Find out what you can do with a free Google account.
A Google account gives you personalised access to Google products. I’ll cover just a few of the things you can do with your Google account:
- Google Drive
- Google Photos
- Google My Business
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- YouTube Video
- Google Calendar
- Google Hangouts
- Google Meet
- Google Ads
Businesses of all sizes have adopted Google Drive as their online document management tool. At Hive of Design, we use it during our website design process to work on documents with clients. You don’t have to have a Google account to edit the files we share with you, but it will be easier to find the files later if you have them in an account.
You can create and edit certain file types online without having to download them. Google files include:
- Docs for word processing (similar to Microsoft Word);
- Sheets for spreadsheets (similar to Excel);
- Slides for presentations (similar to PowerPoint); and
- Forms for surveys and collect information (data is stored in Google Sheets).
- Plenty of storage space (and Google files don’t count towards your file storage limit).
- Simple to share files when working remotely – invite others to view, comment and edit any file or folder.
- As long as you have an internet connection, when you edit files your changes will automatically be saved (so everyone sees the same version).
- More than one person can edit the same document at the same time.
- Look at the document history to see who made changes or go back to a previous version.
- Make files available offline so you can view them if you lose your internet connection.
- Download Google files to open them in Microsoft Office or other desktop applications.
Hive of Design uses Google Photos during our website design process to set up a shared album. This gives you an easy way to supply us with images for the project. You can log in anytime to see what images we already have and add comments to the images.
Google My Business
Your Google My Business listing on Google complements your website, appearing when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search or Maps. See Hive of Design’s listing for an example of what people could see when searching for your business.
Hive of Design’s website package can include setting up your Google My Business listing for you. Give us your Google account username (usually your Gmail email address) and we’ll then add you to make sure you have ownership.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console will help you understand and improve on how your site is shown in Google Search results. It’s best to set up this tracking service as soon as your website has launched, as you can’t set it up later and see past visits.
Hive of Design’s website package can include setting up your website’s Google Search Console reporting for you. Give us your Google account username (usually your Gmail email address) and we’ll then add you to make sure you have ownership.
Google Analytics reports on how website users interact with your site. Hive of Design’s website package can include setting up your website’s Google Analytics reporting for you. Give us your Google account username (usually your Gmail email address) and we’ll then add you to make sure you have ownership.
With Gmail, you can access your email from anywhere that has an internet connection. The service filters advertising spam, viruses, and phishing attempts. It also allows you to add:
- other email addresses you own (so everything is in one account);
- a filter to forward certain emails to another person (automatically);
- filters and labels to automatically organise your mail (e.g. filter emails you’re only CC’d in out of your main inbox); and
- a flag special messages with a star.
People love watching videos. But as they’re big files, if you upload them straight to your website it can cause it to crash or load slowly. To avoid this, embed the video from a site like YouTube. These sites are optimised for hosting videos and have large servers powering them.
YouTube is also the world’s second-largest search engine, so more people will find your video.
Add your meetings and events to Google’s online calendar so you can access your schedule from anywhere and share it with people you work with. Lots of other apps and software can integrate with this to add more functionality.
Google Hangouts is the chat app built into Gmail. You can chat with or video call anyone else with a Google account. Add more people to the chat or video call to create a group.
Google Meet is a video conferencing tool that allows you to connect with up to 150 meeting participants. Features include simple scheduling, screen sharing and real-time captions. Meetings can easily be recorded and saved to your Google Drive, so you can watch and share later. Meetings are limited to 60 minutes for the free product.
If you’re not appearing in search results organically, you can use PPC advertising like Google Ads. PPC (short for pay-per-click) is an online advertising model where you pay a fee when the ad is clicked. Google Ads shows your advert on the Google Search results page. It’s free to set up an account, but you’ll need to add a credit card start paying when people click on your ad.
From online documents, easy-to-use email inboxes and free marketing tools, we’ve covered some of the many ways that you can use your Google account. Set up your free Google account and get started.
If you’d like someone at Hive of Design to show you how to use one of these Google products, ask us for a tutorial or workshop.