The internet is no longer a tool business owners can wait to figure out, it is time to set up a website and get on social media.
That was the message from Dave Delaney, who works for Google. Luckily, Google offers free tools for business owners, Delaney said.
Grow With Google’s Delaney talked to nearly 100 local business owners about the many benefits of setting up a Google business profile and listing the business on Google Maps at the June 4 Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.
He said business owners need to put themselves in the shoes of their customers and make sure to list their location, hours and photos.
And they need to make sure their website is mobile-friendly.
“Mobile is so important and it’s here, folks,” he said. “A lot of us are surfing the web on our phones more than on our computers.”
He stressed the importance of having a website that loads quickly or potential customers will be lost.
“I have no patience,” Delaney said. “If it’s not loading quickly enough, I’m gone.”
He said business owners can use Google My Business to check how fast their site loads. He said many pages open too slowly either because of too much code or large photos.
“It will load quickly if Google created it,” he said.
Including customer reviews on a site is important as well as responding to both positive and negative comments. He cautioned against getting into an argument with a customer who leaves a bad review, but recommended trying to find a way to turn them into a happy customer.
He recommended setting up messaging so customers can send a message instead of calling and waiting on hold.
“It makes it so much faster and easier than a phone call or email,” Delaney said. “All this stuff is free.”
You can also create a free website and much more at google.com/business.
For more information, training and tools, visit google.com/grow.
Contact the reporter at