Janet and I attended two of the FREE Google Digital Garage Workshops last Friday. The workshops are based at their pop-up #DigitalGarage near the Dock in Leeds. It was so good and it’s a free service that Google are putting on for all businesses to help them improve their online presence!

Google Digital Garage Leeds - Google Workshop - Social Progress LtdThe day started with a warm welcome and some free refreshments whilst we waited to be called upstairs for the two seminars:

  1. Telling your story online
  2. The Power of Search and Managing Presence with Google

The building itself, once we found it, was pretty industrial but modern. The staff were friendly and helpful. The facilities were clean and welcoming.

Did you know that the venue is available for hosting networking events? No we didn’t either! Once we were all escorted upstairs we saw the open space of the top level. The Google Experts had sectioned off the centre area where chairs were set out facing the projector screen. Simple but functional.

To our delight we were all given a free Google branded notebook – each with a Google branded pen as well. I was personally in my element – I’m a bit obsessed with textures within branding (e.g. anything letterpressed, embossed or foiled *swoon*). So that was us ready and set for taking lots of notes.

Google Digital Garage Leeds - Google Workshop - Google Notebook - Social Progress Ltd

Gori was the Google Digital Expert who presented the two seminars to us. Although we felt that the first workshop didn’t really apply to Social Progress, the second one was much more applicable. We picked up quick a lot of tips and hints about SEO and how to help Google to index a website more effectively.

Although (by the end) we felt a little overloaded with Google tools and analytical platforms there was a lot to take in and these were a few points which stood out to us and may also help you with your business:

Seminar 1:

  • Only 50% of businesses and charities have a website and 23% of those only provide basic information.
  • 88% of SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) are not taking advantage of the growth opportunities out there.
  • Customers are embracing digital. 77% of people in the UK buy online at least once a month. We are one of the most digitally sophisticated nations on the planet.
  • Google loves mobile friendly websites – is your website shine across all types of mobile devices? Is it easy to navigate or do people get frustrated and move on? Is your mobile-friendly website also thumb friendly? Customers are 67% more likely to buy a product or service from a mobile-friendly site.
  • How are you telling your [business] story – are you taking advantage of video opportunities? In 2014 digital took over TV as the primary source of media consumption in Britain! Mobile is the key driver to this category and 45% was through tablets or mobiles.
  • Video is more engaging than a static image.

Google Digital Garage Leeds - Google Workshop - Social Progress Ltd

Seminar 2: The Power of Search and Managing Digital Presence with Google

  • Reviews are powerful – you are 4 x more likely to buy a product recommended to you by a friend.
  • Google My Business – covers Google Maps, Google Search and Google Plus (split into three categories: Storefront, Service Area and Brand).
  • SEO is important because it helps Google to understand you better! Use Google Webmaster Tool to find out your Google ranking and it will also tell you if you have any errors on your webpages.
  • The workshop also included hints and tips on using Google Trends, Google Adwords and Google Analytics.

Gori also made us aware that we can also book a 40 minute session with a Google Digital Expert to go through a website health-check (from Google’s perspective) and help businesses improve their online presence. Or alternatively you can book time to see them about any related questions or tasks you may need a hand with or simply enquire to know more.

We’re going to be taking them up on their offer to ask a few questions about our Social Progress website. So why don’t you take advantage of the Google Digital Garage whilst it’s still there – it’s only around until September (ish) so don’t miss out! Book onto their workshops and make an appointment with a Digital Expert!

Find out more details here about the Google Digital Garage here: www.digitalgarage.withgoogle.com/#/

#DigitalGarage


Google Digital Garage Leeds - Google Workshop - Social Progress Ltd

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