Sometimes I only get 30 seconds with a business owner. What piece of information do I share that will have the most impact on their business? “If you do nothing else, claim your Google Places page!” Why?

The web (and our customers) are increasingly mobile. It’s of utmost importance that your information is correct and available to the public no matter where they are or what type of device they are using to access the internet. Google’s goal is to provide accurate information when and where their customers need it. They have emphasized local businesses by giving them prominent placement at the very top of the page where they place paid ads.

Type in the name of your business on Google. You will know if one has already been created for you if you click on the red pin on your location. Those Google Street View cars may have already claimed your location. All you need to do is claim it as the owner. It’s takes a little time but it is free.

Now read your Place page. That’s what Google thinks of your business. Is the information listed correct? Does it link to your website and other web properties? It’s important because this information is served to other decision engines like Yelp, Bing, and shopping sites. It gets passed around and around on the web. Make sure you list your services, types of payment, hours of operation, location, website and pictures or video if you have them. You can link this to your website so that it’s easy for visitors to get driving directions.

That’s my 30 second social media business advice. Get your business listed!

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