Telling the truth about SME life today

How to use Google to help your business

1) Create your own website, free. You probably already have a web site, but if not, you no longer need to be a geek to build one. You can create a simple one-page website in seconds with AdWords Business Pages. Just go to and select Starter Edition. Or in a few minutes, create a free, fuller-featured site using Google Sites. No coding knowledge required.

2) Help search engines find your site. If your site is not visible to the search engines, it will not be found by the millions of people who search every day. Visit Google’s Webmaster central for free tools to diagnose your site, and to submit your URL, ensuring that Google quickly finds it.

3) Promote your business on Google Maps and YouTube. Increasingly people search online to find a place to spend offline. Promote your business location for free on Google Maps with Google’s Local Business Centre. And millions of people go to YouTube every day, to be entertained, but also looking for ‘how to’ videos, customer testimonials, and quirky little films on just about anything. Upload your videos and reach a whole new audience for free.

4) Improve the efficiency of your website pages. Small changes to a page’s layout can have a dramatic impact on how well it works. Quickly test alternative web page designs and convert more visitors to customers without the guesswork by using Google Website Optimiser. Its free.

5) Understand your site visitors and what they do. Knowing where your visitors come from, which pages they visit, and how they interact with them can help you really improve the value your website drives. By adding just a snippet of code to your site, you can learn all this and more, with Google Analytics, our simple but sophisticated and free web analytics tool.

6) Add cool features to your site. Adding engaging and interactive features to your site can really help your online business grow. Google makes this easy; we supply the code, you just copy and paste it in. Add interactive maps, videos, calendars and all sorts of groovy gadgets in minutes. Its all free.

7) Research your market. Knowing what your customers want is a key step in successfully selling to them. But research is expensive, right” Not any more. Its free. With Google Insights for Search, you can quickly see what the world is searching for, and use this to inform your business.

8) Focus on your business, not on your IT. Effective and reliable messaging and collaboration tools are critical as your business grows. But you don’t need to invest in servers & software to get them. Google Apps provides cost-effective ways to communicate and work together. And now you can save money on flights and phone bills by using Google Talk to speak to (and video conference with) your colleagues and customers for free, wherever they are in the world.

9) Earn money from your website. Your website visitors have to leave your site in the end. So, earn money as they do, and offer them useful links to related sites as well. Google AdSense puts relevant ads on your site and pays you when people click on them.

10) Try advertising on Google for free. Millions of people search online when they are ready to buy. Help them find you, by advertising on Google. You can set up a Google AdWords account in 15 mins; you can easily control when and where your ads appear; and best of all, you only pay when your ad is clicked on.

To give British entrepreneurs a hand, Google is giving away £30 each to businesses that are new to AdWords. Click here to collect your unique voucher code and see how AdWords can speed up your business

*Dan Cobley is Google’s director of marketing for the UK, Ireland and Benelux

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