I’ve been using Google’s products for years now, and so have you no doubt – but are you taking full advantage of everything they have to offer to boost your digital marketing?

No? Well let me guide you through just a few of the ways you should be utilising these free Google tools.

My inspiration to write this blog came from attending Google’s physical pop-up version of their online digital skills training platform, the Digital Garage, so let’s start there.

  1. The Digital Garage

Get new skills for a digital world. Grow your career or business at your own pace, with flexible and personalised training courses designed to build your confidence and help you thrive.

The garage offers ‘free courses on everything from search to social media, to help you grow your business or career.’

As a digital marketer most of what was taught at the pop-up, held at the British Airways i360, wasn’t news to me but it never hurts to refresh knowledge and get back to basics.

Whether you’re a marketing pro, a business owner or in sales I’d highly recommend checking out the garage and finding the time to complete their online courses.

Complete them all and you’ll wind up with a digital skills certificate endorsed by both Google and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, but more importantly you’ll have bolstered your knowledge and be ready to put it into action to hopefully positively impact your bottom line.

  1. Trends

Google Trends. Explore what the world is searching.

I could write a whole blog about Google Trends. It’s a powerful tool for exploring search data.

From keeping up to date with current trending topics to understanding interest in topics over time, Trends can do it all.

There are many possible uses for the data and insights available. So how is it useful for your marketing? Well, say you want to launch a new product or service and you haven’t decided the best time to go public with it, simply search Trends for the term.

Let’s say you’re looking at launching a new public campaign to receive bookings for your hotel rooms, you may want to find out when people are looking for rooms in Brighton.

Check out the graph above, it features three terms over the last five years clearly showing peaks each year from July to August. Now this may not be extremely eye opening for you but if you’re new to the business or you simply want to ensure your marketing is on point, this insight is vital – it’ll also break the terms down and tell you what is most popular in each region, now that could be useful!

Maybe July to August is the right time to spend more money in Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads or Google AdWords?

  1. Think with Google

Think with Google. Insights you want. Data you need.

Another fantastic resource for a whole host of things.

I particularly like the Seasonal Trends page and the ‘Marketer’s Almanac’.

Google says: ‘The Marketer’s Almanac surfaces data, insights, and consumer trends… to help you get a jump on your marketing plan.’

Much like Trends, it gives you great insights into the events and topics trending throughout the year. This helps you better plan your marketing efforts throughout the year and make decisions about the topics you should have a voice on, and when to have that voice.

  1. Alerts

Google Alerts - Monitor the web for interesting new content.

Want to keep up to date with industry news, what your competitors are up to, and what the press are saying about you? Of course you do!

Google Alerts is a service which helps you monitor the web for interesting and topical content. It’ll help you discover news stories on the subjects that matter most to you and your business.

It’ll also mean you will always know if your business pops up in a news story or is mentioned by a customer online. This helps you manage risk, listen to industry experts, get ahead of your competitors and sometimes even surprise your customers by joining conversations. 

  1. Analytics

Google Analytics - Get to know your customers. Get a deeper understanding of your customers. Google Analytics gives you the free tools you need to analyze data for your business in one place.
To put it bluntly, if you have a website but you’re not using analytics – you are insane!

There is no point in owning a website if you’re not regularly gleaming insights from its data and acting on those insights.

Google Analytics helps you understand where your customers come from (both geographically and on the web), who they are, how long they stay on your website and a whole host of other things.

Importantly, setting up goals and understanding how many visitors are being converted to customers is essential. At the end of the day that’s the reason you have a website, right? To get more customers and increase sales? Of course it is.

  1. Test My Site

Test your mobile speed. Most sites lose half their visitors while loading.
Whether mobile marketing is important or not is no longer a question. We know it is.

We reached the mobile tipping point in 2016 when mobile internet usage overtook desktop for the first time.

With 66% of the UK using the internet to purchase goods your website must perform well in mobile.

Test My Site helps you ensure it does by analysing your site and providing easy to understand scores on mobile friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed. It then offers you actionable fixes to consider for improving your site’s performance.

Some are easy to action but for others you may need to seek the advice of a developer, but what will be clear is exactly what you need to do to have your website work harder for you. 

  1. Google My Business

Your listing appears right when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search or Maps. Google My Business makes it easy to create and update your listing—so you can stand out, and bring customers in.
When searching online you want your customers to find the right information about you.

Google is the number one search engine in the world, followed by YouTube, also owned by Google, so it’s vitally important the information it holds about your business is correct.

Signing up to Google My Business ensures that you have control of that data, giving you the tools to make sure that when someone searches for you in either Google Search or Maps they see what you want them to see.

You also have the opportunity to respond to reviews and add photos all in one place. You can even let your customers add photos too, effectively crowd sourcing your marketing at a micro-influencer level.

So there you have it. Just a small number of the tools and services on offer by Google that can help you boost your digital marketing efforts, improving your online presence and helping you make data driven decisions.

If you’d like help in using any of these give us a shout.

See you next time.