As most business users of Google Apps know by now, Google recently added dozens of new services to Google Apps, including AdWords, Analytics, DoubleClick, Feedburner, Reader and Voice, among others.
The update gives Google Apps customers access to a whole suite of applications that were previously only available to individual users.
One of these newly-available applications is Blogger, Google's hosted blogging platform. In a post on the Google Small Business Blog today, Blogger's product manager Anil Sabharwal discusses how small businesses can add Blogger to their toolkit and use it to publish a company blog.
A recent study showed that an estimated 34% of US companies already use one or more blogs to connect with their customers, and this figure has doubled in the past few years. Google uses blogs, just like the Enterprise Blog where you're reading now, to connect with our users and partners. In fact, Google has almost a hundred blogs running on the Blogger platform, covering topics as diverse as our renewable energy policies, product updates, developer challenges and code snippets, and information for advertisers and partners.
Whether it's on Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr or elsewhere, maintaining a company blog is definitely a good idea for small businesses, as it can build a sense of authority and trust with customers and helps drive traffic to your company's site.
For existing Google Apps customers, Blogger may make an ideal fit if only because it's part of the same suite of applications they're already using. For users who'd like to move their company blog to Blogger from another provider, Google does offer fairly straight-forward tools for importing blogs from Wordpress and other services.