Google Launching Massive Small Business Initiative

Across the country, many small businesses may have found it difficult to get themselves noticed in the past when building and investing in their websites. However, the best-known name in internet searching and web tools is now looking to help them in that mission with a new effort.

Google is poised to announce a new program called “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map,” according to a report from USA Today. What it entails is simple: Google has created a website for just about every city and town nationwide, with the hope that any small businesses that do not yet have their own websites, or want to do more to get theirs noticed, will sign up. In theory, they could use these sites as a gateway for people to visit them and get plenty of information on them via existing Google services like maps and Google Plus.

“Small businesses have said that getting online is hard,” Soo Young Kim, head of marketing for Google’s Get Your Business Online Program, told the newspaper. “We’re using sophisticated technology on the back end to make it simple for small businesses to get online and create their listing. Google has created over 30,000 websites to provide every business in every city a fast, free and easy opportunity to help them get found. Big businesses and big retailers are centrally managing listings to make sure they’re appearing on Google. Small businesses need to be there – right next to them – when a consumer is searching.”

What can companies do?
When they sign up for Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map, small businesses will have a number of options available to them, the report said. They can make their company “verified” for when people run web searches for them, put more information about them online, add data like their address and when they’re open, and upload photos. But they can also run tests to see if their current websites are performing as well as they possibly could, and also connect with local businesses and entrepreneur groups that might help them grow in the future.

Owners who want to make sure they also have some money freed up to pay for any website improvements they may need could do well to consider ways they can cut small business insurance costs. For instance, if they can find more affordable liability insurance, they may be able to save thousands annually.