9 Essential Google Apps for Business Owners and Marketers
As a business owner, digital marketer or tech geek, you posses the innate passion to expedite your workload. Efficiency is a key component in running your business at an optimal level. It's 2013. There's no excuse for slow-down in the tech age. If you're looking to share documents in real-time, monitor the traffic of your website or consolidate your calendars into one central location, look no further. I've compiled a comprehensive list of essential Google Apps for business owners and Digital Marketers. PLUS, a look into maximizing each one. These include:
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google+ Local
- Google+ Hangouts
- Google Keep
- Google Contacts
- Google Voice
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
If you're a website owner, this is a requirement. Analytics is essential for your business. Google Analytics allows users to
- Monitor the daily traffic of their website in an easy to use dashboard that shows intuitive graphs.
- Create automatic email reporting for daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly reports.
- Check-out high-traffic pages on your site & setup campaigns.
As a Digital Marketer, you can install Analytics on multiple client websites, providing user rights and email reporting for them. For details on installing Google Analytics on your website, visit this page: Google Analytics Setup. Google Analytics is a cinch to setup.
Google Webmaster Tools
If you're even the slight bit tech savvy, Google's Webmaster tools is a great way to get granular on your website. Google's Webmaster tools shows you how to improve your site's visibility in search results. Don't confuse these Webmaster tools with Google Analytics, they're more of a bird's eye view of how Google reads your site. The metrics include:
- A view of how Google crawls and indexes your site (i.e. how Google positions your website in Google search results)
- Specifies problems Google has accessing your site and pages which can negatively affect your index rankings (i.e. your position in Google search)
- Download data about internal and external links to your website
- Allows you to TELL Google about which pages are most important/relevant.
If you're a business owner and you DON'T have a Google+ Local account, you're crazy. Actually, I want you to stop reading right now and visit Google+ Local Sign Up to register. Google+ Local (formerly known as Google Places), is a FREE online listing for your business on the largest search engine on the planet. You want this, you need this and you NEED it yesterday. Your listing is a central hub that:
- Showcases your business across the web and in Google Search
- Has a verification process that lets you create details about your business that include: About (which allows hyperlinked text and backlinks to your website) Recent Posts, Photos and Videos.
- Customer reviews and feedback
Now, here's the BIG hit. If a consumer is looking for your business, Google creates a HUGE piece of real estate in the search query after their search. For example, if I'm searching for a specific business by the name: "The Wow Factory", this is what I'l find:
Sign up for Google+ Local to take advantage of increasing your online visibility.
Google Hangouts is a FREE way to engage in conversation with friends, colleagues and potential clients. What makes it easy, is it's intuitive functionality that works off of a Gmail account. Friends will receive your video call invitations no matter what device they’re using at the moment. If they’re not at their computer, their phone will ring so it’s easy for them to join. You can even add more people to ongoing video calls right from a mobile device. This functionality can be utilized for business meetings, calls and prospecting.
Hangouts works across computers and on Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Create and schedule hangouts for professional meetings and workspaces. Best of all, it's FREE. All you need is a Gmail acount. Visit HERE for details.
First and foremost, if you're looking for a ROBUST digital notepad this isn't it. You would be better off with the fantastic, Evernote. However, if you require an intuitive, responsive notepad that syncs with Google Drive, supports photo notes, voice notes, and checklists, you're in luck. Google Keep is Google's answer to a quick-note taking on the go. Keep is integrated with Drive, so it's responsiveness allows everything you store available in Drive within seconds. Also, you can color code lists to stand out, create voice notes in seconds and organize your notes effortlessly. To download the Google Keep app for your phone, visit: https://drive.google.com/keep/
Consolidating your workload is crucial to your success. Essential Google Apps, Google Contacts stores and organizes contct information about all of the people you communicate with. Information can be as brief as names, email addresses and phone numbers, but also allows room for address, employer, a photo, their job title and more. Also, Google Contacts integrates with:
- Google Drive
- Google Calendar
The process makes it easy to send emails, share docs and schedle appointments because as you type an individuals name, information auto populates. The more contact info you have at hand, the better! If you're currently utilizing iCloud, Entourage or any other email client or Contact book, follow these directions to import your contacts database: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/14024?hl=en Also, visit: google.com/contacts for details on integrating your contacts.
Google Voice is a best kept secret. Well, maybe not a secret, but it has so many useful functions for business owners that EVERY entrepreneur should be taking advantage of the free service. Google Voice gives you a FREE number for all of your phones. Basically, you can choose a number from a directory that includes local and nationwide available numbers. It's not a phone service, but Google Voice works with mobile phones, desk phones, work phones and even VoIP lines.
How it works...
Google Voice works by providing a brand new custom Google number that can receive calls from all of your phones. In other words, whenever someone calls your Google number, you can set it to ring your other phones. This is perfect for your website. To explicate, you can post your Google Voice number on your website. This way, you can track the traffic from your website with your specific Google Voice number and tie it directly to your digital efforts. To sign up for Google Voice, visit this link: https://www.google.com/voice
"Life is divine chaos, embrace it!" With the help of Google Calendar, organize your day, your week and your month effortlessly across devices. The free time-management web application allows users to:
- Schedule events and view schedules shared with you
- Access to your calendar from any synced devices
- Remind yourself via notifications or texts direcly to your phoe
- Send invitations and track RSVP
To access Google Calendar, visit: Google Calendar
Google Drive is an amazing tool for managing documents across devices online and sharing them amongst Google Account users. With Google Drive, you can upload photos, videos, documents, and other files that are important to you with up to 15GB of storage. Free. You can organize, edit and share docs from any computer at drive.google.com, or on the go with the Drive mobile app. The possibilities are endless. You can create documents on the fly, including:
- Documents (like Microsoft Word)
- Presentations (like Powerpoint or Keynote)
- Spreadsheet (like Microsoft Excel)
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are built in to Drive. These respond to Microsoft Office documents, too. Create a grocery list, plan an event in a spreadsheet, or put together a presentation for your history class on your own or with others. You can choose to share your documents with whomever you please with Google Drive's easy to use tool. For additional details, visit Google Drive
These are just a handful of CRUCIAL Google Apps that can help make your business run like a well oiled machine. There are dozens more FREE Google Apps available, but these are the cream of the crop, working effortlessly with your endeavors. If you have any apps to add, please feel free to comment below! Add me to your Circles on Google+ !
John is a Freelance Digital Marketing Specialist at JohnSocial. As a tech geek and advocate of online marketing, John's passion stems from the use of his skills in social media marketing, Google Analytics, website design and creation, SEO and copywriting to create and promote clients’ online. Visit his blog JohnSocial for more Social tips and add John to your Circles on Google+. ...
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