If you have a digital presence, then your business should be making use of the Google Marketing Stack. The Stack refers to a suite of marketing programmes that you can use to understand your web traffic better, to increase your traffic and conversions and grow your business. Google’s Marketing Stack comes in two versions, one free and one paid, most businesses find the free solutions are sufficient for their needs. This article will focus on those free programmes that include Search Console, Analytics, Tag Manager, Optimise, Data Studio and Google Ads.

Google marketing stack, SEO and PPC agency Essex.


Google Search Console

Google Search Console was known previously as Webmaster Tools and if you use only one Google tool let it be this one. It is a vital tool to use to understand your website traffic and how you acquired those visitors. Search Console has various sections including search appearance, search traffic, Google index and crawl. These various sections allow your digital marketing team to understand how you appear in search results, what does Google “see” when it looks at your website and who is linking to your website. The search analytics will also show you search terms that people have used where your website has appeared in the results!

The Google Search Console should be used as a diagnostic tool, highlighting areas that might be causing problems on your website that are preventing Google from indexing your site, or restricting your sites ranking opportunities or other errors. Search Console will highlight any duplicate page titles or meta description tags, errors in your XML sitemap or robots.txt, responsive issues as well as security problems.

Google Analytics

Most will have heard of, if not used, Google Analytics before, it is a platform offered by Google providing reports on your website and your visitors. It allows you to track different metrics and results and compare against historical results to analyse growth and spot trends. This can give focus to the marketing team who can use the reports to inform decisions and to make tweaks to the website.  

There is a lot of information available within Google Analytics that you can use. You can find out what type of device visitors are using to access your site, how did they end up on your site, what actions did they take once they landed on your site, even some demographic information when available as well as much more.

The usefulness of Google Analytics lies in what you do with this information. You should be looking at the content you are creating and looking at ways to improve it based on the information found. It can help you decide which digital marketing campaigns are working best and look at how much traffic your social network accounts generate. Google analytics will also tell you which channels and sources (organic search, PPC, Social, affiliates etc) have the higher conversion rates, which you can then use to allocate budget.


Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool from Google that enables you to manage and implement marketing tags (snippets of code or tracking pixels) on your website (or app) without having to modify or add code. Adding code to your website is usually done by your website developer, this means that it can be time consuming to wait for developer to add code, GTM allows you to track your online marketing initiatives quickly and easily.

Tags are snippets of code or tracking pixels from third-party tools. These tags tell Google Tag Manager what to do. Examples of common tags within Google Tag Manager are:

  •       Google Analytics Universal tracking code
  •       Google Ads – remarketing and conversion tracking code
  •       Heatmap tracking code (Hotjar, CrazyEgg, etc…)
  •       Social Media tracking
  •       Third party advertising platforms (e.g. AdRoll)


Google Optimize

Google Optimize does what it says on the tin and shows you which site experiences engage your users and provides solutions for you need to optimise your website to maximise the chance of a conversion. Google Optimize is natively integrated with Google Analytics to help identify which parts of your site need improvement. You can use your Google Analytics data to identify problem areas, then “optimize” them to make sure you are delivering an online experience that works best for your customers.

Google Optimize allows you to easily run tests on your website’s content to learn what works best for your visitors, including A/B, multivariate and redirect tests. The great thing about Google Optimize is that it understands that one size never fits all, therefore it allows you to customise your website experience to suit each type of audience by creating custom landing pages for your Google Ads, thus resulting in increasing the number of conversions. The visual editor allows you to create a new variant of a page without needing to recode your site each time.


Google Data Studio

Every business runs on data. Data Studio makes your data accessible and useful, so your team can find and share the answers to your most important questions. Data Studio handles the data authentication, access rights, and structure for use in calculations, transformations, and data visualisations. This means that you can easily import data from sources like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google BigQuery, Campaign Manager 360, MySQL and more. All your data is in one place which you can then transform into the metrics and dimensions needed to create reports and dashboards. The free version of GDS is limited to only 5 reports but for simple dashboards, with a handful of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) this limit should be more than enough.


Google Ads

Google Ads is a huge platform that does come at a cost if you use it for advertising. For more information on advertising using Google Ads you can see our website or give us a call. The following will focus on what you can use for free on the Google Ads platform.

The most widely used free feature on Google Ads is keyword planner. You can use the keyword planner tool to find out the number of searches for different keywords related to your product. The search tool will also show you related searches of terms you may not have thought of. It will also tell you the popularity of those search terms, in relation to how many competitors are paying for their ads to appear for those keywords. This means that you can use it to directly compete or to find the keywords which are less competitive but have a decent chunk of searches each month. This can help you improve your adverts or direct your content writing and SEO on your website. You do not have to pay for advertising to use this service as keyword research is deemed the first step of building your ads. You can choose to use the information to amend your website or to create Google Ads to drive traffic for those keywords.


Expert Google Marketing Stack Advice

There is a wealth of services out there that you can use and really why would you not use platforms that are offered by Google when it is their website that you are trying to rank highly on. They are not likely to penalise you for using their own platforms so take advantage of every option that works for you. It can be overwhelming with just how much information there is – Sierra Six Media can help you setting up, managing and creating reports for the different parts of the Marketing Stack. Contact our search marketing experts to find out more. 


Rachel Downes, Content Creator, Sierra Six Media.