The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Google will be bundling several of their products and services into a comprehensive suite of tools aimed at enabling small businesses to effectively market themselves online.
Search Engine Land has a good post about the new service, how it will work, and what its implications are for small businesses. But here's the long story short version: small businesses are not having a ton of luck marketing themselves with online tools, and Google is hoping to make it easier. By doing so, they increase their own revenue (through ad sales) as well as, theoretically, the revenue of the businesses that take advantage of the service. Win-win, you might say.
What is Business Builder?
Well, we don't have a definitive word that it's actually even called Business Builder (according to the WSJ, it was "at one time" being referred to as that). But that term sums up the goal of the service: incorporate a wide range of products (those built internally by Google as well as other products they have acquired) into one easy-to-use tool that will let small businesses with limited manpower take full advantage of Google's suite of marketing products.
The service will incorporate:
- Google+ Local
- AdWords Express (PPC advertising)
- Google Offers (a daily deal service)
- Delivery (a new service that helps businesses deliver to homes)
- TalkBin (a customer feedback tool)
- Google Wallet (payment tool)
- Punchd (loyalty program)
How It May Benefit Home Performance Businesses:
Some of these services won't necessarily pertain to businesses within the energy efficiency industry (Delivery, for example), but some most definitely will. Making things like Pay-Per-Click advertising easier for businesses with limited staff is a smart move for Google, and also one that could significantly benefit small businesses like those in our industry (many of whom are slacking when it comes to local marketing).
But Don't Wait.
There's plenty you can do now, before the new "Business Builder" tool becomes available, as many of the services that it will incorporate are already available -- you just need to use them.
If you're looking to ramp up your online marketing efforts, start with the basics:
- Read this SEO checklist for home energy companies
- Invest in some PPC
- Get Links
- Get Reviews
- Straighten out and build your citations
We'll keep you posted as we learn more about this new service, and in the mean time feel free to leave a comment or shoot us a line with any questions, comments or concerns -- always happy to chat.