Free Google Tools For COVID-19 Times

There’s no getting around it. These are challenging times for small businesses. Between temporary shutdowns, safety concerns and consumer caution, it’s tough to maintain a positive cash flow. But the good news is, there’s help—and it’s free. Google has launched a set of tools and programs aimed at helping small businesses during the pandemic.

Here’s a look at what’s available on the Google for Small Business COVID-19 page:

Help For Businesses Already On Google

Doing business during a pandemic means you have to adjust on the fly. If your business is already on Google, here’s action you can take now to keep current:

  • Update your Google business profileUpdate your profile to keep customers informed of changes to the hours you’re open, COVID-19 precautions you’re taking or new services you’re offering like curbside pick-up or delivery. You can also add a link to purchase a gift certificate or to schedule an appointment.
  • Adjust your Google AdsUpdate your current ads to reflect changes in products or services offered. You can also adjust your budget or pause a campaign.
  • Stay up on changes in consumer spending – Use tools like Google TrendsGoogle Alerts, or explore the fastest rising retail categories in Google Search for more insights.

Help If You’re New to Google

COVID-19 presents challenges but there’s also opportunity. One way to take advantage of this stay-at-home environment is to establish or expand your online presence. Google will walk you through it, based on these stages of digital readiness:

  • I run a local business – On this page, learn how to establish a Google Business Profile, build a website and make a social media plan.
  • I run a local business and have a website – Learn how to enhance your Google profile and social media presence here.
  • I have an online business only – Go to this page for help to grow your digital business by learning how to use Google Analytics, Google Ads, email marketing and video.   
  • I’m starting a new business – Establish your business with help on this page to develop your website and develop a social media presence with YouTube and Google Meet.

Google Video Meetings

Need to video conference with a client? Show a customer how to troubleshoot with a product? Or get an update from employees working remotely? Google Meet is now free for everyone. All you need is a Google account.

Host an unlimited number of meetings with up to 100 participants. Until September 30, 2020, each meeting can last up to 24 hours (after that, the maximum length is one hour). If you need to meet with more participants or for longer periods of time, their premium plans are also free through the end of September.

Google Ad Credits

If you purchased Google Ads in 2019, you may be entitled to credits that are automatically applied toward future ad buys. Through the end of 2020, Google is committing $340 million in ad credits to small and medium-sized businesses like yours.

To be eligible, you must have placed Google Ads for ten out of twelve months in 2019 and in January or February of this year. Here are more details about the program.

Digital Skills Training

Google offers a number of free, online classes to help you hone your digital marketing skills. Whether you’re new to the digital world or just want to see what’s new, you’ll find a variety of offerings, like these:

  • Google OnAir offers free virtual workshops, events and one-on-one coaching.
  • Google Premier is a mobile app with quick lessons on digital marketing.
  • Google Skillshop teaches you how to use Google tools like Google My Business or Google Analytics.
  • Applied Digital Skills offers a wide selection of skills like “Plan and Promote An Event.”
  • Quick Help offers 1-3 minute videos answering common questions about Google tools.

Take advantage of these free Google tools and meet today’s COVID-19 challenges head on. You may find opportunities as well.

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