I came across the website for Pet Promise (http://petpromise.org) last year and submitted a volunteer application for volunteering my web development skills that they said were needed. But I never heard back. So I’m going to try again and also try to go to the board/volunteer meeting tomorrow. I hope to volunteer my web development skills to help improve and maintain their website. I think it would be rewarding to help make pet adoption and information websites more user-friendly and enhanced with features that make it easy to find the perfect pet for you. If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and are also interested in volunteer opportunities for a no-kill animal organization, I hope to see you there! Check out the Pet Promise meeting schedule.
Today I want to share with you some news for all those small businesses out there who work from home and don’t want their personal address listed on Google maps when searching for their business. This applies to all the pet sitters and dog walkers out there who visit the client’s house rather than the client coming to them. You still want your business listed in a Google Search, because that’s the first place a typical user would go to find a service they’re interested in. Over 80% of people use search engines to find local information!1 The new Pawfect Lounge: Pet Connection website will help a lot too!
Claiming Google Business Listing
Haven’t claimed your Google Business Listing? Go do that now. I’ll wait…. Now you have an immeasurable advantage over your competition who are not listed yet! There are many websites that let people perform a search for a particular business in a particular area or location. So you’ll want to find all the popular business listing sites and make sure your information is up-to-date and consistent on each. For more information on making your Google Business Listing great, check out the article at SmallBizTrends.
Google More Local and Social with Nearby Search
Google announced it will integrate a real-time search of tweets, blogs, and news events into its results. This means that small businesses must be more aware of their online reputation, since both positive and negative feedback and opinions will be very visible to more and more people. Also, local search has become even easier. You can tell Google to use your computer’s or device’s location or a custom location by default when performing ‘Nearby’ searches. You set this in ‘Search Options Panel’. For more information, see Google Goes More Local on SmallBizTrends.
LBC Service Area Instead of Address
Lastly, Google will now allow businesses to opt out of having their personal, home-based address displayed for their business location. Instead, they can choose a center location and radius in miles or kilometers, or simply list the locations they serve. Read more about the Google LBC Change at SmallBizTrends. So if this requirement was holding you back before, you don’t have an excuse now to keep your business off of Google Business Center Listings!
The pet connection website is now in beta mode. I’ve added many businesses that I found by Google searches, but I need your help in adding others that you find! Please sign up for a free account to add a business to the site. Search the website by service type to find a particular service near you. I’ve added pretty many categories of services, including Doggie Daycare/camp, merchandise, boarding, grooming, dog walking, pet sitting, training, dog parks, clean up, adoption/shelter, health care/clinic (veterinarians), pet store, and cuisine! I didn’t realize that there are businesses out there that provide dog food and treats in a buffet-style (bakery) for dogs that come in! I found Three Dog Bakery and Heidi’s Homemade. They are under the cuisine category.
The details page of a business will display links to that business’ profile on social networks and other community/review sites. I haven’t done much research to find all these links yet, so please send an email or post a comment if you would like to point out a link to a business.
Viewing and creating reviews for a business are not available yet. I’m still not sure if adding the ability to write reviews on this site is prudent due to the numerous other review sites out there. Please use the social links for the respective business to find reviews on other sites. But what would set these reviews apart from the others is the ability to rate each individual service provided by a business, and provide an opportunity for businesses to respond to the feedback and reviews they receive. NOTE: Reviews and feedback will be moderated to an extent to ensure communication is civil, intelligent, appropriate, respectful, and rated G.
Let me know what you think about the new site!