Posted April 5, 2013
Book Explores Google World for Small Businesses
By Angela Watkins
Special to The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
"Free Google: Free SEO, Social Media, and AdWords Resources from Google for Small Business Marketing" approaches Internet marketing from a different perspective for it gives the beginner to the expert individual, group, business step-by-step procedures to free easy to understand tools and tip.
I would honestly recommend this book for those who want to learn about internet marketing, those who would like to venture into a legitimate avenue to promote their services and or products as well as ministries.
You will become aware of the resources available that Google provides for Small Businesses ranging from free websites to email alerts of free learning resources.
Even though SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about getting to the top of Goggle for free, many small business owners or marketers do not know that Google produces an official free SEO guide.
But there's a problem - a catch.
The catch is that despite the fact that Google is the world's number one search engine, Google does a terrible job of explaining where all the free goodies are in the Googleplex.
Jason McDonald, Ph. D., the author, teaches online marketing at corporate workshops, for his own company, at Stanford University Continuing Studies and elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area. His mission is to make SEO, Social Media Marketing, and AdWords easy, fun and (to the extent possible), free.
This guide is part of the JM Internet Groupís 299 Free Guide series. In this 299 Free Guide. The author is giving a tour to the readers of his amazing free but sometimes hidden, resources provided by Google for small business.
Internet marketing is an art, not a science.
This guide is an unauthorized, non-official guide to Google resources and has not been sanctioned by Google.
Most consumers have little idea of the algorithm behind Google Search, just as many business owners have only the vaguest of ideas about how this algorithm can be influenced to show one website over another (such is the quest called SEO or Search Engine Optimization).
So from the consumers perspective, Google is a search engine that displays its results in the following basic categories:
Ads ... Showing product or "shopping" as with pictures.
Organic or natural resources ... non-paid results appearing beneath the paid ads
Google + Local results ... non-paid company listings appearing beneath the organic results.
From the small business perspective in contrast, each of these categories presents marketing opportunities: paid ways to get to the top (advertising) as well as free ways to get there (SEO). Hidden in the Googleplex is a wealth of free tools and information resources that can help you from novice to expert in how to leverage Google to get your marketing message to more customers for less money and effort!
In addition to Google + Local, Google has a new social media platform called Google +. On Google +, as on Facebook, individuals can set up "profiles" whereby they can post and share with their Google + friends (known as "circles"), and businesses can set up "pages" to talk with consumers.
A final and very successful part of Google's social media strategy is YouTube, the video sharing site. YouTube is the largest video site in the world and the second largest search engine on the planet, serving more searches than Bing.
Google provides a few very important free tools for webmasters and Internet marketers to learn how users search the Web.
Google makes more than 96% of its money from advertising, via its flagship advertising service, AdWords.
It's best to know where you want your ads to appear on Google and work backwards.
It is possible to use Google search techniques to penetrate into the Googleplex and identify free marketing tools and opportunities.
You can use the free GoogleAlerts to alert you to ....
Your company name
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of getting to the top of Google and Bing fro free. Google has quite a few free resources for SEO for webmasters, marketers, and small business owners but they are rather hidden.
Google does not make money on SEO, so it does not promote the tactic.
Google produces an informative, well-written guide to SEO called the "Search Engine Optimization Guide."
Google provides quite a few free tools to help with your SEO, especially in terms of keyword research.
There is also a tool called "Pagespeed insights" that will measure your website's speed and give helpful tips on how to speed it up. Website response speed is increasingly an important factor for achieving good SEO rank.
Since Google dominates search, it is important to pay attention to what Googlers are saying about SEO.
Get your free listing on Google + Local and be found by consumers in your area for your products or services by keywords.
It's a competitive game, but with some knowledge and perseverance you can out-compete your competitors and get to the top of Google's Google + Local listings for free!
Google + Local is free for a basic listing, and with some tips and tricks you have a shot at getting your company to appear at the top of the list, for free, for relevant Google queries!
Claiming your free business listing can be a hassle, but it only has to be done once, and then you have claimed it forever.
Once you have the basics of Google + Local under control, you will want to educate yourself on the ins and outs of successful local SEO marketing.
Google + is Google's competitive challenge to Facebook, a social network platform wherein individuals can have "profiles" and businesses can have "pages."
As on now, Google + is not yet a huge opportunity for businesses as the social network has not yet grown to a huge subscriber base, but it has a very powerful owner - Google - so it merits watching.
What's great about Google + personal is that, if you have uploaded a personal photo and correctly attached it to your website, Google will often show your picture next to search results. The more people that you follow on Google +, the more your picture shows, the more you get clicks .... thereby creating a virtuous circle on Google!
Businesses can get on Googlet as well, but they cannot get their pictures to show on search results.
Google + for business may still be worth setting up, because since Google owns Google +, there is no doubt that it will tilt search results to favor businesses that participate in the network. This is all the more likely now that the FTC has ruled in Google's favor on the monopoly issue.
YouTube, owned by Google, is both a learning resource about free Google opportunities, and a free opportunity in its own right.
Whether it is Google Analytics, AdWords, or Webmaster tools, you can almost find both official and non-official videos that explain step-by-step tools and opportunities across the GooglePlex.
Trends on the Internet often hit YouTube first, and if your business depends on consumer trends, YouTube is one of the best free platforms to monitor consumer trends.
Other YouTube trend resources are somewhat hidden.
Any business can set up its own YouTube channel, for free, and then post videos to that channel.
YouTube has very good, free, analytics tools about your video engagement, but it is quite buried as well.
Google makes its money off advertising, and so does YouTube. So if video advertising might be good for your business, start off with their free resources to learn about how to advertise on YouTube.
In addition to Google or the "Search Network," AdWords can also place your ads across blogs, YouTube, Gmail, and other sites via what is called the "Display Network."
Google produces many good learning resources and tools for AdWords, if you know where to look.
If you are an ad agency or web designer, you might consider becoming AdWords certified. This program allows you to become an officially certified AdWords partner at the individual or company level, and provides co-op marketing support from Google.
Analytics is Goggle's free web metrics platform. Beyond being by Google, for Google, ad about Google, it's not only free but is very powerful.
Analytics can be pretty easy to set up, but it isn't necessarily easy to use. Google provides a wealth of free learning resources.
Analytics offers an ecosystem of free and paid apps similar to Google play for the masses.
Almost every Google media property - AdWords, Google Webmaster tools, Google + - has an official blog. The trick is to know how to look for it, and then bookmark or subscribe to it via RSS so that you are kept informed of any and all opportunities or policy changes.
Just as with blogs, Google provides a cornucopia of information on social media (Twitter, Google +, Facebook) about SEO, AdWords, Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, etc. Don't expect the Webmaster Tools Twitter feed to tell you where the AdWords Twitter feed is - of course!
AdWords does not seem to have its own YouTube channel but posts instead to Google Business!
Some individual Googlers are so important that you should pay attention to their activity on social media: Matt Cutts and Maile Ohye.
Angela Watkins is a book reviewer, writer/blogger, researcher, and a former Sunday School teacher. Travelers, to cruise onto Ms. Watkins' blog, park here.