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Google: It's not just for searching!

google: the brand name of a leading Internet search engine, founded in 1998. verb (used with object), Googled, Googling. 2.(often lowercase) to search the Internet for information about (a person, topic, etc.): We googled the new applicant to check her background. verb (used without object), Googled, Googling. 3.(often lowercase) to use a search engine such as Google to find information, a website address, etc., on the Internet.

a neon sign of the Google logo
Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Yep, the name of one of the biggest companies/brands in the world is now a verb. That's when you know you have reached critical brand saturation!

Even though most people use Google as a search engine or their email provider on a daily basis, not everyone knows the full suite of solutions they offer. I'm going to touch on ways to use Google apps and services to improve your business's online presence.

To access Google services, you need to start with an account. You can use your current email address or create a G-mail address. Once you have your account set up, you're ready to get started. When you are in your account, up on the right-hand side, you'll see your icon and a grid. This is where you can access the most used Google business apps. Let's take a look at some of them.

Google My Business

Ever notice how some businesses you google have a little profile in the search results with pictures, maps, hours, reviews and more? That's because they have created a Google My Business profile and added that information.

When you complete your profile, Google will ask to verify your business, either via phone or mail and then they know you're the real deal. This really, really helps in search engine ranking. It also gives your customers a lot of important information right up front.

When setting up your profile, make sure you fill out everything they ask for. There is also a free website that comes with it. I would set that up too, it couldn't hurt. Add some extra pictures as well.

For a quick tutorial on how to get your Google My Business set up, click here.

Google Analytics

The next essential Google service would be analytics. By inserting some code into your website, you can track timely and helpful data on who is visiting your site. You can get really in-depth, but even the surface information is extremely valuable to understanding your site users and in turn, your current and potential customers.

Using easy-to-understand charts and breakdowns, you can see how many visitors you've had, where they live, what demographics they fit (sex, age, interests), how much time they spend on the site and more.

Google Analytics is a free service, but as I stated above, it has to be added to your website code for it to work. Some web builders and templates allow you to insert the code easily, but in some cases, it might be your best bet to get your website developer to set it up for you.

Google Ads & AdSense

Ever wonder how a local business has its ad running on a blog from Washington D.C. or how your favourite cereal got its ad in front of a YouTube video? That would be Google Ads at work. It is Google's paid advertising service.

You only pay for results, so if no one is clicking or calling, it won't cost you. You can specifically target area markets: local, regional, national or global. You can also choose where the ads are served: as a display on a website, with a YouTube video or even in an app. It really allows you to control your advertising dollars. If you have an ad budget, can be a smart way to go.

AdSense is the other side of the AdWords coin. It's you displaying ads on your website, blog, app or YouTube channel. When businesses pay Google to run their ads, a portion of that revenue will go to you. It's called monetization. And people have built million-dollar businesses out of it!

There are some things to consider before monetizing your digital assets. I wouldn't recommend using display ads on a business website. You don't want to muck up the beautiful design built around your brand and you don't want to push users away from your site. I would say the same applies to a business app.

The caveat is if you have a media or news style site, or blog, then I would say go for it! If you are considering monetizing YouTube content, decide if you want your viewers to have to sit through or click to stop an ad.

Google Surveys

Need some up-to-date market research? Why not give Google Surveys a try! It's a free service and free data is like finding a $50 bill on the ground! Bonus!

It works similarly to Google Ads in that your survey is hosted in different formats. You can set it up yourself and pick up to 10 questions. Google handles the rest.

There are many more Google services that you may use in your business like the Chrome browser, GSuite, Gmail and more, but I think they are more internal biz practices and I won't get into all that. I feel the ones I have touched on are really the best for getting your business or organization noticed online.

If you need some help getting set up on Google services, let me know and chat about what Google services would be best for your business.


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