Google, SBA Give SMBs Tools To Succeed Online





Last week there was a webinar to announce that Google and the US Small Business Administration would be working together to help small business owners learn how to succeed online. Well, now it’s just a few days later and we have a good glimpse about what they may be up to.

Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee helped shed some light on the new Tools for Online Success page that hit Google recently and boasts an authoritative SBA logo. The page includes a series of videos and tips aimed at helping small business owners get a feel for how to get more from the Web.

Check it out.

There are videos on establishing a Web presence, using images, online promotion, paid advertising, Web analytics, etc. Each video shows a small business owners sharing how Google made it easier for them to promote their business online, as well as closing tips to help give SMBs some immediate and actionable takeaways.

For example, the video on establishing your online presence ends with the following tips for SMB owners:

  • Highlight important contact details in your listing, such as address, phone number, and email address.
  • Use local listings and a website to build your representation on the web. Local listings help your business display details, while a website is your virtual store front.
  • Complete every available listing field to give your customers even more information.

Some pretty important basics if you’re a SMB figuring out where to start and how to prioritize your To Do list.

Though obviously slanted to encourage SMBs to get involved with a whole line of Google products, it’s nice to see Google and the SBA joining together to encourage SMB owners to manage their online visibility. Hopefully the Tools for Online Success page serves as just a hint at what will soon be available for SMB owners. It would be nice to see Google create a strong information hub that SMB owners could reference for specific tips, similar to what Dell was able to do.

Aside from that, I think the new Tools for Online Success page also serve as a great example for SMB owners as to the kind of content they should be creating on their own sites. If you think about it, Google took some of the most common questions small business owners are likely asking about building a Web presence and answered them with quick 3-4 minutes videos. They have essentially created a video FAQ section that they’ll now be able to drive people back to.

As a small business owner, how easy would it be for you to do the same? You know the questions your customers are constantly asking, why not create quick videos to show off your authority as you answer them and point people in the right direction? These are the types of content pieces that customers can continually access and that attract the best kinds of links. They also help to differentiate you from your competitors who aren’t experimenting with new types of media yet.

Just a suggestion.

9 Comments ▼

Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

9 Reactions
  1. Thanks, Lisa.

    With Google, the hits just keep coming!

    This is a great start for some smb collaboration.

    The Franchise King

  2. This is a great start for some smb collaboration.
    +1

  3. Hi Lisa
    Totally agree with the video ideas for SMBs. It does not have to be intimidating or even a video of you as the biz owner. You could interview a customer and stand behind a simple Flip or Vado digital camera. You can run them as is on YouTube of edit them with something like Pinnacle Studio or Camtasia or Jing Project. You can walk through a bunch of web pages via what’s known as a screencast. I had a client that got more new business simply because he walked prospects through his services. People are more apt to listen and watch than read these days, especially when crunched at work.
    TJ

  4. Gotta love the Google. While many will say this is just another way for Google to try and get SMBs spending money in AdWords, the information is good and many small businesses need help online.

  5. The advice of creating how-to & FAQ videos is priceless. We are working on a whole series of videos like this for our brass fittings company. http://www.Fitzilla.com

    Having these videos added to your site cause people to view and explore your website in more depth, understand your product or service better, and it also helps clients find your business on the search engines.

    Glad Google is at least trying to get things moving for people.

    Eric Pinola

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