Small businesses have formed the roots of communities for centuries. They offer services in some towns considered too small for larger companies to invest in. Small businesses distinguish themselves even in larger cities, where competition is stiff. How so? They provide an escape from the often-formulaic experience of doing businesses with household names. Google then decided to join in on the bandwagon by launching Google for Small Business.
Google launched its newest platform just in time for International Small Business Day. According to Tech Crunch, Google made the big announcement in New York City at the Grow With Google Learning Center. Called the Small Business Portal, it provides a starting place for any small business owner still trying to navigate the basics of marketing and advertising. It recognizes that business owners don’t all have the time to become digital marketing experts.
How Google for Small Business Works
To begin using the Small Business Portal, you can enter your company’s name and website address. However, you aren’t obligated to supply this information. You then answer a few questions specific to your marketing and overall business goals. Google uses the information provided to create a recommended list of priorities for you to work through. Some of the rumored inclusions are as follows:
- Installing Google Analytics on your website
- Improving online presence
- Launching ad campaigns
Google for Small Business may also recommend specific products that best suit a business’ needs. The most highly praised by marketers are Google Analytics, Google My Business, Smart Campaigns and CallJoy.
Google Analytics makes it easier for companies to track website traffic. It even shows information on where users live, what refers them, and how they interact with the website. If there is an error, Google’s bots will find it while crawling the site and notify you. You can then resolve the issue and notify Google. After this, it verifies whether or not the issue is truly resolved.
Google My Business
This tool provides business owners with some control over how their business listing appears in searches. Note that sometimes Google rejects or suspends listings belonging to companies that operate entirely online. Even so, sometimes even when Google flags a listing as suspended, these still appear in searches. It is not clear why this happens.
A recent addition to Google’s ever-expanding tool box, this makes the ad-buying process easier for small businesses. It achieves this by removing much of the manual decision making through the automation of some of the tasks leading to a successful ad campaign.
CallJoy is an AI-powered phone system hosted in the cloud. It provides a virtual customer service agent to handle incoming customer calls. This is a paid service, but the cost is significantly less than attempting to manage a customer service line or full-blown call center on your own.
Why More Small Business Owners Should Use This
Google is the godfather of most digital marketing initiatives. It dominates everything from the search engine market to PPC ads. Because of this, when Google makes recommendations about which of its products and services may best suit a small business, it’s a good idea to pay attention. Not convinced? Here are a few more reasons.
1. It Saves Time
According to Business News Daily, while developing the website, one of Google’s directors spent a lot of time talking with business owners. Kim Spalding, the global product director of business ads, stated that the number one problem business owners shared with her was being strapped for time. Google for Small Business aims to put time back into your hands, so you can focus on the real core aspects of your business.
2. Paves the Way to Professional Services
This new development will provide something akin to a crash course for small businesses. This will help entrepreneurs pick up the basic skills of digital marketing. You can then use these skills to make a name for yourself, attract more customers and bring in enough revenue to eventually outsource this function to other parties. This frees you up even more to focus on growing the business. When you have a better understanding of how marketing works, you can make better choices regarding what other services you need, like SEO.
3. Saves Money in the Long Run
No small business has an indefinite marketing budget to spend on any and every possible marketing avenue it wants to explore. Instead, small businesses typically have to decide what tasks are best to outsource versus which are best handled in-house. This can save you money in the long run without hampering the business’ performance in the market.
4. Connects Entrepreneurs With Workshops
When just starting out, many business owners have doubts about the importance of digital marketing. There may be a general belief that if you provide excellent service and build a great product, people will come. The thing is, people need to know it exists first. These workshops can help better explain to entrepreneurs why this is so important and further help you decide what to keep in-house and what to outsource.
The Overall Impact of Google’s Support
Many critics of Google’s continually expanding business see this as another way to monopolize the market. There is no doubt that Google for Small Business stands to benefit the tech giant. After all, it is directing small businesses to its own company for solutions to their most pressing problems. However, there is also no denying that Google delivers results. It dominates the market for one very simple reason: its products and services work.
Google’s positive economic impact through its support of small businesses is impressive. In 2018, Google generated $335 billion in additional revenue for 1.3 million brands. These included nonprofits, website publishers and businesses. Not surprisingly, as the commercial meccas of the United States, California and New York accounted for the largest portions of this. Google helped generate $69.8 billion in its home state and $49.4 billion in the Empire State. Even Puerto Rico saw $628 million generated through Google’s services.
The economic impact expands beyond America and its territories, as well. One prime example of this is Google Ad Grants. Google has been using the program since 2003 to provide $9 billion in free advertising in more than 50 countries. In addition to this, Google AdSense helps many popular bloggers to monetize their websites and earn passive income.
The Importance of Supporting Small Businesses
Google is one of few companies still providing high-quality tools for free or little cost to small businesses. In fact, some of Google’s best tools are 100% free. Chief among them are Google My Business and Google Analytics. Some, like Google AdSense, even pay you. So, why is this continued support so important for small businesses and the wider American economy? Wouldn’t it be better to provide paid services to big multinational corporations?
In almost every election, politicians talk about the importance of the middle class and small businesses. The oft-repeated cliché is that small businesses are the backbone of the economy. According to Inc., more often than not, this statement is actually quite true. While large corporations take up much of the limelight, they are minorities on a grander scale. There were 18,500 large companies in America in 2010, but 27.9 million small business. Since then, the culture of entrepreneurship has continued to grow.
Small businesses also create jobs for nearly half of America’s work force. While only 21.5% of small businesses have employees, 49.2% of the private sector works for these companies. Thus, small business payrolls drive a large portion of consumer spending. Small businesses are also responsible for creating two-thirds of new jobs, a trend that has held fairly steady since 1995.
Finally, Inc. points out that it’s important to remember: all businesses start small. It takes time to transform a college pet-project into a Facebook, or a garage-based bookstore into an Amazon. When small businesses use the tools made available to them at reasonable or no cost, they begin to bridge that gap between large and small. This, in turn, drives the American and worldwide economy.
Get Professional Assistance
Many companies decide very early on that they cannot afford to hire marketing agencies. Instead, they focus every last penny on other tasks that have a direct bearing on profitability. These include upgrading the size of their facilities, increasing payroll to hire more employees or purchasing new equipment. Many people believe these business owners don’t understand the importance of marketing. We find that they do.
So, what’s the problem? Many entrepreneurs believe that they have to outsource every marketing function. The cost that comes with that turns many businesses away. By using Google for Small Business, you can get a better understanding of what you can handle on your own. You can then begin to make room for a reputable marketing agency in your company’s budget.
At Boostability, we take a results-driven approach towards marketing campaigns. For more information about our online marketing services, contact us at 1-800-261-1537.