Each Google platform has a different purpose.
So how do you know which Google application to use for which purpose?
Here’s a quick overview to demystify the different Google platforms, so you can work out which one is useful for your business and why.
A Google Business listing is an incredible tool for business owners and organisations allowing them to establish an online presence for free.
You can add your logo, photos, opening hours, contact details, address, service information and link to either a website or a social media platform.
Get found on Google
If people are Googling your business, your listing pops up in the box on the right-hand side giving you 24/7 online visibility.
Google Reviews are also hosted in Google Business, building credibility as well as visibility and you can upload regular posts and updates in a similar way to social media so people get a taste of who you are before they step through your door, go to your website or pick up the phone to call you.
This is an incredible Google platform and an easy to manage tool that we highly recommend to businesses who want to increase their online presence and build trust with prospective clients.
Google Analytics (GA) is a super helpful web analytics tool that provides data and statistic for business owners, web developers and digital marketers.
GA generates a small piece of code that you paste into your website so that you can track visitor behaviour while they are on your site. Get an idea of how long they stay on the website, which pages they visit, where they come from, and what the bounce rate is (how many people jump straight out of your website after landing there).
The data GA provides means you can quantify the quality of your content to make improvements along the way. Good web developers will set up any new website with Google Analytics tracking and then share access to that information with the business owner. Like most of the Google platforms, GA is free to use.
Google Ads (previously Google Ad Words)
As the name suggests, Google Ads is Google’s advertising platform. When you do a Google search for a product, service or business, the first couple of listings that come up in the search are ads, and they are labelled as such.
People go to Google so when people are ready to make a buying decision. They’re researching their options and using search terms or keywords to find what they are looking for. Savvy business owners can create Google Ad campaigns that target people searching for those search terms and direct that traffic to their website.
Why use Google Ads?
Google Ad campaigns help businesses to find people who are looking for their product or service so they can put an offer in front of them. Useful data is generated for each campaign, measuring searches, cost per click, conversions and more.
Google Ads is available to anyone to use, but as with all advertising campaigns, ad spend must be taken into consideration. And like most things, the best results from advertising campaigns come from the professionals who do it every day. We recommend investing in a Google Ad specialist instead of trying to DIY Google Ads yourself.
Gmail is short for Google Mail and is Google’s free email platform. Most people have at least one Gmail account for personal use, although some people still use Gmail for business, too. This is one of my pet peeves.
If a business owner is looking to build credibility and consistency, one of the easiest ways to do that is buy a domain that fits your business and attach an email account to it. The dollar investment is minimal- less than $100 a year- and the bang for buck is serious.
Pros & Cons of Gmail
Using a Gmail account for business reeks of start-ups and cash-strapped businesses who can’t (or won’t) invest in tech solutions that align with brand consistency. That being said, Gmail is a useful, free Google platform that’s available to anyone and it’s played a starting role in many new businesses.
Build professional values into your business in real life, online and in every form of interaction with your customers, and buy your own domain. Set up an email account that leverages that and build trust with your prospective clients online.
And the other Google platforms & tools you know…
Google Images is a search engine owned by Google that allows users to search the internet for images. It’s worth noting that the images are NOT available to be used UNLESS you have permission from the copyright holder.
Google Search is a search engine provided by Google and is the most-visited website in the world. Handles more than 3.5 billion searches per day, it has a 92% share of the global search engine market.
A time-management and scheduling calendar service developed by Google that allows users to create and edit events. It also has mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms.
Google Docs is an online word processor included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite offered by Google
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. that allows users to store files in the cloud, synchronize files across devices, and share files.
Google Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service developed by Google, to translate text, documents and websites from one language into another.
Google Maps is a web mapping platform and consumer application offered by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, air and public transport.
Google Trends is a website by Google that analyses the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. The website uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time.
The Next Steps
Google has LOTS of platforms and most of them are free to use. Google loves it when people play nicely in their playground, and treats those users better than people who don’t.
If you’re not sure what Google platforms or apps are relevant or helpful to you, give us a yell. We spend a BUNCH of time each week using these tools so we’re more than happy to explain it and get you set up right so you can maximise the benefits for your business.