fbpx
Google Small Business_Long

what is Google’s new portal for small businesses?

in this article, I will walk you through Google’s new Small Business portal and what is good and bad about this new offering. I will also touch on what tools Google did NOT include and why these missing tools are also crucial for the survival of any small business today.

a few weeks ago Google has released a new online portal to help small businesses optimize their presence online and have more success on Google. There is a simple, easy to use interface where Google guides you through a series of questions about your business and recommends various tools that you can utilize in order to increase your number of customers or run more efficiently online. The portal is essentially a guide that results in a menu of Google products, which you should take advantage of.

there are several tools that Google helps you get started with:

  • Google My Business
  • YouTube
  • Google Site Speed

there are a few additional tools that are not covered by Google, and I am curious why they were not included, because these are also free tools (except Adwords) offered by Google that are extremely important for businesses to use:

why did they not include these in their portal? I don’t have that answer, but I am going to share them with you, because I believe in the power of these products.

what the google small business portal says

Google is one of the most critical places for small businesses to stand out, especially since Google creates more than 3 billion connections between customers and small businesses on a monthly basis.

many customers first interact with your business on the web, and so it is extremely important that you make a good impression and present your credibility online. If a business has no website, 45% of visitors will often look for something else.

4 out of 5 customers use search engines to find information about business, such as general business info, address, contact, etc., every month there are billions of searches on Google. 

Google My Business

- easily connect with customers on Google for free -

Google My Business allows you to appear on Google Map searches. It will post photos that you upload for your business, your set business hours and your website URL to Google searchers. Google will also build you a free website, but I don’t recommend using this and I would suggest using WordPress or another tool for your website.

YouTube

- engage more customers with video -

Google emphasizes that “55% of people search for a product on Google and then learn more by going to YouTube before they buy it.” Video allows businesses to tell a story and showcase their products to potential customers.

55% of customers use video

Google Site Speed

- get ready to be successful with online advertising -

Google uses website speed at key metric when deciding how far up websites rank. If you want to be prevalent on Google and increase your SEO, then you need to speed up your website. Google will tell you how your website speed is performing.

overall, it is critical that all small businesses make an overall strong impression online.

step-by-step walk through of the portal

here is a step-by-step guide that shows you ahead of time what the portal looks like and how to fill out the questions.

step 1 - setup

select “Get my plan”

step 2 - set up

enter your business’ name

step 3 - set up

select the goals you are trying to accomplish. To stand out online? Work more efficiently? Or reach more customers?

step 4 - set up

type in the URL of your business website. If you don’t have a website, you should check out getting a new professional website.

step 5 - set up

select where you primarily serve your customers: are they at a store, office or home? are they online or offline? or across an area?

step 6 - set up

Google will then generate a personalized plan to help you optimize on Google Search.

step 7 - YouTube

the first recommendation is YouTube, in order to engage more with your customers via video. Select “Create my channel” to start building your YouTube account. 

step 8 - Google Site Speed

the next item is testing your site speed. You can test the speed of your website with Google here as well. Just enter the URL and let it roll!

Google will give you a variety of techniques you can use to increase the speed of your website.

here are the tips that Google give you to increase your website speed:

leverage AMP’s open-source library to create mobile web pages that load near instantaneously for users.

resources for page styling and functionality are delaying visibility of primary content on the page. Deliver critical JS/CSS inline and defer all non-critical JS/styles.

your page shouldn’t serve images that are larger than the version rendered on the user’s screen. Resize images to match display dimensions to speed up and improve page load time.

since users can’t see offscreen images when a page loads, those images don’t need to be loaded initially. Use offscreen images to speed up the page load time.

minification strips a code file of all data that isn’t required in order for the file to be executed. This results in faster response times and lower bandwidth costs.

minification strips a code file of all data that isn’t required in order for the file to be executed. This results in faster response times and lower bandwidth costs.

the less competition there is for your bandwidth, the faster your browser can download and render content on your screen. Optimizing images improves performance for your website.

encoding your images in JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP will load faster and consume less cellular data. Serve a fallback PNG or JPEG image for other browser support.

text compression minimizes byte size, which leads to faster page loads. Enable text compression on your server to minimize total network bytes.

establishing connections often involves significant time on slow networks. Preconnect to required origins to make your application feel faster without negatively affecting bandwidth usage.

users dislike it when pages take a long time to load. Slow server response times are one possible cause for long page loads.

redirects introduce additional delays before the page can be loaded. Remove unnecessary redirects and replace with direct links.

preloading requests can make your pages load faster. Declare preload links in your HTML to instruct the browser to download key resources as soon as possible.

use MPEG4/WebM videos for animations and PNG/WebP for static images instead of GIF to save network bytes. Test My Site results for bizahoy.com

reduce the total size of network requests to speed up page load time. Serve static assets with an efficient cache policy HTTP caching can speed up your page load time for returning users. Increase your cache lifetime to speed up repeat visits to your page.

a large DOM tree can harm your page performance. Look for ways to create DOM nodes only when needed, and destroy them when no longer needed.

minimize the number and download size of critical resources.

 

consider instrumenting parts of your scripts with the User Timing API to create real-world measurements of key user experiences.

inefficient javascript can slow down your page. Reduce the time spent parsing, compiling, and executing your code.

 

leverage the font-display CSS feature to ensure text is user-visible while webfonts are loading.

style sheets containing unused CSS can significantly increase the time users wait before content appears on their screen. Delete unnecessary CSS.

(website speed improvements from https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/)

click generate report and you can then send yourself a report of the Google Site Speed analysis

here is an example of the Google Site Speed report. I ran the report for Google and it looks like the monthly trend for Google is slowing down 😉

step 9 - Google Site Speed

Google will allow you to benchmark your site speed against the site speed of any of your competitors. you can also evaluate the impact site speed can have on your revenue.

step 10 - Google My Business

the recommendation from Google is to set up a Google My Business profile, which allows searchers to find your business listing on Google Search. 

select “Create my Business Profile” to proceed.

first enter the name of your business:

next designate if you have a physical office or store location where customers can visit you. This will appear in Google Maps and Google Search.

if you do have a location, enter the address of your store or office:

do you also serve customers outside of this location?

add any services areas, if this applies. For example, if you are mobile business that travels to sites, then this is important.

choose a business category that applies, such as professional services, retail, restaurants etc.

add your phone number and website, where you want customers to reach you.

select finish to complete the set up. You will then have a listing on Google My Business, so that customers can now find you on Google’s search.

these free tools offered by Google are incredibly important and are imperative for the survival of any small or medium sized business today.

what Google FORGOT to include in the portal

the following is a list of free tools (except Adwords on a marginal basis) that Google should have included in their new portal:

these free tools offered by Google are incredibly important and are imperative for the survival of any small or medium sized business today. Unfortunately, these tools are so powerful, I will not be covering them quite yet in this article and I will address their capabilities separately in future posts that are individualized to each tool.

conclusion

overall, Google’s new portal is very easy to use and user-friendly, especially if you are a mom-and-pop small business that has never used or heard of most of the Google tools listed above. However, it is a bit overly simplified and does not add so many new capabilities to the table.

there are also free tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Google Tag Manager, which are very important pieces to putting together a standard business. To learn more about these tools, sign up for our free online training portal in the next month to learn how to use these for your business.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pocket
Share on email

share on social media

Scroll to Top