Last month, we hosted a workshop at 2 State Street in partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA), Google, Facebook, Square, and Constant Contact that was geared toward showing small businesses how to create a seamless online experience to grow their business.  The presentation was jam-packed with information about email marketing, social media, and e-commerce, but a key take-away was to make sure your business has proper representation online.  One simple and no-cost way to begin is to “claim your business” on the most popular search engine – Google.

Even if your business does not have an e-commerce website, your customers may be interacting with you online to request a quote, book an appointment, download a document, and/or submit a form.  So, you want to make sure that when people do an online search they will find a true representation of your business.

To add or claim your business listing on any Google property (Google Maps, Search, etc.), start by visiting the Google My Business page.  Once there, you will be asked to enter the name of your business and begin the process of verifying or “claiming” your business.  Once verified, you can choose what people see when they search for your business on Google.  You can add photos, business hours, and other information.  You can also manage AdWords campaigns, post updates, view insights and analytics, manage reviews, and more.

During SBA’s video presentation, one of the representatives from Google explained why it is important to make your customers’ first online interaction with your business a positive one.  Like a traditional storefront, your online presence is another “face” of your business.  Take the time to look at what your business’s online presence looks like from the outsider’s perspective, and make sure everything looks as it should in order to attract your ideal customer.  If you’re interested in viewing the entire livestream presentation, it is available on the SBA’s Facebook page:

Devon Roblee is Cayuga Economic Development Agency’s Marketing Coordinator. She can be contacted at (315) 252-3500 or