At the start of 2019, there were 5.8 million small businesses registered in the UK, accounting for 99.9% of the business population, employing 16.6 million people and generating around half of private sector turnover.
But these figures don’t tell the whole story of what small businesses bring to the UK.
Small businesses are passionate, they are creative and they are the lifeblood of local communities – often representing the culture of those communities.
The challenges SMEs face
They understand that their success depends on both fostering their connections to current customers and finding new customers.
But when it comes to growing their business, nearly one in four small business owners say that marketing is one of the biggest challenges they face.
Getting ready for Christmas – online is where it’s at
Ahead of the festive period, it’s important for small businesses to be aware and take advantage of the tools which help them break through the noise of the holiday season.
According to our research, 98% of global shoppers shop online, illustrating the lucrative opportunity to reach new customers.
Below are a few easy, effective ways to help grow your business online with Google this time of year:
1. Get found on Google and post your latest news
Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to a geographic location, and that trend is only increasing, so it’s critical to have your business appear in results for local searches. This is managed through the Google My Business product.
Posting through Google My Business now lets you update your holiday hours and publish any seasonal offers, products, or services directly to your listing on Search and Maps.
By creating posts, you can place your timely content in front of customers when they find your business listing.
2. Find new customers abroad
Our easy-to-use tool, Market Finder, can recommend the best market for your business and gives you all the insights you need to research your next global market.
Once you’ve decided on your next market, we can help with tools, guides, and resources to help you navigate areas like localisation, international payments, and logistics.
3. Understand customer experience
Providing top-quality customer experience is a cornerstone of a successful business.
In the digital world, the customer experience begins before customers physically set foot in-store – with 90% of shoppers who visit a store researching online before visiting. Grow My Store tests your website against up to 22 metrics based on in-depth studies into customer experience best practices and generates bespoke reports with recommendations.
These insights help improve the online experience and help small and medium businesses grow.
4. Reach new customers
You can reach even more customers by setting up an ad in less than 15 minutes with Smart Campaigns, Google’s simple and easy-to-use ads solution designed for small businesses.
Just select your goal (calls, actions on your website or actual in store traffic), your location, budget and upload your ad creative and using machine learning Google goes to work to deliver the best results for you.
5. Learn how your website is performing
Google Analytics helps you see what’s working and fix what’s not on your website. Understanding your website visitors helps you better evaluate the performance of your content, products, and more.
Google also has a free Analytics Academy that helps you learn about measurement tools so that you can grow your business through intelligent data collection and analysis.
6. Attend a Grow with Google workshop
If you want hands-on help and learning opportunities, we have partnered with thousands of organisations across the country who offer free help and workshops through our Grow with Google small program.
You can find resources and a workshop near you at grow.google.
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