the official Google Calendar help page. There is a huge amount of documentation to help you get the best out of this superb product.
2. Google Alerts:
What happens if the content you are looking for gets delivered straight into your inbox and that too at the time duration you specify? How much time and effort will it save for you? How quickly it can give you all that is happening around a keyword in the blogs, news or other parts of web – and the resulting edge that you get if you use it wisely. Google Alerts is one such product which keeps a tab on the web and provides you the content on the keyword requested by you. It helps you monitor the content relevant to you from the entire web and get it right into your email.
Setting up Google Alert is very simple:
1. Go to the Google Alerts homepage: www.google.com/alerts
2. Enter the Search Term(s) Keep it as specific as you can
3. Type of Alert – Choose the type of content you want alerts from
4. How Often – chose the one that suits you, hourly, daily, weekly etc…
5. Enter an email address you wish the Alerts to be sent to.
6. Click – Create Alert
7. You will be brought to the page where you can add more alerts
You can create up to 1000 Google Alerts. Once you have created your alerts, you can view, manage, edit, and delete them on the Google Alert dashboard. We are sure that as a blogger and website owner you are already feeling the power of Google Alerts. It can help you keep up to latest updates on any kind of product, search term, website content, celebrity news, sports events… you name it. In short Google Alerts help you get quick results from your blogging efforts and keep yourself up to date on what is happening in your industry.
3. Google Voice:
If you have multiple phones and you want all your calls to be diverted to a single number Google Voice is for you. It gives you the facility to tie all your phone numbers to a single phone number and use it to route the calls through various phone numbers which it represents. Currently this service is available for Free if you have a US or Canada based phone numbers and on cheap rates for other locations. Here are some features of Google Voice which will help you as a blogger:
1. Google Voice makes it easy to attach a number to you not to a location or a device. You will personally have a number.
2. It simplifies the process of calling, voicemails and customizing your incoming and outgoing calling experience as easy and intuitive as if you are using Gmail.
3. This phone management service helps you work with mobile phones, work phones, VoIP and desk phones. This service lets you configure your devices and define which phone will ring based on who is calling and listen to the Voicemail before you want to answer a call. As Google says:
We use smart technology to route your calls. So, if you’re already on a Google Voice call, we’ll recognize it and use call waiting to reach you on the phone you’re on. Google Voice enhances the existing capabilities of your phone, regardless of which phone or carrier you have – for free. It also gives you the facility to use a single number that rings you anywhere. Get transcribed messages delivered to your inbox. Free calls & text messages to the U.S. & Canada. Super low rates everywhere else.
4. Personalize greetings for various contact groups that you have set up in your Google Contacts.
5. Set up a “Call Me” widget to embed onto your website or blog.
6. Make phone calls directly from your computer with a computer headset or microphone.
You can find further instructions on configuring Google Voice for your phone and other related tips to make the most out of your incoming, outgoing calls and voicemail service
4. Google Drive:
Forget the hassles of storing and keeping your files safe. Google has introduced online cloud based storage system that totally syncs with your computer and helps you store files on Google’s cloud based infrastructure. Google Drive as it is called helps you install a small application on your computer which creates a folder at the location you choose. All the files, folders, images, videos you drop into that folder are automatically uploaded to your Google Drive whenever you are connected with internet. It means that you can keep on working with files while you are offline and saving stuff in your local Google Drive folder and as soon as you are connected your content is automatically uploaded to the online storage.
If you are logged into your Google account you can click on the Google Drive link so that you can upload files and folders. Another thing that Google Drive lets you to do is to create Documents, Spreadsheets, Drawings, Presentations and lots more. Earlier this facility was provided as Google Docs now it is merged with Google Drive. This gives you an entire array of publishing, creating, calculating and editing tools that are totally available online and save all your creations in your Google Drive account. Google Drive was released on April 24, 2012 and included Google Docs. It added backup and synchronization facilities. Google Drive gives you up to 5 GB of Free Space, if you need more space for your documents you can buy it from Google. Here are some other things that Google Drive lets you accomplish:
1. You can access Google Drive via the web, mobile devices using Apple iOs or Android operating system, your laptop or desktop computer. Google drive mobile version also includes photo backup facility.
2. Publishing and embedding are wo of the most common ways of sharing your documents. Publishing a document will place the document on its own webpage. You can then provide a link to the published document. All changes that you continue to make on the document can be updated in this ‘Published’ document. To embed a document, you will place a piece of code called “html” into a webpage. You can publish Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Charts, edit photos, Forms and even convert documents to various formats while they are uploading.
3. Google does the task of scanning for malwares and viruses while you are uploading the documents, files or folders to your Google Drive and ensures that everything is safe and secure.
4. Many persons can create, edit or view a document created in Google drive via Google docs. You can discuss, comment and collaborate on any document in Google Drive. While collaborating and commenting on documents you can allow three types of access: Can edit – will let the person edit the document and show you what changes he made. Can Comment but Cannot Edit. Can View only.
5. While you are using Google Docs you will notice that it comes with some great tools that make your life easier and take out lot of hassles from your blogging or website management.
6. Goo.gl the Google’s url shortening service lets you shorten a long url, view the statistics on the url and even create a QR code for your url so that people with mobile devices can also scan and go to your url.
7. Google Docs helps you to read and convert pdf files. All you have to do is to upload the pdf file from the Google drive main screen and Google will recognize up to 10 pages of text via its online text recognition software.
8. You can create online revisions of a document. Just go to File > Save Revision History an if you like you can restore a docucmemnt to a previsous revision.
9. Use the Research tool within Google Documents to easily conduct research and add elements to your Google Documents.Depending on your requirements you can research web pages, scholar pages, photos quotes, prices etc and lots more. Just click on the link you want to cite and the element will be added to your document and Google will do the hard work of listing all citations at the bottom of the document.
10. If you want to work faster every type of Google Doc comes with a plethora of keyboard shortcuts… depending on your need and what kind of documents you work on, you can memorize and speed up your operational skills.
There is a lot of stuff that you can do online with the help of Google Drive. The product is still evolving but it has already provided freedom from the need to have softwares on local computer for editing, creating spreadsheets, drawings, forms, presentations and other utilities. What more it stores them up for us – and all this comes for free!
Google Plus or Google+ as it is popularly known is the Google’s venture into social arena. After the not so stellar performance of Orkut and lots of engagement shown by users on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. Google had to come with its own product to counter these growing trends. The Google Profile also syncs with Google plus and will ultimately merge with it. Google Plus is organized around circles of connections. You can create a circle for anything and let people add to it so that it becomes a sort of common interest in your social circle. We have already written a lot about Google Plus and how you can gain the maximum mileage from it for your business or personal influence. Here are some posts where you can learn more about Google Plus:
5. Google + Lets Users Choose Who Can Notify
These posts will help you harness the power of Google Plus which is growing at a tremendous rate and given the power of Google search and its focus on providing search results based on social indicators as well – you can’t afford to miss out on Google Plus.
6. Google Analytics:
What insights would you derive if you had enough data on who visited your website, where did they come from, what pages they landed on and what keywords they searched and came to your website? Won’t it be great to have such a volume of data at your disposal and that too for free? Google Analytics does this precisely for you and off late it has come up with significant improvements that make it one of the best in fact the best website analytics tool available to users for free!
There is a lot of stuff that Google Analytics can do for you here are some of them but remember the depth of information and the valuable insights that you can derive from the data will depend on the skills and goals.
After signing up you’ll receive a code that you have to paste in the website header or footer depending on your preference. If you are using a Content Management System there are plugins and modules that help you integrate Google analytics account with your website.
Once you have correctly placed the code and verified the ownership of your website you will begin to see visitor statistics in your Google analytics Account.
There is a lot you can do with the help of Google Analytics. Here are few resources that will help you gain more insight into what and how people are doing with this powerful tool:
Google analytics can give you such valuable insights about your user behavior and other things you want to know about your website that it can turn things around for you. In fact ifyou are using paid search from Google – the Google AdWords (which we will be looking at next) and are not integrating it with Google Analytics you are missing out on a lot of things and are sure to lose money and negatively impact your profitability and competitive edge.
7. Google AdWords:
The most profit making product for Google – Google AdWords allows you to place contextual ads about your website, product, business or anything that you want to promote or sell. People are more inclined towards making a purchase decision when they see an offer in context of the web page they are visiting was realized by Google and consequentially Google AdWords was launched. What benefit does this product bring in for website owners or those who want to sell something online or offline? Well the biggest challenge one faces when he or she starts an online business is visitors, traffic – people who are interested in their product or service offering. The best way to do is to design and promote your website in a search engine friendly way so that it gets ranked for the keywords rapidly without losing time or giving edge to the competition. However given the huge amount of competition in nearly every domain and even more in more rewarding niches, organic traffic is really hard to get very fast. So you can buy traffic and get your business rolling from day 1 using Google AdWords.
Here are some benefits of using Google AdWords, irrespective of the fact whether you are just starting out or an experienced blogger:
1. It gives you a reach to highly targeted potential customers.
2. The ad are fully customizable within parameters so that you can leverage your marketing related advantage.
3. There are many types of ads ranging from text to graphics or a mix of both and are available in various sizes to suit display.
4. Gives you a good analytics on what is working and what is not and helps you with suggestions to maximize your return on investment.
5. You decide what you are going to pay and how much. This gives you a great control on how you spend your ad money.
6. Choose the geographical location or websites you want your ad to display.
7. Start making money from day one. No waiting for organic visitors.
8. Remarketing allows showing ads to a specific niche of visitors to your website and gives a very high ROI.
The very fact that Google AdWords can help you make money from day 1 has made it very popular amongst advertisers and the huge inventory of publishers which constitute almost every niche give you a right medium of advertising which is contextual and promises great returns if done correctly. There is a learning curve before you start advertising on Google AdWords for which great tutorials are available from Google and other experts. Agencies specializing in AdWords are also providing services which can be availed of until you achieve good grasp. Summarizing – Google AdWords is a quick method of making money however the competition is heating up in almost all domains and unless you do it right chances of being successfull diminish over time.
8. Google Webmaster Tools:
Google has given a good amount of power to website and blog owners under its webmaster tools product. This tool gives great insight to the site owner right from targeting of its site to what is working what is not and lot more things which give tremendous power on handling websites at the disposal of a webmaster. Before you start using webmaster tools from Google you have to verify the ownership of your website. Here are some of the things that webmaster tools will help you with:
1. Set the geographical target which your site is catering to.
2. Submit sitemaps so that Googlebot can crawl pages which it cannot find otherwise.
3. Check out the site speed of your website and get suggestions on how to improve it.
4. Find out the keywords that are bringing traffic to your website.
5. Diagnose potential problems in accessing pages and offer solutions.
6. Request removal of speciﬁc pages from Google’s index, which might have been crawled by mistake or otherwise.
7. Ensure your robots.txt ﬁ le is allowing and blocking the pages you expect
8. See your web page as Google sees it.
9. View the most common words on your site.
10. Find out inbound links to the site, and how others describe your site when they link to it.
11. Find out how frequently your site is being crawled by the Googlebot and change it if you want it.
Google webmaster tools are increasingly being used by website owners to get valuable information on their website and how Google perceives it. Checking it at regular intervals keeps your website in a healthy state and helps you to track any malicious attempts to sabotage your online success.
Conclusion about Google Products that will help you get Success with Blogging:
Google wants good content and it is doing its best to provide a good set of tools and products which will help website owners realize their true potential and create a win-win situation for all parties. If you are trying to spam and spread clutter on the web by any means, there is a good chance of getting kicked out of all search rankings and other related services that you are now getting. On the contrary use these products wisely and improve upon your website according to the guidelines provided by Google – you are moving in the right direction and success will definitely come.