Google is hoping that it can improve your business with just a simple search tool.
The company launched a new Google Small Business tool this week that lets you input basic information about your business, including its name and website address, and learn about the ways you can improve upon it.
To kick things off, you need to provide your company name and website address. From there, Google will find your company and ask you some questions about your goals, including whether you want to grow your online presence, get more customers to reach out, and other common goals.
Next, you'll need to say where you're located and provide a basic framework of what your company does. Google will then give you results.
I used the tool a few times in different ways and found it to be somewhat useful for those who are looking for basic information on how to improve their businesses. For instance, when I said I wanted to attract more customers, Google said I should consider online ads, boost my Google My Business listing, and start a YouTube video channel. In other cases, Google offered some tips for improving my search presence.
That said, the tool is decidedly Google-focused. And like it or not, Google will be telling you to do things that live on its service. So, when it suggested that I run online ads, it didn't say I should look to Facebook or Amazon. Instead, it said I should use Google's own ad service.
That might ultimately be the biggest problem with Google's service. Pushing me to use Google's offering might work in some cases, but considering the sheer number of places I can advertise a business, it's a relatively small slice of what I can do globally.
Still, the Google Small Business tool is a great place to start. If you don't know what to do or you need some more insight into how you can build your online presence, the tool works. And in that regard, it's something you could use to improve your business.
So, is the Google Small Business tool worth using? Sure. And in some ways, you'll get some value from learning what you should and shouldn't be doing (get Google Analytics on your site, for instance), but it won't necessarily be life-changing-- unless, that is, your business is entirely reliant on Google.
And in today's business world, those companies are few and far between.