I know Google is a vast empire and suspect that it will eventually take over the universe. What I didn’t know until recently, is that there is so much more depth to Google than I could have imagined. I’m not talking only about Google search, which makes me bow down to the keyword gods when I write blog posts for my clients. I’m also not talking about Google+ as a social media platform. What I’ve discovered is mega amounts of information and apps that Google provides for free to help businesses with their online marketing and communications both internally and externally.
If you have a Google account, and you should in order to take advantage of all the free stuff, click on your suite of tools in the upper right corner (that little array of 9 squares) and be prepared to have your mind blown by the sheer number of tools available. I’m sure most of you are familiar with apps like Gmail, Calendar and YouTube.
But have you ever used:
- Google Drive: Improve your productivity with cloud based office software similar to MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Store up to 15 GB of files in your account for free. Use your space for additional backup and feel more secure. Work on documents from any location on any device. Working from home? Edit documents with your colleagues in real time. Never email a document back to yourself again! Collaborate and streamline your workflow in ways you might not have imagined.
- Google My Business: Get your business listed to show up on Google maps. List your website address, hours of operation and phone number. Ask your customers for a review.
- Google Hangouts: An alternative to FaceTime and Skype. Chat, send messages, make a call or join conversations on air. Schedule and hold your own live Google Hangout, record it and post it on YouTube. Write a “How To’ script to showcase your services. The possibilities for marketing activities are endless!
- Google Trends: Get found online by Google’s search engines. Research keyword trends that are relevant to your business and work them into your web pages and blog to improve search engine optimization. See charts and graphs of trending search terms. Get ideas for variations and rising search terms.
- Google Forms: Build your own survey and find out what your target audience is interested in.
I’ve used Survey Monkey, but I’ve never used Google Forms. As an experiment, I just created a survey to find out more about one of my target audiences – small and medium businesses (SMBs). The interface in Forms is very simple and I was done in about 15 minutes. I’d love for you to get involved, so please complete the survey!
These are all FREE tools and I’ve barely scratched the surface here. You can get virtually lost inside Google’s platform learning and taking advantage of online marketing tools, business apps and documents.
Have fun learning and please let me know which Google apps you tried for the first time. I’d like to know if they were useful to you or your business.