Let’s face it, if you have a business online, you want sales right? So in order to get sales you need to boost your online exposure. What many people don’t know is that there is a plethora of free tools you can use (some free some free trial) to do this. What I’m going to touch base on today is Google tools which are free and have unlimited usage.
1. Google Maps. A Google map is a really ingenious free tool. Did you know that you can create a Google map to put on your website, we do use one on our contact page. You can customise it and also use the free sharing tools that come with it. It’s especially useful if you have a company that has multiple locations.
Some examples would be companies with more than one office, travel agencies showing maps to locate hotels, and estate agents who would want to show multiple listings. A Google map is a flexible tool and one which is useful especially if you use the “Google my Business” tool.
2. Google My Business. Carrying on from Google maps, you can use another free tool called Google places. Whether your business is online, brick and mortar or both you could definitely use this. What Google Places does is to let you setup your business, so that when someone is searching for your product or service in or near your local area, your business is shown prominently right at the top of SERP’s.
Your existing or potential customers can find you with ease because your placement not only shows your location but other handy snippets of information such as your opening hours, your website link and other useful information.
If your business is brick and mortar, the first thing to do is get set up on Google Places. This ensures your business will show up prominently on searches and on Google Maps. Potential customers will readily find your hours, website and other key information. Google owns more than 68% of all search traffic, so you don’t want to miss out by neglecting this chance at online visibility.
3. Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a really obvious choice for any website. By using this free service it gives you a very detailed look at exactly how your visitors are finding your website and exactly how they’re using it.
Google Analytics is a very powerful tool, and by analysing and understanding the data allows your company to really grow. Some of the types of things you can find out are what pages visitors are viewing, how long they stay on each page, visitors location, traffic sources, and so much more!
4. Google Trends. Another way to stay connected is through Google Trends. Search a keyword related to your business and then see the word’s popularity over time in Google searches. With a little research, these trends can reveal big opportunities.
5. Think With Google. Google’s “cheat sheet” is a free online service which takes an in depth look at the latest marketing trends in many different industries. You get very informative knowledge sent to you via articles, case studies and infographics.
It’s a wonderful tool if you ever get short on inspiration and want to know what’s working in your industry. On the homepage there is a signup form where you can opt into Google’s newsletter so you can stay up to date.
6. Google Alerts. How many hours a week do you spend on tracking your competitors and keeping up with upto the minute industry news? Well you can now use that precious time with other important business activities.
Google Alerts tracks everything and more! All you need to do is specify the keywords you want results for or want to keep track of, and then Google sends you links to the newest content that contain the keywords you have selected.
If you are an events company in London, you could use keywords like “London, events” or “London, showbiz”. I have to be honest you do sometimes get a mixed bag of results, some of very little value but overall the other results provide you with instant insight into what your competitors are doing online or identifying key opportunities for you to make your mark where there little to no competition. This is one of the ways you could really elevate your business.
One of the reasons I like to use Google Alerts is to monitor mentions of our company name. It’s a really nice way to thank people and nurture relationships with other people. You can also use it to keep track of backlinks to your site.
7. Google AdWords Keyword Planner. was originally created for AdWords users (paid advertising), but it is also a very useful tool for ranking your business online in the search engines. The keyword planning tool serves 2 purposes; for those who want to obtain good rankings in the search engines and for those wanting more organic traffic to their website through SEO.
By using AdWords it can provide you with keyword ideas and it also shows you the monthly search volumes for your keywords. This is really an effective way to look at what people are searching for online within your industry. Whether you’re new to SEO or an experienced pro, using the Keyword Planner can help you lay the groundwork for a successful campaign.
So there you have it. The tools listed above will help bring your company’s profile and reputation to where you want it to be, and the best part it didn’t cost you a penny!
Do you have other recommended tools you could add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.