Google offers a slew of online resources that do not cost you a penny.
Even better than the cost is the value that these tools bring to the table for your web presence.
A few favorites.
Receive an email update from Google (as-it-happens, daily, weekly) on specific keyphrases that you identify. Google will inform you that the keyphrase has been posted online and include the link to where you can find it.
HOW THIS HELPS YOU: Type in your company name to easily find out if someone is posting about you online. Type in your clients names, your competitors names, your prospects names. Be notified immediately if you have an opportunity to congratulate your client/customer on something that was posted online.
Google Apps (free version)
With more and more small businesses popping up, its easy to manage a lot of the business functions right from Google. Set up an account and start managing your email (you can have a email@example.com email address). Use the calendar for your internal team to stay up to date on who will be where, when and to keep your appointments organized. Easily create multiple calendars and color code them. Chat with your team internally, or with your customers. Share and edit documents as a team with Google Docs, this includes Word, XLS, PPT.
HOW THIS HELPS YOU: All these tools work together. Receive an email with an event invite, accept the event and its added to your calendar. See a word document attached in your email, open it within the Google Docs program. Start chatting with your colleagues from an email they sent you. No cost if less than 10 email accounts are activated. AND, easy to integrate with iPhone and Android email/calendar functionality.
Very cool features that come with this resource. Receive a text message of the voicemail that was left. Hear the voicemail as it is being left by whomever is leaving it. Screen your calls, receive your voicemail’s in your email and listen to it immediately. Also includes a cool plug-in code for your website to have website visitors call you from their computer. Create a new phone number or use an existing one.
HOW THIS HELPS YOU: Easily have one phone number ring multiple phones at once. Not always in the office, but on the road often? Have the phone number ring both your office and your cell phone, never miss a client call again. Or set it up that you only receive calls on your cell phone from 8:00am – 5:00pm and never on weekends.
Lots of hype online about Google+. It’s building some fast momentum. Paul Allen reported recently that Google+ has 62 million users with about 625,000 users daily. Estimating that by the end of 2012, there will be 293 million users on G+. If you aren’t on there, you are missing out on some huge opportunities to market your business.
HOW THIS HELPS YOU: Content is crawled fairly quickly by the Googlebots. So, if you want to help out your SEO rankings, I recommend posting content with links on Google+. Engage and communicate with others on G+ as well.
Oftentimes search results in Google will display a location with a link to a page that includes a summary of the businesses services, a Google Map, Images, website link, and ratings or feedback from its customers.
HOW THIS HELPS YOU: Creating a listing and receiving comments helps your rankings within the search results. Ask customers to leave positive remarks. Upload as much information as you can in this section.
Submit your product catalog to Google! By sending Google the data feed for your product catalog, your products will show up when site visitors search Google Shopping.
HOW THIS HELPS YOU: Best part of this is that you are not charged by Google for any referring traffic or orders. It’s an additional means to pushing traffic to your website.
Lots of great resources, too many to put in one post. What other resources from Google do you like and why?