Let’s face it. Google has become part of our daily routine. We can decide how much of it we will let into our lives, but why not take advantage of free tools that have been created by this innovative company? Small businesses can definitely utilize some of the web-based marketing tools that Google offers.
It takes just 10 minutes to set up a blog on blogger.com. It is time well spent as a company blog can become a powerful marketing tool for any small business. It can also be used as a platform for cross-promoting your products and services with other companies. Google keeps adding new features as well – embedding a YouTube video to your blog is a breeze now.
You don’t need to keep guessing how visitors arrive at your website, how much time they spend on it, and whether they ever come back. Add Google Analytics to your website code to keep an eye on your web traffic. Discover whether the majority of your web traffic comes from search engines or referring sites. Find out what search keywords are being used to get to your site.
Would you like to keep an eye on your competitors or specific small business topics you would like to write about? Set up Google Alerts, indicate which topic, person or company you would like to be alerted about and how often. Alerts will come straight to your Inbox.
Can’t get enough of social networking? Google Groups enable users to start their own email discussion groups as well as message boards. Browse archives of Usenet groups and gain new knowledge or find a group that matches your interests.
To help your customers and prospects find you, create a profile for your small business on Google Maps. Your business listing requires verification, therefore it will take a couple of weeks for your listing to appear. You can embed a Google Map with your company location to your website or blog.
Keep your marketing projects on track with Google Calendar or create a marketing calendar for your business. You can publish your Google Calendar on your website or share it with your associates, family and customers. Planning events? Keep track of RSVPs with the easy web-based interface.
Provide information about your products and services immediately by utilizing Google Talk, a Google approach to instant communications. Just cut and paste a block of code into your own webpage or blog to embed the Google Talk gadget. You can chat with all of your Google Talk and Gmail contacts in real time.
Start your own online marketing campaign by signing up for Google AdWords. You will need $5.00 to get started, but the use of the Google keyword tool is free and it can give you valuable insights into the minds of customers who are looking for products or services that you offer. The keyword tool enables you to find the right keywords and estimate the cost of your campaigns displaying text ads that you create. Campaigns can be turned on and off any time you desire. Master Google AdWords before you get started by studying free online tutorials.
Google AdSense will create/match ads to your site’s content, and your company will earn money whenever your visitors click on them. You must have a launched website with acceptable content and valid URL as well as a valid payee name and mailing address to apply. All ads are reviewed and approved by the Google team, ensuring that inappropriate ads don’t appear on your pages.
In general, a GMail (Google) account is required for all web-based products described above. Sign up by going to Google.com.