Thursday, January 1, 2009

With Google tools against downturn

Hope you had nice and relaxing holidays, I wish you all very prosperous new year 2009!

Thank you for reading this blog last year, I would love to hear your comments, questions and requests, so feel free to email me any time. Now it's really time to be analytical. Downturn is a fact and it can be a threat, but it can also be a great possibility. Internet usage is growing and customers are online all the time. Here is couple of statistics:
"I strongly recommend for all companies to measure, test and learn multi-channel customer experiences!"
If you don't have any clue what the hell I'm talking about, keep on reading this blog or contact me directly. I start this new year by a Google praise. If you are one of those people who think that Google is just a search engine or you have an anti-Google attitude, just keep on reading.

To increase profit you can sell more or reduce costs. Here is a Google toolset list which you can use to do both. There is from time to time discussions that Google is an evil search monopoly and it will probably take your personal online data and advertising money too. But the fact is that Google also offers great tools for free.

1. Learn what people are searching and and how much.
With free Google Insights, Google Trends and Google Adwords Keyword tool you can find out search potential related to your company's products or services. Click pictures below to see an example how to get insights for hotel related search.

2. Make sure your website is found by search engines. With free Google Webmaster Central and Webmaster Tools you can find out when googlebot has been at your site and if it had any difficulties indexing your website's content. Webmaster Tools has very valuable information to businesses about search queries, external / internal links and tools you can use if you want to optimize your site for natural search results.

3. Measure your marketing efforts and website efficiency. With free Google Analytics you can measure your marketing mix and multi-channel visitor expriences. Watch Google Analytics tutorial video for beginners or little longer Avinash Kaushik's video about creating a data driven culture. Google Analytics has own YouTube channel and an official blog of course. GA released last November advanced segmentation and customized reporting features which makes this web analytics tool very tempting and good option to start with and measure your website goals. GA also integrates easily with Adwords so you don't have to tag every target URL in your Google paid search campaigns.

4. Test and optimize your website for better conversions. With free Google Website Optimizer you can do A/B or multivariate testing and find out what kind of content and graphics converts your visitors best.

5. Target your online ads to get better return on investment for your advertising money. With Google Adwords you can have visitors to your website. These visitors usually have already some kind of need, so they are more potential customers to your company. You can watch a video or use Google Adwords learning center, but I recommend to hire a sertified consultant for quick start with search engine marketing in general.

Please give me some comments about these five tools and this post. If you want to know more about Google products, here's couple of links more:
  • Blogger for blogging (this blog is on Blogger too)
  • Alerts for tracking relevant search results, e.g. your company name
  • AdSense for earning advertising money
  • Custom search to your own website
  • Docs for document sharing and online workgroups
  • Groups for discussion, networking and sharing
  • Picasa for editing and sharing pictures
  • Online calendar
  • Gmail