Friday, 9 December 2011

My Google Juice Bar Experience: LiverGrease

We spoke to Christopher Wylie of Liver Grease and Oil Ltd to find out how he was getting on with his new website after visiting the Google Juice Bar. 

"Liver Grease Ltd is just about to celebrate its 202th Birthday and thanks to the Google Juice Bar we’re now constructing a website that’s in keeping with modern traditions. I’ve been back to the Google Juice Bar as and when I’ve needed help with anything and I’ve been very pleased with the whole experience. The Getting Liverpool Business Online project exceeded my expectations and was a valuable introduction to getting the business working effectively online.
The website I had created for me at the Google Juice Bar is nice and simple, it’s really easy for me to edit and update and I’ve taking on board all the great advice I’ve been given, for instance, I now use CAPTCHA codes to deter spammers and rather than boring pictures of drums of oil I’m now in the process of putting pictures of my customers using our products on the website!"

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Get loyal customers online

Many small local business depend on loyal customers, not only to spend money with them regularly, but to tell people about the business and to help drum up more custom. In the offline world this means getting to know the customers who regularly walk through your door, finding out more about the people who buy your products, or perhaps even offering customers rewards for their loyalty. This translates to the internet and as you transfer parts of your business online it's easy to create plenty of opportunities to maintain your regular clients and to gain a whole new set of loyal customers.

A direct line to customers
Interacting with customers through social media is one way businesses increase loyalty online. Responding directly to feedback from a customer through a social network gives your business that human character that earned you your loyalty offline. People respond just as positively to this in the online world. Don't forget the Google Juice Bar can get you set up and give you a crash course on using Social Media for your business. 
Gauging opinions
Customers are now more likely than ever to share their experience of a shop, a restaurant or of any service provider using social media. This means you can thank people for their positive comments as well as providing a prompt resolution if something negative arises. This can make all the difference in gaining and keeping loyal customers. Consumers now hold a lot of sway over how a business is represented online, embracing this is important as you begin using social media to promote and provide information about your business.
Incentives such as competitions, coupons or loyalty schemes can encourage new customers to use your service and to think of you the next time around. Setting up a free profile on Google Places will allow customers to share their loyalty in the form of a review, or by sending your business’ details to friends. You can also list special offers and coupons on your business’ page on Google Places that can be used by customers when they visit you in person. Offering certain deals exclusively through online sources can be a great way of building a loyal base of returning customers online. Sign up for a free Google Places page.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Case Study: Melissa Bragg of Let's Go Punlishing

Melissa Bragg runs Let’s Go Publishing which produces School Select, as well as a number of regional publications

School Select is a listings magazine showcasing companies who provide workshops to schools; it is also Let’s Go Publishing’s core product. 35,000 copies are sent out every six months to teachers across the UK and the company have recently launched an online directory. “We use Google Adwords to ensure we have a good flow of teachers coming through to the site, small businesses know that they have a much better chance of being found online through our site.” “Google Adwords also helps us to find new potential advertisers, we used to have one or two calls a year from people who’d seen the magazine, now we get calls every other day!”

Although Melissa uses Google tools regularly, she signed up for her free Google Juice Bar appointment to help take the business to the next level. “We’re looking forward to getting some expert advice, as we are often given conflicting information and end up feeling a bit lost. We also want to find out how to grow our organic search rankings.”

Friday, 25 November 2011

Use Google Places to put your business on the map in time for Christmas

Christmas is fast-approaching and businesses will be hoping to capitalise on the potential extra income that the festive season offers. As the nights draw in and the weather gets worse location becomes more important to customers, whether they’re trying to find the closest restaurant to the office for the work Christmas party, or looking for that perfect pressie on the local high street. Standing out to customers in the location they need you could be your key to a successful Christmas period, and keep customers coming back well into the new year!

Google Places gives you a way to create a free profile for your business that shows customers your exact location, opening hours, contact information, and photos. The profile gets integrated into Google Maps so customers can find their way to you with ease.

Google Places is perfect for customers searching on their mobiles. Imagine a weary Christmas shopper turning to their mobile for guidance, Google Places could supply that person with your business name, location, opening hours and even customer reviews. Now their valuable time has been saved and a new customer is walking through your door. This doesn’t just apply to Christmas shoppers, people looking for services, such as garages, plumbers and beauticians, are all searching by location. With 20% of Google searches being geographical ones, this is an untapped market for businesses who aren’t yet on Google Places.

Follow these 3 basic steps to set up your Google Places page:

  1. Sign up and submit your business information on Google Places.
  2. Verify your listing by phone or postcard.
  3. Wait for your listing to appear on Google. Verification can take up to two weeks, get your account now so as not to lose out on the Christmas rush!
Or make an appointment at the Google Juice Bar and they will go through the process with you.
Announcing Google AdWords Express!

Google AdWords Express is a new way to use Google to provide local consumers with what they’re looking for and creating fresh custom for your business. With 97% of consumers researching products online before buying locally*, a local business has an opportunity to attract a huge volume of potential customers that are already looking for them online.

Relevant to customers
Google AdWords Express is tailored for local businesses to create relevant ads for local customers. By setting up a Google Adwords Express account your business listing will appear in a prominent position for customers in your locality in the results of their Google search.

It works with keywords to appear in relevant searches and increase the number of people finding your business, and this is all managed by Google automatically.

Integrated and user-friendly
Your Google AdWords Express account is integrated with other Google services. It functions alongside a Google Places page so that it is specifically targeting local customers.

Your business also becomes highlighted and stands out from the crowd on searches in Google Maps. If your business has a website then you can provide a link for customers to follow. If not, then your Google Places page is linked allowing you to provide all of the business details a potential customer might need.

Once you have set up the service you only pay when your ad is clicked by a potential customer, you also set your specific budget and will never be charged more than that amount for the service.

Once you are set up, Google AdWords Express automatically does everything for you with no need for any further input should you not want to, leaving you to concentrate on other aspects of your business.

Follow these 3 basic steps to set up your Google AdWords Express account:

  1. Find and claim your place of business at Google AdWords Express.
  2. Insert relevant details for your ad
  3. Choose your campaign and budget
Or make an appointment at the Google Juice Bar and they will go through the process with you.

* Source: BIA Kelsey

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Case Study: Chris Arnold of Smaller Earth

Chris Arnold is the CEO of Camp Leaders and Smaller Earth

Chris established Camp Leaders in Liverpool in 1999. He started with £500, was based in his Dad’s spare room, and sent 32 young people to work at American Summer camps. Over the following years Chris’s business has grown exponentially with the numbers of Camp Leaders doubling each year until he was sending over 800. The following year there were over 2,000 Camp Leaders, according to Chris this unprecedented growth is entirely due to the company investing in Google Adwords to give them an edge over the competition. Chris is very enthusiastic about Google, “Google Adwords changed our business, it launched us into a different stratosphere.”
 Smaller Earth was created from Camp Leaders and provides young people with meaningful volunteering opportunities across the globe. Chris now regularly travels all over the world, and he uses Google’s suite of Business Apps to keep his offices from Liverpool to Stamford to South Africa up to date, “Google Docs and Google Calendar are perfect for my business, the whole company uses them.”

‘Your Big Year’ is a new initiative from Smaller Earth. It’s a competition giving young people the chance to win a year’s trip around the world whilst witnessing social problems first hand. They will also have the opportunity to meet world leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu to discuss what they have learnt from the experience. “I genuinely think that Google has made us the business we are today, thanks to them we are currently on course to meet our company objective of having a positive impact on 20 million people by 2020.”