Summer is officially here and the daylight hours are getting longer. Most people think of long, sunny days as a chance to kick back and have fun.
But for local business owners, it can be an opportunity to make the most of the business day.
According to Google research, 25 percent of small businesses change their summer business hours, extending their hours and staying open longer. Yet only one percent of local businesses have adjusted their hours on their Google My Business accounts.
Updating your summer business hours online may not seem like a top priority, but according to Google 4 out of 5 people use search engines to find local business information such as location and store hours. Furthermore the company claims only 37 percent of local businesses have created listings on search engines.
Google has been putting forth a marked effort to bring more small businesses online successfully. The company has recently been encouraging local business owners to update their information on Google My Business. And Google Maps is now telling users if a business is closed.
Now, the company is taking things even further with the launch of a new site that will help businesses check how their hours are showing up on Google. But the site does more than that. It’s a hub providing local business owners with tools and resources to get their businesses online.
This is a part of what Google calls the “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” initiative. Google explains on the site:
“With our new initiative, Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map, we’re teaming up with local leaders to create a program for 30,000 U.S. cities–all with the singular focus of getting local business info online and on the map. Every city will have a website like this one that businesses can visit for help. They can see how they show up on Google and build a free website of their own (free for one year). We’re also equipping local partners with free trainings and customized city materials to run workshops in town.”
It seems more and more people are searching online for information on local businesses and with a smartphone in nearly every pocket, mobile searches are also a big factor.
Google’s initiative and newly launched site could be a valuable resource for small business owners to help them get online and stay relevant.