Category Archives: Google and Your Business

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

Top local spots to help with last-minute holiday shopping

The last-minute holiday shopping season is officially here! To help shoppers discover new and unique retailers in their local communities, Google is sharing the top local stores in the United States according to data from users’ actions on Business Profiles on Google, like direction requests and clicks to call, and the number of reviews and average user rating. From jewelry to electronics and toys, these local spots are popular in their communities and might have the perfect last-minute gift for those on your list. You can check out the top stores below:

And if you’re in the Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, or Philadelphia areas, check out the top local stores specific to those areas to help you with your holiday shopping.

Happy Holidays! 

Learn how to get holiday-ready at our special livestream workshop

Last year, shoppers said they completed 30% of their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.1 With that busy time of year fast approaching, it’s time for small businesses to get ready.

We’re here to help – join us for a special livestream workshop, “Drive a Holiday Shopping Rush for Your Business.” We’ll discuss how to get in front of your customers and showcase what you offer using Google My Business, Google Ads, and more.

Livestream: Drive a Holiday Shopping Rush for Your Business 
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
9:00am - 10:00am PST | 12pm - 1:00pm EST

And, since it is the season of gratitude, we want to give a #SmallThanks to you, the local businesses that make our communities special. In this livestream, you’ll also learn how to get free customized #SmallThanks marketing materials to promote your business and turn your customers into your biggest advocates. (Get started today by visiting the #SmallThanks Hub.)

We’ll wrap up the workshop with a live Q&A session. For the chance to have your questions answered live, post your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #HolidayLivestream18. 

Posted by Whitney Cox, Marketing Manager, Get Your Business Online

1Google/ Ipsos, Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov 2017 - Jan 2018, US, Holiday shoppers 18+ who shopped in previous 48 hours n=5945.

Join Google, Constant Contact, LinkedIn, and Vistaprint for a “Small Business Summer School” Livestream Workshop

School is in session: Sharpen your pencils, pull out that notebook, and settle in on July 25th when we share a special livestream workshop. Learn about key strategies and tools to help your business prepare for a successful second half of the year, including the holiday season.

“Small Business Summer School” Livestream Workshop
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
9:00am - 10:30am PST | 12pm - 1:30pm EST

There are two ways you can watch:
1. Register for a partner-hosted viewing party to watch the workshop with fellow businesses in your community. These events are hosted by local organizations that partner with Google to help small businesses grow.
2. Can’t find a viewing party near you? No problem. Register here and we'll send you details on how to access the livestream online.

During this livestream you’ll learn from Google and our friends at Constant Contact, LinkedIn, and Vistaprint. We’ll share lessons on how to reach more customers with social media, get more out of email marketing, stand out online to local shoppers, and make your busy season your best season.

We’ll wrap up the workshop with a live Q&A. For the chance to have your questions answered live, post your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #SmallBizSchool.

Posted by Whitney Cox, Marketing Manager, Get Your Business Online

Join Us for a Small Business Week Workshop to Learn How to Connect with Local Customers Online

It’s National Small Business Week and our partners across the country are hosting in-person workshops where you, and fellow business owners, can learn how to connect with local customers online.

Find a free, local workshop near you.

Can’t find one that works for you? Register to watch our livestream online (Wednesday, May 2 at 9am PT/12pm ET). Ask your questions during our live Q&A session by posting your question on Twitter using the hashtag #PartnersConnect.

We hope you can join us!

Posted by Whitney Cox, Marketing Manager, Get Your Business Online

Learn Business Best Practices at the “Open for Business” Livestream Workshop

If you made a New Year’s resolution to grow your business online in 2018, we’re here to help. Tomorrow, February 21, Google is teaming up with the Small Business Administration (SBA), Facebook, Constant Contact, and Square to host a livestream workshop.

“Open for Business” Livestream Workshop
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
9:30am - 11:00am PST | 12:30pm - 2pm EST

There are two ways you can watch:
1. Register for a partner-hosted viewing party to watch the workshop with fellow businesses in your community. These events are hosted by local organizations that partner with Google to help small businesses grow. There is no charge for you to attend.

2. Don’t feel like leaving the house? Can’t find a viewing party near you? No problem. Register here and we'll send you details on how to access the livestream online.

Experts will share best practices for keeping your business competitive, tips for creating a positive experience for online and in-person shopping, steps for expanding your reach, and advice on building brand loyalty using email. We’ll finish the workshop with a live Q&A. You can post your questions in the comments section of the Facebook Live broadcast. 

Be sure to follow and post using the hashtag #SBAOpen4Biz on social media to see how other businesses are tuning in. 

Posted by Whitney Cox, Marketing Manager, Get Your Business Online

Challenges and Opportunities for Small Businesses Online – New Research from Deloitte

Today, we are hosting a research livestream at 12pm PST with Deloitte, building on previous research about how the web is helping small businesses grow. We commissioned additional analysis to better understand the barriers that small businesses face in adopting digital tools. By publishing this research, we hope we can have more impact through our programs and partnerships in helping small businesses grow online. Tune in here.

Read on for highlights from Deloitte’s analysis which we’ll be discussing in our livestream later today:

Women-owned small businesses are adopting more digital tools.
Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase among all businesses. Deloitte’s research found that women-led businesses are also more likely to be using digital tools. Around 55% of women-owned small businesses are using more advanced digital tools.1 Kim Ormsby, founder of Natural Baby Company in Bozeman, MT knows the value of using digital tools first-hand. She started the company when she was pregnant with her second child and connected with like-minded parents around the world the world using the Internet. “The web is pretty much where all of our growth is happening.” 

Rural-based small businesses are less likely to be using advanced digital tools than their non-rural counterparts.
Deloitte’s research found that rural-based businesses are not as likely to be using advanced digital tools. While they face many similar challenges to non-rural small businesses, US small businesses in rural areas were twice as likely to report having an inadequate Internet connection. Jim Hobart, co-founder of Alpaca Direct in Hayden, ID, has had to overcome this Internet access challenge to build a thriving yarn and apparel business that serves over 100,000 customers in 30 countries. In a Senate testimony, he discussed the challenges that rural-based small businesses face: “For a small business in northern Idaho, our sales demographics may surprise you. 92% of our annual sales are online. In the USA, our four top selling states are New York, California, Texas, and Florida. We feel that improved Internet access…needs attention. Our competitors in urban areas are operating on the equivalent of a 12-lane freeway while our access to that freeway is a like a worn-out toll road." 

The smallest businesses are less likely to be using advanced digital tools.
Deloitte found that only 12% of small businesses with less than 10 employees were digitally advanced, compared to 39% of small businesses with 100-250 employees. While the smallest businesses are less likely to be using advanced digital tools, those that are online are holding their own against much larger competitors. Villa Lagoon Tile based in Gulf Shores, AL has seen the power of digital tools to help them grow. With ten employees, they work on a very niche product - durable cement tiles - and heavily rely on online tools to find their customers. According to John Adams, Director of Technology, “AdWords is really perfect for matching clients and vendors in a niche market. We could never compete with big-box stores on standard tiles. But we can compete for cement tiles thanks to Google search and advertising.”

Small businesses face real barriers to fully using digital tools.
When asked what prevents them from using digital tools more, Deloitte’s research uncovered a number of barriers. 40% of small business respondents reported that digital isn’t relevant for their business and 38% said it’s not effective. 34% selected concerns about privacy and security. Small business owners also reported facing resource constraints. 30% said they don’t have enough experience with digital tools, 29% said they have no time to learn about digital tools, and 28% said that digital tools are too expensive.

Next steps for learning more about digital tools. 
There may some hurdles to using digital tools, but as we learned in Deloitte’s first report, small businesses can greatly benefit from building their presence online and reaching new customers. Many small business owners tell us they want to be doing more with digital, but they often don’t know where to start or have enough time to decide which tools to use. To introduce busy small business owners to digital tools that can help them grow, we designed Google’s Get Your Business Online training program as a way to get started and better understand the value these tools can offer. To learn more about how digital can help your business grow, find a workshop near you.

The full results from the Deloitte Connecting Small Businesses research can be found here. We hope you’ll tune in to our research livestream today at 12pm PST here

Posted by Soo Young Kim, Small Business Outreach

1. Women-owned businesses using either high or advanced digital tools as defined in Deloitte’s digital engagement ladder

Join Us for a Livestream Featuring New Research from Google and Deloitte

Last year we published research with Deloitte about how the web is driving small business growth. 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:
Despite these benefits, 80% of small businesses in the United States are not fully utilizing the power of digital tools. Therefore we commissioned a second report from Deloitte to better understand why more small businesses aren’t using advanced digital tools. 

Join us on January 17th at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET for a livestream presentation where we’ll share our new research, and host a panel discussion featuring small businesses who have used digital tools to grow. 

Learn more about the livestream and RSVP here. We hope you will join us.

‘Tis the Small Biz Season: Google and Friends Team Up for a Holiday Livestream

The holiday season officially begins in a few short weeks. While everyone else is making their shopping, entertaining, and traveling lists (and checking them twice), if you’re a small business owner, you’re probably busy prepping. We’re here to help.

Marketing Wonderland Livestream - November 1
On Wednesday, November 1st, Google’s Get Your Business Online team will be joining forces with the Small Business Administration (SBA), Constant Contact, Facebook, and Square to put on a workshop, streamed live on YouTube. This team of digital experts is part of the SBA’s Small Business Technology Coalition, committed to empowering entrepreneurs across the U.S. to use the web and digital tools to better manage, promote, and grow their businesses.

Experts will take you through a marketing wonderland, sharing search engine optimization strategies, tips for reaching customers on mobile, steps for creating a seasonal email marketing plan, advice on the latest and safest payment options, and more. And if you have questions, we’ll be finishing up with a live Q&A via Twitter. You can participate by tweeting your question using the hashtag #MarketingWonderland.

Find and register for a partner-hosted viewing party near you to check out the livestream on November 1st. These events are offered at no charge for you to attend, and in addition to catching the workshop, you could also get hands-on help applying what you’ve learned and mingle with other business owners and organizations in your area.

Can’t find a viewing party that works for you? You can also watch the livestream from your own home or office. Register now and we’ll send you details on where to access the workshop on November 1st.

We hope you’ll be tuning in on November 1st—let’s deck the digital halls for your merriest and brightest season yet!

holiday livestream.jpg

Posted by Whitney Cox, Marketing Manager, Get Your Business Online

Answer customer questions on Google

Planning a visit to a local business can raise questions ranging from “Does this restaurant provide high-chairs?” to “What accessibility accommodations does this B&B offer?” When looking for answers, 82% of people turn to search engines, but they often have a hard time finding accurate, up-to-date information.1 That’s why Google is bringing Questions and Answers to local business listings.

As a business owner, you have the most reliable answers to your customers’ questions and we want to make it easy for you to receive and respond to those questions. That’s just what Questions and Answers lets you do. To start using it, just search for your business on your mobile phone and go to the Questions and Answers feature on your Google business listing.

Questions and Answers offers new ways for you to engage with your customers:

  • Add frequently asked questions to your listing so that mobile users who find your business on Google Search and Google Maps can easily get the answers to your customers’ most common questions.

  • Answer questions from potential customers on Google Search and Google Maps on your mobile phone. If you have Google Maps on Android, we‘ll also send you a push notification when a new question has been asked about your business so you can post an answer instantly.

  • Highlight top responses. Beyond FAQs and your own responses, customers are also able to answer each other’s questions. You can highlight the most helpful answers from your customer community by using the thumb to bump them up to the top of the list.

If you’re not using Google My Business yet, sign up and start managing your free business listing on Google. Once you’ve verified your business, you’ll be ready to start posting and answering questions. To learn more, visit the Google Maps Help Center.

Posted by Lisa Wang, Product Manager, Google Maps

1. Google. Google Consumer Barometer, 2017.

AdWords Express delivers meaningful interactions with goals

While AdWords Express has always aimed to make it easy to set up ads on Google, we’ve seen that it can still be challenging for small business owners to tell how well their ads are working to deliver real-world results.

Today, we’re changing that with the launch of goals in AdWords Express. You can now choose which business goal you want to achieve with your online ad. AdWords Express will then continuously optimize your ad with that goal in mind and show you how well your ad is meeting your goal.

There are three goals you can choose from depending on what matters most to your business:

  1. Call your business: Get more direct calls from potential customers who are ready to talk on the phone about your products or services.
  2. Visit your storefront: Bring more customers to your physical store location.
  3. Take an action on your website: Get more people to take a specific action on your website, such as filling out a form or requesting a free quote.

Depending on which you select, AdWords Express then fine-tunes your ad to meet your goal. For example, selecting “Call your business” will prompt Google to show your phone number more prominently in your ad, making it easy for potential customers to call you at the exact moment they want to get in touch. Then you can check out your ad’s performance by reviewing goal-specific metrics, like how many calls your ad generated, or how often people saw your ad and then searched for your store on Google Maps.

The addition of goals is possible because of a series of changes we’ve made to AdWords Express over the past two years — including using Google Analytics to track website actions, and using Google Maps visits and Google forwarding numbers to track store visits and phone calls. Together, these changes help you do what you really care about — connect with customers.

We’re excited to continue working to help you get better, more meaningful interactions with customers, so stay tuned for coming updates. In the meantime, to learn more about AdWords Express, head over to our website.

Posted by Kavi Goel, Group Product Manager, AdWords Express