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Google basics you should be doing but probably aren’t10 Jun 2021

10 Quick Tips to Improve your Google Practices

Google has become an integral part of our lives, serving as a gateway to information, communication, productivity, and entertainment. With its vast array of services and tools, Google has simplified various aspects of our digital existence. However, despite our reliance on it, there are several fundamental Google basics that many users overlook or under-utilise. This article aims to shed light on some essential Google practices that you should be doing, but you probably aren’t.

1. Secure Your Google Account

Your Google account is the key to accessing all of Google’s services, from Gmail to Google Drive. It’s crucial to secure it to prevent unauthorised access. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of security. This involves receiving a verification code on your phone whenever you log in, ensuring that even if someone has your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the code.

2. Manage Your Privacy Settings

Google collects a significant amount of data about your online activities to personalize your experience. Take control of your privacy by reviewing and adjusting your privacy settings. Visit the “Privacy Checkup” section in your Google Account settings to manage what data Google can collect and how it uses that information.

3. Organise Your Google Drive

Google Drive is an excellent tool for storing and sharing files, but it can quickly become cluttered if not organised properly. Create folders and subfolders to categorise your files, making it easier to locate them when needed. Also, use the search bar effectively by using keywords and filters to find files more efficiently.

4. Utilise Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a powerful tool for managing your schedule and appointments. Take advantage of its features, such as colour-coding events, setting reminders, and integrating it with other apps like Gmail. Sharing your calendar with family or colleagues can also improve coordination and communication.

5. Master Google Search Techniques

Google Search is more than just typing keywords and hoping for the best. Learn to use advanced search operators to refine your search results. You can narrow down results by using quotes for exact phrases, using a minus sign to exclude certain words, or specifying a range of numbers for numerical searches.

6. Explore Google Workspace

Formerly known as G-Suite, Google Workspace offers a suite of productivity tools like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Collaborate in real-time with colleagues on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Embrace version history and commenting features to streamline teamwork and enhance productivity.

7. Clean Up Your Gmail

If your Gmail inbox is overflowing with unread messages and clutter, it’s time for a cleanup. Use labels to categorise emails, archive messages you don’t need to see immediately and unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read. Gmail’s built-in filters can also help automatically categorise and prioritise incoming emails.

8. Explore Google Photos

Google Photos is a fantastic platform for storing and organising your photos and videos. Make use of its search capabilities to find specific images, and take advantage of the unlimited storage option for high-quality photos. Remember to periodically back up your photos to ensure they’re safe.

9. Discover Google Keep

Google Keep is a note-taking app that’s often overlooked in favor of more prominent alternatives. However, its simplicity is its strength. Use it for jotting down quick notes, creating to-do lists, setting reminders, and even collaborating with others on shared notes.

10. Stay Updated on Google’s New Features

Google frequently introduces new features and improvements across its services. Stay informed by subscribing to official Google blogs and newsletters. This way, you’ll be among the first to know about updates that could enhance your digital experience.

In conclusion, Google offers a plethora of tools and services that can significantly enhance your digital life. By mastering these basics, you can ensure a more secure, organised, and efficient online experience. From securing your account to effectively using productivity tools, taking these steps will empower you to make the most out of the Google ecosystem.

Elevating Your Estate and Lettings Agent Website’s Google Presence

For estate and letting agents, your website is your digital shop window. Spending time and money into getting it looking lovely is pretty pointless if no one is going to see it. This means that getting your Google presence sorted is imperative to the success of your site. Yes, there are other search engines but Google is the big one and there are some things you’re probably not doing, which will earn you some serious brownie points and probably give you an edge over your competition.

First things first, you need to have a bit of a tidy-up and get your online presence in order. When you’ve been online for a long time, you may have had different marketing professionals working for you all with slightly different ideas and methods, and little things can fall by the wayside if no one is checking how you look on search engines regularly.

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and have a bit of a clear-out!

NAP

Initiating a meticulous NAP (name, address, and phone number) audit emerges as a cardinal step. However, NAP extends beyond its acronym; it encompasses all the data you want uniformly coherent across the digital labyrinth, spanning web and email addresses, operational hours, and more. The ramifications of this coherence are far-reaching, notably influencing your Google rankings—a facet extensively illuminated on this page.

We’ve written in more detail about why you need to do it here, but it’s basically to ensure that all of your information is consistent right across the web. Sometimes websites will pull information from elsewhere, this becomes out of date, and then when Google’s little robots are crawling the web making sure you’re indexed in their search results correctly, they see inconsistencies in information about you, and it can have a negative impact on your Google rankings.

GOOGLE REVIEWS

Embarking on a nuanced journey, the spotlight shifts to reviews, a cornerstone of reputation management. Efforts to actively solicit Google reviews become pivotal, particularly in situations where adverse comments slip under the radar, tainting the overall rating. Swift and strategic responses to unfavourable feedback mitigate their impact and showcase professionalism, even when the urge to retort vehemently might be tempting.

If you’ve not actively been getting Google reviews, now is a great time to start asking customers for them. Especially if at some point you’ve picked up a negative one at some point and you weren’t aware, but it’s bringing your overall Google star rating down.  If this is the case, although you can’t delete bad reviews you can bury them. By asking customers for reviews when you know they’re happy with your service, you can reduce the overall effect Negative Nigel has on your rating.

Want to know how best to reply to bad reviews even if you want to type ‘WE ALL THINK YOU’RE AN ARSE, MR MOANY LANDLORD’? We’ve written about replying to negative reviews here.

GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE

Central to this orchestration is the Google Business Profile, a free conduit for channelling potential clients toward your virtual domain. By virtue of its Google lineage, active engagement with this profile not only serves users but is also rewarded with heightened rankings. This repository encapsulates an array of essential facets—business details, descriptions, images, reviews, and more—collectively culminating in a digital representation of your establishment.

Creating a Google account and subsequently searching for your establishment’s name unveils the pathway to “claim this listing,” an essential step in the journey of reclaiming and enriching your online identity. The art of meticulous attention is key, breathing life into your listing through updated information, coherent visuals, and synchronisation across the digital tableau.

You basically need to blow the cobwebs off of your Google listing and give it some love, updating information and photos, and ensuring that your information is consistent across the web.

Additional reading: How to conquer Google My Business >>

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Katie is a Freelance Copywriter living in rural Dorset with her daft old Labrador. She first started writing content for the property industry back in 2015, and loves nothing more than bringing brand voices to life!

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