Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) wants to get 30,000 more businesses online in anticipation of the upcoming holiday shopping season.
So the online tech giant teamed up with the U.S. Small Business Administration to host a livestreaming event Wednesday, Oct. 26 2016. Other events are being planned throughout the U.S. aimed at providing hands-on assistance to businesses.
According to Google, more than half of businesses still don’t have their own website. But 85 percent of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. So even companies that don’t specifically do business online can really benefit from having an online presence.
Help Holiday Shoppers Find Your Business
And that’s exactly the message Google is trying to get across in this latest push. The recent livestreaming event included details about how small businesses can benefit from creating an online presence, especially during the holiday shopping season.
Having a dedicated website is just one way to get the attention of local customers online. Of course, since Google hosted the event, tips included how to set up a free Google listing via Google My Business. This included explanation on identifying your business location, holiday hours, service options and more.
The event also detailed the importance of making your information accessible on a wide variety of devices, including smartphones. Google says that 76 percent of people who search for something nearby on their smartphones visit a related business that same day. So making sure your business can be found in search results can really make a big difference for your business’s foot traffic. And “near me” searches increase by 55 percent during the holidays, so having an online and mobile presence is more important than ever.
During the holidays, people are poised to spend more money and visit more local businesses than they do during the rest of the year. But if consumers can’t find your business online, they could be significantly less likely to actually visit you in person.
You can learn more about upcoming events and Google’s tools that might be relevant to your small business during the holiday season here.
Image: Whitney Cox, Google, and Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA