Google – so much more than just a search engine

If you’ve been on the internet for more than 30 seconds you will know that Google rules the search engine space – their total remit in life is to provide outstanding content for people looking for information. One thing – just one thing: give the people information that is relevant to them.

And yes they are a search engine. But as a business owner you may not have had time to realise that they have a wide suite of tools that not only help them provide great content to searchers, but also give you as a business owner great information about how to market to your target market.

Here’s my favourite 6 Google tools:

An easy to use tool which is updated in real time can show you that people are searching for Taylor Swift  more than Kim Kardashian – who knew you needed to know that? You can see what people are searching for and which terms they are using. You can also compare search terms with each other to identify which one performs better.

Use it to find out what people really want, not what you think they want. I did some recent research around this.

People search more for acrylic nails than they do for nail technician (even though you would think these two words would both lead to the same results). People search more for mechanic than car servicing.

Searchers use the term community much more often than connection – although they often mean the same thing in real life.

Red is more popular than blue. Football is more popular than soccer in Australia, but not in Brazil.

Google can tell you all these things – why do they do it? Because it helps you improve your digital marketing presence which means Google can better match your content with their searchers. Their searchers have a better experience and that is Google’s reason for being.

A free online listing powered by Google, you can advertise your store location, business hours, website links, phone number and business details – making it really easy for people to connect with you. Why wouldn’t you? 

It’s free and will take around 5 – 10 minutes to setup and then if someone searches for your business name, there’s all the key details right there for them.  Too easy! It can’t hurt your Google search ranking either.

As part of its paid advertising program, Google provides a way for you to plan your Keywords – ostensibly for creating paid Google ads. But you don’t have to commit.

By putting in keywords you can discover what the reach of those keywords might likely be – how many people are likely to use those keywords in their search. They’ll also give you an indicative cost of what it might cost to rank highly for those keywords.

You don’t have to go through with paid ads – you could use those keywords in your social media posts or on your own website – they’ll still rank well with Google. 

And if you do decide to go with paid ads you will have already done your homework. Winning.

Google Search Console provides information about your website’s traffic and performance.

You can see which search terms visitors are using to find your site, and in conjunction with Google Trends you can work out which ones of those keywords are going to be more effective at attracting more traffic to your site. So you can tweak and adjust your site content to attract your target market with ease.

It can also tell you which devices are being used (mobile v. desktop) and shows you any issues on your website – so you can keep your webmaster on their toes!

The best Google tool around in my opinion. Analytics can help you find out about the traffic that visits your website.

You can find out how many people are visiting your website and Google Analytics will give you some idea about their demographics (age, gender identification, interests, location etc).

You can also see what they do while they are there – I don’t mean that they are sipping latte in the local café or making Google logos out of M&Ms while visiting your site, but rather where do they go – which pages do they view, how long they stay on your site, and importantly, at what point do they leave your website?

The original Google tool. Googling your own business name can reveal some interesting information. Is there another business with a similar name? Where do you rank in the Google search?

What information is displayed below your business name (this is called a ‘snippet’). It should clearly reflect what your business does in a couple of lines of Google search result.

If it doesn’t, talk to your web manager who can adjust it to more closely reflect your core business and target market – do your keyword research to find out what words will work better for your brand.

If you have setup your ‘Google My Business’ profile that should be displayed too. Try Googling “your business name”, “” or your business name (without quotes).

You might find very different results.  Making sure your messaging is consistent across all search terms will build your brand, create a consistent impression of your business and potentially bring more visitors to your website.

All of these tools are free and relatively intuitive to navigate. It will take some time to become familiar with them, but the old saying that “what gets measured, gets done” remains true.

By regularly reviewing what is happening with your business’s digital presence, you will be able to improve your online presence, refine your digital branding and attract more people to your business – and who doesn’t want that?

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