Google is doubling down on their efforts to bring local businesses around the world online with a new program called “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map.”
The new program seeks to assist small businesses and local organizations from over 30,000 cities worldwide to set-up complete local listings on Google.
The search engine claims consumers are 38 percent more likely to visit and 29 more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings, yet a huge number of companies do not have local business listings on any search engine.
For the new initiative, Google is providing each participating city with a custom website where local businesses can see how they appear on Google Maps and in search results.
Google is also giving local business owners an easy-to-follow guide for getting their business listed with Google My Business, as well as a free website and domain name for a year through Google’s partner Startlogic.
The program is also encouraging consumers to get involved, by inviting consumers to create postcards in support of their favorite local businesses which can be shared on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. However, Google makes it clear these postcards won’t have any impact on search engine ranking.
“Sharing the postcards won’t make businesses appear higher in search, but will hopefully spur them to verify and start managing their business listing,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Watch.
Google is also partnering with local organizations such as chambers of commerce and small business development centers to offer workshops aimed at teaching local businesses how to control the information listed about them on Google Search and Maps.