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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

Mother Knows Best: Small Business Lessons from Mom

Google and Your Business - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 17:48
There are 9.9M women-owned businesses in the US (Small Business Administration) and many of those businesses are run by moms. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we want to recognize the impact moms have on all types of small businesses. We reached out to the Google Small Business Advisors, our team of small business owners and experts, to share the business (and life) lessons they learned from their moms. Here’s what they had to say:
How has your mom impacted your small business? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the Google Small Business Community or on Twitter.

We’re #AllForSmallBiz This National Small Business Week

Google and Your Business - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 16:30
We’ve all been there: It’s Taco Tuesday and you promised to bring that new smoky hot sauce everyone’s talking about, but you have no idea where to find it. Ten years ago, you would have had to drive home and search for a store on your desktop computer or call a friend for help. Today, you can solve the problem just by grabbing your phone and saying “OK Google…”

As a result, you shop differently now, and so do your customers. Most people research online before buying anything – and 93% of people who search on their phone go on to make a purchase.1 As a small business owner, you want your customers to be able to find you, so you need to be there during the moments when they’re looking for something you have to offer. And we’re here to help. During National Small Business Week (May 1-7), Google is excited to help every business get online and every community show they’re #AllForSmallBiz. We’re partnering with organizations all over the country – from Alaska to Iowa to Puerto Rico – to host hundreds of workshops to help you learn how to get your business online and you’re invited: google.com/smallbusinessweek.



In these local workshops, we’ll show you how you can reach your customers in those important moments. You’ll learn how to update your information on Google Search and Maps, build a no-charge mobile-optimized website and more, so that you can connect with people no matter where they are or on which device they’re searching.



Can’t make a workshop in person? Starting May 1, Google will offer a collection of online resources to help small business owners learn how to get on the web and in front of customers who are searching online and on the go.

The time is now. Consumer behavior is changing quickly, but more than half of all small businesses don’t have a website.2 Join us and learn how to get your business online so that you can be found when customers are searching and shopping – no matter what device they use. Sign up for a workshop at google.com/smallbusinessweek. From our team to yours, Happy Small Business Week!

Claire Mudd, Head of Americas SMB Marketing

1. Google/Nielsen, "Mobile Path to Purchase" study, November 2013
2. Google/Ipsos, "Survey of businesses with under 250 employees", October 2013

An Expansion Update on Home Service Ads

Google and Your Business - Fri, 04/15/2016 - 16:00
The unexpected pipe leak, the key locked inside, the mess after a big housewarming, we've all been there. It's in these moments that people need quick and reliable help from someone they trust. If you’re a home services business owner, then people are turning to Google everyday to find professionals like you: plumbers, locksmiths, home cleaners and more.
Last year we introduced a new way for small businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area to offer home service solutions on Google. So far, thousands of people in the region have connected with qualified business owners through the format.
In San Jose, Ishmael Chandler's local plumbing service is growing quickly after using Home Service Ads for less than one year. "Home Service Ads have really helped us grow our business - since starting, we've seen a 20-30% increase in our overall business. As the program has grown throughout the year, we've seen better and better returns," he said.
We want to offer business owners like Ishmael the chance to connect with potential customers on Google, and that’s why we’re actively preparing to expand the availability of the experience to residents and business owners in Sacramento, California. In addition to the four types of services we’ve added in the past year -- plumbers, locksmiths, home cleaners and plumbers -- we’re also introducing two more highly requested categories of providers: HVAC services and electricians.
If you serve residents of Sacramento, visit google.com/homeserviceads to learn more about how we can help you reach more customers. We'll see you there!

Warm Up to Video this Holiday Season with YouTube

Google and Your Business - Thu, 12/17/2015 - 16:00
With the holiday season in full swing, more people than ever are turning to YouTube to help them shop. In fact, the number of people who go to YouTube is up more than three times year over year1. However unlike TV, YouTube isn’t just a place for brands with primetime budgets to connect with consumers. It has become a powerful tool for small and medium businesses which actually make up the majority of the video advertisers on YouTube. Over the last two years, the number of these advertisers has doubled.2
Small businesses like Cosatto, Ole Smoky Moonshine, and Homer Simpson’s Mr. Plow are using YouTube to connect with potential customers and make the most of the busy holiday season. Here are some tips for advertising on YouTube to help you get started.
1. Get mobile with YouTube

    More than 50% of YouTube’s video views happen on smartphones and tablets.3 In fact, YouTube videos on mobile alone reach more U.S. viewers ages 18 to 34 than any cable network.4 Businesses are realizing they can reach those customers with relevant video ads, when and where it matters. For instance, Cosatto, an online retailer specializing in high-quality strollers, baby travel systems and car seats, uses YouTube ads to connect with people researching baby products on their mobile devices.
    54% of all holiday shoppers say they plan to shop on their smartphones in spare moments throughout the day, like when they’re walking or commuting.5 To capture that attention, think of where your ideal customers live, where they go and what they watch. Use that information to tailor your video ads to the people who share your interests and live nearby. For Cosatto, half of all their video views come from people watching on mobile devices.



    2. Build your brand with video  
    People go to YouTube for all things do-it-yourself – searches relating to "how to" on YouTube have grown 70% year over year.6 So if someone searches for “how to make a holiday cocktail” and your company sells those ingredients, your video ad can show up in that moment. Ole Smoky Moonshine, a corn whiskey distillery from Tennessee, wanted to position itself as a great addition to specialty beverages for holiday parties. To raise brand awareness ahead of the holiday season, the company partnered with their agency VaynerMedia to introduce the “C’mon Live a Little” tagline among their key audience of 21-to-34-year-olds in zip codes near their distilleries. The campaign featured a series of short TrueView video ads which drove a 22% increase in brand awareness and 1,115% increase in related keyword searches.

    To stand out, include your business logo, a link to your website (or phone number) and a strong call-to-action in your video ad. Having a memorable ‘hook’ at the start of the ad can also capture people’s attention, lead to more views and increase the chances they’ll search for your business afterwards.

    3. Get meaningful metrics

    You want to know when your advertising is working, and YouTube analytics lets you keep an eye on the metrics that matter most – including how long people watch, how many viewers visit your site, and how many people share, like and comment on your ad. With YouTube’s TrueView video ads you only get charged when someone chooses to watch your ad, so every view you get is deliberate and can be measured. For example, Mr. Plow is a snowplow business in Springfield owned by Homer Simpson. In our new ad spot, he uses TrueView video ads to showcase his snowplowing capabilities to neighbors watching videos online throughout the busy winter season. Video advertisers like Homer can see how people are engaging with his video ad and use this information to make small but important changes to their campaigns. Are people not finishing your video ad? Consider shortening it. Is your view rate lower than you’d like? Potentially make the first five seconds more interesting.

    We hope you can use these tips to creatively showcase your business on YouTube this holiday season and beyond. You can learn more here, and best wishes as you wrap up the holiday season.

    Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of Americas SMB Marketing
    1. Google earnings call, Jul. 20152. Google data, Q4 2013 - Q4 20153. Google earnings call, Jul. 20154. Google-commissioned Nielsen study, Dec. 2013 - Feb. 2015
    5. Holiday Shopping Trends 2015: 3 Predictions for Retailers, Nov. 2015
    6. Google data, U.S., Q1 2014-Q1 2015

    Answers to Common Questions About New Domain Name Endings

    Google and Your Business - Thu, 12/10/2015 - 18:00
    Creating a website or getting a custom email address with Google Domains starts with a search for a domain name. With hundreds of new domain name endings like .guru, .company, and .fitness, you have more choice than ever before to find a meaningful and memorable name for your business as you tell the world who you are and what you do. As you begin to explore these new domain name endings, we wanted to provide answers to some frequently asked questions:

    Will these new domain name endings affect my website’s search ranking?No. The Webmaster Central blog recently addressed this question and more to make it clear that new domain name endings are not treated any differently than traditional domain name endings like .com or .org. Domain names with new endings are shown in search just like any other domain name. For example, if you search for the business Coffee Club, you will find their URL coffee.club.



    If I move my website to a new domain name ending, will my customers still be able to find my site on Google?Yes, of course! Whenever you move your site to a new domain name, whether it ends in a .com, .company, or something else, it’s important to follow the four steps outlined here to make sure Google is properly aware of your new site. Please be aware that it takes time to be fully processed in Google Search, but once it is, your new domain name is expected to work just like your old domain name. If you are still having issues, we encourage you to visit the Webmaster help forum.

    What are some reasons to use new domain name endings?
    • Brand identity: New domain name endings like .photography and .accountant help businesses tell the world who they are and what they do. For example, check out innovation.tools, nufsed.consulting and ordering.supplies.
    • Brand protection: Other businesses may buy domain names with new endings like .company, .solutions, or .international for their diverse business needs, or so that no one else can buy them. In many cases, businesses direct these new domain names back to their main website.
    • Promotions: There are also businesses who have used new domain name endings for marketing and promotional purposes. A company with a social media contest, for example, might create a contest website with a .social ending that would only be used for the duration of the contest. A good example of a current promotional domain is thehungergames.movie which highlights the latest movie in the series.
    If I purchase a new domain name, do I have to give up my old one?Of course not! Your old domain name can easily work with your new one. Once you properly set up your new domain name, you can redirect your old domain name to point to your new one. This ensures you won’t lose any traffic from your customers if they use your old domain name instead of the new one.

    What new domain name endings are available now, and are any a good fit for my business?There are hundreds of new domain name endings available now, and you can find the full list that Google Domains offers here. Whether you’re looking for an industry-specific ending like .marketing or a fun ending like .ninja, there are plenty of options. Be sure to find the right name that fits you and your business.Visit Google Domains and start exploring new domain name endings today. If you have any questions, we’re here to help!

    Posted by Chad Lancaster, Google Domains Marketing

    Make the Most of Shopping Moments this Holiday Season

    Google and Your Business - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 17:00
    ‘Tis the season to shop! This means that many of us are finding ourselves searching for that perfect gift on our smartphones in countless micro-moments throughout the day. These shopping micro-moments have replaced shopping marathons. In fact, shoppers now spend 7% less time on each mobile session, yet online shopping purchases on smartphones have gone up 64% over the last year, and 30% of all online shopping purchases now happen on mobile phones1. That’s why it’s crucial that your business show up when people turn to their mobile devices this holiday season to find products and services like yours.
    Here are tips to help your business connect with potential customers during these shopping micro-moments.

    1) Update your AdWords campaign for the holidays
    Over half of holiday shoppers say they plan to shop on their smartphones in moments throughout the day while walking and commuting2.  Reach shoppers on the go with ads on their mobile devices. If you haven’t checked the text on your ads in a while, take a look and create copy highlighting your seasonal hours, discounts or promotions. This could lead to more traffic to your website and more phone calls and sales.
    2) Drive traffic to your place of business
    With location extensions in AdWords, you can create mobile ads with your address, phone number, and a link with directions to your physical location.


    Evergreen Lodge, for example, uses location extensions and seasonal campaigns to drive customers to their winter package deals at Yosemite. From September until now, their ads have seen a 54% increase in click-through rates compared to ads without an address.
    For businesses looking to drive holiday shoppers to their store this holiday, simply updating your ads with location extensions not only helps people find you online, but can drive foot traffic to your business.  Roughly 95% of retail sales still take place in physical stores3. In addition, 82% of smartphone users say they use search to find a local business4, and 3 in 4 shoppers report being more likely to visit physical stores as a result5. 

    3) Adjust your budget for the busy holiday season
    It’s a busy time of year with holiday shopping traffic increasing for many businesses. Make sure you’re not losing potential traffic. Take a few minutes to see if you’re hitting your CPC (cost-per-click) or CPA (cost-per-acquisition) targets. And glance through your AdWords budget report to make sure your business is showing up when people are looking for you especially during your peak hours. There might be an opportunity to up your budget to maximize reaching that increased traffic while still driving ROI.
    4) Consider creating a gift guide for shoppers
    We could all use a little help in our hunt for the perfect gift, and shoppers are now searching online for gift guides more than ever. If you sell products that are especially helpful for holiday shoppers, think about putting together a list or gift guide to help your customers make choices faster. Kansas City Steaks provides suggestions to shoppers looking for deals on their freshly packaged choice cut meats. They place the gift guide at the top of their website and offer price tiering as well as free shipping deals to increase holiday sales from their website.
    If redesigning your website isn’t a possibility, tap into the 1 in 4 shoppers who say online videos are their go-to source for gift ideas6 by creating a YouTube video highlighting your top holiday items.


    5) Spruce up your business listing with photosGoogle business listings with photos get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks than those without7. That means window shopping is happening online, too. Captivate shoppers before they even click on your website or driving directions by uploading photos on Google My Business. The average user looks at 12+ photos before making a decision, so create the perfect depiction of your business using this shot list or visit www.gybo.com/holidays for more details on how to create great holiday photos on Google My Business.
    We hope these simple tips provide you with easy ways to show up in front of mobile shoppers throughout the yuletide blitz. From our team at Google to your business, we’re wishing you the most fruitful holiday season yet.



    Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of SMB Marketing
    1.  Google Analytics, Account Data in United States, Sept 2014/2015
    2.  Google/Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study, 20153.  eMarketer, Total US Retail Sales Top $4.5 Trillion in 2013, Outpace GDP Growth, April 20144. Think with Google, Extra Space Storage Creates and Tests Ads in Real Time, Increases CTR by 113%, December 20145. Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands Research Study, March to May 20146.  Google/Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study, 20157.  Google/Oxera, The Benefits of Complete
 Business Listings, December 2014

    Google & Twitter Small Biz Present: The #SmallBizSquad

    Google and Your Business - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 22:48

    November 28 is Small Business Saturday - one of the biggest days of the year for small businesses.  To celebrate, we've teamed up with our friends at Twitter to form the #SmallBizSquad, bringing you the best tips and resources for you to get ready for the holiday season. Follow @TwitterSmallBiz and @GoogleSmallBiz on Twitter for the latest updates and use #SmallBizSquad to join the conversation.
    And don’t forget - November is #CustomerLoyalty month in the Google Small Business Community. Join us this Friday (11/20 at 12 noon PST) in a live video Q&A as we talk to Lauren Licata from Belly about how to find and retain loyal customers.
    Stay tuned throughout the rest of November for more tips and tricks and as always, join the Google Small Business Community to get the help you need to succeed on the web.

    'Tis the season to showcase your business with photos on Google

    Google and Your Business - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 17:00
    Tony Li opened The Palace restaurant in 2007 after the Chinese restaurant he worked in as a server for 15 years closed. Now, he’s gearing up for another busy holiday season: “The holidays are really crazy. We’ll have probably at least twice as many people in here as we do on our best day outside of Christmas and Christmas Eve.” Across the country, Heather Mohorn is readying her toy store in Philadelphia, Momo’s Tree House, for the holiday rush. “I love being part of the holiday celebration - it's time to think about your loved ones and what would be a special gift for them.”
    It’s time for the holidays, and more people are searching online and on mobile
    61% of shoppers will have already started researching their holiday purchases before Thanksgiving weekend. And people are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to discover holiday destinations and buy holiday gifts. Last year, for example, nearly $1 trillion—28%—of all retail sales were influenced by shopping-related mobile searches.

    Stand out with photos this holiday season
    Business owners like Tony and Heather are looking for ways to stand out to consumers busily preparing for holiday parties, family gatherings and gift exchanges. For both, the answer is clear: “Putting photos on Google helps us make an instant connection with customers,” said Heather. “As a retailer, I want people to see a photo of my store and be taken there in their minds. That makes them more likely to come visit in real life.”

    In fact, Google data shows that the average user looks at 12+ photos before making a decision, and online business listings with photos get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks than those without - meaning more visitors both online and in person.




    We’re here to help you showcase the best your business has to offer this holiday season - which is why we’re introducing www.gybo.com/holidays, a site with resources for updating your business information and uploading photos to Google My Business. You’ll find:
    • Video tutorials: Hit play on these new demos to help your business get seen by holiday shoppers.
    • Live help: Get help from Google My Business experts by calling us at 1-844-442-8695

    Be there and look great in the moments customers are looking for you. These resources are free and available to all businesses, so spread the word and the holiday cheer. Visit us at www.gybo.com/holidays. We (and the rest of the world) can’t wait to see photos of your business.

    Happy holidays!

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

    Google Shopping Best Practice Videos Help You Reach More Shoppers for the Holidays

    Google and Your Business - Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:00
    The holiday season is often the busiest time of year for many small business owners. In addition to running your business, trying to implement a top-notch holiday marketing campaign can be daunting. Here at Google Shopping, we want to help you succeed during one of the busiest times of the year and connect shoppers with your products at the drop of a (Santa) hat.
    Earlier this year, we shared Google for Retail, our online hub for businesses of all sizes to get up and running on Google Shopping. Today, we’re introducing a few new Google Shopping best practice videos, highlighting three tactics to help you turn clicks into customers and find even more shoppers this holiday season.

    Manage your Shopping campaign
    After you’ve set up your Shopping campaign, you’ll want to make sure you have your goals, bids, and budgets set for the best results. In the video below, we’ll eliminate the guesswork and walk you through setting up realistic budget and targets to maximize your reach on Google.



    Get more of your products onlineWhen setting up your first data feeds, you may run into issues that prevent your products from appearing on Google. Learn more about how to get your data feed into tip-top shape to show even more of your products online, making it easier for shoppers to find you.



    Optimize your Shopping campaigns Once your Shopping campaign is up and running, you’re ready to think about how to optimize your ads to get the best return-on-investment (ROI). While there are many ways to do this, the key is knowing what to do first. Learn optimization fundamentals including how to drive traffic to your site and optimize that traffic to maximize your profits and ROI.



    By managing your Shopping campaigns, fixing your data feed disapprovals, and optimizing your ads, searching shoppers can find all the products you’re selling -- helping you efficiently and effectively get more sales for the holidays, and beyond.

    For more information on Shopping campaign best practices, check out the Google Best Practices Help Center or our Google Shopping YouTube channel.

    Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping

    How to Win Autumn's Mobile Moments

    Google and Your Business - Thu, 10/22/2015 - 16:00
    Autumn has arrived. For some, that means settling back into football season. For others, it’s venturing to a local apple orchard on the weekend with friends. And for many, it’s making another attempt at winning the Halloween costume contest. But no matter what, people turn to their mobile devices whenever they want to make the most of their autumn. This time of year is full of potential for businesses to connect with customers in the I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do or I-want-to-buy moments when they are making decisions.

    With that in mind, it's time to create the best mobile experience so your business can be there in the moments that matter most this season. Start with these three tips from real-life businesses that are turning autumn into a season of opportunity.


    Be thereLyman Orchards shows up when people search on mobile
    Lyman Orchards is the twelfth-oldest family owned business in the United States. Deeded in 1741, this quaint and picturesque farm spans 1,100 acres in central Connecticut and will celebrate its 275th anniversary throughout 2016. Though its roots are in the 18th century, the company connects with potential visitors in a very 21st century way. Lyman Orchards uses Google My Business to easily provide driving directions, hours of operation, a phone number, and even photos to people using their mobile device to search for fun fall activities.

    Nowadays, consumers are 38% more likely to visit and 29% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings online1. And because 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information like store addresses, business hours, product availability and directions2, small businesses need to make sure their information is available when their customers are looking for them–especially on their mobile phones.

    Try updating your Google My Business listing with your seasonal information, hours, and some fall-friendly photos to make sure you're providing would-be visitors with all the information they need in the moment it matters.


    Be usefulBlitsy engages customers with crafting how-to videos
    Blitsy, the self-described “must-go source for crafters,” merges old school hobbies with modern day technology by helping crafters discover the latest designs and trends from their favorite brands. When they know their customers are gearing up for Halloween, Blitsy leverages YouTube to motivate crafters with how-to video content, including DIY Halloween Bats, Witch Broom Drink Stirrers, and Easy 3D Paper Pumpkins. With the season inspiring plenty of spontaneous I-want-to-learn moments, Blitsy connects with their mobile customers in creative ways with useful information.

    What makes Blitsy's strategy so crafty? In our age of instant information, sharing knowledge and useful content can influence purchasing decisions. In fact, 1 in 4 shoppers (26%) say online videos are their go-to source for gift ideas, and 32% of shoppers say they plan to use online video more this year for holiday purchases3. When it comes to providing the right information at the right time, videos can convey your company’s message and story more dynamically and provide a better experience to curious potential customers, many of whom are watching on-the-go. More than half of YouTube views now come from mobile devices.

    So get the camera rolling this fall. Create videos to tell your company's story, share how-to clips, and capture the attention and imaginations of viewers, wherever they're watching.

    Be quickPrint Syndicate makes sure its site is built for swipes
    For those who want to express themselves this autumn season but aren’t inclined to wear a costume, they can turn to Print Syndicate. Selling through its three brands—LookHuman.com, ActivateApparel.com, and MericaMade.com—Print Syndicate is a print-on-demand e-commerce company that designs socially and seasonally relevant apparel, phone cases, housewares and more. Their extensive Columbus, Ohio based team is constantly creating new designs in response to social media trends or upcoming holidays. Given that 30% of online shopping purchases now happen on mobile devices, Print Syndicate has ensured that all three of its brands have mobile-friendly sites showcasing their latest and most clever Halloween shirts. With a few simple swipes on their mobile sites, anyone can find, view and purchase a quirky Halloween t-shirt on-the-go from anywhere in the country.

    Print Syndicate is making sure everyone is ready for Halloween, but it’s also looking ahead to the holidays: 1 in 4 people start holiday shopping before Halloween, and last year more than half of those who shopped online did so using smartphones or tablets. Print Syndicate knows that capturing those mobile I-want-to-buy moments is increasingly important for businesses to compete during the holiday season, so the company runs mobile ads through Google AdWords to reach shoppers searching for creative gifts on their devices.

    Be there when fall’s early holiday shoppers head to the web, and make sure your website is mobile optimized and thumb-friendly to reach customers who are searching on the go. You can also update your website with a seasonal landing page to create an even stronger user experience.

    Mobile is changing the way we live, and changing the types of information customers expect from businesses online. Make the most of that this fall: when mobile users head to the web, be there, be useful, and be quick. These three simple tips can help your business make the most of the season's best autumnal moments.

    Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of Small Business Marketing

    1. Ipsos MORI, Impact of Search Listings for Local Businesses, August 2014
    2. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014
    3. Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study 2015

    Custom email, apps and more for Google Domains

    Google and Your Business - Tue, 10/06/2015 - 16:00
    Last year we introduced Google Domains in the U.S. to make it easy for your business to get online with a domain name and website. We wanted to make finding, buying and managing domains for your business simple, and we partnered with best-in-class website builders like Blogger, Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly and Wix to help you create your site — no technical experience required.
    Since then, we have helped people register hundreds of thousands of domain names and create tens of thousands of websites, many of whom are businesses like yours looking to build and expand their online presence. Through your continued feedback, today we’re introducing upgrades to improve the Google Domains experience by adding:
    • Custom email addresses - create an email address like, you@yourdomain or sales@yourdomain via Google Apps for Work.
    • Over 90 new domain name endings - purchase domains with new endings like, .life, .world, .business, .cool, .pizza, .gifts, and .football (here’s the new full list).
    • Domain ownership transfer - allows you to always make sure the right person is managing the right domains (learn more here).

    Custom email addresses are a key part of building your online identity. Email addresses such as you@yourdomain help you establish credibility when you communicate with customers. Setting up a custom email address with Google Domains is an optional service for $5/month/user, and with that you’ll also get the full Google Apps for Work productivity suite. Google Apps for Work includes helpful business tools like video meetings, shared calendars, online document editing and 30 GB of file storage.New domain name endings offer more choice and flexibility as you pick a memorable address for your business website.  New endings are continuously opening up to the web, like .legal, .accountant and .services, and can help you create a name that matches who you are and what you do. Check out some of the people on Google Domains already using these new domain name endings: sublimation.kitchen, smilesnap.social, thecooler.ninja, and marcblair.photography.It’s our mission to help your business easily get online and succeed with a domain name, and we want to make sure we continue to offer you the best tools and experience possible in our beta.  So, if you have any input, questions or feedback, please don’t be shy!
    See you online at www.google.com/domains.
    Posted by Ben Fried, VP and CIO

    Protecting people from illegal robocalls

    Google and Your Business - Wed, 09/16/2015 - 17:00
    You’re eating dinner with your family when the phone rings, and you see a phone number that you don’t recognize. You answer and hear a recording: “It’s extremely urgent that we speak to the business owner! We’ve tried to reach you numerous times. Our records indicate that your Google Business Listing has not been claimed...”
    This is a common type of robocall, or automated phone call that delivers a pre-recorded message to sell or market services. Some, like informational notices from a doctor’s office, airline or pharmacy, can be useful and are allowed by law. Many others, however, are both useless and illegal in the United States. As the FTC explains: “if the recording is a sales message and you haven't given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal.”
    Robocallers have targeted Google users for many years. Callers commonly bombard recipients—usually small business owners or individuals—with misleading offers and promotions for improving Google Search and AdWords rankings, or to improve their Google My Business profile. Since the beginning of 2015, we’ve received hundreds of complaints from users about robocalls they’ve received from businesses claiming to be affiliated with Google.
    These illegal calls are a huge nuisance, cause small businesses and Google users to unnecessarily worry, and can lead to rip-offs. Illegal robocalls never have, and never will, come from Google.
    Unfortunately, this is part of a much larger issue that extends beyond just Google users and customers. The FCC received 215,000 complaints about robocalls in 2014, the FTC gets approximately 150,000 complaints about them every month and says it has brought more than 100 lawsuits against more than 600 companies and individuals responsible for billions of illegal robocalls, to date.  Robocallers impersonate many different companies, and have even impersonated the local police, the IRS, and the FTC itself.
    If you receive illegal robocalls, here are a few things you can do right now to protect yourself:
    • Report callers to Google, and also the FTC or the FCC.
    • Hang up the phone. Do not press any key, even if the voice recording prompts you to in order to speak with a live person or to be taken off the call list.
    • Contact your phone company to see if they can block calls from any numbers.
    • Register your personal number with the National Do Not Call Registry at: https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx or call 1-888-382-1222.

    It’s difficult for Google to take action against callers because they often use untraceable phone numbers, fake company names, and massive global networks of intermediaries. However, today we’re filing an action in California against one search engine optimization company for making these robocalls and confusing our users. It’s unfortunate when a problem must be addressed in a court of law, but we believe this course of action will protect our users and discourage this practice more broadly.
    Running a small business is hard work under the best of circumstances. Dealing with illegal robocallers isn’t just a waste of time, it can result in wasted resources and significant damage to your business. We hope these tips, and shining a light on the issue, will help discourage and eventually eliminate this practice.
    Posted by Brad Wetherall, Google My Business Operations Manager

    Become a Smarter Marketer with Primer

    Google and Your Business - Tue, 09/15/2015 - 15:00
    Whether you’re a small business owner or a professional at a large company, connecting with customers can be a challenge. The opportunity to reach people in the moments that matter has never been greater, but to succeed, you must master a new set of tools, skills, and strategies. Keeping up can be tough for even the most experienced marketer.
    At Google, we’re working hard to make sure everyone can keep up in today’s digital landscape. That’s why we’re happy to introduce Primer, a free mobile app filled with bite-sized lessons that help you put to work the latest and most useful marketing concepts. You can do Primer’s lessons on the go, whenever you have a few minutes free.  We think of it as an in-the-coffee-line guide to marketing.

    Primer was inspired by the struggles my colleagues and I have faced while trying to learn new marketing topics during our busy daily schedules. The fact is, over 90% of adults don’t spend any time during the day educating themselves.1 So we wanted to build a tool that offers digital lessons that can be soaked up within five minutes – like when you’re on the morning train commute, waiting in line for coffee, or in between meetings.
    Primer lessons are available offline so they can be done anywhere. And each lesson is fun and jargon-free, covering topics like mobile site design, programmatic buying, content marketing, and search advertising. In short, you’ll learn real skills you can use today.


    Whether you’re looking to grow your business, advance your career, or simply build your professional aptitude, Primer presents you with fresh knowledge to become a smarter marketer. Download it now on iPhone and Android or visit us at www.yourprimer.com.  
    Posted by Bethany Poole, Group Marketing Manager, Google
    Sources: 1Data for adults over 25 from the BLS’s American Time Use Survey.

    Google Small Business Presents Social Media Month

    Google and Your Business - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 17:00
    September is Social Media Month for Google Small Business! All month long, we're bringing you a variety of experts to help you harness the power of social for your business. Tune in each Friday at noon PST for a live video Q&A about a different social media topic.
    Check out our lineup below:
    LinkedIn for Small Business, 9/4 at noon PSTYouTube for Small Business, 9/11 at noon PST
    Pinterest for Small Business, 9/18 at noon PST
    Twitter for Small Business, 9/25 at noon PST



    Click on the event links above to RSVP and come prepared with your social media questions. For more tips, tricks and small business help, join the Google Small Business Community.
    Happy Social Media Month!

    Introducing AdWords Express home service ads for the San Francisco Bay Area

    Google and Your Business - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 15:55
    From unclogging the bathroom sink to getting back into a locked apartment, there are moments throughout the day when people need a quick solution to a big problem. In fact, there are millions of searches every day on Google for plumbers, locksmiths, and other home services.
    To help your business connect with customers when they need you the most, we’re introducing AdWords Express home service ads — available today in beta for plumbers, locksmiths, house cleaners, and handymen in select cities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you’re a small plumbing company or a one-person locksmith shop, home service ads help your business show up prominently on Google.com and reach customers who are searching for you.
    As a local business servicing the San Francisco Bay Area, GreenKeys Locksmith uses home service ads to promote their commitment to customer service, attention to detail, and 5-star service.

    “I treat every customer like they're family, and every lock and key like they're my own. With home service ads, I've been able to reach more customers across the Bay Area and share with them my passion for locksmithing. I'm incredibly excited about what home service ads can do for my business," said Ben Pearson, owner and operator of GreenKeys Locksmith.
    Here's how home service ads work: Let's say you own a home cleaning business in San Jose. Simply tell us about your business, get qualified, and we’ll take care of the rest. Google will organize the information you give us into a polished profile page for your business, which includes a professional photo. When someone in your service area searches for “house cleaners” or other related terms, we’ll show your profile within an expandable listing at the top of Google search results.

    Customers can read detailed reviews, submit a service request, or call your business directly for more information. And to help ensure that you and your customers receive the best experience possible, home service ads are only available to businesses that have been screened and qualified.
    To learn more about how you can become a home service advertiser on Google, visit google.com/homeserviceads.
    Posted by Aileen Tang, Senior Product Managers and Xuefu Wang, Software Engineer for AdWords Express home service ads

    Getting San Francisco Bay Area Businesses Online Ahead of Football’s Big Game

    Google and Your Business - Thu, 08/06/2015 - 15:49

    Earlier this year, we launched "Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” to provide businesses across the U.S. with simple ways to be found when customers search for them online. We’ve been making that process faster, easier, and free, so that more customers find businesses in their area when they turn to the web for information.

    With pro football’s Big Game happening this February at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara -- the first in the Bay Area since 1985 -- we want Google’s hometown businesses to have the tools they need to show up when visiting sports lovers inevitably start searching online for local restaurants, hotels, attractions and more. That’s why we’re announcing a special series of “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” workshops designed especially for the Bay Area businesses we know and love to learn strategies to getting online -- and in front of everyone coming to town for the Big Game.

    The 2015 championship game brought more than 1,000,000 people to downtown Phoenix earlier this year, and 500,000 people enjoyed events in downtown Scottsdale, driving over $700 million in economic impact to the region.1 Drawing the eyes of the nation, and with "near me" searches doubling over the last year,2 the opportunities for showing up are real. But small businesses are still notably behind the curve when it comes to showing up online. Four in five consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses,3 but less than half of US small businesses actually have a website4 and only 37% have claimed or updated their business information on a search engine.5

    As part of the workshop series, we’ll share tips on how to build an online presence, offer a free website with a customized domain name including free web hosting for a year, and help businesses create a free business listing on Google Search and Maps. Interested local Bay Area business owners can RSVP below:


    • August 10, 2015 -- YouTube Headquarters, San Bruno, CA -- register here
    • September 22, 2015 -- Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA -- register here
    • December 4, 2015 -- Google San Francisco Office, San Francisco, CA -- register here

    From farmers markets to taquerias to a virtual reality arcade, we know it's never too late to show up online -- even in the heart of Silicon Valley! We’re encouraging businesses to use this opportunity to take steps right now to maximize online interest they may experience leading up to the Big Game. Join us as we help put the San Francisco Bay Area on the map!

    Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online 1. Seidman Research Institute and W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University Study, June 2015.
    2. I-Want-to-Go Moments: From Search to Store. Think with Google, April 2015.
    3. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014.
    4. Google/IPSOS, Survey of businesses with less than 250 employees, October 2013.
    5. Marketing Sherpa, Search Marketing Benchmark Report SEO Edition, 2012.

    Getting San Francisco Bay Area Businesses Online Ahead of Football's Big Game

    Google and Your Business - Thu, 08/06/2015 - 15:00

    Earlier this year, we launched "Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” to provide businesses across the U.S. with simple ways to be found when customers search for them online. We’ve been making that process faster, easier, and free, so that more customers find businesses in their area when they turn to the web for information.

    With pro football’s Big Game happening this February at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara -- the first in the Bay Area since 1985 -- we want Google’s hometown businesses to have the tools they need to show up when visiting sports lovers inevitably start searching online for local restaurants, hotels, attractions and more. That’s why we’re announcing a special series of “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” workshops designed especially for the Bay Area businesses we know and love to learn strategies to getting online -- and in front of everyone coming to town for the Big Game.

    The 2015 championship game brought more than 1,000,000 people to downtown Phoenix earlier this year, and 500,000 people enjoyed events in downtown Scottsdale, driving over $700 million in economic impact to the region.1 Drawing the eyes of the nation, and with "near me" searches doubling over the last year,2 the opportunities for showing up are real. But small businesses are still notably behind the curve when it comes to showing up online. Four in five consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses,3 but less than half of US small businesses actually have a website4 and only 37% have claimed or updated their business information on a search engine.5

    As part of the workshop series, we’ll share tips on how to build an online presence, offer a free website with a customized domain name including free web hosting for a year, and help businesses create a free business listing on Google Search and Maps. Interested local Bay Area business owners can RSVP below:


    • August 10, 2015 -- YouTube Headquarters, San Bruno, CA -- register here
    • September 22, 2015 -- Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA -- register here
    • December 4, 2015 -- Google San Francisco Office, San Francisco, CA -- register here

    From farmers markets to taquerias to a virtual reality arcade, we know it's never too late to show up online -- even in the heart of Silicon Valley! We’re encouraging businesses to use this opportunity to take steps right now to maximize online interest they may experience leading up to the Big Game. Join us as we help put the San Francisco Bay Area on the map!

    Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online
    1. Seidman Research Institute and W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University Study, June 2015.
    2. I-Want-to-Go Moments: From Search to Store. Think with Google, April 2015.
    3. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014.
    4. Google/IPSOS, Survey of businesses with less than 250 employees, October 2013.
    5. Marketing Sherpa, Search Marketing Benchmark Report SEO Edition, 2012.

    Updated summer hours make a difference for customers

    Google and Your Business - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 17:06
    It’s the first official week of summer! That means searches for warm weather favorites like iced coffee and BBQ are spiking and business owners are updating their hours to accommodate summer tastes and needs. But what good are seasonal hours if your customers don’t know about them? To welcome businesses into the start of summer, we’re shedding some sunshine on the importance of updating your business hours.

    In a fresh round of new Google research, we found that:
    • 25% of small businesses change their operating hours during the summer.1
    • Most business owners aren’t cutting back for R&R, they’re extending their hours and staying open even longer.2
    • Yet since the unofficial start of summer (Memorial Day), only 1% of businesses have adjusted their hours on Google My Business.3
    • The states where businesses have changed their hours most on Google My Business are Ohio, Delaware, and Wisconsin.4


    Keeping customers happy

    84% of consumers turn to search engines to gather information for local purchases and 52% look specifically for business hours.5 However, according to a 2013 survey, over 50% of consumers have visited a business to find that its hours had changed, and 44% report having an outing “ruined” by the incorrect information.6

    Show up in key moments

    So how can you let customers know about your summer hours? Today we’re launching gybo.com/summer as a way for businesses to see how their hours currently show up on Google. If you haven’t already, claim your business listing on Google My Business and then update your hours. Once your hours are updated, people will see them when they look for you on Google Search and Maps. Closing early next Friday? No problem. You can can change your hours on Google My Business on Thursday and avoid having any disappointed customers on Friday.

    The value for small businesses

    Starting in July, Sedona Golf Resort in Arizona opens early, so golfers can hit the course in the morning and beat the midday heat. Kid’s Science Labs in Chicago also extends hours. Co-founder Keith Norsym says,“We open earlier, at 8am and stay open until 5:30pm to allow parents to drop-off and pick up their kids conveniently.” The summer schedule allows them to infuse a bit more science into summer vacation.

    We want to help small business connect with customers in the moments that matter this summer. Businesses with complete listings are 2x as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.7 That means this simple change can make a big difference. Not to mention, it’s free and only takes a few minutes–so that you can get off the computer and get those burgers onto the grill.
    1. Written by Google and conducted using Google Consumer Surveys, June 2015
    2. Written by Google and conducted using Google Consumer Surveys, June 2015
    3. Google My Business data, June 2015
    4. Google My Business data, June 2015
    5. Source: Ipsos MORI, Impact of Search Listings for Local Businesses, August 2014
    6. InfoGroup, Real-Time in the Real-World: Local Search Driving Need for Faster Business Data, 2013
    7. Google/Oxera, The Benefits of Complete Business Listings, December 2014

    Building a Proud Community with Google My Business

    Google and Your Business - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 16:09
    No two businesses are the same. And for small business owners, their unique character is vital for their success and keeps their loyal customers coming back.

    Hailee Bland Walsh, the owner of City Gym in Kansas City, believes her gym “should be more than a place to workout. It should be a place to belong." She uses Google My Business to share that her gym is a safe place where everyone is welcome.

    This message has been especially meaningful for Jake who recently returned to City Gym for the first time after having surgery. For him, City Gym has been an integral part of his transition from female to male, providing a place to explore his changing body and a community of support for him and his friends.

    In recognition of LGBT Pride Month, we are excited to share the story of Hailee and Jake, and the power of the web to connect remarkable businesses like City Gym with their people.


    Posted by Arjan Dijk

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