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The First Step to Beginning a Digital Marketing / Web Presence: Get a Google Account.

February 17, 2016.Finn.0 Likes.0 Comments
Home/Blog/Digital Marketing/The First Step to Beginning a Digital Marketing / Web Presence: Get a Google Account.

I’ve written this step for a few digital projects over the years. It’s been nice to see that some things in digital marketing never change.

Regardless of whether the digital marketing / web presence strategy is focused on eCommerce, Lead Generation, Direct Response, Branding, just goofing off with friends, or any and all combinations there within, the first step is the same: create a Google Account.

Why? Because you’re going to end up using several of their business tools

Google is the place where you’re going to get a lot of insight and information into your efforts. Here’s a starter list of tools you’ll have access to:

“Are they in the cloud?”

Uh, sure. If that helps. The collaborative and productivity tools were out before the computing “cloud” was a few evaporated raindrops in a marketer’s buzzed mind.

Here we go

  1. If you want a good free email account, with a mobile app, and the ability to use 5 email addresses, then you’ll have that with Google’s Gmail, which is free.
  2. If you want to track the visitor activity on your website(s) (and you do), then you’ll have access to Google Analytics, which is free.
  3. If you want to track the health of your website, you’ll use Google Webmasters, which is free.
  4. If you want to have a business phone that call forwards to multiple numbers, is a great call screener, halfway decent voicemail-to-text transcriber, and gives free voicemails direct to your email, you’ll want Google Voice, which is free, for the most part. There are some overseas and uber long distance calls you could pay for but essentially, the service is free.
  5. If you want a great online calendar to track appointments, reminders, updates, and collaboration…you’ll want Google Calendar, which is free.
  6. Love YouTube? With a Google account, you get a YouTube account.
  7. Want to set your business(es) address(es) in Google Maps? Well, now you have a free Google My Business account when you sign up, which is free.
  8. How about free semi-decent word processing software with spreadsheets, slide presentations, flowchart software, and online forms? Google Drive is the place to go. You can get support for it if you get Google Business Apps, or go the free route for awhile. There are also thousands of developers making plugins and apps to enhance the experience and make it comparable to Office 365.
  9. And, yeah, Google+ too, which you can shut off if you want, but before you do we’d recommend checking out the communities that your business/project relates to. You’ll find many, many great members on those Google+ communities.

This doesn’t include that if you want Google email support on a branded email, it’s included in the $5 a month from Google Business Apps. Google Photos & Google Play are both pretty incredible. If you want high, but not necessarily print-quality photos, you can set Google Photos to unlimited storage. You can also store online books and up to 10,000 songs for free with Google Play. Speaking of that, if you’re looking to buy or have a domain registrar that doesn’t try to pump you for extra surcharges and upsells, use Google Domains. If you want a blogging platform that isn’t WordPress, Blogger is still around, which starts off free.

And when we get to Advertising, welcome to AdWords.

All of those tools and much, much, more become available with just one, free Google account.

And if you decide to leave, all your data is available via export

Just go to the Google Export page and begin downloading. It could take days if you have a lot of data, but you get it to take with you.

To keep track of it all, follow Google.com/press

This will provide directories of all their active blogs about all their products, which is searchable by product and topic, as well as press photos and b-rolls if you ever become more integrated with Google.

Where to sign up

Go to Google.com, click the blue Sign In button in the upper-right-hand corner which will take you to a sign in page. Below the form fields, there’s a link to Create account. From there, fill out the information, including picking a username that goes with your brand, because that’s going to be your free Gmail address.

Tips for when you sign up

As you can see, a Google account not only shows you that the best things in life are free, but powerful as well. To quote Spiderman, or Peter Parker’s Uncle, or the Book of Luke, or somewhere in between, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Once you get going, all these tools are going to be important to you so treat the account with the respect such a valuable asset deserves. Remember the following:

  1. Pick a username you’ll want for your gmail address : the username will be what the gmail address works.
  2. Use a phone number you’ll have for a long, long time : pick a number that takes text messages. No burners. Use a full-time number that only people you trust will have access to
  3. Don’t skimp on the password : We’d suggest going with a passphrase – four unrelated words of different reading levels, misspell a couple of them and stuff some random numbers in others. Throw in some special characters along the way. That should throw off some of the dogs.
  4. Write down this info in a secure place : Don’t leave this info on a Post-It note. Pick a spreadsheet that can be password protected with another great password, or something that can be stuffed in a safe. I could suggest more things, but then I’d tell you how I’d do it.
  5. Make the backup “current email” belong to someone you’d trust with your special-needs infant: When you ask this person to help you set up this email, don’t do it anything that can be tracked. AKA: don’t write it in another email.

Then it’s on to the next step: using the Google Account to sign up for other digital marketing profiles

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