Google (or let’s call it Alphabet) is one of the most valuable companies in the world.
The company has some incredible tools, and I will share about 21 of them that you can use to grow your business. The interesting part is that Google is not worried about charging money for these tools anytime soon because most of their revenue comes from somewhere else – their Google Adwords programme.
I am sure you have been using some of these tools already, (few of them have over 1 billion users already), while others might be new discovery for you.
For ease of reading, I broke the tools to categories so that I don’t bore you with a long post. For each tool I will simply share bullet points and where necessary I will link to additional resources that will help you make the best use of the tool.
Here we go!
TOOLS FOR WORKPLACE AND PRODUCTIVITY.
When it come to work and productivity, Google has some of the best tools available. From work collaboration tools, to work productivity and navigation tools. There is a marketplace for for third-party extensions you can use with any of these collaboration tools. It is called G Suite marketplace. I also found a useful site with a good selection of Google Apps scripts to help expand the usefulness of these Google free tools mentioned below:
The Google Suite (Gsuite)
GMail, Google doc, Google drive and calendar are collectively called Gsuite. The tools help to improve collaboration in the work place.
Google Mail, aptly called GMail is used by over 1 billion users. It is free and comes with 15G storage space. The icing on the cake is that there are several ways you can use GMail to improve productivity, for example, you can use GMail to keep organised, you can integrate it with third-party extensions like MixMax, leadfuse etc or you can use it to manage your other email services. Here are some of the popular Gmail productivity hacks you can start using in your business to improve productivity.
2. Google Doc
You can use Doc for almost the same things you need Microsoft Word for. Even though MS Word is a better version, the differences are no longer obvious to the average user.
3. Google calendar.
This calendar tool helps you to easily make the most of everyday, because it integrates with email and other Google products. You can use it to easily manage events, get notifications of schedules and manage business appointments.
4. Google Drive.
This is the perfect storage that gives you 15G of space for free. You can even use this use it as a central repository for your entire organization (here is how). Also, If you are a nomadic worker, you can synchronize your file across your devices real-time to enable you access it anywhere.
Other tools that you can use for workplace and productivity include:
5. Google Sheet
You can use this to replace your dependence on Microsoft Excel. The team at Zapier compiled several Google Sheet integrations that you will find super useful to supercharge your business.
6. Google Slides
This is Google’s version of PowerPoint. In all honesty, some of the best presentation templates that you can use for your pitches, product presentations are available either on the repository or offered by third-parties (like this one I used for a business presentation).
7. Google Form
Forget paying for costly form building software, Google Form is you zero-budget form builder to get feedbacks, product request etc from your users. According to their site, “you can use Google Form to plan events, make a survey or poll, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way”. My personal observation is that even though the interface is not as “sexy” like the paid tools, it offers you most of the things you need out of the box. Want to do something on Form for the first time? consult this guide.
8. Google Map.
This is the most advanced mapping system in the world that can give you near-accurate navigation. Imagine finding yourself in a new country where you do not understand the language of the natives. If you have the address, you can trust Google Map to get you there. The best part of the tool is the “drive” feature on mobile app which gives you real-time navigation while you are driving.
9. Chrome Store.
Chrome is the most popular browser right now, with 56 % of browser market share. But it is not just a just a browser, it has the largest marketplace for third-party extensions with everything from entertainment to science tools. It is easy to install and manage these extensions on chrome web store.
10. Google translate.
This set of free tools allows you to translate speeches, user guides and business documents to local languages of choice. You will find this handy when your product is expanding to new market and you need to translate your content to their local languages. In fact, you can upload your own translator kit, convert your whole website to multiple local languages and find out keywords to reach new markets in their native languages.
TOOLS FOR EXPOSURE AND DISTRIBUTION
Among the major search engines, Google alone enjoys approximately 77% of search engine market share. Hence, if your site is not indexed by Google, the chances of potential customer seeing your business online is low. To help solve this problem, Google built tools to help you improve your website visibility.
11. Google My Business.
Google My Business allows you to manage your online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. You can verify and edit your business information so your customers can find you and give reviews about your business. Here is how it works
You can use it to optimize your website and even display your address in search results. Take for example a search for TechPoint.
12. Google Playstore
Google Playstore is the largest ecosystem for mobile apps discovery. As at the time of publishing this post, Google Playstore has over 2.6 million apps available for download. Android (also owned by Google) powers most of the smart phones in the world, this means that you app can easily become visible to a large number of users at little or no cost to you. In fact, here are some simple tricks to increase your app downloads on the playstore.
TOOLS FOR BUSINESS INSIGHTS.
Google knows almost everything that is going on on the web and they want to share that intelligence with you. These are some of their free tools you can take advantage of.
13. Google Analytics suite.
Google analytics suite helps you to measure the performance of your website and apps so that you can make data-driven marketing decisions. While some of the tools are paid tools (and also costly), there are also free versions like Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Firebase and so on.
14. Keyword Planner.
It a keyword research tool that allows you to find the right keywords for your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). This is an amazing guide to get you started.
15. Google Search Console.
Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, this free resource from Google shows how the search giant crawls and indexes websites. It is invaluable to monitor your site’s performance in search results, content accessibility as well as manage malware and spam issues. Crazy Egg’s Guide to Google Search console has a step-by-step guide to get you started.
16. Google Insights.
These free tools help you to turn data into novel, credible, and actionable insights so that you can uncover the trends impacting your business. It is like an “intel” for your business so you can be positioned to leverage the opportunity. The suite includes Google consumer survey, Google correlate and Google Trends which helps you to know what people are searching for at a particular time as well as what is trending.
17. Google Alert.
This is a super useful too to monitor the web for interesting new content about your brand as well as your competitors. There are several use cases. You can use it to find out who is talking about you and to alerts about information you are interested.
TOOLS FOR CONTENT PUBLISHING.
For media businesses, almost all the entire suit of Google products can be leveraged to showcase your website for discovery by your visitors. Nowadays, many non-media businesses realize that content is king and are therefore investing in corporate blogs to showcase their customers success stories and provide educational information. Compared to others, Google’s services is not the most functional (compared to WordPress or Medium or Tumblr), however, the services below are worth mentioning. Of course, they are FREE to use.
18. Google AMP.
This technology enables you to load the content on your website on Google’s infrastructure. Firstly, you need to understand that site speed is important to user experience. According to a research, Amazon realized that a 1second page loading delaytwill cost it $1.6 billion and the same applies to you as users will click away if your site takes “forever” to load. Google AMP solves this for you and gives a good experience especially for your mobile users.
This is Google’s free Web hosting service. It also comes with several templates that you can customize for your business. Because it uses Google servers, blogger is one of the best hosting platforms globally. For several years, LindaIkeji’s blog was hosted on their free hosting service.
TOOLS FOR COMMUNICATION.
One of the biggest drawbacks to business growth is communication either with internal or external customers. The cost of telephone calls can be reduced for teams spread across different locations and you can leverage their “webinar tools” and video tutorials to showcase your products to your prospective customers. The tools highlighted below are perfect complement to the collaboration tools discussed earlier.
YouTube is the biggest video hosting website where you can upload your videos for free and also discover a lot of others. Also, one of their recent features is YouTube Live; it provides the opportunity to broadcast your content to a live audience. Some use cases include holding a live meeting with customers, instead of traveling or holding virtual conferences.
21. Google hangout.
This was the most innovative feature that came out of the carcass of Google+, the social network site that Google attempted to build some years back. Even though it failed as it could not out-compete Facebook, its hangout feature went on to become a tool many of us find very useful for business. A Hangout chat can take 10 participants; this makes it a perfect teleconference tool for businesses operating from multiple locations or for dealing with outsourced teams.
Do You Want More Tools?
The truth is that there are several other Google products that I cannot mention (due to space), but they are all extremely useful. You can check some of them here. But the big question is, “why is Google generous with these tools when it can charge for it?”
WHY IS GOOGLE “GENEROUS’ WITH THESE TOOLS?
Sometimes I wonder why Google makes all these tools available for free. Many times, Google will acquire a product (that customers are already paying for) and then make it available for free afterwards. Take for example, Google has spent billions of dollars building Google Maps and even acquired other map startups to continue building features for Google Maps. Also, Google paid $1.3 billion to buy video sharing site, YouTube.
Yet all these products are free for users.
The obvious answer to why Google is doing this is because their model is built on the free economy model. Therefore, by giving away its services for free, Google is using your usage of the product to build data touch points to sell to its advertisers. The same applies to Facebook who use what you like and usage history to target you with relevant ads. Sometimes what they (Facebook) know about you could be more than what you know about yourself, as this article proves).
The truth is that Google has so much data about you, but you should not be really scared as they are expected to comply with fair usage of this trove of data. Google collects everything from your browsing history, search patterns and archive this data (you can check yours here).
For me, the biggest concern is the third-party apps that have access to your account as a result of their integration with Google. Take for example this app that will read my email, post to my profile on my behalf and so on… That is why you need to evaluate the amount of information an app is asking for before your grant access.
I will advise you to take a minute of your time to check the various extensions you are connected to and if you are not comfortable with what you are sharing with them, you can use this guide to remove them.
CONCLUSION: WHICH OF THESE GOOGLE TOOLS IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
I just listed 21 tools that you can use without paying for, thanks to Google. Which of these tools is your favourite and how are you planning to put it to use in your business?
You can share in the comment.