Most of us use Google every day to find answers to questions, get directions, read reviews, and look for products. But are you taking advantage of all the tools available to your business? In our ever-increasing digital world, it is important for your business to have an online presence and Google has created a platform to help you easily use their various tools to increase your business’s visibility.
As we have come to expect, Google has a wealth of knowledge and resources available for business owners to use through their platform, Grow with Google. From setting up your Google My Business profile, to quick tutorial videos on managing your business remotely, and understanding customer insights through Google Analytics, Grow with Google has invaluable resources for small businesses.
In keeping with Google’s mission, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” we have outlined what some of the most sought-after tools are on Google’s platform and how you can utilize them in your own business. The SBDC has been partnering with Pamela Starr, a professional trainer with Google, who has offered trainings on the following topics. For more information about upcoming trainings you can visit our workshop calendar here or Grow Your Business With Google here.
1. How do I reach customers online with Google?
You’ll want to start by focusing on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a way for search engines to prioritize your content. Think about keywords that customers might use when they are searching for your product or service. Do you use those same keywords on your website? Strategize on ways you can incorporate keywords into your content. If you are unsure of how to start this process you can schedule a free appointment with an SBDC marketing consultant to help you get started.
2. How do I get my business on Google Search and Maps?
If you are not familiar with Google My Business, you’ll want to create your profile here. The information you use when creating your business profile is the information that will be used when a customer looks for your business in Google search and maps. It is a best practice to keep your business profile updated with your hours of operation and contact information, photos, your website link, and responses to reviews so customers can know what to expect from your business.
3. How does Google interact with my website?
Managing your website is a continual process and you should always be thinking about ways to make your website more engaging and inviting. According to Google, there are a few standards you want to follow to make sure your website is as user-friendly as possible. Some questions to consider:
How is your site helping to grow your business? Is there a call to action? Through Google Analytics you can track metrics to measure success towards your goals.
Can customers find your business through online searches? Are your basic details displayed when they search you? Make sure your Business Profile is set up.
Convenient & Organized
Can customers interact with your site on desktop and mobile devices? Can customers easily take the actions you want them to? Does your site have a natural flow for customers to navigate?
Is the security of customers safe when they are interacting with your site? Do you have positive reviews and ratings supporting your business? Through your Business Profile you can manage and respond to reviews.
4. How can I use Google to sell my products online?
Google is a great place to showcase your products. You can add your products to your Business Profile and include a call to action like “buy now”, “learn more”, etc. When a customer clicks on your product it will direct them to the page on your website where they can take an action (checkout, book an appointment, etc.). You can also use Google’s Merchant Center to organize your product information and add your products to Google locations other than your business’s page, like the search results page, shopping, images, etc.
5. How can I use YouTube to market my business?
YouTube has quickly become a go-to resource for customers. According to Google, 70% of shoppers say they purchased a brand after seeing it on YouTube. Google’s algorithm is set to prioritize video content and with technology options available today, creating a video and uploading it to YouTube is very simple.
When you are setting up your business’s YouTube channel you will want to make your brand obvious by adding your logo, banner image, description and contact information, and customizing a video spotlight that will automatically play when viewers visit your channel.
Technology has come a long way and the quality of your smartphone is refined enough to create videos for YouTube. Your video should tell a story and have a purpose. Google recommends different video lengths for different purposes:
- Business Story (who you are, what you do, why you do it) 30-60 seconds
- Product Story (why is your product important and how does it work) 15-30 seconds
- Promotional Story (sales or deals you want customers to know about) 15-30 seconds
When uploading your video, you can add information to let viewers know about your business in the title, description, and thumbnail sections and you can add cards or end screens to promote your business during or after the video.
6. How can I use Google Ads?
Paying for ads is a way to elevate your business to the top of the search results page. By default, Google ads will lead you through steps to setup a Smart campaign. Start by adding critical information like your business name and website. Then, you will write your ad and Google will pick keyword themes based on the description you used in your ad. These keywords help tie your ad to similar searches. Next you will set the locations where you want your ad to be displayed, and finally you set your ad budget (you can use the budget Google recommends or choose your own).
It is a best practice to start small and work your way up. You can test variations of your ad to see what is connecting with customers the most and then increase the amount you want to put towards that ad. Once your ad is ready to go you have the option set up conversion tracking to help you measure your ad’s success. You can continue to manage your ad campaign in Google Ads.
Where To Go From Here
These are just a few of the helpful tools available through Google. If you are interested in learning more about any of these tools or taking a deeper dive into the marketing strategy for your business, you can schedule a free, one-on-one consultation with an SBDC Marketing Consultant here.