Google helps small businesses thrive with free resources

SOURCE: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP
Google is here to help small businesses succeed. How? By teaching leaders to properly utilise its resources.

By Shekinah Kannan 

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International Small Business Week – an annual celebration by Google – officially kicked off on June 21. 

In its second year, the event aims to help small business owners take greater advantage of the tech giant’s signature resources – such as Google Search, Maps, Ads, and YouTube – to help them stay open and connected with customers.

Google will be sharing free trainings, tools and resources throughout the week to help businesses build a stronger digital presence. Here are some of this year’s key offerings to keep an eye out on:

Keep your details updated 

This year, business owners can boost their presence on Google by editing their Business Profile details directly from Google Search and Maps. They can also learn how to update basic business information, message customers, and see detailed performance insights.

Get discovered quickly

More features will be introduced on Search and Maps for retailers, food, and local services to present themselves to and connect with customers. Businesses on Shopify, WooCommerce, GoDaddy, and Square can expect to show their products across Google for free. 


Tell customers what they want to know

The way we shopped has changed due to lockdowns and remote working – searches like “who has” and “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year over year. Eligible retailers looking to capitalise on this shift can gain access to Pointy for free through Sept. 30, 2021.

Pointy from Google was designed to create connections between physical stores and Business Profiles on both Search and Maps, to help them reel in more traffic. Once retailers scan barcodes on items for sale, the system will automatically add the product to their profile. This way, customers can find what they’re looking for without having to call in, send an email, or visit physical stores.

Create video ads in minutes

Last year, Google introduced Video Builder – a free tool that allows small businesses to quickly set up a video ad with just two images and a logo. In 2021, it is introducing a faster, easier way to create video ad campaigns on YouTube.

Business owners will only need to upload the video ad, choose the audiences they want to reach and establish a budget to launch the campaign in a matter of minutes. The best part? Campaign performance can be measured on a new mobile experience.

Find the right resources

With the help of Google for Small Businesses – the search giant’s one-stop shop for small businesses – leaders can find the necessary tools to achieve their goals.

The platform will now include recommendations by business type – restaurant, retail or services. It may be tricky at first, but the new Digital Essentials Guide has all the answers. With this guide, small businesses can grasp the basics of attracting attention and transacting with customers on Google and beyond. For more advanced users, in-depth guides will introduce additional tools.


Extra perks

On June 24, 2021, Google plans on hosting its very first YouTube Small Biz Day. Tune in and you’ll be able to partake in Grow with Google workshops, panels and a live shopping event. Those who can’t make it can visit Grow with Google to enjoy live and recorded workshops, primers, and short videos for every kind of entrepreneur. 

Last but not least, who doesn’t love free money? Welcome news for those with a Pixel phone, using Google Pay when checking out of a small business will enable customers to receive 10 US dollar cashback. This will go on through July 4, 2021.