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.”

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Elaine and Paul visit the Google Juice Bar

Google Juice Bar Case Study #2
Elaine Stump and Paul Bergin from Valley Field Environmental Services visited the Google Juice Bar to learn how to improve their businesses web presence. 

Don't be scared of social media!

Social media gives you an opportunity to connect with your customers, but it can also intimidate many new users. At the Google Juice Bar you can chat with an advisor about any aspect of making your company successful online, including social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. To book yourself into the Google Juice Bar for a free session visit

Here are five good reasons to use social media for your business:

1. To get noticed
Social media can expose your products and services to a wider audience and attract more potential customers to your website. Once you’re established on your social media site of choice you’ll have the opportunity to reach a larger, and more interested crowd.

2. To build brand loyalty
Happy customers will keep an eye on your social media pages, and by keeping them updated about your future products or events, you’ll keep them coming back for more and telling their friends about you! This also works in reverse, so if a customer is disappointed social media gives them the perfect opportunity to tell you (and the rest of the world) about their experience. See this as an opportunity to be pro-active about negative feedback and a second chance to impress your customers with how well you deal with their issue.

3. To provide customer support
Social media is a great way to develop closer relationships with your customers. Use it to answer questions, share positive feedback, or give solutions to problems. A friendly dialouge will provide you with an invalauble personal connection to your consumers.

4. To join discussions about your industry
Use social media to network with other people in your industry. By joining in with relevant conversations you can; influence what people think about you, learn about your competition and direct new customers to your services. 

5. It’s free (almost)
The most popular social media sites are free. The only cost involved is your time as you learn to use them. Once you’re more confident social media will become as much a part of your routine as checking your emails. Remember big brands employ entire teams to build their social followings, so don’t be disheartened if it takes you some time, you’ll soon get the hang of it and there are plenty of free resources to help you on the way! 

Businesses learn about social media at a Google Workshop 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Jennifer and Saphena visit the Google Juice Bar

Jennifer John and Saphena Aziz from Sense of Sound  visited the Google Juice Bar for information on running a Google Adwords campaign. 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

How to get your website working for you

Customers aren’t just a cog in your business’ machine, they are the lifeblood. So it is essential that your website goes that extra mile and ensures that your customers’ experience on the site is enjoyable and productive. If you would like some advice on how to improve your website, then why not book a Google Juice Bar appointment? You will get a one-to-one meeting with a member of the Google team, where they can guide you through any questions you may have. You can book an appointment by visiting 
In the meantime here are a few tips on how you can add value to your website:

1. Make it easy to get help

It is crucial that customers can quickly access answers to any questions they have whilst browsing your website. You can make this happen by sharing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), links to additional resources and by placing your company’s contact details in a prominent position on the site.

Making this information easy to access will improve your customers' experience of the site, as well as helping you to ensure that any problem with the website, a product or a service is rectified quickly.

2. Know who is visiting your site
In order to create relevant and up-to-date information for your website, you need to understand who is visiting, how they found you and how long they stay. The best tool for this is Google Analytics, as it tracks the conversion rate of visitors on your website and can accurately measure click-through rates, and tell you whether that has come from direct searches, search engines, social media etc. If you would like more information on Google Analytics visit

3. Put yourself on the map

Literally. If you have a shop, restaurant, or any business where customers need to find your premises, then why not register on Google Places? It’s a simple process which allows you to embed the exact location of your business onto your website. Also, if a potential or existing customer searches for you on Google, your business will be shown as a map reference as well as a website link. This connects you with local customers

Google Places is a really nifty tool that doesn’t cost you anything to register. You can add your business logo, contact details and a short outline of your business. For more information head to

4. Social media accounts

Are you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Picassa, LinkedIn or any other social media channels? All of these can be used on your website. Include links on your home page and contact page to encourage your website’s visitors to follow you, become a fan and engage with your company as a whole. 

5. Remember to keep it simple

With all the added extras that have been suggested for your website, it could quickly get out of hand. It’s important to remember to keep your site clutter-free and that customers or browsers don’t receive an overdose of information. Make sure you keep things accessible and easy to navigate.

Google Workshop at Aintree Racecourse - Photoblog

On the 6th of October Google held on if it's free Getting Liverpool Business Online workshop for 150 delegates, who came from businesses across Merseyside. Here are some photos from the day:

Networking over lunch.

The main presentation covered everything Google can do to help your business
The break-out session on Google Places

Learning about Google Adwords

Business were also able to sign up for one-to-one support at the Google Juice Bar 

The popular social media session

More Google Juice Bar sign-ups!

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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Top tips when starting out in Business

Google are helping Liverpool businesses to get online and maximise their potential, you can get a one-to-one meeting with an expert advisor, who'll help you with everything you need to know about making your business an online success. Book an appointment at In the meantime, in the second of our weekly newsletters there's some advice for people who are just starting out in business, send us your business tips via Twitter using the #GLBO tag.

Top tips starting out in business

When starting your own business you'll be bombarded with advice; some of it helpful and some of it not so much. We’ve pulled together some top tips which will hopefully help you with your first venture.

   1. It’s all about focus

Starting a business is an exciting prospect and you're likely to be brimming with ideas, but be wary of jumping on every idea you have for your fledgling business, as this could divert you from the core element of your venture. Trying to juggle too many ideas will impact on your effectiveness and productivity; remember that it's better to do one thing brilliantly, than five things badly.

   2. Know what you do, do what you know

When you look at successful entreprenures they all become successful doing something that you understand and ideally love doing. If you build a business around your strengths, then you are more likely to succeed in the long term. Don’t just think about making money, you have to live and breathe your business, so you have to be happy working on it every day.

   3. If you can’t say it in 30 seconds, don’t bother

If you're invited to any networking opportunity; whether it’s with potential investors or a potential customer, you must be able to quickly and concisely pitch your business. See it as an ‘elevator pitch’. You have 30 seconds with which to state your mission, service and goals. Make sure that you don’t reel off the same thing each time; tailor it to who you’re speaking to, an investor will want to know something completely different to a customer.

   4. Get online

A website is essential to any business selling products or offering a service, but getting a web developer on board can be costly. You can get a free website and domain name for a year through Google’s Getting British Business Online campaign. Head for more information.

   5. No one will just give you money

In today’s economic climate it's going to be very difficult to get hold of large sums of capital to launch your business. When looking for investment think about your starting point. It’s not about your end point, you need to demonstrate your worth first.

   6. Know when to quit

It’s OK to admit if your idea doesn't go exactly as you planned, so don’t keep ploughing ahead for the sake of pride. If it isn’t working, then it is time to look at what went wrong and learn from the mistakes. Don’t be put off because you didn’t get it right first time, it happens to most successful entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Meet Google's Partners in Liverpool

Liverpool Vision
Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development company, said: “There is strong evidence that no matter how small the business, or in what sector it operates, even a basic understanding of how to exploit web and email technology is a real driver for growth. We are working closely with Google because it is another opportunity to reach out to our businesses to help them improve their efficiency through better use of technology.   A solid base of growing businesses is fundamental to the health of the city region.” 
W: Twitter: @LiverpoolVision

Liverpool Chamber of Commerce
Jenny Stewart, Head of Client Services at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce said: "We see a great demand from our members for information on how to make best use of email and internet to develop sales and promote business growth. We are keen to promote these events, provided by one of the biggest players in the online industry, to ensure that the businesses in the region make full use of the advantages that this technology can offer."
W: Twitter: @LPoolChamber

Downtown Liverpool in Business:
Frank McKenna, Chairman at Downtown Liverpool said: “Downtown Liverpool is delighted to be working alongside a world class brand such as Google, and we hope to ensure that the wider Liverpool business community benefits from their expertise through this exciting series of events.”  
W: Twitter: @Downtownbusines

Women In Business
Elaine Owen, Director at Women In Business said: “Women in Business are delighted and very excited to be involved with Google. Women’s use of technology and internet based business activity is a growth area.  Google bringing their knowledge and skills to the Liverpool City Region to share with businesses here can only be a great thing.  Get involved!”
W: Twitter: @WIB_NW

Liverpool FSB
John Allan, Regional Chairman at the FSB said: “The FSB is a firm believer in small businesses being the engine driving the economy. As the biggest small business member organisation across the region, any initiative which fine tunes the engine must be good. Getting businesses online with Google provides Liverpool City Region with a unique opportunity to trade locally, nationally and internationally.”
W: Twitter: @FSBMWCW

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Why Liverpool?

Despite a thriving local business community, Liverpool lags behind many rival cities in its use of the Internet for business, including Manchester, London, Leeds and Bristol. A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group found that small businesses actively using the Internet had sales growth more than four times greater than less active companies, demonstrating a huge opportunity for economic growth if more Liverpool businesses can succeed online.

The Connected Kingdom Report 

Raja Saggi, Head of Small Business Initiatives at Google UK, said:
“The Internet has created huge opportunities, but many business owners feel they don’t have the expertise they need to help their businesses grow online. This is the first time we have ever run a series of events aimed at helping one city, and we’ll be working hard with our partners to make a real difference to Liverpool’s Internet economy over the coming months. With Liverpool’s strong business networks and sense of community, we believe this is the best city to run such an initiative.”

Google is coming to Liverpool!

In its first initiative of this kind, Google UK will kick off three months of free business workshops and events across Liverpool, starting in September. We aim to boost the area’s online economy, with the goal of providing face to face help for 1,500 local businesses.

As part of this new initiative, Google is partnering with a series of Liverpool organisations dedicated to supporting small business in the city, including:
  • Liverpool Vision
  • Liverpool Chamber of Commerce
  • Downtown Liverpool in Business
  • Liverpool’s Federation for Small Businesses
  • Women in Business
  • Business Link North West.
Together Google and our partners will run a three month programme of free events and workshops in and around the city, designed to help local businesses regardless of technical expertise - from getting online and creating their first business website, through to improving their existing online presence.
As well as large scale events, our Google Juice Bar will spend three months travelling to various locations across Liverpool, with capacity to give 1,500 business people free one-on-one 40 minute digital health-checks.
As many as 1.5 million businesses in the UK are not online, perceiving that websites as too costly, too complicated or not necessary. Through ‘Getting British Business Online’ Google wants to show just how easy it is to get online and reap the benefits!
Liverpool businesses can register for these events on the Getting British Business Online website, at The website also offers small business owners and entrepreneurs a free tool to build a website in as little as 15 minutes, as well as information and advice on how to make the most of their website.

You can get involved with us on Twitter and Facebook and we hope to see you in Liverpool!