I'm often asked what people can do to get their business a larger presence on the web. While there are numerous answers to this question I'm going to write about where I think every business should start, getting themselves on the map!
Google maps has a great tool that allows you to get yourself on the map so that when people are looking for somebody that does what you do in their area they can find you and get all the details they need.
Lets get started! Go to http://maps.google.com
Google maps makes it easy to find businesses near you and even if you haven't been through this and created a custom listing for your business, if you're in the phone book you're probably already listed if you search for your business. But our goal here is to optimize your web presence in allowing people to easily find you.
So the next step is to click the link "your business on Google Maps".
Now I think the rest would be pretty self-explainitory from here but I'm going to go ahead and walk you through it anyway.
If you don't already have a google account now is the time to create one! Click the Sign up now link. If you already have one then you can log in now (a google account includes gmail, so if you have a gmail account you can simply log in here the same way you would log into that gmail account).
Once you've registered and logged in you will come to this screen.
Now you can add a new business to google maps! Just click the button.
Hopefully they explain that well enough that you can just fill in your business information and click next.
If they find a company located at the same address they will ask you if it is your business and you can claim the listing as yours or if there is not an existing listing then you will proceed to this page.
Now you can edit the details of your listing by clicking the "Edit" button. You can add pictures, your office hours, videos, categories for your business, and more.
Now if you search for your company on google or google maps you should see a much more professional listing of your business with all of your customized details.