Congratulations on your business! It’s an exciting time where all your hard-work and planning has finally come to fruition and you have the beginning of your dream. During the stage where your business is considered a “small” business you will be aiming to grow as much as possible, for the lowest cost.
Google is an incredible platform, which will allow you to attract and engage with high volumes of current and potential customers and clients. There are a lot of places to start but we’ve narrowed it down to the top 6 Google tools that will help you promote and manage your small business.
Create a Google My Business Account for free! It has a simple set-up process and is essentially a web-based site that will allow your business to be visible through Google Search and Maps. This is especially effective when wanting to bring in locals who are searching for your product or service in their area. You can add contact details, photographs, themes, promotions, and any extra information to your profile so that you can show your potential clients and customers why they should choose you above somebody else.
Clients can also leave reviews, which are crucial to business promotion. Encourage happy clients to leave you reviews so that when future potential clients search you, they will see your excellent rating and be more compelled to work with your company.
2. Google Ads (formerly AdWords)
Use Google Ads to direct customers to your advertisements and website.
Bid on keywords that will target your desired customers, and only when said desired customer clicks the link to your website do you have to pay (Pay-Per-Click). Signing up for the account is free, and you can set a daily or monthly cap, so you can track exactly how much you are spending.
You can write a few key sentences to explain your business or add an enticing image to attract visitors to your website. Your advertisement will be connected to your purchased keywords, and when someone types into Google the keywords you have purchased then your advertisement will be listed as an option.
When choosing keywords it is important to link as many effective words as you can:
- The name of your business. Referrals are your friend in a small business and if someone can’t find you by name, you may lose a customer.
- Location: This may be one of your most important keywords. If you own a physical business and want to bring in clients you will need to bid on your location, town and city preferably, as the locals will be your main clients.
- What you do and what services and products you provide. Think of synonyms for what you are and what you do. If you are a new clothing store you may want to select words such as “clothing,” “outfit,” “fashion,” “menswear.” You need to think how people might try to search for you, so ask your friends and family what they would search when looking up the items that you sell or service you provide.
You’re a business person, and you’re going to need to analyse data and statistics if you want the best chance at success. You need to know exactly what’s worth your time, and what needs your attention. If you struggle a little with numbers, have no fear! Google Analytics will track your website’s traffic (how many people are visiting your site), where visitors are coming from, and what activity these visitors get up to on your site, and will allow you to produce easy-to-read reports to help you manage the success of your website.
Getting started with Google Analytics is FREE, making it a cost-effective way to help you tailor your website to what your potential clients want, and get the most out of your online marketing.
The beauty of a small business is that you can make it personal. You can show people you are worth buying from, and you can tell people about the quality of your product or service and present it to them in an engaging way. If you don’t know how to create a YouTube channel, ask a teenage relative to show you, and if you ask them nicely (or pay them!) they can probably edit it for you too.
When creating a YouTube video make sure you:
- Have a standalone channel for your business. Having a channel with your business’s name will make it easier to search you. Don’t have it linked to your personal Google Account - Keep it separate and professional. You can still sign your first name after any replies to comments you ensure that personal touch, but you should be replying from an account under the name of your business.
- Edit. Keep your audience entertained by keeping your videos short and sweet and editing out any unneeded material.
- Demonstrate - make videos educational and impressive. Your audience will respond better if they are “wowed” by you. This is your chance to really show them what you can do and what you provide!
- Make the video title factual. You can put a fun little blurb underneath, should you so wish, but you want to make your video as easy as possible to find when people search your product or service.
- If videos aren’t your thing, then maybe Google Blogger is more your style. Create a free account, and write up a piece about your product and you’re away. Make sure someone proofreads it to catch any grammatical errors.
If you’re a startup business then look no further than Google Cloud for Startups. This highly secure platform is an excellent tool that focuses on growth potential, and will give you access to a huge range of tools that not only will help you get your startup off the ground, but will help your business be the best it can be.
You can get guidance to help you set up, market to your audience, create successful communication channels amongst your team, improve revenue, create reports, and keep on top of your business. You can do it all online if you are residing in one of these approved countries.
With no up-front costs, and only paying for the services you need, you can get yourself a pretty low-cost deal (plus, there are no termination fees if you decide this is not the option for you). Depending on when you sign up you can often get a decent amount of account credit to use across the Google Cloud Platform. Plus, they offer a free trial!
See if you qualify as a startup and apply for Google for Startups here.
6. Google Reviews
The best form of credibility, is a pat on the back from the very people who have used your product or service. It's the first place your potential-patrons are going to look when deciding whether to pick your business or your competitor, and a good or bad review can be the difference between a customer opting in or out. Think about it this way:
- When it comes to brand trust, transparency is one of the most important factors. If real customers have given your business a good review, and you've utilised your opportunity to respond carefully to any negative reviews, consumers will be more likely to trust your business.
- Your Google Reviews offer an opportunity to boost your SEO value. According to Moz, roughly 9% of Google’s entire search algorithm is driven by review signals like the ones you’ll find in a business’ Google reviews.
- Most importantly, you're creating an honest feedback loop between yourself and your customers. There's no better way to learn what you could be doing better, than directly from your customers, themselves.
You have the tools, the links, and the summaries, and now you can go forth and turn your business into the success it deserves to be. If you would like to learn how to double, triple, or even quadruple your Google reviews, download our free guide and we'll show you how to do it.