Many small business owners are not aware of Google’s Small Business Network, where many helpful free and affordable online marketing tools are available to business owners.
To help you better understand the Google Small Business Network, read about the features below along with other Google marketing tools.
By far one of the most successful online marketing tools is Google marketing through their AdWords program. With the right strategy and follow up, Google marketing via AdWords has proven to help increase web traffic and directly impacts better online sales.
Google AdWords allows a small business to bid on specific keywords for your business and create your own short graphic or text ad. The way it works is you only pay for when an individual ‘clicks’ on your ad link in search results or other ad placements. You can also set a budget so you don’t pay more than a certain amount in any given day.
A strategy to constantly follow up on your pay per click ads is recommended for best results. However, there is no better traditional advertising medium for reaching a target market and only paying when a potential customer wants more information about your small business.
Google Analytics can work in close conjunction with AdWords. Sign up for a free account, and Google will help you interpret your web traffic and e-commerce transactions through enterprise-class web analytics software.
Does your small business deliver? Whether you’re a local pizza maker, custom furniture designer, or even a catering company, traditional printed maps like the Thomas Guide are useful, but quickly outdated.
Google Maps gives you a tool that provides real-time personalized maps for your delivery drivers. This can be especially useful if you deliver in many cities across your state or region. In addition, Google Maps can even give you real-time traffic patterns and updates to help you with delivery and travel logistics.
Any small business who doesn’t take advantage of Google’s free Google Places account is missing out on potential income. Through Google Places, you can improve your online marketing by showing up on search results when potential customers are looking for products or services similar to yours. And even better, Google shows them exactly where you are along with a Google Maps location.
All you need to do is claim your free account, add contact and location info, and even photos and videos, and Google does the rest, all at no cost to you.
Google provides web-based messaging and other communication apps that can be a big cost saver for small businesses. Rather than pay licensing fees for software, you can create up to 10 accounts for free on Google Apps which includes:
- Email – You can create business email addresses with your own @yourbusinessname.com.
- Calendar – Use the calendar app to synchronize you and your team’s schedules.
- Documents – Upload, create, and share documents like Word, Excel, presentations, drawings, and more.
- Blog – Blogger is a popular blog hosting application operated by Google. Manage and maintain your small business blog right here for free.
- And More – You can find an even longer list of Google apps to help your online marketing efforts.
While up to 10 accounts are free, you can pay only $5/month/account or $50/yr/account to add even more features and connectivity to you small business.
The new Google social media site, Google Plus or Google+, was just launched the summer of 2011. However, Google has since begun revamping the site and is allowing new members by invite only.
Once fully operational, Google+ hopes to add business pages similar to Facebook. And through the useful features like hangouts, scraps, and circles, you can easily share special deals and offers with everyone, loyal customers, new customers, or however you want to set up your circles.
Google recently announced the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which has some outstanding potential for great mobile Google apps in the future.
Here are a few more links where Google can help your small business online marketing with their free and low-cost options.