Google, since it was launched as a search engine, has come a long way. While the core business or the essence of the company is still search, they have expanded in many allied segments which makes being on Google an important aspect for small businesses and personal brands.
How small businesses can leverage Google
Being listed in Google search will help you get new customers. This is a known fact and many slog over SEO, website analytics and a lot more to achieve that enviable number 1 position on Google search. This is easier said than done as those with more money and resources, national and international brands occupy that position, so where does it leave the small businesses?
Understanding this gap, Google has come up with helpful tools that can boost small businesses visibility
Listing on Google My business
Listing your local business on Google my business has two fold benefits. One it helps your business list in location search or under businesses near me. It also helps showcase your business in maps. This helps you reach relevant audience in your vicinity, thereby helping you get better exposure and reach. As the listing offers quick call, share, directions and website options, it is all the more easier for potential customers to connect with you.
Build a website
Building a mobile responsive website is easy with Google. Google helps small businesses build a website that can offer all the necessary information about the business without you worrying about coding and editing. Use simple quick edit tools that will help you build your first website in minutes. The best part about this website is that it is linked to your Google business listing, hence all your details are automatically updated. It is mobile ready and can be edited on the go too!
Learn Tips and Tricks to grow your business
As a small business, you might be overwhelmed with a lot of aspects surrounding your business. Google has come up with helpful resources that are bite sized learning’s for small businesses and personal brands. Google Primer is an online resource, which has learning’s in note formats. The lessons are small, just around 4-5 min, offering helpful insights and solutions. The best part is you can download the lessons and get done with it, even when there is no network. Just download the app and learn on the go!
G+ has recently changed its policy and is growing to be a helpful resource for small businesses and personal brands. They are weeding out spam and helping build meaningful communities via communities and G+ collections. I also connected with a few G Plussers to share their words of wisdom when it comes to leveraging G+
Shailaja V – Shailaja a mom blogger and a blogging expert shares, G+ ‘Community’ and ‘Collection’ features have really helped me showcase my content to people on G+. This ensures higher click-through rates.
Communities work on similar lines as Facebook groups. People with similar interests come together and share relevant information. These communities help in greater visibility. Shailaja V advises like any social media platforms join a few communities and build a network. As G+ is a highly visual platform, identify which images seem to do well in terms of traffic and use them as a benchmark to create further posts.
Collections on the other hand are kind of albums where you showcase your best work based on a theme. People can follow collections or your profile. Sonali Dalal, an abstract photographer and G Plusser who has utilized the platform well shares “ G+ as a platform is great for connecting with like-minded people. If you share quality work and are passionate about it, you will get recognition. When I started sharing abstract photography, G+ members enthusiastically supported me and that encouraged me to push further. Today my G+ photography collection has more than 1.5 lakh followers. One definitely gets more discerning viewers more than any other platforms.
The best way to leverage G+ for business or personal brand is by creating collections about a particular topic and sharing it in various communities. Connect and network with people in relevant communities or create your own community.
Shailaja’s tip is that if you have a blog, share it on G+ as that helps it get indexed faster.
G+ also offers text formatting for creating content. You could bold your text, italics or even cross it. So use the formatting wisely to stand out and grab the G+ browser attention. There are bloggers who have leveraged this medium well and enjoy collection or profile following in 10 thousand +
Google allows businesses to get reviews and understand their customers. As these reviews are built in such a way that it allows conversations, you as a business owner, will immediately be notified of a new review. As a business, you can get feedback, respond to queries or suggestions and thank the customer thereby building a good brand image.