Google for Business

A map of the new Google EcoSystem

By | Google Apps, Google Apps for Business, Google for Business, Google My Business | No Comments

Einstein once said, “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” And in this case, putting simply, after the announcements earlier this year about G+, I was struggling to understand the future of Google+ in the overall map of Google products and services. Google+ was Google (the social layer) to many of us, so how would it all fit together if that was to change?

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve figured it out. And hopefully created a map of the Google Ecosystem that will help you too.

Google is a collection of inter-connected Apps.

And they are perfect for business.

With the prevalence of Chromebooks (I had one of the early generation ones) making their way into businesses and educational establishments, we can see that people enter the Google eco-system via Chrome. And then have access to a number of the Google Apps one click away, as you can see in the image below.

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 07.44.44

But it was not until I spent a load of time re-mapping using mobile that I understood what was going on with the new eco-system.

The eco-system is even more beautiful when viewed from the perspective of mobile.

And we could look at this from the perspective of individual Apps. But I’ve found that there are so many cross-connections between them, it is better to think in terms of ‘something else’.
After all, it is the way they interact that makes it all work so well.

Knowing that the big shift for many will be a map that is not Chrome (Chro) based. I wanted to shift your perspective – to mobile.

As such I’ve been breaking it down into understanding it as: Mobile, then Photos, Social, Local, Voice, and Storage.

When you return to desktop with a new map you will (hopefully) it all more clearly.
And when your desktop has a touchscreen, it will probably start to be more like a mobile.
In time, who knows, maybe Chromebooks will be Android devices too – leaving any division behind.

A new map (mobile):

The EcoSystem (Eco) is all split into either two actions: Consumption (Con), or Production (Pro)
And then…

Mo: PhoSoLoVoSto – Abo (I’ll explain!)

Top Level

The ecosystem is build around apps to help us either consume or produce content.

You may search and consume using Chrome, YouTube and Play i.e. read/watch/listen; or you may produce content to post socially on G+ and beyond, blog, collaborate on docs in Drive etc.

With that in mind…

The Apps

And this ecosystem is really built for a mobile future.

Yes, the Chrome browser is a major part of the current ecosystem, but I really want to encourage you thinking ‘mobile’, at least for a while.

Also, I’ve included mobile as the focus as I believe at some point we will find the same functionality across all devices – but right now, e.g. Inbox still has Google Hangouts integrated on desktop.
i.e. we are going more mobile in the eco-system, not less.

The apps include:

  • Gmail and Inbox
  • Hangouts
  • Photos
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Blogger
  • Play
  • Drive
  • Keep
  • Calendar
  • Chrome
  • Maps

And Search itself.
‘Search’ is a place that aggregate and surfaces the right information, including upcoming travel plans or calendar updates.

And stand alone they are cool, but let me show you how it all fits together…

A tour of the Google ecosystem:

This is not a complete picture, but I hope it gives you some ideas of how you could think about the territory i.e. classification of function, instead of only the apps themselves:

Pho (photos) – Photos, Drive, G+, other networks, and Maps

So  (social) – G+ (Collections and Communities), Hangouts, Inbox, Calendar

Lo – (local) inc. Maps and Google my Business

Vo – (voice)

Sto- (storage) Drive and Keep, Gmail – and ‘Search’ for finding old Google+ messages

Underpinning it all are principles for business: Collaboration and Communication
As you will see from the video, there are so many cross-connections between the apps, and within the mobile experience.

A few examples:
(similar to the video, if you’d rather skim)

Let’s look at a few ways the ‘cross app’ functionality shows up.

Photos (Pho)
With Google Keep, Inbox and Drive and Photos – showing how these apps can work together:
Google Keep, Inbox and Drive and Photos

Social (So):
Google+, Search and YouTube – showing how Google+ posts can surface in Search, and how you move to YouTube’s app with a click.

Google+, Search and YouTube

Blogger fits in here too.

Local (Lo):

Maps, Photos and Google My Business – with Maps you can add Photos to a business, and if you are a business you can then manage your listing in Google My Business. You can also connect to G+ from there too.

Maps, Photos and Google My Business

Google wants you ‘in the world’

Putting this simply, the more Photos and Videos you take, the more Stories and Movies it makes using the Photos app.

The Google Maps app is increasingly about reviewing places and adding your photos to locations (as well as improving the mapping of the world).

Voice (V0):

As soon as you see a keyword, you have the option to use voice

(except in e.g. ‘Inbox’ right now)

Anywhere you see the ‘microphone’ you can use voice, from Search, to G+, to Drive, to Hangouts…


Storage (Sto):

By backing up your photos, and well as having your content in Gmail/Inbox, and Drive, we are uploading our photos into the Cloud.

I’ve said for a long time that one way to monetize all this free stuff we get from Google is through Storage, mainly Google Drive. With literally tens or hundreds of thousands of pictures being uploaded into the cloud we can see that once the free trials end, Google will have the ability to monetize at e.g $5 a month/$60 a user per year.

About me (Abo)

In order to complete the map, we need to see where your information comes from.
As you can see from the image below. There is a consistent display across so many of the apps – profile, and cover photo.

And also, when you click on people’s images e.g. in Hangouts, Inbox, G+ etc. it brings up the About Page for that person as an overlay.
This is a key change.


It used to be Google+ ‘About me’ but it is now ‘About Me’.
Not an App quite yet (on a mobile), but serves the function of informing your other devices.

Find the page here.

About me

So, Google+’s influence has become much more ‘in the background’ now, apart from the Social Sharing aspect.


There is an additional element that underpins so much of what you can do within the Google Eco-system – Collaboration.
Google Drive, Google Keep, and Hangouts are perfect examples of you choosing which people or groups you want to work with.
Full guide on that here.


This map of the Google Ecosystem is my personal antidote to seeing Apps in isolation.
It may well change as time goes on, and there could well be a ‘Chrome’ version emerge at some point too, but for now I hope you see change as a positive from this perspective.  Think Apps, and think communicating the right information at the right time with the right people.

Want to get some more advanced training for free? Sign up for my latest ‘GoMo’ course by clicking the link below!

Local Small Business Marketing in 2020

By | Digital Marketing, Google for Business, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

When you talk to people around the Silicon Valley area, you ‘get the vision’. The world is connecting.

I’ve spent almost three months interviewing people in this area I was surprised at what I found.
There is a distinct gap between the vision of a connected world, and the reality for most small to medium sized businesses.

What could local business be like in 2020?

The future may well be much more mobile, Local, more based around community, and hyper-personalized.

In five years time, the role of Artificial Intelligence will be more firmly embedded in our day to day lives. But we probably won’t even know it. Things will just seem to ‘flow’ better.

Companies like HTC can feel it. They are marketing to the ‘we are all one’ audience here:

We want information, and we get it – and I mean the right ‘stuff’, almost every time.
Think Google Now, but with suggestions that a personal assistant would make to you – thinking ahead.

Business will be far more automated, well, for those who have connected the dots. Others will lose out to those who’ve done the work.

Real World Business will have connected to the community around them, through Social as well as conversation.

We should be able to click a button, or move a slider, to increase the marketing budget based on the most recent optimization.

Google Adwords brought measurable marketing to the masses. And is still the most sophisticated way to connect the intent to purchase with the place that can deliver, and this will keep on developing.

As a business owner, you’ll know the people who will walk through your door. You will have a relationship with them already. You will have connected.

Here are the five areas of local business we are working on right now:

1. Building online relationships, and automating the admin

We already have the ability to personalize the customer (or potential customer) experience, but we are not connecting the dots in most businesses. We are not allowing our analytics to be driving decisions enough.

I use Infusionsoft for business automation.
And right now I can ‘score’ contacts based on their interactions with e.g. an email newsletter:

  • did they open it?
  • did they click a link?
  • what value should be placed on these types of activities

In 2020 I can see that we log into Infusionsoft like systems only to see the actions we need for that day. Nothing else.

No menus to distract, to tempt attention away, just ‘calls to make’, and things to do.

When these systems are fully integrated with Gmail, all replies will inform the sequence of events from inbox to sale.

And you’ve had this experience already as a customer. Think Amazon, but for your business.

Part 2 – Measuring success

Do you remember the dark days of marketing prior to Google Adwords? And what I say ‘dark’ I mean ‘we were in the dark’, throwing ads at the wall and hoping they stuck.

Some people still think of Google as ‘just a Search engine’, but everything from Google Adwords through to Google Drive can transform how we communicate with customers and colleagues alike.

The eco-system is now increasingly connected, and with the world going mobile and local we will see this serve ads to people in a hyper personalized way.

You don’t grow $50 billion revenue from an ad business in less than 15 years without it working for the customers.

And the level of sophistication people like PYBer Jim Banks have in this territory enables you to alter the ads on so many variables, including (even) the weather! You may serve different ads on a sunny day, to one when its raining, based on their location, their device, and their history of interaction with you (through re-marketing).
This is now. Not even 2020, we have a lot of the future tech now, but we have a lot of catching up to do with applying it.

3. Create a culture of feedback

Imagine a world of positive online feedback e.g. through Google Reviews, Yelp, Tripadvisor etc, and critical feedback only given offline, direct to the people in the business.
This would give them a chance to resolve your issue directly, and allow them to improve, without it hitting their business hard with negative online reviews for a temporary situation.
This is a culture ‘thing’ and needs people speak their mind about the business, and then the business has a choice whether to step up (or not).

Reviews are the next big thing, happening now.

4. Optimizing reality

Which waiters/waitresses perform the best? Which ones make customers happiest?
Reviews are going to lead the way. And Review systems, including Google, will be far more prominent as part of this feedback mechanism.

But that is once their is a sale. For people who are still deciding to take a next step, they will need nurturing along too…

5. Build your Local community

You know what businesses really like in their community? Recognition.
Look at the amount of places that quote ‘awards’ from days gone by. One Vietname restaurant in San Francisco still has a huge sign up for an award from 20 years ago!

So why don’t we bring this back? Why don’t we have the businesses who are doing great work to rise even more.The story of most reviewed businesses is there to be told – we have access to the data now through our partners.
And I don’t mean we create a new website and only have people download our app; I mean we display the information in the real world:

  • Top servers
  • Top reviewers
  • Top businesses
  • Top towns and villages

Social, real world games help build communities, give them a focus and something to work toward together.

And finally…

You, reading this right now, are almost certainly years ahead of the man on the street, including those with a small Local business.
People ‘out there in the world’ care about getting customers, and if you can draw a line directly between your actions and delivering customers to their door then you will win.

The key is turning customers into friends, and friends into extended family – one relationship at a time, on and offline.


How to use Google for small business marketing success!

By | Google for Business, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

I’ve spent over two months out ‘in the field’, in Northern California and have learned so much about people’s perceptions of what is happening online. And I’ve found so many people don’t realise how fast the rate of change is happening, and how incredible Google has become as a way for businesses to improve their results.

And the biggest thing I learned is the importance of REVIEWS – so there will be loads of small business marketing tips around this area.

As such, I’ve been creating a load of quality content that will help small businesses thrive, including…

New Blog Posts to be released as part of the ‘We dig’ summer campaign:

Links to be added once content is released…

  1. Local Business Marketing in 2020
  2. Introduction: How does Google Adwords work?
  3. How to show the world people love your products and services, using Google My Business
  4. The importance of Local Business Reviews!
  5. How to deal with bad reviews
  6. Why every local business should be using Adwords Express
  7. How to see ‘social extensions’ in your Google ads
  8. How much is a positive review worth?
  9. How Does Google Adwords Remarketing Work?
  10. Reviews, social risk and market potential
  11. Google Reviews, ‘reputation management’ and getting more customers.
  12. Which of these business listings would you rather own in Google Search?
  13. Local meets Mobile! (Google video and transcript)
  14. What are micro-moments? And why do brands need to start paying close attention to them.
  15. How to help people tell better stories, with Google+
  16. Could having Google reviews double your business?

Case studies:

  1. How important are reviews for Small Business Marketing success? (case study)
  2. What can we all learn from Philz Coffee?
  3. How David’s Tea is using reviews to improve customer service
  4. How Trader Joe’s bring ‘play’ back in their stores!
  5. The Uber review system explained and explored!
  6. What GoPro could learn about Reputation Management and Reviews.
  7. How much do bad reviews affect people’s behaviors? (Vista Print case study)
  8. Marketing for Bars to Barbershops
  9. Marketing for Thai Food restaurants and Tattoo Parlors
  10. What could GoPro learn about online reviews? (Talkwalker case study)

And as you can see, Plus Your Business has been supporting individuals and small businesses to learn the Google eco-system for years now, including…

Collaborative working and the Cloud

What is Google Drive? – a complete user guide.

Guide to Collaborative Working using Google Software Tools

Google Adwords

This category is going to fill out fast!

Google Hangouts

Complete Guide to Google Hangouts

How to make a custom lower third for a Google Hangout

Google My Business

How many businesses in your area are on Google Maps?

A ‘Small Business’ guide to using Google Plus

Localize – how to get yourself on the Map with Google

Optimize – helping people find your Google+ Page

Socialize – adding and engaging with people from your area

Google Pages for Businesses who ‘deliver as well’

Want to add in a delivery radius to a ‘Storefront’ Business?

What pages are not eligible to be Google Local Pages?

What do you need to claim a custom URL on YouTube?

How to find the URL for a Business Listing on Google Maps

How to find the embed code for a Business Listing on Google Maps

What if you have an issue with ‘Google Local’ listing?

Can you change a Google Local Page to a Brand Page, or vice versa?

How to have a ‘Local Reviews Box’ as a landing page

How to Get the Reviews that will Improve Your Local Search Rankings

Using Google Maps to help your Real Estate Business

How to create a custom ‘Google Map’

Case Study: How to put a village on the map!

Is ‘Google My Business’ good for business?

Google Search Case Study – Holiday Property Owners

Virtual Assistants, using Google products

How to work with a virtual assistant using Google Communities and Google Drive

How to create a virtual work space using Google Hangouts

Social SEO and SEO

Social SEO plugin for WordPress

How to use Google+ for Social SEO (Level 3)

Google Plus and Social SEO Facts and Evidence

Your First 9 SEO Tasks

The process of trust-reputation-authority

Guide to Social SEO

Google Business View

Google Business View – Sage Group HQ

Google My Business Guide to Picture Management

Android TV

Android TV for Business

Android TV and viewing behaviour

Interested in talking business? Get in touch here!