An image representing Google products in a cartoon way.

Better Digital Marketing in 10 Easy Steps – Step 3: Google Basics

When you think about Digital Marketing, your next thought, most likely, involves a product owned by Google. From Adwords to Google Analytics, and from Google Analytics to YouTube, Google has an impressive list of products (over 100) that can be used in the Digital Marketing process.

Now you may be wondering, how will I ever find enough time to research these products and decide which one I should use for my business? This post is all about Google products and how they work; however, we won’t cover all 101 products because if we did you probably would not want to read it, and I don’t blame you! We will specifically discuss the Google tools that are most useful to your digital marketing. Such tools include: Google Search Engine, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Google+.

Google.com

Let’s begin with the most important product, the product all of the others support, the Google search engine. Google.com, or the Google Search Engine, is by far the most popular way to look something up online. Google.com enjoys about 67% of the online US search market share. Something to point out is that this post is focused on the best practices for using Google products in the United States, other countries may be similar, but the practices in this post may not hold true in other countries.

Google’s search engine is a really complex algorithm (a program running many different problem-solving programs simultaneously) that tries to solve the problem of finding the most relevant website results based on the search terms you enter on Google.com. In a brief description, it does this by retrieving the tons of rating information it has within its website “inventory” database to determine how each website is ranked in relation to your search terms. It looks at its database of “website inventory” and then tries to determine the best fit for the term/phrase being searched for.

Google is a for-profit company, and it is in their best interest to show their users only the most relevant content. Otherwise, consumers will use search engines that provide better, more relevant search results. So when it comes to the Google Search Engine in relation to your digital marketing, the best practice for your website is to have killer SEO!

Google Adwords

Adwords is Google’s cash cow. Their display network and Adwords bring in the majority of their revenue with Google.com and YouTube.com accounting for about 69% of the company’s revenue. Adwords is not only a money making tool for Google, but it can be for you as well! Adwords allows you to place ads in Google search results. These are the website links you mainly see at the top and the right sidebar of your search results page.

An image showing an example of ads in a Google Search.

 

Basically, Adwords works by you, the business owner, creating an ad and selecting a keyword or phrase that you want to target with that ad. You set your budget for the ad, the amount of money you want to spend, and whether you want to Pay Per Click (PPC) or Pay Per Impression (PPI). If you select PPI, you are charged each time your ad is displayed on the search results page, and if you select PPC, you are charged only when a user clicks on your ad. Each method has its advantages, but most people choose the PPC model.

Let’s break each method down

Pay Per Click (PPC) – The PPC model charges you each time a customer clicks your ad or calls the phone number on your ad. So in this case, you are only charged for the customers that actually take some sort of action based on your ad. A good example of why you would use this model is if you want the potential customers to take some action associated with your ad, which in marketing is typically the case.

Pay Per Impression (PPI) – The PPI model charges you each time your ad is displayed. The person seeing your ad does not have to click it or call a phone number for you to be charged. A good example of when you would use the cost per impression model is when you are premarketing a new product or service. You want to create lots of buzz about the new product, but you don’t have anything to sell yet; so there may not be a point in having consumers click anything.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful web-based program that allows you to see information about how visitors got to your site and how they interact with you site. With Google Analytics you can see how many visitors your website had over specific amount of time, what country they accessed your site from, what device they used, and how they got to your website (Google, Facebook, etc).

If you have ever used Google Analytics before, I imagine the interface is quite overwhelming, but rest assured you can create reports to only show you what you want to see! Google Analytics can be used to track how well a particular Facebook post performed or how well your organic SEO efforts are working.

In Google analytics, your website traffic is classified as either direct or referral traffic.

Direct Traffic – Direct traffic is a website visitor who typed your URL into their browser. For example, a direct visitor to Image in a Box’s website would type in www.imageinabox.com to reach our website.

Referral Traffic – Now when a website visitor clicks the link for your website on another website, that is counted as a referral. Pretty much, any traffic where the user clicked on a link to get to your website is counted as referral traffic.

There are several other channel groupings used within Google Analytics, but all of them (Organic Search, Email, Paid Search, Other Advertising, Social, and Display) are technically just sub-groups of referral traffic.

Google+

Google Plus is Google’s answer to Facebook. Google Plus has had a rough life and has never really been the “most popular” social site. There are constant rumors that Google is shutting the service down, but they continue to deny them. The most important thing to remember is that until Google does officially shut the service down, it is important to consider using for your business. The service still has millions of active users, users much like the users on Facebook and Twitter in the fact that they need to purchase goods and services.

Google Plus is also involved in Google’s Google My Business. Google My Business provides businesses with, basically, a Google Plus page for their business, much like Facebook’s business pages. The major difference in Google My Business and Facebook for Business is that the when users search for a local business using Google, the Google My Business pages show up towards the top of the search. If your SEO isn’t the best, Google My Business is a great way to get your business to show up in local searches on Google.

An example of a Google search showing Google My Business listings.

 

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools is really focused towards website developers. When you first launch your website, this tool allows you to submit your website to Google. Without doing this, it may take Google several months to know your website exists. As for this tool, that is about all we’ll talk about. The tool does have some useful applications when it comes to SEO, but in order to implement most of those changes you will need to have a proficient knowledge of web development. If you are interested in this tool please feel free to learn more from Google.

Hopefully, this quite long post has provided you with enough information so you can begin to understand and use some of the many tools Google offers. If you are interested in learning more about how these tools work and how you can use them, YouTube is a great place to learn more or you can contact us for an SEO evaluation, and we’ll use the tools for you!

This is Step 3 in Image in a Box’s series Better Digital Marketing in 10 Easy Steps. Look for Step 4: Search Engines and SEO later this month. We welcome any comments/suggestions/questions in the comment section below or feel free to send them to zpope@imageinabox.com.