FAQs on Google Small Business Tools: AdWords, Analytics & Places

Over the recent months, I have been encountering a lot of the same questions regarding some of Google's most popular products and tools used by small businesses: AdWords, Analytics and Places. The great thing about these products is that they are all super easy to get started with and use. The drawback is that to take advantage of them to their fullest extent takes a more in depth knowledge of how each tool works. To help kick start your learning efforts, take a look at these commonly asked questions...

Google AdWords

Q: How many keywords should I have in my account?
A: The number of keywords in your account is completely irrelevant. Due to the varying “match types” within the AdWords platform, one keyword could make you show up in hundreds, if not thousands of variations of search queries. (See Google’s explanation on different match types here.) What is important is if the keywords in your account are what searchers that are likely to purchase your product or service use as their query.

TIP: When brainstorming your list of keywords, try to get in the head of the searcher at each stage of the buying cycle. Try hard to think like potential customers who are not informed about your business already. You might be accustomed with industry terminology that you think is important, while they are in the early stage of their research. An example would be someone searching for services that Full Media offers would use the keywords "online marketing," while we commonly refer to our services as "SEO."

Google Analytics

Q: Is Google Analytics supposed to be sending me reports?
A: Nope. Google Analytics serves as a repository of TONS of data about your website including number of visits, how long they stayed on your website, how many pages they viewed, what location your visitors are accessing your website from down to the city level (with some margin of error included), if they completed a desired action such as downloading a PDF or submitting a contact form, how those converted visitors found your site, and much, much more. However, it is up to you to set up various types of reports to be email to you on regular intervals.

TIP: Because there is such a large volume of data, it's easy to get lost in the information and get sidetracked by interesting stats that may not really be useful for anything than trivia. It's best for you to decide up front which metrics are important for your business, stay focused on tracking those metrics and taking action to attempt to improve them month after month.

Google Places

Q: My business information is incorrect in Google Places, how can I fix it?
A: Even if your information is currently 100% correct within Google Places, you should stop reading this blog post right now and head on over to claim your listing. To do so, find out if you have a listing already by searching for your business name and city within Google Maps. If it does, which 99% of the established businesses I come across do in some capacity, click through to the listing and look for the “Business Owner?” link in the top right. From there you can propose changes if necessary, and claim your listing so that only you or a representative from your company can edit it. You will be asked to either verify your information by a PIN sent to you via an immediate, automated phone call from Google or a post card.

TIP: When you do edit your information, make sure to include a full business description, as many relevant categories as needed, photos and a service area if applicable to take full advantage of your free listing!

 Please contact us to learn more about Google Small Business Tools.