Building Your Business Online Without Spending a Dime
So you’ve got yourself a business and you know you need to be on the Internet. Even if you don’t have a website, there are several ways to start building your business online that are relatively easy and inexpensive (or free). A few of those ways include:
- Create a Google Places profile for you business
- Create a Facebook business page for your business
- Create a LinkedIn profile for yourself and your business
- Create a self-hosted blog (using WordPress) for your business
- Submit your business to online directories
- Create a Google Plus One Profile
In today’s post, we’re going to cover the importance of a Google Places profile for your business.
Often times it is possible to be at the top of a search engine query for your local business category without having a website and without spending a dime. How? Google Places offers a free profile for business owners. On Google.com, these profiles are often positioned at the top of the search results, so if you have a Places page for your business, you have a chance at being in the top results.
There are 1,500,000 results for landscapers in Easton CT. Candeee Landscaping is number one of page one, yet he doesn’t even have a website. What he DOES have is a Google Places profile.
How to Submit Your Business to Google Places
What you’ll need:
- If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create a Google account. It’s easy and it’s free. You will need to have a business address and phone number.
Once you have a Google account, here’s how to create your Google Places listing for your business:
- Go here: places.google.com/business
- Follow the steps to verify your listing. Depending on your business, you can either answer your business phone to receive a verification code or Google will send you a postcard to the business address you provide with the PIN code you need. You need a verification code to have a Google Places listing—this is how Google prevents their local listings from getting filled with spam. And it prevents fraud.
- After verification, follow the tutorial here: Google Places Setup
- Complete your profile as thoroughly as possible—upload pictures, fill out all requested information, and upload a video if you have one. Also, be sure to target individual towns when you describe your business.
While it might take about 30 minutes to create an informative profile for your business on Google, it will be much easier for potential clients to find you. More and more, search engines like Google are used instead of directories or the Yellow pages. You need to be visible online now more than ever.
Our next blog post will show you how to create a Facebook page for your business. Yes, Facebook. It’s not just for kids anymore. (The New York Times has a profile, after all.)