If you want to find out the height of Uluru chances are you would Google it. Google is the go-to guy to find information about anything.
But how much do you know about Google’s small-business support systems?
Recently Google ran an international programme called "Get Your Business Online Week" where they hosted free online tutorials (just like our small business building webinars) to encourage small businesses to get up and running on the web. Their team was clearly there to make the case for online business although, as their case is a powerful one, that's not such a bad thing.
They were also there to provide advice with regard to creating websites and pretty much anything in the Internet space.
It has become typical of their strategy. They are constantly extending their range of both free and paid solutions and are trying to get their point across that these tools are targeted at the small-business owner. And with small business owners making an increasing investment in this space it makes perfect sense to equip them with the tools necessary to improve their results.
Being online is no different than the traditional bricks and mortar and that it is still about building the right sort of customer base and improving profits and cash flow so that the small-business owner can achieve their goals.
Yet it is still probably one of the least understood areas of developing a successful small business.
So in this post I thought I would cover the three A's of the Google alphabet: AdSense, Adwords and, of course, Analytics.
I have already written other posts and presented webinars that include Google products and you are welcome to check them out.
But here are those three A's in a nutshell.
AdSense allows you to host other businesses ads on your own site. Basically it scans the words on the page and tries to match ads with similar keywords. If a visitor then clicks on that ad you will be financially rewarded. A lot of businesses employ this technology throughout their blogs.
Adwords is Google's online advertising system where you place your ads in response to a user Googling keywords that match the ones that you favour. Depending on the set up you could very well be appearing in those blog posts I mentioned previously where a blogger has activated AdSense and used the keywords you nominated.
However the most common place for your ad to appear is on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page - that's the page that presents itself to you when you do a Google search enquiry). You might want to check out my business coaching webinar on Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
You can also discover the keywords they were using to find you (which is information no longer available for organic searches), when people are most actively searching for you and where they are located. This is not only handy for finding new customers - it is also a really useful tool to reduce your advertising cost by not appearing in front of tyre kickers and people outside your market area.
Analytics is the powerful but underutilised Google tool which captures all sorts of information about the people who are visiting your website. At a lower level it tells you where they came from, what they did, how long they spent there and if they have been there before.
At another level Google will also provide you with an indication in summary form as to the gender, age and other interests of your visitors. This can be very useful information indeed for future marketing strategies both online and off-line.
Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.