As a small business, it's critical that customers can find you quickly and easily online. And if you're a local business, getting your city involved can help.
Google launched today (March 25) Let's Put Our Cities on the Map, a new program designed to help local businesses get online using city-based Web resources. It aims to get cities, local organizations and small businesses working together and with Google to make the most out of Web- and location-based marketing.
Part of the Get Your Business Online project, Let's Put Our Cities on the Map gives each city a custom website that local businesses can use to create, establish and manage their presence online, while giving back to the community by boosting local commerce. [Google for Business: A Small Business Guide]
For instance, these city websites can offer helpful online marketing tools, such as a step-by-step guide to using Google My Business to optimize Web presence and a diagnostics tool so business owners can see exactly how customers see them on Google Search and Google Maps. It also ensures that local businesses appear on top of search results (based on location) and that their listings are complete with the latest, most accurate business information, such as the right phone number, hours of operation and business description.
To further help businesses, Let's Put Our Cities on the Map also provides a free website and a free custom domain for a year. This can save businesses hundreds of dollars as they set up their website and get started online. (Both of these freebies are offered in partnership with Web hosting and domain registration company StartLogic.)
In addition to partnering with cities, the Let's Put Our Cities on the Map program also works with local organizations, such as community chambers and small business development centers, Google wrote in a blog post. The program will bring these organizations a host of services to help business owners, such as free training sessions and business workshops.
The program also lets customers contribute to their favorite local business' success by visiting their city's website. From there, customers can give a shout out to their favorite businesses, create digital content featuring businesses they frequent and direct unlisted businesses to the city website.
Let's Put Our Cities on the Map currently works with 30,000 cities across the United States. Find out how your city and business can take advantage of this new program at gybo.com.