Coming off my recent Google visit in Mountainview California, with all of the amazing experiences in my short stay at the campus, I was reminded of how smart this company is, how much they pour into their employees and just how valuable the tools that they give us which are mostly FREE! I’ve been preaching about implementing these tools into your business because they are innovative, leverage your time and your business funds, and they are freaking awesome. Initially, this post was 10 ways to use Google Tools, but it was getting too long, so I shortened it to 5 tools. We’ll definitely have to do a part 2! So check out how I use Google Tools or Google Apps for business in my company to save money, but also because they are sooooo very helpful. Many of these tools can be implemented into your company and impact it directly TODAY!
Analytics: This is one of the most powerful ways to actually see what’s going on in your site. You must have some type of way to measure what’s working or not working on your site. Analytics is so empowering because it let’s you know where you stand….. You can’t deny the numbers. But this also let’s you know exactly what to improve and you can easily measure the results. Are people staying on my pages longer. Are my posts getting more reads. Are the social media platforms that I’m on, really a good use of my time? All of these questions can be answered for FREE using Google analytics. This tool is absolutely great especially for someone who cannot spend the funds on analytics tools. But don’t think you are getting shortchanged by using the free tool. Google has put a lot into this one.These are some of the ways I use Google Analytics for all of my sites ( examples here our main site, our event sites, our magazine site, and our product sites)
What posts or content is the most engaging on your site. Basically, what is bringing in your audience. Measuring this actually helped me to see the rise in my visits due to spending time to create more interesting and powerful headlines. There was a direct correlation between my headlines and my views/reads.
How long viewers are staying on your site. I also learned that informative posts that were not censored, not so doctored and just basically told my story, were the most visited posts and that they keep the visitor on my page longer. This has enhanced my writing and made it a little easier for me to know that I just need to say it- less a filter…..
How long they are staying on a particular page. You can see exactly how long people are staying on your page. It’s scary at first to learn that people are only staying on your page for a few seconds or on the home page, then jumping off. But this information can also let you know that you need to improve and where at.
How well a marketing campaign is working. When we launch something new, I am like a hawk on Google analytics that day and even using the live feature which let’s you know who is on your site at any given moment. I can see exactly what platforms are bringing in the launch views. This let’s us know if any part of the marketing campaign needs to be tweaked. For example, the Women of Power Virtual Summit gets the most traffic from our Twitter campaign whereas currently our Creator’s Mastermind Video Series is getting the most traffic from Facebook, Pinterest and Linkedin.
What social media platform brings you in the most traffic. From Google Analytics, I learned that the majority of my blog traffic comes from Facebook and Twitter, so I need to make sure that we keep up a strong, active and informative presence on these platforms. This can let you know what social media platforms to spend your time on and the ones to lose.
What country your audience is coming from. This feature let me know what countries were finding my information useful and I could also track back to where they found this information. I know that we are heavily read in United Kingdom, Ghana, Cameroon, Bahamas, Australia, France, South Africa, Nairobi, etc. etc. This is great information for me to know and any company who wants to build a global presence.
What device visitors are viewing your site with. So if you see that most people are viewing your site on an ipad or iphone ( this is true for me) then you know you need to make your site optimized for these devices. Just about every site that is built today, should be optimized for mobile devices- so you don’t lose visitors on their first introduction of your site.
What social media platform is sending you visitors and to what post. A lot of people don’t know that you can actually measure exactly what social media platform is sending you the most visitors, but also that it can tell you for example, what post they are reading AND from what platform. I know how many people read a particular post from me blasting it on Twitter and Facebook. It’s the “Social” tab under Traffic Sources.
Can you believe all of that is FREE? And that’s just what I use it for. Get on there yourself, you may find many other uses for it. Here’s a screenshot.
Calendar: This tool is so cool to me because it can be synced to your devices- my Google calendar is synced to all of my Apple products and I can keep up to date on any device I grab. I can also make separate calendars for me and my parents, me and my assistant, and then a personal calendar for me.
None of them can see the other calendars, yet my personal calendar can have all of them combined, so I can see at any moment if I have anything to do on any of the 3 calendars. If you have a team, Google cal also has a feature that helps you to find a open spot on everyone’s calendar. This helps if you’re trying to meet up with everyone for a meeting or so, you can find a spot and book it.
A lot of business also use the calendar to embed into their site and let their audience know when they have events or speaking engagements coming up or when they have free time to do more consultations.
Drive and Docs: My entire business resides in Google Drive ( the cloud). All of our shared documents start here and usually stay here because my team and I work on documents at the same time ( live) and if I’m working on a writing or document, it is backed up immediately. I have no worries about losing my information or something I typed being lost because I couldn’t save or my computer was stolen.
Our company documents are always accessible- on my computer, phone, ipad- wherever I go. Google Docs is such a powerful tool for business also because it saves you money. Like no one needs to buy Microsoft Office anymore. I cannot recall the last time I used it and I only use my Apple Pages when I am creating a document and don’t have access to the Internet.
Docs and Drive has basically taken over our business in a wonderful way. We can share items back and forth, we have some audio files saved there, very detailed spreadsheets, we create forms for our business that we have embedded in websites or to take surveys. We’ve used docs to create proposals and email them when we had absolutely no more business funds. I mean, it has to be one of the most useful of the Google suite of business apps.
Keyword: This is SUCH a powerful tool to use to find out exactly what your audience is searching or “googling” for. You don’t need to hire a SEO ( search engine optimization) specialists because you have Google Keywords. I remember when to hire an SEO person, it was soooo expensive ( I never hired one) and then people started figuring out that they could do it themselves. I mean, how empowering is it to go online and see exactly how many searches came up for a particular topic, phrase or word without the help of someone else?
This is definitely useful information to leverage when coming up with products, programs, keywords for your writings, books, and videos. There are companies that sell even more detailed keyword analysis tools, but some of them even have you start off with Google Keywords first, then use some of the information you get with their tool. If you are starting out and if you’re not just starting out, this is a great tool to have in your arsenal.
We took some time one Sunday and searched our best keywords and phrases ( this is an ongoing process) and we downloaded these keywords into a spreadsheet ( a google spreadsheet 😉 )and we can refer to these keywords when we are choosing tags for our videos ( on YouTube) or when we upload blog posts. We refer to our Google Keyword spreadsheet often and make changes as our business focus gets tweaked and goes deeper into our niche.
Hangouts: Basically I am in love with Hangouts. Of course after a couple of years, they are still tweaking it to make it a perfectly smooth working platform, but this is such a game changing tool because of the so many ways that you can use it. This tool lets you be as creative as you want to be and what you can use it for or build, really depends on your level of creativity and what you want to do in your business.
I have seen some businesses use it for VIP sessions, to teach classes, to do demonstrations, and we personally have used to to host our private Global Mastermind Circles. This allows us to meet once a month virtually, share documents, share screens, and get down to business, all while saving the cost of having to meet up in person. I breakdown 11 innovative ways that businesses are using Google Hangouts to not only enhance their business, but to also make money. You can read that here.
Ok, so like I said, I started with 10 tools but the post was getting WAY too long. I will definitely do a part 2 after you’ve had a chance to digest these and start implementing them into your business. Here’s what I’d like you to do: If you have a question, drop it in the comments. If you have a unique way that you use Google Apps for business, drop it in the comments- you may help us or someone else reading, AND, if this post helped you, drop us a note in the comments. Also, if you’d like to know how my trip to Google Headquarters in Cali went, click here to read on!