Google visits Augusta to help businesses grow their online presence

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Between branding, reaching new customers, and search engine optimization (SEO), navigating your company's online presence is more important than ever. That's why Google was in Augusta Thursday.

Google's 'Grow with Google' workshops introduce people to a number of tools and resources Google has to offer.

Folks at Augusta's Lithgow Public Library had a special opportunity to learn about how to grow their digital skills and businesses.

They had both group and one-on-one sessions where people were taught the best ways to use Google tools to reach customers and run their small businesses.

"Being really digitally savvy is becoming even more important for businesses today," said Google Senior Program Manager Jamie Vachon. "So this really involves anything from Google Analytics, which is a tool where you can really learn more about website activity, website reach; tools like Google My Business where you can reach customers where you're at physically."

Vachon, a Sidney native who now lives in Massachusetts, says that from growing up in the Augusta area she knows how much small business means for both business owners and employees. She says she's thrilled to be able to bring these resources to hard-working Mainers.

"Google is really passionate about making information accessible to all people," said Vachon. "So that's one of the things that makes Grow with Google so great. We're able to be out here in the community. For myself, being from Augusta this is a really special day in particular."

The event was made possible in part by a partnership between Google and the Maine State Library.

"We're both interested in making information accessible to individuals and helping small businesses and people really in this age of digital literacy and digital skills," said Maine State Librarian Jamie Ritter. "It makes for a natural partnership."

Google says that businesses that use their tools see four times the growth -- something that business owners in attendance would love to see themselves.

"It was very well done," said Jennifer Mills, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Pittston Farm. "It was helpful to me, as I'm sure it was to many other people."