Surprisingly, some businesses still haven’t grasped the importance of an online presence and even if they have, they are not fully aware of the various ways to increase their online profile using Google.
In this article I will take you through some of the basic Google services that ALL businesses should be using and they don’t cost you A PENNY! With the exception of one.
DID YOU KNOW…..
Google now processes over 40,000 searches EVERY SECOND. That’s over 3.5 billion searches every day worldwide. It is the number one search engine with over 88% of searchers using Google over other search engines.
Out of them, an amazing 16-20% of searches have never been asked before!
So with those numbers involved, you would be crazy not to make your online profile available and there are many ways to do this.
The first we will look at is the only one you have to put your hand in your pocked for and that is Google AdWords.
Google AdWords or Pay Per Click (PPC) as it is commonly known, is an excellent way to get your business in front of potential customers on DAY ONE. Not to be confused with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which can take weeks or even months of careful process to increase the visibility ‘Organically’ or unpaid.
With AdWords, you determine your daily budget and how much you are willing to ‘Pay Per Click’ to your website.
One BIG advantage is that the top 3 bids appear above all other search results giving you instant exposure if your campaign is set up well. But, be careful, if your ad isn’t of good enough quality to get into the top 3 results, only 15% of people will click so getting the quality and bid price right is essential. Unless you are experienced in AdWords, it is well worth paying a reputable agency to look after this for you as their cost will counteract money you will throw down the drain if you don’t know what you are doing.
This is a great free website analysis tool which can give you valuable information about your visitors.
The first thing you need to do is create an account and then copy and paste the code provided into each page of your website. If you have a WordPress site, this is very easy, but if you’re not sure, then ask your web designer to do this for you.
Once this is all set you can start to track your visitors and see all kinds of useful information like:-
What devices they use to search
Which online campaigns bring the most traffic to your site
Where you best visitors are located
How long they are spending on each page
Which is the most popular page
What they are searching for on your site (if you have a search bar)
What page they enter/exit your site on
If you have an ecommerce site with a multiple step checkout, you can see where they are abandoning the shopping cart.
Armed with all of this knowledge, you can set up goals and make decisions about which pages you need to update or which online advertising to concentrate on. E.g. If most of your visits are coming from Facebook, it makes sense to be more active on there and add your best content on your Facebook business page. Or, if you find that your best customers are in New York, you may consider other advertising strategies in the same area.
Now part of ‘Google My Business’, Google Places is a free dashboard where you can manage the information that Google holds about your business online. The main advantage of this is that you gain a public identity. This information means that potential customers can find you on search results, maps or Google+, displaying location and contact details to reach you. This is particularly important with the increase in mobile searches now taking place, as Google higher visibility to businesses within the vicinity of the searcher. You can also upload images and/or a virtual tour of your premises and receive reviews about your customer service.
As with Google Places, this is set up with ‘Google My Business’. Entering your business address provides a map where you can zoom in as well as driving directions so the searcher can locate you more easily.
GMail is a free email service available to individuals and businesses alike. With the same secure functionality and spam filtering facilities as your paid services. As GMail is sponsored by Google Adsense, adverts will appear on the side panel of messages but they are unobtrusive and are not inserted within the message or added to any outgoing mail.
However, it does have one restriction. You cannot turn its virus protection off which means you are prevented from sending an executable file as an attachment.
This is Google’s own social network for business and gives you the opportunity to interact with customers and share content and pictures. The main difference between this and the more common social networks is that each contact you add to your account is added to a ‘circle’. This is a designated group i.e. friends, business colleagues etc. and when you share content you can choose to select only certain ‘circles’ to be able to view it.
Google+ was tipped to overtake Twitter as the 2nd largest social networking platform back in 2013, but to date, is still sitting in 5th place with less than 39% of the following that Twitter has achieved.
The last service we are going to take a look at is YouTube. With over 4 BILLION videos being viewed daily, this is fast becoming a MUST for every business. Videos have become HUGE in online marketing campaigns and yet, only 9% of small businesses are taking advantage of this free platform.
There are many ways you can increase you visibility using video and if you own a smart phone and are comfy in front of the camera, it doesn’t have to cost you a penny!
With videos appearing more and more in the search results, this is a great way to create back links to your site, by creating promotional videos on YouTube that link to your website. At the same time, you are not using your available web storage as these are hosted free of charge.
So there you have it, six Google Services that you can adopt today that won’t cost you a penny and create a massive online presence. Link these with a successful AdWords campaign and you can be knocking on the doors of the big businesses in no time..
Which of these services are you using already? Comment below with your experiences and questions.