Ok, so the use of Google Docs isn’t typically a piece of the SEO puzzle, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into using it in a business sense. We know Google applications tend to be pretty cool, and Google Docs just got even cooler! Previously, you could share a document with anyone in your gmail contacts list, and they could view the document (on their own time or at the same time as you), make comments, edit, highlight, etc.. I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t ever considered using Google Docs as a business tool outside of the office before, but with these new advancements, I see how it could be very useful for some businesses.
The new Google Docs features now allow you and everyone you’ve shared the document with to communicate in an instant messenger style window, as well as to tag contacts with the infamous @ symbol. Once tagged, that contact will receive an email notification. The new features allow you and mutliple other people to discuss the document in real time, in a chat group, rather than getting input from one person at a time.
While there may not be a useful document for a women’s shoe store to share with clients, perhaps a financial advising company could use Google Docs to share a proposal with five remotely located brothers and sisters to discuss the finance options of their elderly parents. Imagine a real time discussion, in which everyone is involved, including the financial advisor, so multiple phone calls aren’t necessary, advice doesn’t get misinterpreted when passed between siblings, and a face to face meeting isn’t required! Not only that, but imagine being able to edit the document to suggest (visibly) a different investment option, based on the current discussion with all five siblings. Everyone will see the same suggestions, the same options, and the same figures. Therefore, everyone will feel informed and will therefore, hopefully, be able to come to a group decision, all without a single phone call or face to face meeting.
The options are endless with Google Docs and the discussion feature. Many different types of businesses could benefit from sharing documents with their customers and clients. It is simply a matter of determining whether or not it makes sense for your company.
Sara Beaudoin is the Marketing Communications Manager for SearchPro Systems