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5 “Must-Use” Free Tools From Google

By John Joyce on November 4, 2009 - Comments 1

5 Free Tools For Your Small BusinessIf you haven’t set up a Google Account for your business, stop what you’re doing right now and get with the program!  Simply click here so you can create your log-in credentials and access some very powerful applications that will help you work more efficiently.  You can choose from a whole slew of tools but I’m going to focus on the five that will make the quickest impact:

Alerts: Track any mention of your business, prospective deals or news on your competitors.  Create alerts for any word or term you’re interested in tracking, type of info (blog, news, etc.), delivery mechanism (email or feed), and set the frequency of notifications.  I find this to be most helpful for my clients to track potential business opportunities.

Local Business Center: This allows you to “claim” your business listing on Google and create a comprehensive overview of your business which should include your core message as well as as many of your primary keywords and phrases.  Don’t forget to include images – your listing will be much more compelling with a visual representation.

FeedBurner: If you have a blog, you should be using FeedBurner to make sure people can subscribe to your feed.  Subscribers can either receive your feed via email or view it in a “reader” as I will describe below:

Reader: A central repository for all of the RSS feeds you would like to follow on a regular basis.  Rather than going to 12 different sites to read your favorite blogs or follow news sites, you can point them all to Reader and quickly absorb your daily information dump.

Voice: You have to sign up for an invitation to use this service and it can take several weeks before you hear back.  Google Voice is a virtual local phone number that you can forward to any cell phone or land line you choose.  Two really powerful features are 1) your voice mail messages can be routed to your email address as an attachment and 2) your voice mail messages are transcribed on the fly and also delivered as an email or SMS.

The really nice thing about using these services is that they’re from a single vendor so they can be accessed and managed from one central dashboard. Take the time to evaluate these tools and you’ll have more time to focus on your core business responsibilities.

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