Dear M&M: What is the best way for my business to be found? – Dan

Dear Dan: Think about it. Where do people go to find anything nowadays? You’re right if you said online. With 80% of the online searches going through Google, I think I’d make certain I have claimed my space there first.

The following are steps on how to set up your “Google My Business Account”. Visit https://www.google.com/business/. Enter your business name on the location prompt and select “Yes,” once you find it. Then enter your office address. If you serve areas outside your location, select that option and enter in these areas.

Type in a business category and select the one most appropriate for your business. Select the contact details you want to share with customers. Enter your phone number and current website URL, then click “Finish” to finish and verify.

You can always go back later and add photos and other information. Google’s business verification process is a straightforward process with several options, such as verifying a business listing by mail. In that case, Google sends a postcard to your entered address. This postcard contains a code you use to verify the address online.

Select businesses can also verify themselves via phone number or email, although this may not always be available for your entry.

Remember, the next important step is monitoring your reviews. Remember that reviews are one of the determining factors of your ranking or listing rising higher on the page. They say as many as 88% of the people who use online reviews feel the more positive reviews you have, the more trusting they will be in having a good experience dealing with you. Sources — Google.

ASK M&M is prepared and submitted by Mark Schmitt, director of the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College; and Mignonne Hollis, executive director at the Arizona Economic Development Foundation. To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Cochise College (520) 515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Arizona Regional’ Economic Development Foundation at (520) 458-6948 or email hollism@aredf.org; www.aredf.org.

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