5 Great Tools Google Offers for Freelance Writing Businesses

These days, any small business looking to succeed must have a functional, stable website. But for busy freelance writers and other small business owners, creating and maintaining a website can sometimes fall to the bottom of the to-do list—in fact, nearly half of small businesses don’t have a working website.

This is a huge mistake that will cost you business. Andrea Faville of Google says that up to 97% of U.S. searches performed on the world’s largest search engine are for local goods and services. If you’re not online and findable, with a user-friendly and intuitive website, you’re missing out on the #1 way your customers are looking for you.

Fortunately, Google wants to help small businesses succeed. They offer a number of tools and features that enable you to compete with larger companies and establish a strong, customer-friendly online presence.

Free website builder, web hosting, and more

Google maintains a website called GYBO.com (Get Your Business Online) for small businesses. Here, you can register a domain name, create a great-looking and functional site with easy-to-use website builders, and have your website hosted online—all free, for up to a year.

GYBO.com also offers a series of free, interactive video tutorials that cover everything from the basics of getting a website up and running to creating mobile-friendly websites, and much more.

Affordable, real-time document creation and collaboration

With Google Apps for Business, you can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations; access your files from anywhere; share and collaborate in real time; and get email addresses for your domain—all for as little as $5 a month.

This service is an affordable and feature-rich alternative to Microsoft Office, which provides the same functionality—and in some cases, better features—for a lot less. And what small business wouldn’t want to save money?

Hang out with your customers online

Making personal connections with customers is crucial to boosting conversion rates. Google makes that easy with Google+ Hangouts for small businesses. You can place free one-on-one or group video calls to talk with key customers, hold team meetings for geographically diverse staff, offer seminars and Q&A sessions, and more.

Improve online marketing strategies with analytics and trends

With so much data flowing across the Internet, analytics are critical to online success. You need to know things like how many visitors your site attracts, where they’re coming from, what they’re looking at, and what makes them leave—or what converts them to customers. You can learn all this and more for free with Google Analytics.

For further improvements to your marketing campaigns, look to Google Trends (also free), where you can search trending terms over time and apply them appropriately to your strategies.

Showcase the quality of your small business

It can be hard for online customers to distinguish reputable businesses from not-so-great ones. Trust and a good reputation are essential for any small business, especially online. Google can help you gain consumer confidence with their Trusted Stores program.

A Trusted Stores badge from Google assures visitors that your website will provide them with a great experience. To qualify, you’ll need to have good customer service, shipping rates, and online reviews for your business. You can apply for a Trusted Stores certification here.

With so many powerful and free tools from Google, it’s almost impossible for your small business website to fail. Which features will you sign up for? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

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