The undisputed king of the search engines in 2011 is Google. Chances are that Google Search is a major way that your potential prospects and clients either are or are not finding you. But Google is much more than just a search engine. They are a very smart organisation that has morphed into a whole bunch of different services or utilities online. Many of these services they provide are free for you to use, while some are premium paid services. Lets now look at some of the best services that Google provides so that we can quickly identify how you as a business owner can ‘get the most out of Google’. The areas we will cover are as follows:
- Google Adwords
- Google Image Ads
- Google Places
- Google Analytics
- Google Website Optimizer
Google Adwords Search Network ads are the paid ads that turn up on the top section and the right hand side section of the Google search screen. This is the most pure and perfect form of advertising that exists in the history of mankind. The reason why I say this is because your ads only show up if people are actively searching for the keywords that you have advised Google are related to your product / service that you are advertising. You only pay for your advertising if a Google searcher clicks on your ads. It can’t get any fairer than that. The Google Adwords search network system works on a Pay Per Click (PPC) model. This means that you pay a pre-determined amount (eg. $0.56 or $1.03) every time that someone clicks on your ad. The whole thing works on relevance. If Google determines that your ad is very relevant and highly regarded by its searchers because it’s getting a good Click Through Rate (CTR) and people are staying on your site a good length of time, then they will reward you with lower advertising costs and your ads will rank higher than other advertisers who are not creating as relevant advertising. To really win the Adwords game your ads need to be relevant to the keywords that are being searched for, and then the website landing page that the searchers end up at after clicking the ads need to be closely relevant to the keywords that were searched for as well as the keywords in the ad.
Google Image Ads
Google has a 2nd major part to its advertising, this is the display network. The Google Display Network is when your advertising shows up on relevant non Google Websites where website owners display Google ads on behalf of Google on their sites. Display network ads come in many types, but essentially there are two main types – text ads (like Google Search) or image ads. I love Google Image ads because it works out a very cost effective traffic source for driving leads to free offers. ‘Image ads’ is just another way of saying Banner Advertising on Google’s display network. The thing is that it is more targeted than standard banner advertising on other networks because you can determine the keywords and page content that are relevant to the websites where you want to show your ads. Your image ads can be either standard images or they can be animated (gifs or Flash). This form of advertising is not necessarily well suited to every business. Where it is relevant is if you have some kind of free offer that you are using for lead generation such as a free report or video in exchange for their contact details so that you can market to the leads again.
‘Google Maps’ is now called ‘Google Places’ even though most people still think of it as Google Maps. Millions of people search Google Maps every day. A free listing on Google Maps makes it easy for them to find your business. If you are a localised business then you want to make sure you are maximising your exposure in this medium as it really is an easy way to rank high for free traffic from Google. Use Google Places to create your free listing. When potential customers search Maps for local information, they’ll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even photos of your storefront or products. It’s easy, free, and you don’t even need a website of your own, but it is better if you have one that you can link to from there. Google Places is particularly relevant if you have a ‘traditional business’ such as ‘Accountant in Bondi’ etc as these local searches are when the Google Places listings will show up. If you haven’t already done so then please visit http://www.google.com/places/ to claim your business listing today.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. The tool that I use for measuring website stats and I recommend that you use too is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free service from Google. Effectively you tell Google what website that you want Google Analytics to track website visitor statistics on. Google Analytics will then supply you a piece of tracking code to put on the pages of your website. Google Analytics will then start recording how many site visitors you get per day, how they found your website, what parts of your site that they are clicking on and much more. You can even get Google Analytics to send you automated reports on a how your website is progressing. You can get Google Analytics for your site by visiting http://www.google.com/analytics/
Google Website Optimizer
Google Website Optimizer is another free service from Google. What it does is it gives you a way of comparing two website pages or website elements together to see which one results in the best lead or sales conversions. Website Optimizer, Google’s free website testing and optimization tool, allows you to increase the value of your existing websites and traffic without having to spend additional funds on traffic. Say you have a page on your website and it’s primary purpose is to give away a copy of your free report in exchange for the site visitors details. Each time this happens we would consider it a ‘conversion’. You then use Google Website Optimizer to compare the conversions of 2 similar web pages and declare a winner. Effectively what you are doing is constantly tracking and measuring and pushing the conversion rate up on your website. You can have the same advertising cost but actually reduce your cost per lead simply by increasing your conversion rate. If you are paying for any advertising for your site you should without a doubt be utilising Google Website Optimizer in your business.
There is much more to Google Services than we have outlined here, but this is a good summary of the fundamental services of theirs you should be implementing in your business today.
Greg Cassar is the leading Internet Marketing Strategist behind the scenes of many of the biggest Internet marketers in Australia and abroad. You can receive a free subscription to his ‘Internet Marketing Magazine’ valued at $311.88 at www.internetmarketingmag.net