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Google Blogs

Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

Google and Your Business - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 17:18
Every new woman entrepreneur who takes the leap to start her own business or takes the helm of a business is creating a more diverse and inclusive economy.1 In the U.S., women have been starting businesses at a rate that’s 1.5 times higher than men.2 That’s added up to some big numbers: by 2015, 46% of the privately held companies were owned or co-owned by women.3 Women-owned businesses now employ over 7.9 million workers in the U.S.4


To celebrate women entrepreneurs this International Women’s Day, we chatted with some women entrepreneurs who’ve inspired us with their boldness. Here are some highlights.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced when starting your business? How did you overcome it?
“The biggest hurdle when starting a business [was] not knowing what I didn't know! Running a business is totally different...and completely different skills are required. I learned a lot by reading business and legal books, and making tons of mistakes.” — Limor Fried, Founder & Lead Engineer of Adafruit

“I probably should have started a business five years before I did. However, I let my fears hold me back from going after what I wanted. One day I just decided to go for it. I knew if I didn't, I would regret not starting this business for the rest of my life.” — Kathryn Jackson, Founder of Protect Your Pumps  

“I think our biggest hurdle was handling growth. Once we got too big to do everything ourselves, we had to hire the right people to represent us and keep our customers happy, while preserving the culture of our small family business.” — Jenny Doan, Founder of Missouri Star Quilt Co.  


What’s the best piece of advice you received when starting your business?
“Make sure you have your happiest, most cheerful people working in the front of your store. Those are the people your customers will remember.” — Jenny Doan (Read more from Jenny here.)

“Invest in protecting your business. Once you're on your way, invest in a proper accountant, legal counsel, continuing education and training, copyrights and trademarks and other legal protections, website design, R&D, etc." — Limor Fried (Read more from Limor here.)


“Get started. Take that initial step, even if it is a small one. Don't let let the big picture overwhelm you so much that you don't even take the first step.”  — Kathryn Jackson (Read more from Kathryn here.)



We hope Jenny, Kathryn, and Limor's voices and experiences will inspire budding women entrepreneurs everywhere. #IWD2017 #BeBoldforChange

1 World Economic Forum "The Importance of a Diverse Workforce." May 2015.2 Calhoun, Lisa. "30 Surprising Facts About Female Founders." 06 July 2015. 3 Calhoun, Lisa. "30 Surprising Facts About Female Founders." 06 July 2015. 4 American Express Open. "The State of Women-Owned Businesses in the U.S. 2015." May 2015.

Updating Your Holiday Hours on Google? Easy as Pumpkin Pie.

Google and Your Business - Wed, 11/23/2016 - 16:53
Heather Mohorn, owner of Momo’s Tree House, adds special hours on Google to let last-minute shoppers know when her business is open. “The holiday hours feature makes it easy to communicate [changes in hours] to customers,” she says. “It reduces the number of phone calls we receive to ask whether we’re open, which is nice when we’re busy wrapping those last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve.”

With Google My Business, you can update your business info on Google for free to ensure that your phone number, address, and hours of operation are correct so customers can find you this season (and beyond).

To help you make the most of the season, we put together a holiday workshop filled with tips for using the web to connect with shoppers. Preview the section on updating your holiday hours above, or watch the entire workshop at gybo.com/livestream.

For a list of step-by-step instructions on how to update your hours on Google My Business, visit our help center.

We hope this is one thing you can easily check off your holiday to-do list.

Cheers,
Emily Harris, on behalf of the Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map team

Help Holiday Shoppers Find Your Business

Google and Your Business - Fri, 10/21/2016 - 16:49
Since 1992, Werkheiser Jewelers has been helping customers find the perfect holiday gift–from picking out an engagement ring to restoring cherished family heirlooms. While they’ve kept their love for tradition alive, the way they do business has changed with the times.
Today, 78% of shoppers online use the Internet for holiday research.1 That includes jewelry shoppers searching for a gift for that special someone. Alyssa Rizzo-Berg, Media Marketing Manager at Werkheiser Jewelers, explains, “Maybe they’re looking to buy that first big piece of jewelry or an engagement ring. Because of Google, they’re able to find us.”
We all rely on small businesses to help make our holidays special, and we rely on the Internet to help us find the right local spots. Is your business ready to connect during this busy time of year?In the next few weeks, Google and our partners are bringing hundreds of local workshops to a city near you to help your business get ready for the holidays. On October 26th, we’re also hosting a live workshop online with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Join us to learn how to create a free business listing on Google, optimize your website for mobile, and advertise online.

Find a holiday prep workshop near you at gybo.com/holidays - OR - Tune in on Wednesday, October 26th at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET to watch the livestream.


We hope to see you there. And from our team to yours, happy holidays!
Posted by Emily Harris, Program Manager, Let's Put Our Cities on the Map

1. Ipsos MediaCT, Google Post Holiday Shopping Intentions Study, January 2015, n=1,500.

Academy for Ads: On-The-Go Training for Google's Ad Products

Google and Your Business - Mon, 10/03/2016 - 17:00
Becoming a digital advertising expert takes time, and it’s important to get off to a good start. Only 50 percent of marketers say they’re confident in their knowledge of digital advertising,1 despite the wide range of educational materials available – sometimes “more” isn’t the same as “better.” You’ve told us that you want quick, bite-sized training in more interactive formats. And we heard you.

We’re pleased to announce Academy for Ads, a new digital training platform designed to help you learn how to use Google’s ad products in a mobile-first world. We built Academy for Ads to promote learning on-the-go, whether you’re on a laptop, a desktop, or a mobile device.

Grow your Google product know-how
Guided by input from our team of product experts, Academy for Ads courses cover the topics that matter most to Google advertisers – from AdWords basics and the essentials of campaign management to bid strategies, reporting, optimization, and more ways to successfully advertise with Google.



Learning paths, Assessments, and Achievements
We’ve organized the courses into “Learning paths” that you can walk through at your own pace. At the end of each path, take an Assessment and earn an Achievement to show that you know your stuff. Earning an Achievement for AdWords helps prepare you to take the AdWords Certification exam in Google Partners, or try deeper education offerings such as AdWords Academy.


A few example Learning paths:
  • Digital concepts: Learn the essentials of online ads, including third-party ad-serving, programmatic buying, remarketing, and more.
  • Get started with AdWords: Learn the basics of AdWords and prepare for the AdWords Certification exam offered by Google Partners.
  • Get started with AdWords Display: Learn how you can show ads to your online audience via the Google Display Network.
Academy for Ads also offers training for DoubleClick clients, with Learning paths covering Bid Manager and Ad Exchange – and more to come.

Get started
If you already use Google Partners, you can sign in through the Partners portal at g.co/learnwithpartners — or, you can go directly to g.co/AcademyforAds to sign up and start sampling courses and Learning paths. We’re constantly adding more content, so if you like what you learn, keep coming back for more.

Posted by Tracy Bizelli, Head of Academy for Ads

1. 6 Fundamentals to Managing Digital Marketing in 2015, TFM Insights (January 2015)

3 Ways to Get More from AdWords Express Right Now

Google and Your Business - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 16:00
In 2011, with 13 years of interior design and window covering work under her belt, Sandra Anderson set off on her own to start Anderson Custom Window Coverings, Inc. She offered high quality support at a lower cost than many competitors, and was driven to get things right on the first try. But when she opened her business, she found it difficult to bring customers through the door with traditional methods like flyers and a listing in the phone book. That’s when Sandra decided to try Google advertising.

Today, Sandra says 80% of her new customers come from Google ads, and she relies on AdWords Express, our smart advertising tool, to manage campaigns for her so she can focus on running her business. For small businesses without a professional marketer on staff, AdWords Express can lighten the load – and over the last year, the number of businesses using AdWords Express has nearly doubled, with more signing up every day.

We’re thrilled to see business owners finding success with AdWords Express, and are determined to make it a one-stop shop for helping to grow your business. To reach this goal, we’re introducing 3 new features to help you reach a larger audience and understand exactly how your ad is impacting your business.
  1. Ad Scheduling – Choose to run your ad at specific times
    Nearly one third of searches for local businesses in the US come from consumers who want to make a purchase immediately.1 Ad scheduling is a simple way to make sure your ad only runs at times you choose, (during your hours of operation, for example), so you reach your customers at exactly the right time.You can choose custom hours or link to your Google My Business account to automatically run your ad only during your business hours.
  2. Map Actions – Understand how your ads drive people to your store
    Map Actions shows you how many customers who’ve viewed your ad go on to view your business on Google Maps – which can be vital, since over 1/3 of visitors in the US use online maps to find local businesses.2 If you care about whether your ads drive people to your storefront, Map Actions might just be your favorite new tool.Map actions shows how many customers interacted with your
    Google Maps listing after viewing your ad. 
  3. Verified Calls – Get better call tracking
    Right now we’re piloting a new way for advertisers to track which phone calls they receive come from customers who clicked “Call now” on an ad on their mobile phones. Advertisers who opt into Verified Calls will also see detailed information about incoming calls, including the area codes and call duration. We’ve already rolled this out to many AdWords Express advertisers, and hope to expand it to all users soon.New insights into verified calls allow you to see time, duration, and location of each call along with overall trends in call volumes.
If you’re already advertising on AdWords Express, start understanding more about your performance with these new features today. Or, if you’re just getting started, visit google.com/adwords/express, or check out our help center to learn more.

Posted by Kavi Goel, Senior Product Manager, AdWords Express

1. Google Consumer Barometer
2. Google Consumer Barometer

Traits that Spell Success

Google and Your Business - Wed, 08/10/2016 - 16:00
With the Rio Summer Olympic Games just around the corner, we thought we’d look at an uncommon, yet exceptional, group of business owners for our answer: Olympian small business owners. As it turns out, many of them start a second career by running a business of their own bringing the same spirit of passion, perseverance, and ingenuity from their athletic careers.

Passion
Judy Geer and Dick Dreissigacker – two USA Olympic rowers from the 70s and 80s – came to Vermont because it allowed them to combine their passion for active living and the natural environment into what is now known as the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. As Judy puts it, “It’s great that we help train Olympic athletes at our center, but it’s bigger than that. For me, it’s all about helping more people have great experiences, whether they’re getting exercise or just enjoying our surroundings.” Despite its remote location, Judy’s deep commitment to sustainability and lifelong sports practice keeps both local residents and aspiring athletes from across the country coming back. Customers can tell when business owners get out of bed in the morning because they love what they do.

Perseverance
Setbacks are common parts of the journey for any athlete or small business owner. The important thing isn’t the number of obstacles you avoid, it’s the way you bounce back from the ones you can’t miss. When four-time kayaking world champion Eric ‘EJ’ Jackson found his kayak designs rejected by manufacturers across the country, he didn’t give up – and his motto is “no compromising,” so buckling to tradition wasn’t an option. Instead, EJ’s relentless drive to create on his own terms resulted in Jackson Kayak, now a leading manufacturer within the industry. Jackson Kayak now sells products online and through dealers across the country.

Ingenuity
Since the beginning, four-time track and field Olympian and world record holder Michael Johnson has experimented with new ways to tell the story of his performance training center, Michael Johnson Performance. Because he wanted to attract local customers, moving some of his advertising budget online made sense so he could reach them with geo-targeted ads.

With more potential customers finding him on mobile, Michael Johnson also drove growth for his business with mobile ads. “Two-thirds of our customers find us through mobile,” says Johnson. “With Google AdWords, we can see exactly who we’re reaching and that’s invaluable to us.” Making connections with new customers is key to growing any business, and a willingness to experiment with new ways of reaching those customers is a vital part of any business owner.

Learn how all kinds of small business owners – mom and pops to all-star Olympians – are using Google AdWords to grow their businesses by visiting g.co/AdWordsGoForGold.

Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of Americas SMB Marketing

Get Better Insights With Google My Business

Google and Your Business - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 16:00
Search engines have become the most popular way for people to find info about local businesses1 – and millions of business owners rely on Google My Business to reach new customers on Google Search and Maps. In fact, the average well-maintained Google My Business listing gets five times more views than listings which haven’t been claimed by their owners.2

Today we’re announcing some exciting changes to Google My Business, designed to let our users see where and how people are finding them on Google.

Where are people seeing your listing?
Now when you log into Google My Business, not only will you see the total number of views for your listing, you’ll also see a breakdown of how many are coming from Google Search vs. Maps.

How are people finding you?
Though some people search for you on Google by name, others search more generally for what you have to offer. (For example, “pizza restaurants in [your town].”) In fact, when researching a future purchase, 76% of people consider more than one business before making their final choice.3 Now you can see who visited your listing after searching for it directly, and who discovered your business while looking for a broader category.

To better serve our users, we’re focusing these new insights on Google Search and Maps, and removing Google+ statistics from the dashboard. With deeper insights on how people are finding your business on Google, you can make sure your efforts to maintain and promote your business are paying off. Keep your listing up-to-date by adding photos, responding to reviews, and updating your hours so that users find helpful, relevant information when they’re looking for you directly. And, if you want to reach more customers who are searching for your business category, consider promoting your listing with AdWords Express.

We hope these changes make your life a little simpler, and we’re excited to introduce even more insights into your customers' behavior soon. To learn more, check out our help center. Happy Tracking!

Posted by Tom Pritchard, Product Manager Google My Business

1. 82% of consumers use Search Engines to find information about local businesses (Google Consumer Barometer)
2. Google Internal Data
3. Google Consumer Barometer

Go the Extra Mile with #SmallBizGames Challenges

Google and Your Business - Fri, 08/05/2016 - 17:48
Summer’s coming to an end, and with Fall just around the corner, small businesses are preparing for the upcoming season and looking ahead to the holidays. To help business owners brush up on their marketing skills at this key moment, we’re proud to share ten #SmallBizGames digital marketing challenges. Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll share a different digital marketing challenge aimed at improving your small business’ online presence – try your hand at setting up a Google My Business page, building your first AdWords keyword list, or creating a custom email address for your business. Each daily challenge is designed to hone your digital marketing skills and help you reach more customers online.

To participate or learn more, join the Google Small Business Community or follow us on Twitter. Best of luck in conquering the #SmallBizGames challenges!

Three Things You Should Know Before Choosing AdWords Express

Google and Your Business - Fri, 07/29/2016 - 17:32
Online advertising is a powerful, affordable way to grow your business, but you have to start with the right tools. Many small businesses are interested in reaching new customers online, but don’t know where to start, and don’t have much time to spare. As Benoit Ballon – the owner of King Florist in Austin, Texas – puts it, “We just wanted a platform where we would be able to keep it simple. For our small business, that’s a big plus.”

For business owners like Benoit, we recommend AdWords Express, a smart advertising tool from Google that’s designed to manage your ads for you, helping you get the most out of your budget and allowing you to stay focused on your business. A lot has been written about choosing the best product for you, and it can be overwhelming to sift through everyone’s recommendations. So if you’re considering AdWords Express for your online ads, here are the top three things we think you should know:
  1. It uses expert techniques to manage campaigns for you.
    AdWords Express is constantly fine-tuning your campaigns. It monitors how often and where your ad appears on Google (and across the web), adjusts spend, and makes sure your ad is placed in front of the right people, to help you maximize the number of clicks or calls for the budget you selected.
  2. It’s designed to make setup easy and results clear.
    Setting up your first AdWords Express ad takes just 15 minutes – it’s as simple as answering a few questions about your business. Once your campaign has had some time to run, AdWords Express shows you focused results – including views, clicks, and calls – in an easy-to-read dashboard, available on desktop and in the mobile app. You’ll also get an email of your results every month, so you can keep track of things right from your inbox.
  3. It’s improving along with the rest of Google.
    One of the best features of AdWords Express is the work it does on your behalf, and we’re making it even smarter with cutting edge technology from Google Brain. We also recently announced the addition of Google Analytics to help advertisers get even deeper insights into their performance. We’re constantly improving AdWords Express, so keep an eye out for even more features in the coming months.
For Benoit at King Florist, the difference AdWords Express makes clear. “With AdWords Express, we can actually see an increase in business. If tomorrow I turn off the AdWords Express campaign, two or three days later I can feel it. The phone isn’t ringing as much. Our presence online isn't as much. Every day, on one of our campaigns there is an impact.”

AdWords Express is designed to be effective for all types of business and all sizes of budget, so sign up today and get it working for you. To see a full list of features, and more information on choosing between AdWords Express and AdWords (including a detailed comparison), visit our help center.
Posted by Kavi Goel, Senior Product Manager, AdWords Express

Use Online Reviews to Connect with Back-to-School Customers

Google and Your Business - Mon, 07/25/2016 - 21:38
It’s time to get down to business for back-to-school. During this time, students, teachers and parents are relying on reviews while searching online for everything from notebooks to new clothes to campus coffee shops. In fact, 3 in 4 consumers say it’s important to read reviews before visiting a business.1

Business owners like Brian Wood of Sureflow Rooter see the value in customer reviews. “We often ask our customers how they found us: online, word of mouth or advertising? We have been pleasantly surprised to hear them say ‘from Google’ and that they liked our reviews and felt comfortable calling us.”

Small business owners looking to make a good impression on back-to-school shoppers should use tools like Google My Business which allow you to engage with, and manage, customer reviews. Below are a few tips to help you get started:

Tip #1: Just ask
Satisfied customers don’t always remember to write reviews, so it’s important to give them a reminder after they make a purchase or interact with your business – but remember to keep review guidelines in mind. Try including a survey link in your receipts or sending an automated follow-up email, rather than, say, setting up a laptop for reviews in-store, or offering incentives, which violates Google policy.

Tip #2: Be proactive about responding to reviews

It’s important to address both positive and negative reviews, since 83% of customers remember reviews from search results.2 When responding to reviews, it’s always good to thank customers. In the case of a negative review, address the issue without getting defensive. For example, try posting a reply describing the steps you took to remedy the situation.

These personalized responses are an opportunity to build relationships with customers. Don’t be afraid to highlight your business’s personality.

Tip #3: Actively monitor your reviews
Managing reviews is an ongoing process, so you should make sure to check in periodically and stay up-to-date with what your customers are saying. You can do this by checking the reviews section of your Google My Business dashboard.

The Children’s Museum of South Dakota noticed that this method helped their business stay in tune with customer interests. Randy Grimsley, the Director of Marketing, told us, “We regularly check on customer reviews. It’s a quick way to discover what’s working and what may need tweaking.”

Your back-to-school assignment? Apply these lessons to your business, and start getting proactive about online reviews.

For more helpful tips on managing your online reviews, check out: gybo.com/review

Posted by Emily Harris, Program Manager, Let's Put Our Cities on the Map

1. Impact Report: How are Customers Discovering Small Businesses?, May 2016
2. Google/ Ipsos, Impact of Search Listings for Local Businesses. Base: Saw Listing (Control=494, Test= 496), August 2014.

Summer is for Road Trips: Get Discovered by Customers On the Go

Google and Your Business - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 16:00
Summer is a great time for a get-away, and for 9 out of 10 people, the family car is the preferred mode of vacation transportation.1 Road trips lead to new discoveries, from finding the biggest ice cream cone in San Diego to the best lobster roll in Maine – and with tons of vacationers searching for places and activities during their on-the-go travel moments, having an accurate seasonal listing is an important opportunity for your business to get noticed.

Get ready for tourists
85% of leisure travelers don’t decide on activities until after arriving at their destination,2 and that means people are searching for information on the spot. Snake River Angler, a fly fishing shop in Jackson, Wyoming maintains updated seasonal information in their Google My Business listing and AdWords campaigns, to reel in trout fishing enthusiasts from all over the US.
Get visual
Google My Business listings with photos get 35% more clicks and 42% more requests for directions than those without.3 Travelers are often unfamiliar with their surroundings, and photos help make it easier for people to see what your business has to offer. Rogue Creamery, a creamery and cheese shop in Central Point, Oregon, uses Google My Business to attract out-of-town visitors – even before they get into town. Their Google My Business listing helps some 40,000 visitors a year visit the cheese store, with directions, reviews, and photos. "We ask people how they found us, and so many say, 'I found you on Google,'" says Retail Manager Tom Van Voorhees.

Get noticed in the moment
Without activity breaks, a long road trip with kids can be a handful, and The Children’s Museum of South Dakota embraces their status as a road trip reprieve en route to Mount Rushmore. Using a complete Google My Business listing and geo-targeted AdWords campaigns, they’ve attracted over 100,000 visitors each year.

Nearly half of all Americans vacation in the summer, and with tourists coming to a town near you, now is the time to make sure your business can be easily found. Visit Google My Business to learn more about how you can get a listing for your business on Google.

Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online

1. Trip Advisor, Equation Research, Harris Interactive, Money Crashers, March 2015, http://www.statisticbrain.com/summer-vacation-travel-statistics/
2. Google/Ipsos Media CT, 2015 Traveler’s Road to Decision. Base: US leisure travelers, n= 3,500, Aug 2015
3. Google/Oxera, The Benefits of Complete Business Listings, December 2014

It's Now Easier than Ever to Find the Right Google Partner

Google and Your Business - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 03:30
Three years ago we launched Google Partners to help businesses connect with online professionals and agencies. Top Partners began earning their Google Partner badge by demonstrating their business was healthy, their clients were happy, and they were up to date with the latest product knowledge.

Since then, we received a number of requests from our Partners asking for a way to further differentiate themselves. Today, we’re excited to share the addition of Google Partner specializations.
The new feature is embedded into the Google Partner badge and designed to help businesses identify the right Partner for their specific business needs.

Partners can earn specializations in 5 areas of expertise:
  • Search
  • Mobile
  • Video
  • Display
  • Shopping
To earn a specialization, badged Partners will need at least one certified individual and a history of consistent product performance.
“The changes to the Google Partner program are exciting for potential advertisers and our company,” says Neal Gann, CEO of Showroom Logic. “These new specializations show Google’s commitment to better serve their Partners and help us highlight what makes our technology and team so unique. It should also help prospective clients make a clear choice because it's now easier for them to find top Partners that are aligned with their immediate goals.”Additionally, we’re introducing a new Premier Google Partner badge.

The new badge is designed to recognize Partners who manage a substantial portfolio of Google advertising campaigns and deliver great results for their customers. Premier Partners will be required to maintain additional certification requirements and will receive increased support from Google.
"Google identifying and recognizing highly experienced agencies is a great step and a distinctive honor. We are thrilled to be a part of the new designation and look forward to displaying this badge," shares Joe Chura, CEO of Launch Digital Marketing.We hope these updates will help businesses find the right Partner for their needs and allow our Partners to better differentiate themselves. Learn more at the new Google Partners homepage.

Posted by Allan Thygesen, VP Global Sales & Operations

Start Your Summer Mobile-Ready

Google and Your Business - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 16:00
This is the first official week of summer, and as your customers are out and about enjoying the warmer temperatures, they’re turning to their mobile phones to search. With 88% of consumers conducting local searches on their smartphone,1 it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. We’ve created this summer guide to help you and your business have the best summer yet.

BBQ season is all about relaxation, but these days it’s not enough to throw a few hot dogs on the grill and wait for your friends to arrive. Nine out of 10 people say they’re likely to turn to their phones in the middle of a task for help planning a special event.2 There are several ways for you to be there for your customers in these I-want-to-know moments:
  • Anticipate customer questions, and provide them with the most relevant answers.
  • Make sure the answers are easy for users to find.
  • Help them beyond their initial information search; continue offering information throughout the decision-making process.
All BBQs require supply runs, and in these I-want-to-buy moments, your customers are looking for a site that makes shopping easy – whether they’re on the go or already walking through the aisles in your store. To help you connect with customers during these moments:
  • Deliver a message using search terms that your customers are actually using. 
  • Measure all of your customers’ actions, including online, in apps, and in stores.
For a unique and memorable BBQ, customers may want to explore unfamiliar shops, and in these I-want-to-go moments, location and mobile go hand-in-hand. Use of the search term “near me” has increased 92x since 2011,3 and 80% of those searches come from mobile devices.4 Here are some tips that can help you capture attention from curious locals:
  • Use location-based keywords in your advertising strategy.
  • Use messages that include your location and on-site availability of products or services.
  • Include information that customers might find important when making a decision about where to go, including store hours, directions, and pricing.
Let’s say a customer has bought all the food and supplies for their BBQ, but doesn’t know how to use a grill. You can build customer loyalty and secure future business by being there in I-want-to-do moments to with these tips:
  • Use online video: With “how-to” searches on YouTube growing 70% every year,5 consider making how-to videos to better help your customers.
  • Make sure your online videos can be viewed from any device, including mobile.
With these mobile tips, you can stay connected to your customers all summer long. For more tips like this, and to find out how prepared you are for summer, visit Test My Site.

Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online

1. How Advertisers can Extend Their Relevance with Search, Google/Ipsos, May 2014, n=115-233 for smartphone
2. Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Google/Ipsos, US, March 2015, n=5,398, based on internet users
3. Google Trends, May 2011 - May 2016
4. Google Data, Q4 2014
5. Google data, Q1 2014- Q1 2015, U.S.

Getting Online with Google Domains Is Now Easier Than Ever with the New Partner Integrations

Google and Your Business - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 16:00
Starting today, when you build a website with Big Cartel, Duda, Selz, Square, or Webflow, you can instantly connect a new URL to your service of choice using Google Domains—thanks to our new partner widget embedded in their websites.

Finding and purchasing a domain name through the widget takes just a few clicks, and Google handles most of the technical stuff (like DNS configuration and domain forwarding) so your site is connected automatically.
The widget makes it simple and seamless to get online with our partners, while providing all the benefits of Google Domain—including over 200 domain name endings and Whois privacy at no additional cost, plus the safety, security, and support of Google.

Google Domains partners who use this widget can make it easier for their users to add custom domains. One partner says, “Offering a domain from Google within our site builder helps us enable any seller to set-up an e-commerce site in minutes, while giving sellers more control over their online branding.”

Are you a business interested in partnering with Google Domains to use the widget? Adding it to your website is a breeze. Learn more at: https://domains.withgoogle.com/partners.

Introducing YouTube Director: A Suite of Video Ad Creation Products for Businesses

Google and Your Business - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 15:00
Whether it’s for entertainment, indulging a passion, or discovering something new, more people are turning to YouTube to watch video. In fact, growth in watch time on YouTube is up at least 50% year-over-year.1 Now, more than ever, businesses can connect with their customers through video advertising on YouTube.

But we know that creating a video ad can be challenging. To make it easier for every business—from a dog walker to a barber shop owner—to get started with advertising on YouTube, we’re launching the YouTube Director suite of products. Three products that make video ads more accessible to businesses.

Make a video ad right from your phone

With the free YouTube Director for business app (available for iPhone today in the U.S. and Canada) anyone can create a video ad for their business quickly and easily—right from their phone. No editing experience required. People like Woody Lovell Jr., owner of the The Barber Shop Club in Los Angeles, are already seeing positive results with YouTube Director.

Woody shot and edited a video ad by himself, uploaded it to YouTube, and worked with an AdWords expert to run a campaign. As a result, Woody’s business saw a significant increase in potential customers being able to remember and recognize his ad.2

We challenged five business owners—including Woody—to create a video ad in twenty minutes or less. Watch what happened and download the app to give it a try.


Get a professional to make your video ad

In select U.S. cities, we’re also offering YouTube Director onsite, a service that sends a professional filmmaker to shoot and edit a video ad for free whenever a business spends at least $150 to advertise on YouTube. YouTube Director onsite is available in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C.—and coming to more cities soon.

Is your business an app? We can create a video ad for you too


YouTube Director automated video creates a video ad automatically from existing assets like logos and app screenshots in the App Store or Google Play Store, and is available globally. Reach out to a Google expert (1-855-500-2756) for more information.

No matter what kind of business you’re in, getting started with advertising on YouTube just became a whole lot easier. We can’t wait to see what you make. Happy filming.

Max Goldman, Product Manager, YouTube Director, recently watched "YouTube Director Video Challenge."

This post originally appeared on the YouTube Blog.

1. Google Data, 2016
2. Woody’s YouTube Director video ad for The Barber Shop Club drove a 73% increase in ad recall among target customers on YouTube, and a 56% lift in brand awareness (AdWords Brand Lift Study, June 2016)

Test your site with Google and see how it works across devices

Google and Your Business - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 16:00
Did you know that nine out of ten people will leave a mobile website if they can’t find what they’re looking for right away?1 Now, think about your business’s site. Does it perform quickly on both laptops and smartphones? If not, you’re probably losing customers while the pages slowly load. But if you’re not sure how to make it run more smoothly, don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Today we’re introducing an easy way to measure your site’s performance across devices—from mobile to desktop—and give you a list of specific fixes that can help your business connect more quickly with people online.

You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to understand your site’s performance. Just type in your web address and within moments you’ll see how your site scores. You can also get a detailed report to give you an idea of what to do next, and where to go for help at no charge. We recommend sharing it with your webmaster to help you plan your next steps and implement our suggested fixes.

Why you should test your site

Your customers live online. When they need information or want to find a nearby store or product, they grab the nearest device. On average, people check their phones more than 150 times a day,2 and more searches occur on mobile phones than computers.3 But if a potential customer is on a phone, and a site isn’t easy to use, they’re five times more likely to leave.4

To avoid losing out in these crucial moments, you need a site that loads quickly and is easy to use on mobile screens. The first step is seeing how your site is performing. We can help by scoring your site for mobile-friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed. Plus, it’s easy to share these scores. (By the way, if you’re a site guru, you may also want to visit PageSpeed Insights, which is the power behind the scores.)

What your scores say about your site

Mobile-friendliness: This is the quality of the experience customers have when they’re browsing your site on their phones. To be mobile-friendly, your site should have tappable buttons, be easy to navigate from a small screen, and have the most important information up front and center.

  • Mobile speed: This is how long it takes your site to load on mobile devices. If customers are kept waiting for too long, they’ll move on to the next site.
  • Desktop speed: This is how long it takes your site to load on desktop computers. It’s not just the strength of your customers’ web connection that determines speed, but also the elements of your website.

Test your site and find out what’s working, what’s not, and which fixes to consider.

The world’s gone mobile. Now, it’s your turn.


Posted by Yong Su Kim, VP SMB Sales Americas

1. Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Wave 3, Google/Ipsos, U.S., August 2015, n=1291 online smartphone users 18+
2. Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, “Internet Trends D11 Conference.” May 2013
3. Google internal data, for 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan, April 2015
4. Google, Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, “What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today.” July 2012

Businesses are Growing Online with Google

Google and Your Business - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 19:23
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This may have been a question you were asked regularly as a child. Today it seems as if any interest can become a career, thanks in part to the reach and accessibility of the web. From outdoor adventure guides and quilters, to toymakers and bowtie designers, at Google, we feel lucky to play a small role in how many people turned their passions into professions.

Last year, Google’s search and advertising tools helped provide $165 billion of economic activity for U.S. businesses—advertisers, publishers and nonprofits. Businesses are using the web to find new customers, connect with existing ones, and grow.

For example, Kathryn Jackson spent many years as a sales associate at a luxury department store. During that time she observed how quickly her clients had to re-sole their expensive shoes. She was inspired to create Protect Your Pumps, shoe sole protectors that help shoes last longer. Within two years, she turned her idea into a full time career. Today 40% of her sales come from Google Search. She’s expanded her product line to include shoe protectors for flats and men’s shoes, and has shipped products to more than 80 countries.
Michael Salvatore loves coffee and bicycles. Michael discovered many other people in his native Chicago shared those same interests. In 2011, he founded Heritage Bicycles, creating a space that offers delicious coffee and bicycles uniquely designed and manufactured in Chicago. Michael used the web and geo-targeted Google AdWords campaigns to build his brand and get local customers into his stores. He also created global campaigns in AdWords to encourage customers from around the world to visit his e-commerce store. Today, Michael has two stores in Chicago, 23 employees, a global customer fan base, and plans to expand to more locations this year.
These are just two examples of businesses using the web and Google products to grow their businesses.You can find more stories and explore Google’s economic impact state-by-state in our Economic Impact Report. Across the U.S., business owners are using the web and Google to grow their companies, operate more efficiently, and turn their dreams into reality. We’re proud to play a role in their success and are committed to building tools and programs to help them reach their goals.

Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of SMB Marketing

4 Things Small Businesses Should Know in A Mobile-First World

Google and Your Business - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 16:43
At the Google Performance Summit, we announced several new trends and product innovations that highlight mobile opportunities for advertisers. Here are the main takeaways for small businesses looking to make the most of the new mobile world:

1. Every year, there are trillions of searches on Google and over half of those searches happen on mobile.

More searches happen on mobile than on desktop computers – which is no surprise when we think about our own behavior as consumers. Throughout the day, whenever we want to buy, learn or go, we turn to our phones first.

2. Mobile is local. Nearly one third of all mobile searches are related to location, and that number is growing.

Whether they’re researching pizza delivery on Friday night or trying to find an orthodontist near their pre-teen’s middle school, consumers are using mobile to direct their actions in the local world. Thirty-two percent of consumers say that location-based search ads have led them to visit a store or make a purchase1. For small business serving customers in their area, mobile ads can offer a vital opportunity to connect with customers.

3. New local search ads help businesses bring customers right to their door.

As we announced at the Google Performance Summit, businesses using location extensions in AdWords can prominently display their business location when consumers search for things like “dentist” or “car repair shop near me” while on-the-go.

We’re also testing new local ad formats that make it easier for users to find businesses as they navigate on Google Maps. Consumers may start seeing experiments like promoted pins that allow businesses to strengthen their brand presence in maps.


4. AdWords is designed to help you succeed in a mobile-first world.

We also introduced innovations in both text and display ads to help AdWords work harder for you on smartphone screens. Look for these upgrades coming soon:

  • New expanded text ads in AdWords provide extra ad space so you can showcase more information about your products and services before the click. The key changes include more prominent headlines and a longer description line in your text ad.
  • Responsive ads for display will adapt to the diverse content, shapes and sizes of the more than two million publisher sites and apps on the Google Display Network. Just provide headlines, a description, an image, and a URL, and AdWords will create beautiful ads for you that looks good on every device and site.


To learn more about other exciting ads and analytics innovations announced at the Google Performance Summit, watch the livestream keynote here.

Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online

1. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Research: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014

From Workshops to the Web: Small Business Week Lessons For Your Business

Google and Your Business - Thu, 05/12/2016 - 17:56
‘I love the idea of somebody Googling “Magnolia Abbey,” and being able to see my shop, and the interior, and know exactly where I am if they are local or coming through town,’ said Julianne Wall owner of Magnolia Abbey in Huntsville, AL. This National Small Business Week, Julianne was one of the many small business owners able to get her business on Google Search and Maps.

In celebration of National Small Business Week, Google and its local partner organizations hosted 888 free workshops helping 15,000 businesses from San Rafael, CA to Memphis, TN to Jersey City, NJ. Business owners learned about the benefits of adding photos to their listing, the changing landscape of mobile consumer behavior and how advertising online with Google can help them find new customers.
Last week, Google Agency Partners educated businesses about user trends and “The 10 Ways to Grow Your Business Online.” This interactive workshop was just one example of the hundreds held across the country for National Small Business Week.
National Small Business Week might be over, but there’s still an opportunity for businesses to attend workshops and access resources online. Google's Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map program works all year long to strengthen our communities by connecting businesses directly with local experts. Over 3,000 local partners host workshops and help businesses throughout the year to help them grow their business online. We also recently introduced online workshops so businesses can choose the lesson that’s right for them - whether it’s to learn how to get found on Google Search and Maps, get a custom email address, or promote their business with AdWords Express.

Google and our partners are #AllforSmallBiz and continuously support businesses in local communities, so it’s never too late to get your business online. Learn more at gybo.com/workshops.

Track what matters to you easily in AdWords Express

Google and Your Business - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 17:45
If you own a small business, a visit to your website is only the first step to getting more customers. Whether they subscribe to your newsletter, make an online purchase, or click to email you directly, the next step a customer takes on your website is an important indicator of how you’re doing online. However, setting up tracking for the things you care about can be complex, especially for business owners with little time to spare.

That’s why we’ve introduced a new feature for tracking these goals in AdWords Express. AdWords Express advertisers can now access the power of Google Analytics right from their campaign dashboard. Connect a current Analytics account or set up a new one in minutes right from the AdWords Express dashboard. Once you set the goals for your website, you’ll be able to see how customers who click on your ad go on to interact with your website.
Analytics will show you how your ad is contributing to the website goals that matter to youGoogle Analytics has been an invaluable resource for small business owners looking to understand these key interactions. For Carrie Sullivan, co-owner of Telaya Wine Co. in Idaho, understanding how visitors interact with her website has been key to her company’s success online. “Being a small business, we wear many different hats and we have a small staff, so we don’t have someone to just focus on our website. Google Analytics does that for us.”
With the introduction of this feature, we’re excited to bring all these benefits to AdWords Express advertisers. Take your performance to the next level by understanding how your online spending impacts the website goals you care about at google.com/adwords/express, or visit our help center to learn more.

Posted by Zhouzhou He, AdWords Express Product Manager

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