Google Launches Program to Help Small Businesses Become More Visible
Do your company’s website, hours, and address show up right away when people Google you…or at all? If not, you’re missing out on big business and Google wants to help you fix the problem. The tech giant announced a major new small business initiative called Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. The aim is to help every business in every city in America get discovered across its services. To this ambitious end, Google has created a custom website for “virtually every town and city in the U.S.;” 30,000 in all. The sites provide small business owners with step-by-step directions on how to create a Google My Business listing, as well as how to improve the information that shows up about their companies on Google search, Google maps, and Google+. “We wanted to make the process of getting online easier for small businesses, and help them find their customers in those moments that matter,” Soo Young Kim, head of marketing for Google’s Get Your Business Online Program told Entrepreneur. Google says its localized Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map websites also give small business owners access to a new diagnostic tool that shows them how their companies appear on Google Search and Google Maps. The sites also enable them to have their companies verified for Google searches, add photos, location and hours of operation to their business listing and, if needed, secure a website and domain name from Google partner StartLogic that will be free for a year. Visitors to Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map sites will also be directed to local in-person training workshops hosted by Google in partnership with small business growth-focused local organizations, like Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE chapters.