Google Introduces New Product Portal for Small Businesses
When it comes to marketing your small business online, not every entrepreneur will pick up on the latest tools. In fact many may not even really know where to start outside of the generic basics like “build a website.” That’s likely why Google has recently launched a new resource for businesses looking to grow their online presence. As TechCrunch reports — just in time for last week’s International Small Business Day — Google has introduced a portal that will help small business owners navigate various Google products and create an online marketing plan.
Business owners can start by visiting Google.com/SmallBusiness. Once there, they’ll be asked about their business, their website, and some of their goals. Based on their answers, the portal will then suggest different approaches that utilize Google products ranging from G Suite and Google Analytics to YouTube. In addition to offering a personalized plan, Google for Small Business will also inform business owners about upcoming “Grow with Google” workshops happening in their area and provide them a way to keep up to date with the latest tools and updates the company rolls out.
Among the products Google is pushing with this new portal is their Google My Business service. Incidentally that offering recently introduced some new features, including the ability to reserve custom shortnames and URLs as well as create welcome offers for customers. Additionally the company plans to begin taking select businesses as “Local Favorites,” honoring 5% of retailers in a given category.
In a blog post announcing the portal, Google’s Global Product Director for Small Business Ads Kim Spalding said of the inspiration for the product, “I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many small business owners and the challenges they face. Most of them tell me that they need help saving time at work, or that they need easy tools to help them promote their business.” She added, “The internet has created new opportunities for small businesses, but it can be hard to know where to start.”
Overall Google’s new small business portal seems like a good place for entrepreneurs who may be a bit green when it comes to online marketing to get started. While some might take issue with the site’s customized plans only focus on Google-owned products, the truth is that Google’s reach means that many of these products are industry leaders — not to mention that many of them are free. For those reasons, Google for Small Business seems like a net positive for business owners needing a little guidance.