As a small business owner, you need to appear where customers are looking for your product or service. In today’s world, that means online, as more and more customers research purchases on their computers and phones. Luckily, Google offers a host of free resources to boost your online presence. Here are several that you can get started with today.
As a business owner, it is important to keep up with your web traffic. You want to know things like where your visitors are coming from, how long they are staying on your website, which internal pages they are visiting, and where they go when they click away from your site.
Even more helpful is learning which of your products visitors actually buy. Suppose you have 10 sources of traffic. Each sends you an equal number of visitors. More than 90% of your actual buyers, though, come from just two of those sources. That kind of information is pretty helpful in determining where to direct future marketing dollars.
Various technology companies offer digital products to help you track your website traffic. One such product is Google Analytics. When you sign up for Google Analytics, you receive a tracking code which gets embedded on each page of your website. This lets the program track your visitors’ activities. You can follow a visitor’s actions from the minute they click onto your website until they leave. You can see how much time they spend on each page, which product links they click on, and whether they purchase anything.
While Google Analytics is a highly valuable resource, it certainly has a learning curve. Fortunately, Google offers a crash course, Analytics Academy, to bring you up to speed. This course walks you through setting up your account, installing the tracking code, and accessing your traffic reports. It also teaches you how to interpret those reports and how this information can lead you to better marketing decisions. The course delves into more advanced topics as well, such as how to collect data from your visitors and use it to market specific products or services to them.
Google Analytics is a highly useful platform, but it is not perfect, nor is it a panacea. It can be overwhelming at first, and the number of dashboards and charts and tools can be a lot to keep up with. But Analytics Academy, if you are willing to sink some time into it, can shorten your learning curve and help you get the most out of Google Analytics.
Google Best Practices
Google Best Practices teaches you to use Google AdWords, which is one of many paid digital marketing platforms available to small businesses and entrepreneurs. AdWords is a pay-per-click platform. Other platforms offering pay-per-click advertising include Facebook, Bing, and Twitter. The Best Practices resource teaches you how to use AdWords.
The basics are as follows: You bid on keywords relevant to your website or product or service. If you are a chiropractor in Niagara Falls, for instance, you might bid on something as simple as "chiropractor in Niagara Falls." Or, after researching search data, which Best Practices also teaches you to do, you might target something like "back pain Niagara falls."
You can even decide how much you want to spend on each click. The catch is, the platforms, including Google, give priority to those who bid higher amounts, creating sort of an auction dynamic. So you can bid, say, five cents a click on a popular keyword, but you probably aren’t going to get any clicks.
After going through Best Practices, you should know how to set up an AdWords account, conduct keyword research, decide how much to bid on each keyword, and determine how to track your campaigns and adjust bids up or down based on results.
Google Primer App
With the Google Primer App, you can sign up to learn about digital marketing. Because the course starts from the beginning and uses plain, everyday language free of jargon to convey ideas, it is a solid choice for someone new to the arena who might not have an extensive background in the subject.
One advantage offered by the Google Primer App is its flexibility. It is not a one-size-fits-all course that you go through from beginning to end. Instead, you can jump around and select different topics of interest that appeal to you. For instance, if you want to learn how to build an email list and market to it, the app has a course that covers this information. If you’d rather focus on developing a social media presence, you can access a course to study that, too.
Google’s G Suite
Google’s G Suite consists of a bundle of cloud computing tools. These include G-mail (for email), Hangouts (for videoconferencing), Drive (for storage), and Google+ (a social media platform). It can help you centralize your business information in one place that you can access from anywhere. G Suite doesn’t handle everything, though. Fortunately, it is versatile enough to integrate with other programs that do. It integrates with QuickBooks, for instance, so you can access your workflow and accounting tools in one place. This lets you invoice faster and keep all your customer contacts in one spot.
No matter your level of technical expertise, you can master digital marketing. Google offers several free online resources that can help.