Google apps is now 10 years old and they have just announced that they are changing the name of their Apps Suite from Google Apps for Work to G Suite
These are the names that Google has given their productivity suite up to now:
Google Apps For Your Domain
Google Apps for Business
Google Apps for Work
and now [drum roll]… G Suite
This welcome name change comes with some new enhancements to their suite of business productivity apps, including better accessibility for teams to collaborate with files in the same shared space. Google calls this software productivity “machine intelligence”, a technical moniker for “working smarter”.
For my part, I look forward to this name change – not having to speak out or type out the whole title for Google’s suite every time I refer to it, will shave hours off my conversations about Google Apps every year.
If you would like to know more about G Suite, go to Google’s official blog
You may already have a free Gmail account and you know may already be aware of all the apps available to you with your free account. However, you may not know that there is a subscribed version that gives you proper and professional organisational control for your business – it is called Google Apps for Work. If you haven’t already done it, now is always a good time to set your business up on Google Apps for Work, as it protects your business correspondence and information on one of the most reliable email systems in the world.
What is Google Apps for Work?
It is a minimal cost, subscription-based administration and productivity tools suite that is run from the cloud. By using cloud-based software, you can access your software used for business via your web browser or an app on your phone or tablet. All changes are saved in the cloud, which means your data is safely stored on secure, secure servers all over the world. Even if your computer, or even a whole country, loses power, you can still access your files and software through any browser just by logging in.
Have a look at the introductory video from Google explaining it all here, or, if you prefer you can read about the benefits outlined further down the page.
What are the benefits?
Well, aside from never having to worry about backing up your files yourself, it also has a suite of productivity tools that are widely used and well integrated – after all, it is from Google.
There are great advantages to using Google Apps for Work for your business or organisation:
Google Admin allows you to control all your own business email accounts using your own domain, assigned to user and/or group, like your accounts department, sales department, support, etc.
You can add users to your account for each person in your company or organisation, and individually assign them access to the many software apps that come with Google Apps. With these you can communicate and collaborate with each other and your customers by using not only your own customized Google Gmail, but also access to the many handy productivity apps that are included with Google Apps for Work.
Ideal for communication, cloud storage or collaboration, Google Apps for Work gives you the tools for your business to work better with staff, contractors or customers.
Gmail – for all your email needs
Docs – Google’s online wordprocessor
Hangouts – Google’s own communicator (like Skype)
Sheets – easily create and share spreadsheets
Calendar – schedule appointments and invite others
Forms – create your own questionnaires
Google + – A better networking tool for business than Facebook
Slides – create and share your presentations
Google Drive is also provided with Google Apps for Work. With Google Drive you get 30Gb of online (cloud) storage per user, as a starter. One Terrabyte per user for a 5 user account, or unlimited storage for accounts with more than 5 users is also available. For an extra $10 per user per month, this is a cheap and reliable storage option.
There is no “save” button, only undo and redo buttons when editing Google Docs files. This means you don’t have to remember to save all the time, and it saves you the worry of backing up your files on your computer (which you should do nevertheless). If your computer or device fails, you lose nothing. Simply log into Google Drive from another computer or device and you have access to your files again!
You can share any file from your Google Drive to anyone else without having to attach it to an email.
For example, let’s say you type a document with product information on it. You want to have someone else, a staff member, or a supplier check the details are correct. You simply “share” the file with the co-editor, who can also edit the file. Once the document is ready, you can send it to the intended recipient with permission set to view only. This way, the document can’t be changed by the recipient but they can view and print it.
Try it out
Why not give Google Apps for Work a trial run for 30 days? It’s relatively cheap compared to other similar services available – and if you decide within the trial period that you don’t want to use it, you can cancel the service without any trouble.
If you google “printers” these days, you will find pages and pages of links to office printing machines, but much less for links to companies that offer print services. What most office laser or inkjet printers can’t do is give you the infinite choice of stock to print on, give the economies of scale for large print runs, provide die-cut shaping, consistent depth of colour and accuracy, or guillotine sizing to your requirements. If you wanted to do all this in-house, you may as well start up a printing business yourself.
Let’s face it, printing can be an expensive service to use in Australia. It’s not the fault of the local printers, don’t blame them. It is because of high transport costs, currency exchange rates affecting cost of ink, paper or machinery, high wages, accounting, processing BAS reports, the burden of government regulation and bureaucratic red tape required to run a business in Australia – and the list goes on. However, if you live and work in Australia, then at least you know that we are all in this together and are interdependent, relying on each other for local support (with a wink for us in that as well!) There would be no communities, no towns and no cities if we all chose to buy products and services from outside. Yes, the internet has changed how business is done now, but, if anything, it has made it easier for money to flow from our domain to accrue in, and benefit, far-away lands. That is one of the important reasons why Wisefocus Designs prefers to use and buy local. That’s why we use eco-green Australian servers. We prefer to buy supplies and services from as close to our locale as we can. The important thing for any business trying to make a profit is to aim for economies of scale. When you ask a lot up front for products and services, you risk losing your goodwill. You can then spend a fortune like our telcos trying to convince your customers to return. In one of my former working lives, I worked as an optical technician for an optometrist in Perth. They were expensive and didn’t discount, but they provided good old-fashioned, friendly and informative service. It worked, and they did very well. The customers were happy to pay more for good service.
The choice we have these days for printing suppliers are through the online printers, the local printers, or even overseas printers. They all have their pros and cons for the consumer, and quality is not necessarily linked to price, location or ordering method – so shop around for your printer if you want to avoid having a lifetime’s worth of sophisticated scrap note paper for the desk.
Typically, unless you use a big printer like Vistaprint, an order for a set of 250 business cards on plain 300 gsm stock could set you back around $60 – $80. Vistaprint’s prices start from a ridiculously low $19.00 for very basic, one-side 4 colour cards. They are big on internet marketing to the point of spamming our email inbox with continuous offers. You will discover often that the order you just put in has been superseded with a better deal than you had before you paid. This tactic is designed to get you to make your own value-added purchase, but personally it leaves me feeling a bit deflated to know that I have to spend more to reduce my expenditure!
You can get some very cheap printing by ordering online from overseas, but communication can be limiting, especially if the overseas company does not have anyone there who speaks english reasonably well – and would you want a printer, who doesn’t speak english has their first language, to be printing your material?
It makes sense to support your local printer. If we support our local business, we support the community that we call home and we all help to sustain it and make it grow – because, what goes around, comes around – and we’re all in it together.
This is an area of internet crafting that has many areas within it. There is no single SEO answer to making your website popular on the internet and its search engines, except by making a well designed site with many link references and description attributes, along with much well-researched content included.
Content is the key
Every website is scanned by search engines like Google. Sites that are stale, unoriginal in content, uninformative and not engaging are assessed by search engines and ranked accordingly to be offered up in the search query results. Keywords, keyword terms and Keyword phrasing are a very important component of your website.
The fast fix
Think organic and think artificial. Your website, your referrals on the internet, your interest – this is organic SEO. The artificial promotion of your website is where your backlinks are installed on some irrelevant and obviously dodgy internet site.
Some SEO companies will tell you that they will get you on page 1 of google search very quickly. They may proclaim to know Google better than Google does itself. Nobody knows Google like Google and Google don’t give away the criteria that they assess websites by in their algorithms – that is their trade secret. SEO companies may achieve a great outcome in the short term, but if it is done incorrectly, your domain name will pay for it in the long term with being ranked down or even blacklisted for bad or “blackhat” SEO techniques. If you stop paying for SEO services, then the maintenance of fixing the problems stops, thus leaving the bad eggs to be discovered in the next indexing by Google. It can be a very expensive solution, but Paid Per Click options like adwords may be a better alternative, so do some thorough homework and ask whether your website will be assessed and worked with first. Keep in mind that the cost of SEO services can be way of proportion to the cost and time in designing and building a website, so ask what is the work in hours and tasks that is actually being done for SEO?
Fast-fix solutions will always come at a greater cost later on, so look for real examples, real testimonials and find real evidence for any promises made to improve your search engine results. Our experience has been good with some SEO people but it is World Wild West out there and cowboys are everywhere.