Downtown Syracuse Business Owners,
 
The Downtown Committee wants to help every downtown brick-and-mortar business reach as many customers as possible. That starts with ensuring every downtown business has a web presence!
 
When customers are planning their next purchase or ordering their next meal, they turn to search engines. Every month, Google receives 5 billion restaurant searches, 3 billion hotel searches, 1 billion clothing store searches, 600 million hair and beauty salon searches, and 5 million coffee shop searches.
 
To assist businesses with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - or making sure your business comes up at the top in a web search - Google provides simple, free tools to maximize your customer reach and keep customers informed about your products, changing hours and health protocols. The tools can also help you analyze consumer behavior to make informed decisions about business operations during COVID-19.
 
Set up "Google My Business"
 
Ever wonder how to get your business to show up on a Google map or in Google search results? The first step is to create a free Google My Business (GMB) account. A GMB account puts your business name and location online. It also lets you build a free Business Profile where you can post photos and offers, engage with customers, and see how customers are finding and interacting with your business. Visit www.Google.com/business to get started, or click here to learn more.
 
Take Free Google Trainings and Tutorials
 
Google offers free online trainings and tutorials to help users learn more about Google My Business and other tools:
  • Give Your Business an Online Presence - This session, offered through Google's Applied Digital Skills, walks users through setting up their free Business Profile.
     
  • Keep Customers Informed with Google My Business - This six-minute tutorial, part of Google's 10-minute tutorials,  teaches Google My Business users how to:
    • Update your business info (address, phone, email, website)
    • Mark your business as "temporarily closed"
    • Make timely updates using posts - e.g., "We are operating as usual" or "Here's how our take-out service works" or "Here's how we've adapted to the new COVID-19 health protocols."
    • Add more online managers
    • Get answers
  • Minicourses, powered by Grow with Google and available through the Primer app, show how to move your business online. Topics include:
    • Connect with Customers by Taking Your Business Online
    • Get Found Online with Digital Marketing
    • Run a Business from Home
    • Take Care of Yourself While Working from Home
 
Google's COVID-19 Tips
 
In addition to its regular Small Business Resources, Google has compiled COVID-19 Resources, including tips for Retailers and tips for Restaurants to maximize their online presence during this time.
 
Set up YOUR website!
If you don't have a website and/or an online sales platform, now is a great time to set one up! This Inc. article provides information about a variety of eCommerce platforms for small businesses.
  • Once you've set up your website, don't forget to add it to your Google My Business profile so potential customers can find your site in their search results.
  • Email your website link to mail@downtownsyracuse.com, and we'll add it to our business listings on www.downtownsyracuse.com!