The 5 Best Google SEO Tools
Google offers a constantly updated suite of tools that are useful for SEO.
These tools help publishers understand why a page is underperforming and guide them with specific tips to improve web page performance in an effort to rank better.
Here are the top five SEO tools from Google.
The lighthouse is a web page performance improvement tool which is built into every Chrome-based browser. The tool is accessible in the Chrome Dev Tools panel.
Multiple Ways to Access the Google Lighthouse Tool
- On a Windows machine, press the F12 function button.
- On Windows or Mac, right-click on the page and choose “Inspect”, then choose the “Lighthouse” tab.
- On Mac, press: Command + Option + C
- On Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, press: Ctrl+Shift+C
- In Chrome, click on the 3-dot menu in the upper right corner, then, More Tools > Developer Tools
Lighthouse offers 5 categories of reviews
It currently provides five categories of SEO performance feedback:
- Progressive Web App.
- Best practices.
While accessibility is not strictly an SEO-related metric, it is tied to a good user experience for site visitors with disabilities.
Using comments from these five categories will help improve the search visibility of most web pages.
Lighthouse’s SEO section provides 10 feedback points on factors important to Google.
Some metrics report Chrome Lighthouse on
- Viewport meta tag.
- Title element.
- HTTP status code.
- Descriptive text on links.
- State of the page for successful crawling and indexing.
- Validate the Hreflang.
- Valid rel=canonical.
- Check mobile compatibility.
- Validates font readability for mobile devices.
- Verifies moving touch targets.
- Checks if the document avoids browser plug-ins for display.
- Checks crawling and indexing.
- Check the Robots.txt.
- Checks if the page sends a successful HTTP status code.
Why Should You Use Lighthouse SEO Tool
I won’t deny it, Lighthouse is a lightweight site review tool.
But it’s an important site review tool because it represents Google’s opinion of 10 metrics you should be looking at.
If Google thinks these metrics are important, you should too.
To get the most out of this tool, be sure to check out An SEO Technical Guide to Lighthouse Performance Metrics.
2. Test my site
Test my site from Google auditing tool offers two metrics:
- Estimated charging time on a 4G mobile network.
- Recommendations to speed up the website.
It’s a good tool to get a quick snapshot of a website’s speed health.
This is a good starting point to get an overview of mobile optimization.
The tool also offers to email a comprehensive report with suggestions to speed up the tested web page.
Why should you use Test My Site
You can get similar insights using Page Speed Insights.
But the Test My Site tool provides the information in an easy-to-understand way, making it easy for non-developer stakeholders to understand what may be going wrong with mobile site performance.
Yet it is also good for developers to have a quick overview.
If you want granular details on what needs fixing, head over to Google’s Page Speed Insights.
3. Page Speed Overview
Page Speed Overview is the tool that provides the Lab Core Web Vitals performance scores.
Core Web Vitals are important metrics created by Google to represent what a user experience is like on a web page.
This information is important because fixing the highlighted issues will improve SEO, sales conversions, ad clicks and (if successful in addressing performance bottlenecks) give a small boost to the ranking factor.
This online tool provides details on the cause of the slowdown and gives suggestions on how to fix the problems.
It shows which scripts and style sheets are slowing down the site, which images are too large, and offers many other tips for speeding up affected web pages.
Why You Should Use Page Speed Insights
Page Speed Insights not only offers helpful solutions for hidden technical issues impacting page speed, but it’s also a resource for learning what those issues are.
Each highlighted issue is linked to a Google Developers page that offers more detailed background information and an explainer on how to fix the issues.
4. Safe Browsing Test
Google crawls billions of pages every day looking for malware. This tool reports if there is malware on a website.
The tool also provides the date the site was last checked for malware.
Some sites are tested more often than others.
Why should you use the Safe Browsing Test Tool
Many people don’t see website security as an SEO issue.
But website security quickly becomes an SEO issue when Google starts removing URLs from its index because the site is hacked.
This is why website security should be considered part of SEO. Failure to secure a site can severely affect search visibility.
5. Google Trends
Google Trends provides information about keyword popularity and also segments information based on time and geography.
The time segment can give you an idea of how seasons can affect keywords. It can also show you if a keyword is losing popularity.
If you see a downward trend in a keyword, it could indicate that a product or trend is causing people to lose interest in that search.
Why should you use Google Trends
Google Trends is also important for competitive research. It tells you how often people search Google with a competitor’s brand name.
The trend line by time will show you how stable this trend is – whether it is up, down or stable.
Obviously, a competing trendline that is down is good. A trendline that is rising is bad.
A stable trendline (the most common) means that a competitor is doing well and you will need to identify their weaknesses and make them your strengths – among many considerations.
For more tips, check out 10 Ways to Use Google Trends for Better SEO.
Make good use of Google’s SEO tools to improve rankings, visibility and user experience
While SEO professionals tend to take much of what Google says about what helps (or doesn’t) rankings with a healthy dose of skepticism, it would be foolish not to take advantage of the tools it offers.
In these tools, you can see exactly what Google is looking for in a quality site, webpage, and user experience.
Use it to your advantage to optimize Google’s (and your audience’s) expectations as closely as possible.
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