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There's an App for That

POV: You’re me, in a meeting with a google analyst who mentions yet ANOTHER google app. In my minimal tenure in marketing and web management, I feel like there hasn’t been a week where I haven’t been alerted to yet another never-before-heard-of google app. 

Most of us are familiar with the ever-trusty gmail and google calendar, as well as maps (Thank you, google, for making sure I always make it home safely to my eager dinner-awaiting pup). We know and love google docs for their reliability and ease of use. We all have 30+ tabs open on google Chrome. We’ve all zoomed into our own backyards on google earth (why not?). And we’re all 80% full of our free storage on our 3rd google drive account.

BUT WAIT, there’s more (too much more). In my hunt to remind myself of the few google apps I’ve found handy, I stumbled upon So. Many. Apps. I’ve decided to make this easy on myself and stick to the ones I’m familiar with… and maybe a couple that I’m most definitely going to play with once I finish instilling my knowledge unto you.

Google Ads is fairly familiar to most business owners. While it can take a bit of self-training to get the ball rolling with the correct keywords, google ads is pretty essential in getting your page in the eyes of your wanted views. It will cost a bit of dough, but organic ranking with SEO is a beast, making google ads a simpler way to ensure decent traffic.

Real-life example: a paid ad for custom elastic wristbands is more likely to show up high in the google rankings than a site that has spent hours keyword stuffing and asking for backlinks.

Google Analytics is great for tracking your website visitors. Knowing the sources of traffic, pages your visitors are spending time on, and their demographics is valuable information for any online business owner. It looks a bit daunting on the inside, but with the help of your developers or web designers, it can be set up with custom reports tailored to the information you need to help your site grow.

Real-life example: Orders for Custom Printed Race Bibs are more popular in California than in Texas.

Search Console goes a little deeper with information involving your traffic and google positioning. I love it for gaining more insight on the traffic driven by certain keywords.

Real-life example: Custom Wristbands spiked in total impressions this last week, and its average position is on the up & up.

Trends is an awesome, easy-to-use tool that helps you monitor industry trends. I love the simplicity of comparing different variations of keywords, and the home page offers a quick glance into the ‘Latest Stories and Insights’ to help keep you up with the latest & greatest. The only thing I really find missing is a “Latest Lingo” section — tbh, that’s kinda sus.

Real-life example: Looks like event badge is on an uptrend, vs custom lanyards that seems to have plateaued.

Google My Business is essential in having your business listing visible on google products, particularly and google maps. I see it as its own little site — add photos, your address, and obtain reviews — all of which are visible right on Google’s search engine results page.

Real-life example: Look up your favorite food spot near you. You’ll find their business profile and be able to view their restaurant menu.

Forms is a very simple way to collect data with online forms. Insanely easy to build, you can collect user feedback, conduct surveys, obtain sales leads and more, all with a few clicks of a button.

Real-life example: Patty filled out our order request for 500 in-stock Tyvek wristbands and we were able to get her order completed in a timely manner.

It was at about this point during my research where I nearly scrapped this whole post and wrote: “Google Rules All” in the header. Among their menagerie of apps, Google Sites nearly knocked me out of my seat. It’s a FREE website designer, people! Though not as diverse or flexible as other website building platforms are, it’s a simple way to get a business site up and running.

Great for people who tend to have a hard time ‘just doing it’. Real-life example: Me and The “Publish” Button I have yet to push to make my mug store go live.

Think with Google is what you’ll find me pouring over once this post is published. With a collection of creative ad campaigns to get inspired by, as well as industry insights, articles, case studies and infographics, the expansive insight this site provides almost seems too good to be true.

Real-life example: You, ditching the rest of this post to go explore Think’s wonderfulness.

Google Alerts is a fun tool that notifies the user any time a keyword of their choosing pops up on the world wide web. You can select options according to demographics and source types, as well as how many notifications you want in a day. It’s a simple way to stay up to date on developments in your industry.

Real-life example: A useful post on the necessity of guards and event security popped into my inbox this morning, all on its own.

The few sites and apps mentioned here are just some of a very long list. The moral of this google story is that you are absolutely not alone in the vast expanse that is the internet — thanks to google.