Most of us start online when looking for products and services to compare prices, read reviews, and check availability. In the COVID era, we probably do this more than ever — think of placing a takeout order on a restaurant’s website or buying something online instead of visiting a brick-and-mortar store.
For small business owners, that means your website can be your new front door — the first interaction a potential customer has with your business. Your online presence may be the only place your customers can connect with you or make a purchase from your business, so it’s more important than ever to grow your online digital storefront.
We’re continuing to see consumer behavior evolve. In fact, 61% of U.S. consumers think buying online and picking up in-store/curbside will be a beneficial way for them to shop, even when there are no public health restrictions. 
This means that building and strengthening your digital presence is a key growth strategy for all businesses.
To learn different ways to grow your digital presence, we invite you to join our free, three-week Reach Customers Online sprint hosted in partnership with Grow with Google. Running from June 7 – 25, each week brings a new step-by-step guide to get the most out of Google’s online tools. You’ll also get access to live mentor sessions that provide tips and advice straight from the experts at Grow with Google.
Let’s go over what you’ll take away from each week of the sprint.
Week 1: Get Your Local Business on Google Search and Maps
In February 2021, searches for “local” and “business(es)” have grown by more than 80% year over year, including searches like “local businesses near me” and “support local businesses.”  Ensuring that your business information is readily available on Google is a smart way to connect with these local customers searching for products and services you provide. The first step in reaching and engaging customers online is setting up a Google Business Profile. This profile ensures that Google has the most up-to-date address, business hours, and other common information that consumers are searching for.
In this week’s guide, we’ll walk you through every step of the Business Profile setup process, with specific advice for different types of businesses. Stasia Kudrez, a lead educator for the Grow with Google program, will host this week’s live mentor session.
Week 2: How Google Search and Trends Work
Google helps people find information on the web by sorting through billions of web pages and showing people where to find the answers they are seeking. For business owners, learning how this process works helps you connect with people searching for products and services you provide.
This week’s guide teaches you how Google organizes information, what you can do to improve your visibility in organic search results, and how tools like Google Trends, Google Analytics, and Google Ads can help drive customer acquisition. Your mentor for Week 2 will be Petia Abdur-Razzaaq, a Grow with Google professional trainer with decades of experience in online marketing.
Week 3: Learn the Basics of Google Ads
With more than 59% of shoppers using Google to research a purchase, Google Ads helps you target relevant customers to connect with people searching for products and services you provide. 
In the Week 3 guide, we first discuss the various kinds of Google Ads. Then we break down the anatomy of an ad and teach you how to create a successful campaign. Grow with Google professional trainer Maria Elena Duron will be on deck for this week’s webinar.
June 7 – 25, 2021