Tag Archives: Google Small Business

Mother Knows Best: Small Business Lessons from Mom

There are 9.9M women-owned businesses in the US (Small Business Administration) and many of those businesses are run by moms. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we want to recognize the impact moms have on all types of small businesses. We reached out to the Google Small Business Advisors, our team of small business owners and experts, to share the business (and life) lessons they learned from their moms. Here’s what they had to say:
How has your mom impacted your small business? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the Google Small Business Community or on Twitter.

Warm Up to Video this Holiday Season with YouTube

With the holiday season in full swing, more people than ever are turning to YouTube to help them shop. In fact, the number of people who go to YouTube is up more than three times year over year1. However unlike TV, YouTube isn’t just a place for brands with primetime budgets to connect with consumers. It has become a powerful tool for small and medium businesses which actually make up the majority of the video advertisers on YouTube. Over the last two years, the number of these advertisers has doubled.2

Small businesses like Cosatto, Ole Smoky Moonshine, and Homer Simpson’s Mr. Plow are using YouTube to connect with potential customers and make the most of the busy holiday season. Here are some tips for advertising on YouTube to help you get started.

1. Get mobile with YouTube

    More than 50% of YouTube’s video views happen on smartphones and tablets.3 In fact, YouTube videos on mobile alone reach more U.S. viewers ages 18 to 34 than any cable network.4 Businesses are realizing they can reach those customers with relevant video ads, when and where it matters. For instance, Cosatto, an online retailer specializing in high-quality strollers, baby travel systems and car seats, uses YouTube ads to connect with people researching baby products on their mobile devices.

    54% of all holiday shoppers say they plan to shop on their smartphones in spare moments throughout the day, like when they’re walking or commuting.5 To capture that attention, think of where your ideal customers live, where they go and what they watch. Use that information to tailor your video ads to the people who share your interests and live nearby. For Cosatto, half of all their video views come from people watching on mobile devices.



    2. Build your brand with video  

    People go to YouTube for all things do-it-yourself – searches relating to "how to" on YouTube have grown 70% year over year.6 So if someone searches for “how to make a holiday cocktail” and your company sells those ingredients, your video ad can show up in that moment. Ole Smoky Moonshine, a corn whiskey distillery from Tennessee, wanted to position itself as a great addition to specialty beverages for holiday parties. To raise brand awareness ahead of the holiday season, the company partnered with their agency VaynerMedia to introduce the “C’mon Live a Little” tagline among their key audience of 21-to-34-year-olds in zip codes near their distilleries. The campaign featured a series of short TrueView video ads which drove a 22% increase in brand awareness and 1,115% increase in related keyword searches.

    To stand out, include your business logo, a link to your website (or phone number) and a strong call-to-action in your video ad. Having a memorable ‘hook’ at the start of the ad can also capture people’s attention, lead to more views and increase the chances they’ll search for your business afterwards.

    3. Get meaningful metrics

    You want to know when your advertising is working, and YouTube analytics lets you keep an eye on the metrics that matter most – including how long people watch, how many viewers visit your site, and how many people share, like and comment on your ad. With YouTube’s TrueView video ads you only get charged when someone chooses to watch your ad, so every view you get is deliberate and can be measured. For example, Mr. Plow is a snowplow business in Springfield owned by Homer Simpson. In our new ad spot, he uses TrueView video ads to showcase his snowplowing capabilities to neighbors watching videos online throughout the busy winter season. Video advertisers like Homer can see how people are engaging with his video ad and use this information to make small but important changes to their campaigns. Are people not finishing your video ad? Consider shortening it. Is your view rate lower than you’d like? Potentially make the first five seconds more interesting.

    We hope you can use these tips to creatively showcase your business on YouTube this holiday season and beyond. You can learn more here, and best wishes as you wrap up the holiday season.

    Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of Americas SMB Marketing

    1. Google earnings call, Jul. 2015
    2. Google data, Q4 2013 - Q4 2015
    3. Google earnings call, Jul. 2015
    4. Google-commissioned Nielsen study, Dec. 2013 - Feb. 2015
    5. Holiday Shopping Trends 2015: 3 Predictions for Retailers, Nov. 2015
    6. Google data, U.S., Q1 2014-Q1 2015

    Answers to Common Questions About New Domain Name Endings

    Creating a website or getting a custom email address with Google Domains starts with a search for a domain name. With hundreds of new domain name endings like .guru, .company, and .fitness, you have more choice than ever before to find a meaningful and memorable name for your business as you tell the world who you are and what you do. As you begin to explore these new domain name endings, we wanted to provide answers to some frequently asked questions:


    Will these new domain name endings affect my website’s search ranking?
    No. The Webmaster Central blog recently addressed this question and more to make it clear that new domain name endings are not treated any differently than traditional domain name endings like .com or .org. Domain names with new endings are shown in search just like any other domain name. For example, if you search for the business Coffee Club, you will find their URL coffee.club.


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    If I move my website to a new domain name ending, will my customers still be able to find my site on Google?
    Yes, of course! Whenever you move your site to a new domain name, whether it ends in a .com, .company, or something else, it’s important to follow the four steps outlined here to make sure Google is properly aware of your new site. Please be aware that it takes time to be fully processed in Google Search, but once it is, your new domain name is expected to work just like your old domain name. If you are still having issues, we encourage you to visit the Webmaster help forum.


    What are some reasons to use new domain name endings?
    • Brand identity: New domain name endings like .photography and .accountant help businesses tell the world who they are and what they do. For example, check out innovation.tools, nufsed.consulting and ordering.supplies.
    • Brand protection: Other businesses may buy domain names with new endings like .company, .solutions, or .international for their diverse business needs, or so that no one else can buy them. In many cases, businesses direct these new domain names back to their main website.
    • Promotions: There are also businesses who have used new domain name endings for marketing and promotional purposes. A company with a social media contest, for example, might create a contest website with a .social ending that would only be used for the duration of the contest. A good example of a current promotional domain is thehungergames.movie which highlights the latest movie in the series.
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    If I purchase a new domain name, do I have to give up my old one?
    Of course not! Your old domain name can easily work with your new one. Once you properly set up your new domain name, you can redirect your old domain name to point to your new one. This ensures you won’t lose any traffic from your customers if they use your old domain name instead of the new one.


    What new domain name endings are available now, and are any a good fit for my business?
    There are hundreds of new domain name endings available now, and you can find the full list that Google Domains offers here. Whether you’re looking for an industry-specific ending like .marketing or a fun ending like .ninja, there are plenty of options. Be sure to find the right name that fits you and your business.
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    Visit Google Domains and start exploring new domain name endings today. If you have any questions, we’re here to help!

    Posted by Chad Lancaster, Google Domains Marketing

    Google & Twitter Small Biz Present: The #SmallBizSquad


    November 28 is Small Business Saturday - one of the biggest days of the year for small businesses.  To celebrate, we've teamed up with our friends at Twitter to form the #SmallBizSquad, bringing you the best tips and resources for you to get ready for the holiday season. Follow @TwitterSmallBiz and @GoogleSmallBiz on Twitter for the latest updates and use #SmallBizSquad to join the conversation.

    And don’t forget - November is #CustomerLoyalty month in the Google Small Business Community. Join us this Friday (11/20 at 12 noon PST) in a live video Q&A as we talk to Lauren Licata from Belly about how to find and retain loyal customers.

    Stay tuned throughout the rest of November for more tips and tricks and as always, join the Google Small Business Community to get the help you need to succeed on the web.

    ‘Tis the season to showcase your business with photos on Google

    Tony Li opened The Palace restaurant in 2007 after the Chinese restaurant he worked in as a server for 15 years closed. Now, he’s gearing up for another busy holiday season: “The holidays are really crazy. We’ll have probably at least twice as many people in here as we do on our best day outside of Christmas and Christmas Eve.” Across the country, Heather Mohorn is readying her toy store in Philadelphia, Momo’s Tree House, for the holiday rush. “I love being part of the holiday celebration - it's time to think about your loved ones and what would be a special gift for them.”

    Window shopping starts online

    61% of shoppers will have already started researching their holiday purchases before Thanksgiving weekend1. And people are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to discover holiday destinations and buy holiday gifts. Last year, for example, nearly $1 trillion - 28% - of all retail sales were influenced by shopping-related mobile searches2.

    Stand out with photos this holiday season

    Business owners like Tony and Heather are looking for ways to stand out to consumers busily preparing for holiday parties, family gatherings and gift exchanges. For both, the answer is clear: “Putting photos on Google helps us make an instant connection with customers,” said Heather. “As a retailer, I want people to see a photo of my store and be taken there in their minds. That makes them more likely to come visit in real life.”

    In fact, Google data shows that the average user looks at 12+ photos before making a decision, and online business listings with photos get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks than those without3 - meaning more visitors both online and in person.





    We’re here to help you showcase the best your business has to offer this holiday season - which is why we’re introducing www.gybo.com/holidays, a site with resources for updating your business information and uploading photos to Google My Business. You’ll find:
    • Video tutorials: Hit play on these new demos to help your business get seen by holiday shoppers.
    • Live help: Get help from Google My Business experts by calling us at 1-844-442-8695

    Be there and look great in the moments customers are looking for you. These resources are free and available to all businesses, so spread the word and the holiday cheer. Visit us at www.gybo.com/holidays. We (and the rest of the world) can’t wait to see photos of your business.


    Happy holidays!


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


    2 Think with Google, 5 Holidays Shopping Trends to Watch in 2015, July 2015
    3. Google/Oxera, The Benefits of Complete Business Listings, December 2014

    Google Shopping Best Practice Videos Help You Reach More Shoppers for the Holidays

    The holiday season is often the busiest time of year for many small business owners. In addition to running your business, trying to implement a top-notch holiday marketing campaign can be daunting. Here at Google Shopping, we want to help you succeed during one of the busiest times of the year and connect shoppers with your products at the drop of a (Santa) hat.

    Earlier this year, we shared Google for Retail, our online hub for businesses of all sizes to get up and running on Google Shopping. Today, we’re introducing a few new Google Shopping best practice videos, highlighting three tactics to help you turn clicks into customers and find even more shoppers this holiday season.

    Manage your Shopping campaign
    After you’ve set up your Shopping campaign, you’ll want to make sure you have your goals, bids, and budgets set for the best results. In the video below, we’ll eliminate the guesswork and walk you through setting up realistic budget and targets to maximize your reach on Google.



    Get more of your products online
    When setting up your first data feeds, you may run into issues that prevent your products from appearing on Google. Learn more about how to get your data feed into tip-top shape to show even more of your products online, making it easier for shoppers to find you.



    Optimize your Shopping campaigns
    Once your Shopping campaign is up and running, you’re ready to think about how to optimize your ads to get the best return-on-investment (ROI). While there are many ways to do this, the key is knowing what to do first. Learn optimization fundamentals including how to drive traffic to your site and optimize that traffic to maximize your profits and ROI.



    By managing your Shopping campaigns, fixing your data feed disapprovals, and optimizing your ads, searching shoppers can find all the products you’re selling -- helping you efficiently and effectively get more sales for the holidays, and beyond.

    For more information on Shopping campaign best practices, check out the Google Best Practices Help Center or our Google Shopping YouTube channel.

    Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping

    How to Win Autumn’s Mobile Moments

    Autumn has arrived. For some, that means settling back into football season. For others, it’s venturing to a local apple orchard on the weekend with friends. And for many, it’s making another attempt at winning the Halloween costume contest. But no matter what, people turn to their mobile devices whenever they want to make the most of their autumn. This time of year is full of potential for businesses to connect with customers in the I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do or I-want-to-buy moments when they are making decisions.

    With that in mind, it's time to create the best mobile experience so your business can be there in the moments that matter most this season. Start with these three tips from real-life businesses that are turning autumn into a season of opportunity.


    Be there
    Lyman Orchards shows up when people search on mobile

    Lyman Orchards is the twelfth-oldest family owned business in the United States. Deeded in 1741, this quaint and picturesque farm spans 1,100 acres in central Connecticut and will celebrate its 275th anniversary throughout 2016. Though its roots are in the 18th century, the company connects with potential visitors in a very 21st century way. Lyman Orchards uses Google My Business to easily provide driving directions, hours of operation, a phone number, and even photos to people using their mobile device to search for fun fall activities.

    Nowadays, consumers are 38% more likely to visit and 29% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings online1. And because 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information like store addresses, business hours, product availability and directions2, small businesses need to make sure their information is available when their customers are looking for them–especially on their mobile phones.

    Try updating your Google My Business listing with your seasonal information, hours, and some fall-friendly photos to make sure you're providing would-be visitors with all the information they need in the moment it matters.


    Be useful
    Blitsy engages customers with crafting how-to videos

    Blitsy, the self-described “must-go source for crafters,” merges old school hobbies with modern day technology by helping crafters discover the latest designs and trends from their favorite brands. When they know their customers are gearing up for Halloween, Blitsy leverages YouTube to motivate crafters with how-to video content, including DIY Halloween Bats, Witch Broom Drink Stirrers, and Easy 3D Paper Pumpkins. With the season inspiring plenty of spontaneous I-want-to-learn moments, Blitsy connects with their mobile customers in creative ways with useful information.

    What makes Blitsy's strategy so crafty? In our age of instant information, sharing knowledge and useful content can influence purchasing decisions. In fact, 1 in 4 shoppers (26%) say online videos are their go-to source for gift ideas, and 32% of shoppers say they plan to use online video more this year for holiday purchases3. When it comes to providing the right information at the right time, videos can convey your company’s message and story more dynamically and provide a better experience to curious potential customers, many of whom are watching on-the-go. More than half of YouTube views now come from mobile devices.

    So get the camera rolling this fall. Create videos to tell your company's story, share how-to clips, and capture the attention and imaginations of viewers, wherever they're watching.

    Be quick
    Print Syndicate makes sure its site is built for swipes

    For those who want to express themselves this autumn season but aren’t inclined to wear a costume, they can turn to Print Syndicate. Selling through its three brands—LookHuman.com, ActivateApparel.com, and MericaMade.com—Print Syndicate is a print-on-demand e-commerce company that designs socially and seasonally relevant apparel, phone cases, housewares and more. Their extensive Columbus, Ohio based team is constantly creating new designs in response to social media trends or upcoming holidays. Given that 30% of online shopping purchases now happen on mobile devices, Print Syndicate has ensured that all three of its brands have mobile-friendly sites showcasing their latest and most clever Halloween shirts. With a few simple swipes on their mobile sites, anyone can find, view and purchase a quirky Halloween t-shirt on-the-go from anywhere in the country.

    Print Syndicate is making sure everyone is ready for Halloween, but it’s also looking ahead to the holidays: 1 in 4 people start holiday shopping before Halloween, and last year more than half of those who shopped online did so using smartphones or tablets. Print Syndicate knows that capturing those mobile I-want-to-buy moments is increasingly important for businesses to compete during the holiday season, so the company runs mobile ads through Google AdWords to reach shoppers searching for creative gifts on their devices.

    Be there when fall’s early holiday shoppers head to the web, and make sure your website is mobile optimized and thumb-friendly to reach customers who are searching on the go. You can also update your website with a seasonal landing page to create an even stronger user experience.

    Mobile is changing the way we live, and changing the types of information customers expect from businesses online. Make the most of that this fall: when mobile users head to the web, be there, be useful, and be quick. These three simple tips can help your business make the most of the season's best autumnal moments.

    Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of Small Business Marketing

    1. Ipsos MORI, Impact of Search Listings for Local Businesses, August 2014
    2. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014
    3. Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study 2015

    Custom email, apps and more for Google Domains

    Last year we introduced Google Domains in the U.S. to make it easy for your business to get online with a domain name and website. We wanted to make finding, buying and managing domains for your business simple, and we partnered with best-in-class website builders like Blogger, Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly and Wix to help you create your site — no technical experience required.

    Since then, we have helped people register hundreds of thousands of domain names and create tens of thousands of websites, many of whom are businesses like yours looking to build and expand their online presence. Through your continued feedback, today we’re introducing upgrades to improve the Google Domains experience by adding:


    Custom email addresses are a key part of building your online identity. Email addresses such as [email protected] help you establish credibility when you communicate with customers. Setting up a custom email address with Google Domains is an optional service for $5/month/user, and with that you’ll also get the full Google Apps for Work productivity suite. Google Apps for Work includes helpful business tools like video meetings, shared calendars, online document editing and 30 GB of file storage.
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    New domain name endings offer more choice and flexibility as you pick a memorable address for your business website.  New endings are continuously opening up to the web, like .legal, .accountant and .services, and can help you create a name that matches who you are and what you do. Check out some of the people on Google Domains already using these new domain name endings: sublimation.kitchen, smilesnap.social, thecooler.ninja, and marcblair.photography.
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    It’s our mission to help your business easily get online and succeed with a domain name, and we want to make sure we continue to offer you the best tools and experience possible in our beta.  So, if you have any input, questions or feedback, please don’t be shy!

    See you online at www.google.com/domains.

    Posted by Ben Fried, VP and CIO

    Become a Smarter Marketer with Primer

    Whether you’re a small business owner or a professional at a large company, connecting with customers can be a challenge. The opportunity to reach people in the moments that matter has never been greater, but to succeed, you must master a new set of tools, skills, and strategies. Keeping up can be tough for even the most experienced marketer.

    At Google, we’re working hard to make sure everyone can keep up in today’s digital landscape. That’s why we’re happy to introduce Primer, a free mobile app filled with bite-sized lessons that help you put to work the latest and most useful marketing concepts. You can do Primer’s lessons on the go, whenever you have a few minutes free.  We think of it as an in-the-coffee-line guide to marketing.

    ogb_primer_hero_blue.jpg

    Primer was inspired by the struggles my colleagues and I have faced while trying to learn new marketing topics during our busy daily schedules. The fact is, over 90% of adults don’t spend any time during the day educating themselves.1 So we wanted to build a tool that offers digital lessons that can be soaked up within five minutes – like when you’re on the morning train commute, waiting in line for coffee, or in between meetings.

    Primer lessons are available offline so they can be done anywhere. And each lesson is fun and jargon-free, covering topics like mobile site design, programmatic buying, content marketing, and search advertising. In short, you’ll learn real skills you can use today.



    Whether you’re looking to grow your business, advance your career, or simply build your professional aptitude, Primer presents you with fresh knowledge to become a smarter marketer. Download it now on iPhone and Android or visit us at www.yourprimer.com.  

    Posted by Bethany Poole, Group Marketing Manager, Google

    Sources:
    1Data for adults over 25 from the BLS’s American Time Use Survey.

    Introducing AdWords Express home service ads for the San Francisco Bay Area

    From unclogging the bathroom sink to getting back into a locked apartment, there are moments throughout the day when people need a quick solution to a big problem. In fact, there are millions of searches every day on Google for plumbers, locksmiths, and other home services.

    To help your business connect with customers when they need you the most, we’re introducing AdWords Express home service ads  available today in beta for plumbers, locksmiths, house cleaners, and handymen in select cities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you’re a small plumbing company or a one-person locksmith shop, home service ads help your business show up prominently on Google.com and reach customers who are searching for you.

    As a local business servicing the San Francisco Bay Area, GreenKeys Locksmith uses home service ads to promote their commitment to customer service, attention to detail, and 5-star service.


    “I treat every customer like they're family, and every lock and key like they're my own. With home service ads, I've been able to reach more customers across the Bay Area and share with them my passion for locksmithing. I'm incredibly excited about what home service ads can do for my business," said Ben Pearson, owner and operator of GreenKeys Locksmith.

    Here's how home service ads work: Let's say you own a home cleaning business in San Jose. Simply tell us about your business, get qualified, and we’ll take care of the rest. Google will organize the information you give us into a polished profile page for your business, which includes a professional photo. When someone in your service area searches for “house cleaners” or other related terms, we’ll show your profile within an expandable listing at the top of Google search results.

    HSA UX Blog Post Mock.png

    Customers can read detailed reviews, submit a service request, or call your business directly for more information. And to help ensure that you and your customers receive the best experience possible, home service ads are only available to businesses that have been screened and qualified.

    To learn more about how you can become a home service advertiser on Google, visit google.com/homeserviceads.

    Posted by Aileen Tang, Senior Product Managers and Xuefu Wang, Software Engineer for AdWords Express home service ads