How Can You Use Google Trends For Small Business?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Google Trends is a tool that has been around for a while, and has great potential for improving exposure and sales for businesses. It is entirely free to use, and its simplicity makes it accessible to virtually anyone with basic computer knowledge.

Here are some specific ways in which you can use Google Trends to enhance your small business practices:

Brainstorming Topics
For instance, if your business website contains a blog, it’s common to quickly run out of content ideas that will not only interest your readers but also tie into the products or services your business offers.

Choose a phrase that describes a broad idea for a blog post, and Google Trends will show you how popular that phrase is and also suggest related topics. With one simple search, you could potentially come up with ideas for dozens of different blog posts, and relevant content is the best way to build your business website. [Read more…]

How Important Are Websites And Search Engine Rankings For Local Businesses?


Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

I recently had to find a new veterinarian for my dog Daisy. She had a fairly large sized tumor in a delicate spot, and it needed to come off. Her former doctor in Ohio sold his practice, so I was searching for a local vet who could take care of the surgery and ongoing care.

Daisy’s a healthy dog, but she’s getting up in years – she’ll be 15 on her next birthday – so I was really concerned about the effects of anesthesia and the success of the surgery.

Of course, I spoke to friends and family for their recommendations, but I also spent a lot of time looking on my own. And where did I search? Google, of course.

We have a large number of small business clients who serve the local market area – companies like florists, tanning salons, and even a marina – and aren’t interested in, or even need, the global exposure a web site gives their company.

A fresh and updated website doesn’t always figure into their marketing strategy. I think that’s a costly mistake. According to a report published by Google, 70% of consumers still reference the yellow pages. I was surprised by that statistic – I don’t even have a phone book at home anymore.

What’s interesting is that only 33% of those consumers use the yellow pages exclusively. That means that almost 70% of local shoppers are using search engines for at least part, if not all, of their buying research for local products and services.

Google has recognized the need for local, small business search results, and has for a number of years offered Google Places and Google Local for small businesses to showcase their companies. Places or Local results point back to a company’s website.

That’s the important part. While I was looking for a veterinarian, I found a dozen local offices. About half of those had websites. And all but two of those websites were old and out of date. One doctor’s page even had the wrong phone number on it.

Having an updated and user-friendly website is only part of doing well in local search.

The other part is optimizing your site to make it index well in Google, so when consumers search for the services you provide, your site shows up at the top of the listings.

We offer both website development services, as well as search engine optimization. Pricing for a modern, user friendly website (that you can edit yourself once it’s finished!) starts at just $299. If your website needs are more complex, we can handle that too – and at a very budget-friendly price point. If you have an interest in updating or modernizing your company’s website, I’d welcome the chance to talk with you about it.

Daisy is doing great, by the way. Her stitches came out a few weeks ago and she’s back to chasing cats in the yard and angling for cookies in the house.