As a result, I was invited to attend the Google Masterclass along with five hundred of Sydney’s best digital agency people. What an event. It was such a privilege to get updated on recent Google changes, new product releases, emerging internet trends, and advanced online marketing tactics. I learnt so much that we can use to benefit our clients.
But the thing that struck me most was how essential Google has now become for business everywhere. We all know how central Google search is to every day life, but my hunch is that many (perhaps most?) small & medium size enterprises (SMEs) are only just now starting to grasp how massively important it is to their marketing and sales. It is because of this ‘universality’ that I can confidently assert 7 Things I Learnt About Your Business At Google Masterclass – even though I know nothing about you! I know, because it affects everyone.
1. Your business really, REALLY needs a mobile site – like now
Mobile search was a huge focus of Google masterclass. In case you’re late to the play, about 50 per cent of all search now occurs on smartphones. If you don’t have a mobile version of your website you’re forcing mobile users to navigate your full site on a tiny screen. Guess what? It’s such a poor experience they leave and ‘bounce off’- fast. Imagine hundreds or thousands of potential customers slipping through your fingers every month!
Mobile search is only going to keep growing so you really need to invest in a mobile site ASAP. For those who haven’t got a mobile website, here’s what’s probably happening to your traffic & your business right now:
- high ‘bounce’ rate
- poor conversions
- less enquiry
- missed sales – lost to your competitors
- lower revenue
No mobile site is costing you money. Get it fixed!
2. You must learn how to understand and use Google analytics
OK, so at school you hated maths and the idea of website ‘data’ sends you running to hills. Get over it! Or hire someone to do it for you – it’s that important. Google Analytics gives you invaluable information on your site visitors: where they come from, what brought them, how long they stay, which pages they look at – and that’s just for starters.
And remember these ‘visitors’ are real people, many of whom want to become your next customers. Don’t you want to know everything about them?? Google Analytics is a big part of the answer. The fact is that if you have a website and traffic that is – or could – deliver you leads, then you are in the ‘data game’ already whether you like it or not. Are you interested in sales? Then you should be interested in analytics.
3. You need to create a listing on Google ‘My Business’
Want a free marketing kick for your business? Pay attention, this is about as good as it gets. Google has an awesome directory for local business called ‘My Business’. It’s an amalgamation of the old ‘Google Places for Business’ and ‘Google+ Pages dashboard’.
By joining and creating a profile, your business will be listed on Google search, Google maps, and the Google social networking, Google+. It’s all FREE and will lift your online visibility significantly. if you haven’t done it yet, your competitors probably have.
4. You must get on the new Google Business View (especially if you are a retailer)
So this is a new feature release that blew me away. You might be familiar with Google streetview? Well Google Business View is a similar concept that allows Google users to peer inside your premises from the safety of their desktop or smartphone. Maybe you’ve wondered yourself what the inside of a hot new bar or restaurant is like before you go ahead & book a table? Google Business View solves that problem:
Business owners can now upload images so that anyone searching online can have a good old sticky beak inside your shop or office.Can you see the possibilities this creates for your online marketing? ‘Business view’ listings are already appearing on page one of Google for some searches – imagine the advantage this will give you over competitors? This feature is very new so early adopters who hope on board now will probably enjoy the benefits for quite a while.
NOTE: special photographic imagery is required this, you need to pay Google-accredited photographer to take some shots before it will work.
5. Remarketing is is a powerful tool that will give you a competitive advantage & increase your ROI
I’ve written before about remarketing and the masterclass only reinforced my belief that this is a winner. Apparently only a tiny proportion of Adwords advertisers are using this feature, yet it is a proven strategy to increase return on investment for your online marketing spend. Here’s what you need to know:
- Use Adwords to attract new leads or enquiries for your business
- You will only convert a small percentage of those immediately
- Remarketing display ads allow you to ‘stalk’ those leads that didn’t convert
- Your remarketing banner ad keeps displaying on sites around the internet even if they only visited your site once
- It’s a powerful and affordable way to keep in front on possible leads / traffic you’ve already paid for with Adwords but didn’t convert
See how it improves your return on investment? Not as many of the clicks you paid for get away, and more eventually convert. It’s a little more adpsend, for a LOT more result.
6. You need a digital marketing partner, more than ever before
At the Google Masterclass, the sophistication of what’s possible for small business was at times, jaw-dropping. Even little sole trader micro-businesses now have access to online marketing resources and tools that were unimaginable a decade ago. That’s great news, but here’s the catch: you probably need help. Online marketing is very complex these days, and change is constant. The pace and scale of developments only increases with each passing year.
If you have LOTS of time and are prepared to research and learn yourself over a period of say three to six months you could become an adequate online marketer for your small business. But be prepared to ‘burn’ cash with inevitable mistakes along the way.
If however like most people you don’t have the time to invest – but you do appreciate the importance of the online channel for your business – then start approaching digital agencies to find the one that best suits you. Internet marketing capability is now a ‘must have’ for every business in Australia – it’s that simple.
Business owners reading this, I’ll leave you with this thought: to succeed on Google, is to succeed in sales.