Integrating google apps for your business

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Just about everyone these days uses at least a few of Google’s many useful services, both for personal use and for business purposes. While their crowning jewel is still their search engine technology, Google is much more than that these days. In fact, they have many products—most of which are free or inexpensive—that you can use to make your business life easier.

One of these products is a web software suite called Google Apps for Work (formerly known as “Google Apps for Business”) which professionals can use for a host of functions, and that can be had for a paltry monthly fee. Google Apps for Work can streamline many processes in your business, especially when it comes to the human element, in a number of ways:

Information Sharing

Apps for Work offers a huge amount of storage, from 30 GB to virtually unlimited space, depending on the plan that you decide to go with. All of the material that you upload to Google Drive would be available to other members of your team, so there’s a central location to store important information and there’s no need to fiddle with e-mail attachments quite so much. In addition, you can maintain a communal schedule on Calendar to keep everyone on the same page.

An E-mail Address on Your Own Domain

It’s not terribly difficult these days to buy your own domain and set up an email account, but Apps for Work integrates this process with Gmail, so you can use the familiar interface that you already know.

Collaboration Apps

Working with other professionals on documents and presentations the “old fashioned” way can be cumbersome. Normally, you would work individually and then attempt to combine results, but since Apps for Work is completely web-based, you can get things done much more efficiently. Multiple users can edit text documents, slide presentations, spreadsheets, and more at the same time. These apps can be accessed from just about any modern browser as well, so users on multiple platforms can participate.

In addition to the ability to work together on projects in real time, members of your team will have access to Google’s multi-faceted video conferencing app, Google Hangouts. You can use this to stay in touch via voice or video during every step of the creative process.

Security and Archiving

Many businesses need to keep records of communications received from clients or exchanged between team members. Often, this information is sensitive, and needs to be kept away from the easily-accessed, collaborative storage areas. This is where Google’s Vault comes in. For a small extra fee, it can be added to Apps for Work’s suite of tools, and it will store emails, chat logs, and other data safely until a time is specified for its deletion. The communications are also easily searchable, which makes looking for long-forgotten information simple and fast.

Google Apps at Work has a lot to offer to business professionals, especially those who are looking for a lean, inexpensive solution that addresses common inefficiencies. It is less expensive than Microsoft’s offerings, and largely platform-independent, so at the very least it is worth a try if you need to keep your team in constant communication.

Understanding google analytics

It’s not uncommon for business owners to leave the IT matters to others, but in a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by technology, it helps to have a firm grasp of the tools that will turn your Internet marketing efforts into a success. Without staying on top of who is visiting your website and how long they stay, as well as other important demographic statistics, you will be at a definite disadvantage when it comes to streamlining your online presence to better serve your customers. You need to know if your website is effective and if it’s converting visitors into clients.

Keeping and analyzing stats doesn’t have to be expensive, however, and in fact it has been greatly simplified over the years thanks to Google. Their analytics software—aptly named Google Analytics—provides a host of features that you can use to track potential customers who visit your company’s site. It is also very easy to get started, and involves only a few basic steps:

Installing Analytics

It takes little more than access to the back-end of your site and a Google account to start collecting valuable information. Make sure that you choose a secure account that only you have access to and visit http://www.google.com/analytics/ to sign up for Google Analytics.

You will be prompted to answer a few basic questions about your website, and from there you will be offered a tracking code that you may copy and paste directly into the HTML of your site. Normally, you would place this in the area between thetags; however, if you are using content management software of some kind, there may be other ways to insert Google’s script that doesn’t require you to dig into the source code of your pages.

Using Analytics for the First Time

Google Analytics has a multitude of useful functions and can be overwhelming at first, so it’s best to concentrate on a few key areas when you’re getting started. As soon as you have had enough traffic trickling in, you will be able to see on your Google Analytics dashboard where in the world your traffic is coming from, the general age groups of your traffic, and what other sites on the Internet your visitors have been coming from. This in and of itself is valuable, but there are many more features.
One of Google Analytics’ best traits is its real-time reporting. You can view statistics on specific visitors that are currently perusing your website, and you can even set Analytics to alert you the moment that certain events—such as your traffic reaching a certain threshold—occur.

Customize Analytics for Your Goals

Every business will have different goals for its site, and you can tailor Analytics to suit yours. For example, if you are concerned with a new sign-up form for your mailing list which you are A/B testing, you can set parameters to track the conversion rate. The same can be done when it comes to e-commerce sales on your site, or any other task that you are inducing your visitors to perform.

Google Analytics is a versatile tool that is invaluable for any business that generates sales through its website. If you don’t already use this popular web application, it may be time to go through the short and simple sign-up process.