While word-of-mouth is still critical for local businesses, it’s also important to encourage positive, accurate “word-of-Internet.”

Consumers go online to find out what nearby businesses offer, their locations, how to get there and what other people say about them. If the online information is inaccurate or incomplete, it can mean lost customers.

What do people see when they use Google to find your business?

  • Is your business in the first few listings on the search results page? Not many people take the time to scroll down or click through to the next few pages.
  • Is your contact information accurate? There’s a chance your phone number, address, or website may be wrong.
  • Is your website current? A website’s look and feel may be all the information a potential customer considers before making a purchase decision.
  • Are reviews of your business positive and prominent? More and more, people seek reviews from other customers and trust what they read.

Having incorrect or largely negative information online is simply bad for any local enterprise. Varun Sanyal, director of economic development policy for the Brooklyn, NY, Chamber of Commerce, helps local businesses ensure their online presence is accurate and is easily found by potential customers.

“The majority of the businesses that receive our help are underserved, immigrant-owned businesses,” he says. “A digital presence is one of the last things on their priority list. They’re making a living, running their stores and many of them don’t have a website or digital footprint.”

We’re profiling the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce because they are the national leaders — #1 — for GMB verifications as part of Google’s Get Your Business Online initiative. PioneerMedia just cracked the Top 20 last month, but we have long way to go to catch up with them.

Reaching out to local businesses, especially immigrant business

Varun says the Brooklyn Chamber realized in 2015 that many immigrant-owned businesses in the city’s historical corridors struggled to be profitable. The Chamber sent representatives to talk to those business owners about the importance of an online presence.

He says one of the most important aspects was to demonstrate how they could track customer interest using the Internet. The Chamber guided them along the way.

“So it wasn’t like we just said, ‘Here you go – you’re on your own,’” says Meredith Daniels, vice president of communications for the Brooklyn Chamber. She stressed how important follow-through was to help those businesses track website views and other online data, such as how long visitors stay on their websites and what they click.

A valuable resource for local business

Varun says the program increased overall trust between local business owners and the Chamber while it also increased their sales. The Chamber quickly became an important resource for Brooklyn’s small businesses.

Pioneer Media helps Omaha business owners thrive with a positive online presence, just like the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce does for its local businesses. Pioneer Media is one of four “Trusted Google Photographers” in Nebraska and recently earned a “Get Your City on the Map” City Partner Badge from Google.

Contact us to solidify your digital footprint.