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Workshop helps local businesses improve their Google presence

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Chelsea Goza discusses the benefits local businesses can gain by better utilizing Google Search and Maps during a workshop held at the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce. Goza is a business consultant with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center. Photo by Dewayne Holloway

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY
montcnews2@windstream.net
MOUNT IDA – The Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce and area businesses hosted a workshop designed to help business owners better navigate Google Search and maps. The workshop was presented by Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC).
The workshop, entitled “Get Found on Google Search and Maps” was conducted by Chelsea Goza, a business consultant with the ASBTDC.
She began by sharing a little about her organization, the ASBTDC. She explained that they are a non-profit organization which helps small businesses in several aspects of getting their business started, as well as the things they need to help their business flourish in Montgomery County. Many of their services are free and she encouraged everyone to take advantage of their services.
The workshop was designed to help local businesses learn more about Google My Business. Google My Business is a free tool that allow businesses to manage their business information across Google Search and Maps. She explained that by using this free tool businesses are able to keep their information accurate and up to date, helping customers find and connect with their local businesses.
Google Search and Maps are two of the best tools businesses can use to stay connected with their customers and is available across devices. This can be very handy for those traveling in and out of our area on vacation, as well as those who may be looking to move to the area.
Google My Business is also available across devices making it an easy tool to use.
Businesses are encouraged to begin by searching their business to see if they can be found on Google Search and Maps. If a business can be found on these platforms then they are encouraged to check the status of their information.
Of course a Google account is required to add, or make changes to your business. By using Google My Business a business can enter business details and edit information available through the search programs.
One of the reasons businesses are encouraged to keep their information up to date is because it doubles their chances of being considered reputable. Searchers are 38 percent more likely to visit the, and 29 percent more likely to consider purchasing from the business location if their information is up to date.
Changes can be made through the dashboard on a laptop, or desktop computer. There is also an app that can be downloaded to either an Android, or IOS phone.
Google My Business allows verified businesses to make changes to their information that will help them stand out when searched. Details such as hours of operation, photos and highlighted information help businesses stand out in a cluttered search result.
Businesses can also read and respond to reviews, post live updates and communicate with searchers via text message. It also provides helpful insights to help a business grow their presence on Google Search and maps.
The workshop is one of many services the Chamber offers to local businesses.
For more information regarding the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce call them at (870) 867-2723, or check out their website at mtidachamber.com. They can also be found on Facebook.
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is located on the campus of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. You can contact Chelsea Goza at (870) 230-5184 for a consult or information.