13 Essential Google Tools to Improve Business Productivity (and Profits!)

Google is famous for its free and low-cost business tools, including Apps, Maps and Search. But if those are the only Google tools in your business, you’re missing some of their best productivity-enhancing applications.

We’ve put together a baker’s dozen of our our favorite Google tools and add-ons. Check out what else Google can do for you:

#1 Google My Business

Google My Business is a great way to improve your online presence, as well as to generate more customers – particularly if you run a local retail business. Google my Business allows customers to find the physical location of your business on Google Maps as well as see relevant photos and reviews.

  • Free and mobile friendly
  • It lists your business across all Google properties and apps
  • Handles multipe service areas to ensure the customer sees their nearest location
  • It’s simple to update an address or a phone number if it changes
  • You can post pictures, videos, and even reviews of past customers
  • Gives you insight into traffic statistics such as followers, clicks, and views

Read more on this additional blog post all about Google My Business.

#2 Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print connects almost any printer to the web. This makes your printers available to you and anyone you choose from anywhere. You can access the Google Cloud Print from any internet-connected device, including your smart phone or tablet. Printing has never been easier.

Major advantages include:

  • No printer drivers to install.
  • Print from mobile devices
  • Use any printer, from anywhere
  • No server, no wires, no local area network (LAN) needed.

More information on Google Cloud Print is available here

#3 Google for Retail

If you sell to the public, meet your new best friend: Google Retail. This free tool gives sellers the opportunity to list their inventory on Google and begin posting advertisements to drive traffic to their local retail stores – or a virtual Trusted Store where they can sell direct using Googles own Merchant Center.

Google Trusted Stores need to pass an assessment for dependable shipping and efficient customer service.

Google for Retail can help business owners upload their current inventory, manage their products, become a trusted Google store, use Google AdSense and more.

Log in and start selling globally!

#4 Google Books

Need to read up on a certain business topic?  Try grabbing a book on the subject from Google Books.  This free service allows full content search and free download for millions of books that are in the public domain. If you stumble onto one that is still under copyright, Google will simply show you where you can borrow or buy it.

More information on using Goole books can be found here.

#5 Think With Google

When books are not enough, try Think with Google. Its main objectives is to help businesses conduct market research – including tools for keyword research, website rankings and other data. Think With Google is simple to use and easy to read. You’ll find research documents, industry insights, case studies, useful articles, info-graphics, and interviews of industry leaders. This resource is constantly updated with content that can be used to grow your business.

More information on the benefits of Think with Google for your business can be found Here.

#6 Google Sites

Google Site is a free tool used for making simple websites and project wikis (simple and effective project management tools). It allows you to choose from pre-built templates which you can customize to suit your need.  Google Sites is best understood as a way to build collaborative websites and intranets that integrate Google Apps, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Maps, Forms and more.

Some of the benefits of Google Sites include:

  • It’s free, fast and easy to use
  • Integrates with Google apps
  • Works great as a basic project manager
  • No programming or database skills required
  • Perfect for newbies or teams who need to get online fast

#7 Google Trends

Want to know what’s hot and trending right now? Every business needs to keep up with the times. Google Trends can be used to analyze the popularity of keyword searches up to the minute or over the ages. Evaluate terms against other keywords, analyze their popularity over time and in different regions or languages, and display related keywords – all of which can be useful in planning your next Twitter barrage or Facebook ad campaign.

More information on the best way to use Google Trends can be found here

#8 Public Data Explorer

Need to know a key bit of demographic data?  Say, maybe, the rate of new business startups in Australia? Google’s Public Data Explorer can tell you.  Data Explorer takes data and forecasts from an array of academic institutions and international organizations, including the World Bank, OECD, the University of Denver and Eurostat. These data can be displayed as bar graphs, line graphs, on maps or cross-sectional plots.

Google’s Public Data Explorer enable users to directly insert charts and other visual tools onto their websites. The charts are dynamically created and are updated when the data updates.

You can find more information here about how best to use Public Data Explorer

#9 Google Forms

Data is everywhere — how are you collecting it?  Try this great free Google tool. Google Forms offers a simple yet powerful way to collect data using online forms. It’s a simple and effective way to administer a short survey, conduct interviews, track sales leads, get feedback from customers, etc.

Google Forms are among the internet’s most multipurpose tools. Whether you need a contact form or a survey, a checkout page, or a student directory, a form can be used to easily gather that information. It only takes a few minutes and is completely free.

More information about using Google Forms can be found here

#10 Google Scholar

When you need in-depth research, there’s no tool quite like Google Scholar. This free search engine scans scholarly literature from a universities, academic journals, magazine articles, books, court opinions, and abstracts.  It can link you to scholarly articles on everything from how Perestroika affected Russian accounting practices to the latest advances in DNA research.

Google Scholar helpfully ranks its results by the credentials of the author, where it was published, and how often it has been cited in other Scholarly literature.  This article will teach you how to use Google Scholar effectively.

#11 Google Digital Garage

Built specifically for entrepreneurs and career-minded techies, Google’s Digital Garage provides a “one stop shop for mastering digital marketing”.  (Think Khan Academy for ‘net nerds.) The site’s free tutorials cover everything from website SEO to email marketing. Choose the topics you want to learn or complete the whole online course for a certification from Google.

#12 Google Alerts

Ever wish you had a spy who could track your competitors (or maybe your customers)? Google Alerts might be even better.  This free service sends you an email whenever there is any news online about your topic of interest – whether that’s a company, a person, or an important market trend.

#13 Hangouts For Business

If you like Skype, you’ll love Google Hangouts — a simple but powerful communication tool that for video conferencing with customers and team members, presenting a webinar, interviewing candidates, hosting a Q&A session online, or holding a group meeting.

If you haven’t joined the video call revolution, check out these  8 ways to use Google Hangouts for Business.

Whew!

Google offers so many amazing tools for business — the 13 listed here are just the start. No matter the business or industry you are in, there is something for you.

Have you used any other free Google business apps not listed here? Please share in the comments below.

Guest Blogger Kelvin Omere is an entrepreneur and a content writer who specialize in writing on topics related to business productivity, personal finance, and parenting. He blogs at www.kelvinomere.com and he is available for hire to help with your content needs.

 

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