How New Tools from Facebook and Google Can Benefit Small Businesses
For most entrepreneurs, technologies like the Internet and mobile devices are a blessing. However, for business owners who are less tech savvy, new innovation may only lead to frustration as they struggle to catch up. That’s where two major small business allies — Facebook and Google — come in to help.
Recently both of these top brands have debuted new free tools that are a win for customers and companies alike. Here’s a look at Facebook’s “Find Wi-Fi” and Google’s “Test My Site,” both of which can benefit small businesses:
Facebook’s “Find Wi-Fi” Feature
In recent years, a number of businesses have learned that offering free Wi-Fi can not only attract customers to your business but also get them to stick around longer. Today it’s not just coffee shops and cafes offering up free Internet, as salons, gyms, and many others join in to provide their guests with Wi-Fi access. Now Facebook has unveiled a new way for businesses to promote this perk and bring Wi-Fi seekers to their door.
Just last week, Facebook rolled out a new feature called “Find Wi-Fi” globally (prior to now the offering was being tested in select counties). When users access this function via Facebook’s flagship app, they’ll be able to browse a map view of nearby businesses that have Wi-Fi. Also listed is the name of the business’s public network, a link to their page, and the option to get directions to the store location.
According to Facebook, the information for Find Wi-Fi is pulled from businesses’ Facebook pages. As a result, you may want to update your business’s page to promote your Wi-Fi access if haven’t already done so. Furthermore, if you don’t currently offer public Wi-Fi, you may want to look into Facebook Wi-Fi as a potential solution for changing that.
Google’s “Test My Site” Tool
While Wi-Fi is nice, many of us have to rely on regular cellular connections when we’re on the go. Unfortunately, this can often make navigating web pages difficult, especially if they’re not mobile optimized. That may not only be annoying for users but it could actually be costly for businesses as slow load times can lead to missed sales.
To help entrepreneurs understand the importance of mobile site load times and where they can improve, Google recently updated their “Test My Site” tool with even more helpful data. All you need to do is enter your business’s website URL and Google will assess your page and clock your load time for you. Once that’s completed, it will rate your site’s mobile speed from “poor” (more than eight seconds) to “excellent” (under four seconds).
That basic function has been around since Google first launched Test My Site just over a year ago. However what’s new is that the tool now approximates what percentage of your views you could be losing to slow load times. It also gives you an idea of how your business’s site stacks up against others in your industry.
Finally, Test My Site will offer you the opportunity to download a free report, detailing ways to improve your site’s mobile load time. Granted, you may not be able to make these changes yourself if you’re not a developer, but at least you can pass the information along to someone who can help. By doing so, you can improve the user experience of your mobile site and perhaps increase e-commerce conversions as well as foot traffic.
There’s good reason why Facebook and Google are the current kings of the Internet: they know how to help other businesses. With the recent release of Facebook’s Find Wi-Fi feature and the enhancement made to Google’s Test My Site offering, these companies have given small businesses more opportunity to make a splash online and gain new customers. So even if you aren’t the most tech-savvy entrepreneur, these free tools can help you find your way.