Category Archives: Google and Your Business

Tips and tricks for managing your business with Google’s solutions

Four ways the web supports small business growth – new research from Deloitte

Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy, and they make our communities special. Businesses are revitalizing their towns, creating jobs, and shaping their communities—one customer and employee at a time.


We wanted to better understand the web’s role in helping small businesses grow in today’s economy, so we recently commissioned new research with Deloitte. The study found that the use of digital tools (such as websites, analytics, and online marketing) positively impacts small business growth in four key ways: reaching new customers, reaching new markets, growing faster, and creating jobs.


Reaching more customers


Digital tools help small businesses reach more customers at every stage of the purchase process. In fact, Deloitte’s research found that small businesses using advanced digital tools such as web analytics and online video, were almost 3x as likely to have increased customer interest, like calls and leads. They were also more than 3x as likely to have seen more sales inquiries, like foot traffic and orders, in the last year. Wichita Furniture in Wichita, KS has experienced these highly qualified leads first-hand. Their website traffic increased almost 50 percent in 2016, and they attribute the lion’s share of this growth to online advertising.


“...[Online advertising] brings quality customers through our doors—people who have seen our products and know what they’re looking for. As a result, we’ve seen a drastic increase in our sales per guest.”
- Jay Storey, President & Founder, Wichita Furniture




Reaching new markets

The web can open up new markets to small businesses, whether they’re across the country or across the world. Deloitte’s research found that digitally advanced small businesses are 3x as likely to have exported in the last year. That’s what Jim and Kelley Hobart discovered with their company Alpaca Direct, based in Hayden, ID. Digital resources like online video and cloud-based communication tools connect Alpaca Direct to customers across the globe.





"There are a lot of people all over the world who don't have a local yarn shop. We want to become their local yarn shop even though we're all the way here in Idaho."



- Kelley Hobart, Co-Owner, Alpaca Direct








Growing faster

Digitally advanced small businesses experienced revenue growth that was nearly 4x as high as the previous year. Businesses like Kaleidoscope Hair Products based in New Orleans, LA, are growing faster because of the web. In 2016, Kaleidoscope reached more than 43,000 customers and doubled their revenue from the previous year.



"We went from selling no products to having a full warehouse, exponential growth, and distributors all around the world."

- Jesseca Dupart, Owner and CEO, Kaleidoscope Hair Products





Creating jobs

Digitally advanced small businesses are job creators. In fact, they were nearly 3x as likely to have created new jobs in the last year. Dreamstyle Remodeling, based in Albuquerque, NM, is a job creator in their community. They have been growing 34 percent annually since 2013 and expect to reach $100 million in sales this year. Since developing their digital strategy, Dreamstyle has added 250 employees to keep pace with their growth. They plan on hiring another 500 people to support their expansion in two additional locations by 2020.



"We think [our 2020 plan] is possible... And the web and Google tools are going to be critical to that growth."
- Larry Chavez, CEO, Dreamstyle Remodeling




This is a glimpse into how small businesses are growing using digital tools. Read the full results from the Deloitte research study.


To learn how your business can get online and grow, check out new resources available through our Get Your Business Online program.





Posted by Soo Young Kim, Small Business Outreach






















Across the U.S., businesses are using the web to grow


When their 10-year-old daughter asked if she could raise alpacas on the family ranch, Jim and Kelley Hobart figured, “Why not?” They welcomed the animals onto their land and soon thereafter discovered the many benefits of alpaca wool. It was soft, durable, warm and eco-friendly—it had to be shared with the rest of the world. To the delight of their daughter and alpaca lovers everywhere, the Hobarts launched Alpaca Direct in 2005, producing quality yarns and apparel made from the unique fiber.



Jim and Kelley never imagined that a curious request from their youngest daughter would transform into a full-fledged business, or that a small storefront in Hayden, ID, would become a popular travel destination for knitting enthusiasts worldwide. Yet today Alpaca Direct is at the heart of a vibrant and global knitting community. With the help of the web, they’ve brought the warmth of alpaca wool to more than 100,000 customers across 30 countries. As Kelley says, “With Google tools, we can do that, and [customers] can be part of our community.”


In 2016, Google’s search and advertising tools helped provide $222 billion of economic activity for 1.5 million businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits across the U.S. Our 2016 Economic Impact Report explores that economic impact state-by-state and the local businesses that are helping to drive it.   



While working on a small leather goods line in New York City, Tanya Menendez and Matthew Burnett realized how difficult it was to find local manufacturers. In an effort to democratize that access, the two started Maker’s Row, an online marketplace that helps small businesses find American factories to make their products. They use AdWords to both establish factory partnerships and find new customers, and YouTube to, as Tanya describes, “put a face behind the products that are made in the United States.” In five years, the company has helped 120,000 small businesses source and create products in 11,000 American factories.






After serving as a U.S. Marine for six years, Nick Baucom founded a company, Two Marines Moving, in Alexandria, Virginia. His goal was to keep his fellow veterans gainfully employed, while giving local residents a moving option they could trust. Today, Two Marines Moving employs more than 100 veterans. They use Search and AdWords not only to find customers,  but also to recruit employees. Nick has opened a second location in Florida and hopes to create job opportunities for 500 veterans in the next five years, vowing that “veterans will always have a home here.”





Across the U.S., businesses large and small are using the web to find their customers, grow, and make an impact. We’re proud to be part of their stories.


Posted by Claire Mudd, Director, Americas Small Business Marketing

Let’s Make Work Better

In 1998, Google was a small start-up being run out of a garage. As we’ve grown over the past nearly 20 years, we’ve experimented a lot with our workplace culture and management practices. A few years ago we started sharing what we’ve learned — what works and what doesn’t — on our re:Work website.  


This National Small Business Week, we’ve compiled some of the re:Work guides that we think are most helpful for small business owners to help you do what you do even better:






  • Teams. In the modern workplace, most productive work happens in teams. Google did a deep dive into workplace culture and structure to find out what improves a team’s performance. Check it out: Understand team effectiveness


  • Setting Goals. Research has shown that when businesses commit to a goal, everyone’s performance can improve. At Google we set and track “Objectives and Key Results” (OKRs). Learn more: Set goals with OKRs.

For even more ideas, keep up with re:Work’s weekly blog, where we’ll be sharing new content focused on the needs of small businesses. You can also get inspirational content delivered to you by signing up for our monthly newsletter.


Posted by the Google re:Work Team


1National Federation of Independent Businesses, NFIB Small Business Problems and Priorities, 2016.

This National Small Business Week, Build Your Online Skills with Lessons from the Pros

The web is helping small businesses grow. As the place where people turn to learn, discover, find, and buy things, it’s connecting customers to small businesses and small businesses to customers. Being online can have a big impact–in fact, businesses that are online grow 40 percent faster and are twice as likely to create new jobs than those that remain offline.1


We see the power of the web working for American small businesses. Millions of small businesses are found on Google Search and Maps every single day across the nation.


With a little bit of elbow grease and the help of technology, we believe every business can grow online. So together with our partners, we’re continuing our mission to help make that happen. Through our Get Your Business Online initiative, we’re bringing together free resources and tools to help you this National Small Business Week and beyond.


Learn from the pros through bite-sized lessons
Build your online business and marketing skills with five-minute lessons from Primer, our free mobile app. To celebrate National Small Business Week, we’re happy to announce new lessons created by small business experts Anita Campbell, John Jantsch, Ramon Ray, and Rhonda Abrams. Each has created a special lesson from their decades of experience working with and coaching small businesses. We’re also excited to share new web-based lessons.


Get your business online
Be where your customers are. Get your free listing on Google Search and Maps.  Show pictures of your business, list your hours, and add your phone number so customers can just click to call you or get directions. Businesses with complete listings are considered twice as reputable.2 Use this handy tool to get started.


Make sure your website works on mobile
Did you know that more than half of all Google searches happen on mobile phones? Mobile shoppers want quick results–53 percent say they’ll wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site.3 How fast does your website load? Use the free Test My Site tool to see how well your site works on mobile. We’ll email you a personalized assessment with specific recommendations on how to make it better.


Want even more?
During National Small Business Week (and throughout the year), Google and our partners are hosting in-person workshops to help you grow your business online. Find a workshop near you.


Small businesses are the heart of our communities. Thank you for making the places we call home, home.


Happy National Small Business Week.


Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online   



2 Google/Oxera, The Benefits of Complete Business Listings, December 2014.

3 Google Data, Global, n=3,700 aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, March 2016. Think With Google.

Get Your Business Online with a Workshop Near You During National Small Business Week

Blog Post NSBW edited GYBO workshop image (1).png


Next week is National Small Business Week, and our partners across the country are hosting free workshops in their communities. You’re invited to join us.



Through these workshops you can learn how to grow online and reach more customers. Be sure to check google.com/smallbusinessweek when the celebration begins on April 30 for more free resources and tools.  





Posted by Emily Harris, Program Manager, Get Your Business Online









Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

Every new woman entrepreneur who takes the leap to start her own business or takes the helm of a business is creating a more diverse and inclusive economy.1 In the U.S., women have been starting businesses at a rate that’s 1.5 times higher than men.2 That’s added up to some big numbers: by 2015, 46% of the privately held companies were owned or co-owned by women.3 Women-owned businesses now employ over 7.9 million workers in the U.S.4




To celebrate women entrepreneurs this International Women’s Day, we chatted with some women entrepreneurs who’ve inspired us with their boldness. Here are some highlights.


What was the biggest hurdle you faced when starting your business? How did you overcome it?

“The biggest hurdle when starting a business [was] not knowing what I didn't know! Running a business is totally different...and completely different skills are required. I learned a lot by reading business and legal books, and making tons of mistakes.” — Limor Fried, Founder & Lead Engineer of Adafruit


“I probably should have started a business five years before I did. However, I let my fears hold me back from going after what I wanted. One day I just decided to go for it. I knew if I didn't, I would regret not starting this business for the rest of my life.” — Kathryn Jackson, Founder of Protect Your Pumps  


“I think our biggest hurdle was handling growth. Once we got too big to do everything ourselves, we had to hire the right people to represent us and keep our customers happy, while preserving the culture of our small family business.” — Jenny Doan, Founder of Missouri Star Quilt Co.  


What’s the best piece of advice you received when starting your business?

Make sure you have your happiest, most cheerful people working in the front of your store. Those are the people your customers will remember.” — Jenny Doan (Read more from Jenny here.)


Invest in protecting your business. Once you're on your way, invest in a proper accountant, legal counsel, continuing education and training, copyrights and trademarks and other legal protections, website design, R&D, etc." Limor Fried (Read more from Limor here.)


“Get started. Take that initial step, even if it is a small one. Don't let let the big picture overwhelm you so much that you don't even take the first step.”  — Kathryn Jackson (Read more from Kathryn here.)



We hope Jenny, Kathryn, and Limor's voices and experiences will inspire budding women entrepreneurs everywhere. #IWD2017 #BeBoldforChange


1 World Economic Forum "The Importance of a Diverse Workforce." May 2015.
2 Calhoun, Lisa. "30 Surprising Facts About Female Founders." 06 July 2015.
3 Calhoun, Lisa. "30 Surprising Facts About Female Founders." 06 July 2015.
4 American Express Open. "The State of Women-Owned Businesses in the U.S. 2015." May 2015.


Updating Your Holiday Hours on Google? Easy as Pumpkin Pie.

Heather Mohorn, owner of Momo’s Tree House, adds special hours on Google to let last-minute shoppers know when her business is open. “The holiday hours feature makes it easy to communicate [changes in hours] to customers,” she says. “It reduces the number of phone calls we receive to ask whether we’re open, which is nice when we’re busy wrapping those last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve.”

With Google My Business, you can update your business info on Google for free to ensure that your phone number, address, and hours of operation are correct so customers can find you this season (and beyond).

To help you make the most of the season, we put together a holiday workshop filled with tips for using the web to connect with shoppers. Preview the section on updating your holiday hours above, or watch the entire workshop at gybo.com/livestream.

For a list of step-by-step instructions on how to update your hours on Google My Business, visit our help center

We hope this is one thing you can easily check off your holiday to-do list.

Cheers,
Emily Harris, on behalf of the Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map team

Help Holiday Shoppers Find Your Business

Since 1992, Werkheiser Jewelers has been helping customers find the perfect holiday gift–from picking out an engagement ring to restoring cherished family heirlooms. While they’ve kept their love for tradition alive, the way they do business has changed with the times.

Today, 78% of shoppers online use the Internet for holiday research.1 That includes jewelry shoppers searching for a gift for that special someone. Alyssa Rizzo-Berg, Media Marketing Manager at Werkheiser Jewelers, explains, “Maybe they’re looking to buy that first big piece of jewelry or an engagement ring. Because of Google, they’re able to find us.”

We all rely on small businesses to help make our holidays special, and we rely on the Internet to help us find the right local spots. Is your business ready to connect during this busy time of year?
In the next few weeks, Google and our partners are bringing hundreds of local workshops to a city near you to help your business get ready for the holidays. On October 26th, we’re also hosting a live workshop online with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Join us to learn how to create a free business listing on Google, optimize your website for mobile, and advertise online.


- OR -



We hope to see you there. And from our team to yours, happy holidays!



1. Ipsos MediaCT, Google Post Holiday Shopping Intentions Study, January 2015, n=1,500.

Academy for Ads: On-The-Go Training for Google’s Ad Products

Becoming a digital advertising expert takes time, and it’s important to get off to a good start. Only 50 percent of marketers say they’re confident in their knowledge of digital advertising,1 despite the wide range of educational materials available – sometimes “more” isn’t the same as “better.” You’ve told us that you want quick, bite-sized training in more interactive formats. And we heard you.

We’re pleased to announce Academy for Ads, a new digital training platform designed to help you learn how to use Google’s ad products in a mobile-first world. We built Academy for Ads to promote learning on-the-go, whether you’re on a laptop, a desktop, or a mobile device.

Grow your Google product know-how
Guided by input from our team of product experts, Academy for Ads courses cover the topics that matter most to Google advertisers – from AdWords basics and the essentials of campaign management to bid strategies, reporting, optimization, and more ways to successfully advertise with Google.



Learning paths, Assessments, and Achievements
We’ve organized the courses into “Learning paths” that you can walk through at your own pace. At the end of each path, take an Assessment and earn an Achievement to show that you know your stuff. Earning an Achievement for AdWords helps prepare you to take the AdWords Certification exam in Google Partners, or try deeper education offerings such as AdWords Academy.


A few example Learning paths:
  • Digital concepts: Learn the essentials of online ads, including third-party ad-serving, programmatic buying, remarketing, and more.
  • Get started with AdWords: Learn the basics of AdWords and prepare for the AdWords Certification exam offered by Google Partners.
  • Get started with AdWords Display: Learn how you can show ads to your online audience via the Google Display Network.
Academy for Ads also offers training for DoubleClick clients, with Learning paths covering Bid Manager and Ad Exchange – and more to come.

Get started
If you already use Google Partners, you can sign in through the Partners portal at g.co/learnwithpartners — or, you can go directly to g.co/AcademyforAds to sign up and start sampling courses and Learning paths. We’re constantly adding more content, so if you like what you learn, keep coming back for more.



1. 6 Fundamentals to Managing Digital Marketing in 2015, TFM Insights (January 2015)

3 Ways to Get More from AdWords Express Right Now

In 2011, with 13 years of interior design and window covering work under her belt, Sandra Anderson set off on her own to start Anderson Custom Window Coverings, Inc. She offered high quality support at a lower cost than many competitors, and was driven to get things right on the first try. But when she opened her business, she found it difficult to bring customers through the door with traditional methods like flyers and a listing in the phone book. That’s when Sandra decided to try Google advertising.

Today, Sandra says 80% of her new customers come from Google ads, and she relies on AdWords Express, our smart advertising tool, to manage campaigns for her so she can focus on running her business. For small businesses without a professional marketer on staff, AdWords Express can lighten the load – and over the last year, the number of businesses using AdWords Express has nearly doubled, with more signing up every day.

We’re thrilled to see business owners finding success with AdWords Express, and are determined to make it a one-stop shop for helping to grow your business. To reach this goal, we’re introducing 3 new features to help you reach a larger audience and understand exactly how your ad is impacting your business.
  1. Ad Scheduling – Choose to run your ad at specific times
    Nearly one third of searches for local businesses in the US come from consumers who want to make a purchase immediately.1 Ad scheduling is a simple way to make sure your ad only runs at times you choose, (during your hours of operation, for example), so you reach your customers at exactly the right time.
    You can choose custom hours or link to your Google My Business account to automatically run your ad only during your business hours.
  2. Map Actions – Understand how your ads drive people to your store
    Map Actions shows you how many customers who’ve viewed your ad go on to view your business on Google Maps – which can be vital, since over 1/3 of visitors in the US use online maps to find local businesses.2 If you care about whether your ads drive people to your storefront, Map Actions might just be your favorite new tool.
    Map actions shows how many customers interacted with your
    Google Maps listing after viewing your ad. 
  3. Verified Calls – Get better call tracking
    Right now we’re piloting a new way for advertisers to track which phone calls they receive come from customers who clicked “Call now” on an ad on their mobile phones. Advertisers who opt into Verified Calls will also see detailed information about incoming calls, including the area codes and call duration. We’ve already rolled this out to many AdWords Express advertisers, and hope to expand it to all users soon.
    New insights into verified calls allow you to see time, duration, and location of each call along with overall trends in call volumes.
If you’re already advertising on AdWords Express, start understanding more about your performance with these new features today. Or, if you’re just getting started, visit google.com/adwords/express, or check out our help center to learn more.



1. Google Consumer Barometer
2. Google Consumer Barometer