Tag Archives: Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map

Getting San Francisco Bay Area Businesses Online Ahead of Football’s Big Game

Earlier this year, we launched "Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” to provide businesses across the U.S. with simple ways to be found when customers search for them online. We’ve been making that process faster, easier, and free, so that more customers find businesses in their area when they turn to the web for information.

With pro football’s Big Game happening this February at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara -- the first in the Bay Area since 1985 -- we want Google’s hometown businesses to have the tools they need to show up when visiting sports lovers inevitably start searching online for local restaurants, hotels, attractions and more. That’s why we’re announcing a special series of “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” workshops designed especially for the Bay Area businesses we know and love to learn strategies to getting online -- and in front of everyone coming to town for the Big Game.

The 2015 championship game brought more than 1,000,000 people to downtown Phoenix earlier this year, and 500,000 people enjoyed events in downtown Scottsdale, driving over $700 million in economic impact to the region.1 Drawing the eyes of the nation, and with "near me" searches doubling over the last year,2 the opportunities for showing up are real. But small businesses are still notably behind the curve when it comes to showing up online. Four in five consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses,3 but less than half of US small businesses actually have a website4 and only 37% have claimed or updated their business information on a search engine.5

As part of the workshop series, we’ll share tips on how to build an online presence, offer a free website with a customized domain name including free web hosting for a year, and help businesses create a free business listing on Google Search and Maps. Interested local Bay Area business owners can RSVP below:

  • August 10, 2015 -- YouTube Headquarters, San Bruno, CA -- register here
  • September 22, 2015 -- Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA -- register here
  • December 4, 2015 -- Google San Francisco Office, San Francisco, CA -- register here

From farmers markets to taquerias to a virtual reality arcade, we know it's never too late to show up online -- even in the heart of Silicon Valley! We’re encouraging businesses to use this opportunity to take steps right now to maximize online interest they may experience leading up to the Big Game. Join us as we help put the San Francisco Bay Area on the map!

1. Seidman Research Institute and W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University Study, June 2015.
2. I-Want-to-Go Moments: From Search to Store. Think with Google, April 2015.
3. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014.
4. Google/IPSOS, Survey of businesses with less than 250 employees, October 2013.
5. Marketing Sherpa, Search Marketing Benchmark Report SEO Edition, 2012.

It’s time to put America’s small businesses on the map

If you searched for “Dependable Care near Garland, TX” a few months ago, you would have seen a lot of search results—but not the one that mattered to Marieshia Hicks. Marieshia runs Dependable Care Health Service in Garland, and it was her business that was missing. But that all changed last month when she attended a workshop at the Garland Chamber of Commerce called Let’s Put Garland on the Map.

The workshop, run by our Get Your Business Online team, showed her how to use Google My Business—a tool that allows business owners to control the info listed about their business on Google Search and Maps—to help more people find Dependable. Marieshia added an updated phone number, hours of operation, and a description to her business listing. Within a few months, she had more customers come through the door and referrals from doctors who could reach her. This one simple adjustment made a difference. In Marieshia’s words: “It’s huge.”

Huge might be an understatement. Four out of five people use search engines to find local information, like business hours and addresses, and research shows that businesses with complete listings are twice as likely (PDF) to be considered reputable by customers. Consumers are 38 percent more likely to visit and 29 percent more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings. Yet only 37 percent of businesses (PDF) have claimed a local business listing on a search engine. That’s a lot of missed opportunities for small businesses.

With this in mind, our Get Your Business Online team set out in 2011 to help businesses like Marieshia’s get found online. We’ve gone to every state in the U.S. and worked with thousands of business owners to create free websites and update their Google Search and Maps listings. But there’s a lot more work to do to help businesses take advantage of the vast opportunities yielded by the web. So today, we’re introducing Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map, a new program to help 30,000 cities get their local businesses online.

If we want to help every business in the U.S., we need to reach businesses where they are. So this tailor-made program provides each city with a custom website where local businesses can find helpful resources, including a new diagnostic tool that shows businesses how they appear on Search and Maps, a step-by-step guide for getting online with Google My Business, and a free website and domain name for one year with our partner, Startlogic.

We’re also forming partnerships with local organizations—like chambers and small business development centers—and equipping them with free trainings and customized city materials to run workshops just like the one Marieshia attended in Garland. These local partners know the challenges for local businesses more than anyone—and they recognize the value of getting businesses online. After all, getting Dependable’s information online not only means the world for Marieshia, it means even more for the city of Garland. Complete business info can help generate economic value up to $300,000 a year for a small city or up to $7 million for a large one (PDF). So when our local businesses are online, our local economies benefit.

If you have a favorite local business—a day care, a dentist, a dry cleaner—show your support by helping them get their info online and on the map. Visit your city’s website at www.gybo.com to find out how you can get involved.

Let’s put our cities on the map!