What do you use Google for?
If you’re like most folks, Google is the first place you go to when you browse the Internet. I’ve seen people type a website name directly into Google Search even though they already knew the website’s name. For them, Google is the Internet.
However, for many small businesses, Google is so much more than that. Below is a list of all the things I use Google for in my business:
- Google Local Business Center. Google will keep a business listing for you just like a phone book entry. Then they link it to Google maps, so local customers can find you quickly and easily.
- Gmail. I don’t actually use my Gmail account to send and receive e-mail. I use it as the world’s best spam filter. I have all my mail accounts forwarded to my Gmail account, then my Gmail account forwared to MS Outlook on my laptop. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen an e-mail offering to enhance my “male parts” or learned that someone in Nigeria just left me a million dollars.
- Google Apps. Did you know Google has a free, online word processor, spreadsheet, image editing program and many others? My favorite is the Calendar. Keep your schedule online, and anyone in your office can instantly see your schedule from any PC.
- Google Analytics. Plug a little piece of code into each of your web pages, and Google will keep track of how many visitors you had, which pages they looked at, and how long they stuck around. What’s more important to me is to keep track of which search terms (keywords) folks use to find me online. I’ve seen businesses charge $100 a month for the same tools you get here for free.
- Google Adwords. If someone in your zip code types “professional photographer” in Google and they live in your zip code, wouldn’t you like to be on the front page? With Adwords, it is easy to do. Although the service is free, Google does charge you every time someone “clicks through” from your ad to your website. You decide how much you’re willing to pay for each click-through, normally about 75 cents each (less than the price of a letter).
- Google Base. Have you ever seen a list of products for sale by Google at the top of a search page? Use Google Base to upload product descriptions and prices.
I have no idea how Google can offer so many services and still be free to use. But as long as they are offering them, I encourage you to take advantage of them.
Any Google products you use in your business? Reply below and share your knowledge.