If you could have dinner with anyone on the entire planet, who would it be? I suppose other women would say Brad Pitt or Ryan Gosling, but they bore me to tears. My response would be Sergey Brin. Don’t know him? You must.
Brin is the visionary behind Google. In 2011, he stepped back into a leadership role in order take the brand to the next level which will bring to us technology that is unfathomable. Today, I am going to convince you that utilizing Google tools and applications will improve your online marketing results, and, dare I say it, bump up your search engine rankings.
Google Search Engine
The fact that I even have to title this section “Google Search Engine” shows the brand has grown way past their roots of just search. Powersports dealers on average see 75 to 80 percent of their total Web traffic driven by Google. Think about that for a minute — more than three quarters of the people that find you on the Web get there through the use of Google search. Is this enough to make you focus the majority of your efforts on Google? Definitely, particularly since the remaining 25 percent or so are broken up among several other contenders such as Bing, Yahoo, Ask (and yes, even DogPile), so the efforts you make with Google will likely impact results with these engines as well.
Google’s Web browser is called Chrome. As of June 2012, Chrome leads browser usage stats garnering 41.7 percent of the market followed by Firefox, and distantly by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari. This is an amazing achievement, seeing as Chrome launched in 2008 and Internet Explorer is still the default browser on computers purchased today. This means Chrome is so good that users go out of their way to download it on to their machines, and you should, too.
Google’s email service is branded Gmail. Gmail currently serves 350 million users and offers businesses an enterprise version through Google Apps that integrates other business tools like Google Drive (think MS Office but free and in the cloud). Currently, 5,000+ businesses per day migrate to Gmail. Can you imagine the scrambling going on at Microsoft to save their tired, old Outlook product?
Most of us are familiar with Ad Words, the pay-per-click ad platform that functions as a bidding system on keywords for search. On the publisher side, there is Ad Sense, a platform that provides bloggers, for example, the ability to earn money for their work by placing ads on their site. I’ve utilized the platform and found it simple to use with superior tools for targeting your demographic. It doesn’t pay much, but hey, it’s better than nothing. The real point here is Google’s got it covered — whether you want to place ads or buy ads, they’ve got a solution for you.
For some reason, dealers tend to forget that Google owns YouTube. At face value, don’t you think that utilizing YouTube for your 30 second walk-around videos of your vehicles would help your overall search rankings? I’d bet on it. Here are a few insider secrets I learned when I was invited to visit YouTube in Chicago as part of its Director Program:
Use annotations in your videos to reiterate the specifications on the vehicles for the viewers. This text overlay is heavily optimized for Google search.
Next tip: the description field in YouTube has NO character limit, so you should be filling this space with every detail you have on the vehicle, and be sure to add your dealership name, address, phone and email address at the end of each listing for good measure. The more content you plug into the description field, the more Google love that will come your way.
Launched in the fall of 2011, Google+ is just picking up steam. What I love most about it is it is sneaking up on Facebook so quietly, no one is noticing – and then BAM, it’s going to flatten Zuckerburg’s empire (mark my words here, or read What the Plus! by Guy Kawasaki).
All you need to do to get started is go to http://plus.google.com and sign up. If you have a Gmail account, you’ll need to use it, and if you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one. First, set up your circles. Think of circles just like “friends” on Facebook, except ten times better. On Google+ you can organize your circles into groups such as business, family, friends, co-workers, enemies (i.e. competitors), etc., so you don’t end up with this massive pool of people that receive all of your posts. Circles allows you to send specific messages to certain groups of people in your life.
But by far, the most incredible part of Google+ is Google Hangout. I call it video Brady Bunch because you can video chat with up to nine friends, and it actually works! I use it for internal business meetings, since we work remotely and Hangout is an amazing way to connect a team for collaboration.
All The Rest
I haven’t even touched on Google Maps, Google Analytics and the latest and greatest Google Glass, scheduled for release in 2014. However, I think I’ve demonstrated, without a doubt, Google has done an amazing job integrating all of its amazing, free services together, positioning the company for even more greatness than it has already achieved. I personally can’t wait to see what comes next.