FIRST: Record ALL of This Information to Use for Your Business Persona

This is the information you will use wherever you open accounts for your business or Web site. Be sure to save copies and provide this information to anyone assisting you. Be consistent now and you’ll be thankful you did. It is far easier if you have the same data across every site. If you are doing link building, submitting your site to local search, or using social networking to increase traffic DO THIS FIRST.

Additional detail for each item on this page is being created as quickly as possible and will be linked into this page as it is published. Check back often to learn more and greatly increase your results.

TIP: Instead of using your own name, consider using your business name for the first and last name. For example, if your business name is Executive Gift Shoppe you can use Executive as the First Name and Gift as the Last Name. [NOTE: Some sites require you to use a "real" name. Consider using a pen name as explained in Create Your Business Persona.]

  • First Name – Use the first part of your business name
  • Last Name – Use the middle or last part of your business name
  • Street Address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip
  • County
  • Cross streets on either side of your business
  • Which side of the street?

NOTE: Cross streets and which side of the street are used to correct the placement of your business marker on maps.

  • Primary phone number – use the number your customers will call here
  • Toll free number
  • Additional phone numbers – specify what they are
  • Fax number, if any
  • Domain name (current or desired)
  • email address (to be displayed online)
  • Contact name (first and last)
  • Additional email addresses if any

NOTE: Many sites do not allow multiple phone numbers or email addresses or force you to use the primary business phone number as the contact number. [This is bad site design that users must tolerate for now.]

  • Do you want to display what hours you are open? If yes, specify hours for each day you are open and what days you are closed. [TIP: You will usually want to display these IF you have regular hours and not if you don't.] Some sites allow you to enter other information or suggest commonly used choices such as:
    • By appointment only
    • Call to schedule
    • Saturday and Sunday appointment only
    • Closed Sundays
    • No Sunday Sales
    • Specify exactly what you want to say:
      • [NOTE: Some listings allow any text you wish. More detail is better than less.]
  • Payment Methods Accepted:
    • Cash
    • Check
    • Debit Cards
    • Master Card
    • Visa
    • American Express
    • Discover
    • Diner’s Club
    • Cashier’s Check
    • Money Orders
    • Invoice
    • Financing
    • Google Checkout
    • PayPal
    • On site ATM
    • Other?
  • Year Established – In Business Since (what year):
  • Public transportation available in your area (if any):
  • Languages Spoken:
  • Products/services offered:
  • Professional Associations:
    • Affiliations:
    • Certifications:
    • Licenses:
    • Contractors’ License Number:
    • Other:
  • Brand Names:
  • Special Offers:
  • Business Descriptions:
    • 200 words:
    • 499 words:
  • Categories:

WARNING: Proper category selection is critical to your success. It can be simple for some businesses (such as florists) and extremely complex for others (any horse related business for example). If your business does not easily fall into one or two obvious categories consider getting assistance with this. Do make suggestions and ensure anyone assisting you has experience in this area.

  • Keywords:

WARNING: Keyword selection is even more critical than category selection. If you do not have tools to do keyword research consider hiring someone to do this research for you.

  • Multiple Business Descriptions of various lengths. See Describing Your Business.
    • 200 words:
    • 499 words:
    • Slogan (aka catch phrase, tagline, ) This is extremely important. More on this to be posted soon.
    • Anything else you want to say that makes your business unique:
    • Best time to have Google information verified:

WARNING: The ideal wording of your descriptions requires skills at keyword research, copywriting, understanding the difference between benefits and features, knowing what a call to action is, being aware of search engines’ duplicate content policies and many other advanced skills. If someone is assisting you ensure that they have this expertise. Best results are obtained when you take advantage of their expertise AND provide abundant input. No one knows your business better than you. At least one of you must know your industry as well. The words in your descriptions determine whether your listing appears and whether someone reading it clicks through to your site! Give this step the importance it deserves.

OTHER INFORMATION REQUIRED:

NOTE: Google requires that submitting or editing listings be verified by phone (almost instant) or postcard (not recommended). The phone verification process calls the phone number in your Google listing and there is no provision to use any other phone number. Someone has to sign into your Google account and request verification at the same time that specific phone can be answered. The Web site gives you a pin number that the person who answers the phone must enter.

WARNING: If you edit your Google account in any way, Google’s system will take your listing offline until it is verfied again. Do not change anything during critical business periods (just before your big event or sale for example) or add anything (such as a new coupon) unless someone is available to verify the changes.

[Note to Google: Why would a business want their listing to go away so they get no business because they added a new coupon to get more business? Verifying new coupons is fine; removing business listings for this reason is not.]

Once you have the above information you can use these links to put it to good use:

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Gail Gardner

Small Businsss Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.