Ask small business owners about the value Google provides for marketing and most will tell you that getting first-page search returns ranks high on their list.

While a strong showing in search is vital to your business success, Google offers many more tools that can help you not only improve search results but also monitor your company’s reputation, increase conversion rates, enhance website visitor experience, and manage marketing operations. The best part: In most cases, you can do it all free!

Seven Google marketing tools for small business growth
1. Google My Business

If you run a local small business, claiming your Google My Business listing is one of the first steps you should take.

Google My Business is a free tool that helps you manage your company’s online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Think of it as a beacon that points customers and prospects to your business’s physical location and website.

Claiming your listing enables you to include business information, such as name, address and phone number (known as “NAP”), hours of operation, website address, and other content to help you stand out from your competitors.

You can also post updates and special offers directly on your listing, attract new customers with photos of your products, and respond to reviews.

2. Google Alerts

People trust recommendations from others like themselves, so keeping track of what they say about your business is absolutely necessary. A good way to do that is through the use of Google Alerts.

Input your business name and Alerts will notify you via email each time it appears online. You can also set up alerts for your products, competitors’ names, industry-related terms, and other relevant topics. This Google marketing tool helps you stay on top of reviews and comments, and provide real-time responses to your customers.

3. Google AdWords

Showing up in Google Search organic returns is often difficult, but you can give your presence a jump start with Google’s advertising platform: Google Adwords.

AdWords lets customers see your business at the very moment they’re searching for the products and services you offer — and you pay only when they click to visit your website. You can also target your ads to customers locally, regionally, or even globally using text, display, and video.

4. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner gives you an easy way to find keywords meaningful to your business. It helps you get keyword ideas for your small business website, blog posts, and AdWords advertising campaigns. (You will need to set up a Google AdWords account to access the tool, but it is free to use.)

5. Google Analytics

Without question, building a small business website is essential to your marketing efforts. But “building” is not enough; you also need to know how the site is performing regarding traffic — how many people visit the site, where they come from, where they go when they get there, and how long they stay. If possible, it would also be helpful to learn about your visitors’ interests and demographics.

Google Analytics, the most widely-used analytics platform on the web, gives you access to all that and much more. The data it presents will allow you to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your visitors and tailor their experience to better achieve your marketing goals. This Google marketing tool is essential for any small business as it gives you the insights and data needed to inform and update all your online marketing efforts.

6. Google Trends

When your blogging or promotional idea wells run dry, visit Google Trends for inspiration. It shows how often people search for a particular term relative to the total search volume across various regions of the world. Use it for content idea discovery and, in concert with Keyword Planner, keyword research.

7. Google’s version of Microsoft Office

Effective online marketing requires planning, and Google has a suite of tools that can help you collaborate with others in real-time on marketing ideas, blog posts drafts, slide presentations, and other promotional collateral.

Specifically, the suite consists of:

  • Google Docs for Word documents;
  • Google Sheets for Excel spreadsheets;
  • Google Slides for PowerPoint presentations;
  • Google Forms for registration and survey forms.

Another tool, Google Drive, provides tons of storage for all your documents and images.

As you can see, Google is much more than a powerful search engine. It now offers an entire ecosystem for promoting your business. Use these seven Google marketing tools to grow your online presence, showcase your products and services, and convert more prospects into customers.