Google wooing SMEs to its business apps

KUALA LUMPUR: Search king Google Inc is on a mission to get half a million local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) online, with the aid of its business applications Google AdWords, Google Places and Google Analytics.

Julian Persaud, managing director of Google South-East Asia, would not give Google’s time frame for this goal but pointed out that 500,000 out of the 600,000 SMEs in Malaysia have no web presence yet.

Google obviously has its work cut out for it but it is hoping that getting the SMEs to recognise the benefits of its business applications will be a good start.

SMEs, said Persaud, could use Google’s applications to increase their sales and global presence. AdWords is an online advertising platform while Places offers businesses the ability to create a mini website in minutes.

Businesses with websites can use Analytics for detailed analyses of the online traffic to their sites. They would be able to see how long websurfers spend at the sites and what content interested them.

There’s also Google’s Display Ad Builder which automatically creates banner ads — a tool that SMEs may find useful.

Google has begun more activities to boost awareness of its business apps. It worked with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, as well as the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), in December last year on an SME Business Dealers Package.

The package offered SMEs a free trial of online advertising using AdWords. Matrade is Malaysia’s national trade promotion agency.

“We also had a free one-day Google Analytics Masterclass in March at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, where 320 people from various SMEs attended. We intend to have more (of such activities) this year,” Persaud said.

According to him, Google is increasing staff at its regional headquarters in Singapore. “We have 100 employees doing sales, marketing, and customer support; we are looking to hire 40 more people this year,” he said.

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