On Wednesday night Mike and I did a presentation to a group of fellow entrepreneurs on how we use Google products to run our business. People seemed to find it useful so I thought I'd put the list of products and a quick summary of how we use them here in case others find new products they can use too. We're a little biased having worked at Google, but we really love these products so if you're not using them all they're worth checking out!
- Google Analytics - We use this to track a whole range of information regarding our websites. Some of our favourite metrics include: number of visitors, traffic sources, countries visitors come from, conversions, time on site.
- Gmail, including video chat - This is our most used product and so much of our communication is done here. I even have a slightly odd way of managing my to do list through gmail.
- Google Docs and Spreadsheets - 99% of our document and spreadsheet work is done using Google Docs. The collaboration functionality is brilliant, particularly when working with Vanessa based in China.
- Google Calendar - Pretty self explanatory but we use this all the time.
- Blogger - 22michaels.com is hosted using blogger.
- Google Search - I'm sure everyone has used Search but if you haven't played with some of the more advanced features check them our here. I use the currency conversion functionality nearly every day.
- Google Image Search - I use image search to find most of the images used on 22michaels. There are copyright issues with just using any image from the web so I use the advanced settings in Google image search to find images labelled for reuse.
- Google Insights for Search - This tool let's you peer into all the amazing search data that Google has, basically it lets you see what people are searching for. There are so many amazing uses for this data. Take a look at this video and if that piques your interest there are more linked from there.
- Google Local Business Centre - We don't really use this as we don't have a physical location, but if you're business does make sure you list it here.
- Picasa - We manage and share all our photos using Picasa, it's brilliant.
- Google Translate - A helpful tool for translating blog posts about us written in languages other than English, and also for emailing and chatting with customers who don't speak English.
- Google AdWords (the only one that isn't free) - We use AdWords to advertise our business when people search on Google for phrases like 'custom shoes' and 'design your own shoes'. Advertising doesn't get more targeted than that.
- Google Website Optimizer - We use this to test different elements on our website to see what converts best.
- Sketch Up Here's an earlier example of where we used sketch up to lay out our Fashion Weekend market stall.
- Google Apps for your domain - We use this for all our @shoesofprey.com email addresses.
- Google App Engine - ShoesofPrey.com is hosted on Google AppEngine.
- Google Reader - Mike used to work on Google Reader when he worked at Google and behind Gmail it's probably my second most used product. I read all my news and my favourite startup blogs through Google Reader, mainly on my iPhone. It's such an efficient way to read the news.
- Google Chrome - The fastest and best web browser, try it out if you don't already use it.
- Google Webmaster Tools - A great way to see how Google views your website from a search perspective. Apparently the Yahoo version is very good too.
- Google Maps - Invented in Australia and a fantastic mapping tool. I use the My Maps feature a lot when directing people places.
- YouTube - The world's second largest search engine. We haven't started using YouTube as a marketing tool yet but it's high on our to do list. Blendtec do it very well!
- Using Google on your mobile - The great thing about Google products is that they are web based so you can use them on any device. I use Google Reader and Gmail on my iPhone every day.
- Google Wave - Another one that was invented in Australia. We're not using Wave daily just yet, the main issue is critical mass, it's only useful when everyone else is using it. But I really hope it takes off. It's a much better way to communicate than email.
For a less Google Centric list of products that we use check out this previous post. And one more that is worth a mention is Brizzly. While not a Google product there are a bunch of ex-Google Reader software engineers working on Brizzly and it's by far the best way to use Twitter.
So that's our list of Google Products that we use. Any that we missed? Any others you use?