Google Offers Tips, Advice for Small Businesses


Google is a great place for small businesses to reach both local and national customers, which is why many companies won’t think twice about paying a consulting firm to aid in their Google strategy.

But small businesses need not look any further than Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) blog to find valuable tips geared toward small and medium size businesses. Here’s a look at what Google has been saying in recent blog posts.

Tools for Online Success

Google, along with the US Small Business Administration, recently announced a new Web site dubbed “Tools for Online Success” to teach small businesses how to grow their business online.

The Web site features videos and tutorials on topics like how to establish an online presence, how to use free marketing tools, how to analyze customers and how to keep up on the latest trends.

“Google Places” lets a small business claim its listing and provide specific information to draw in potential Web customers.

“Google Analytics” is another good tool for small businesses, which allows them to analyze what search terms attracted a visitor to its Web site and what content they checked out while on the page.  Knowing what attracted a browser to their site allows businesses to make more informed decisions on what to focus on with search-engine advertisements

Since smart phones are a growing trend, Google suggests providing driving directions and posting digital coupons as ways to cater to smart-phone customers.

Get Feedback via Google

For many small businesses, getting feedback is key to making sure customers’ needs are being met.   “Google Moderator”  can help small businesses do just that. The tool, which can be embedded onto companies’ Web sites, allows owners to post questions, solicit suggestions or get general feedback. Find step-by-step instructions, including screen shots, on how to embed the tool here.

Google Apps

The Google Apps store has new offerings every week, which can make it difficult for small businesses to keep tabs on what’s going.

To help keep up  to date, try visiting Google’s small business blog. The search giant recently highlighted some new apps that could help a small business.  For instance, the company highlighted RescueTime, which is an online app that measures the time spent on applications, Web sites and documents.

According to RescueTime Inc, the app helps companies recover 9% of its productivity time.  Another app designed to save small businesses time is Ketera Network from Ketera Technologies.

The app gives businesses access to 800,000 suppliers with a single login, the ability to search for items, get quotes, place orders and view marketplace analytics.

Learning from Others

Getting tips from Google is great, but sometimes learning about other small businesses’ experiences using is may be even more valuable. Google includes  real-life stories from successful small businesses on the Google Small Business Blog.

On the blog, businesses that have used Google’s community map and other apps share their experiences to other potential users.