Savvy & searchable

SCORE Bucks County will offer two “Google Get Your Business Online” workshops aimed at online business growth

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

Let’s get digital: SCORE Bucks County is hosting two upcoming workshops to help small businesses become more searchable on Google. Source: Metro Images

Local business owners are a proud population, and rightly so. Many manage shops that have been passed down through multiple generations. Others are finally pursuing their passions after leaving behind a less-than-fulfilling career. No matter their experience level, all business owners have one basic need in common — customers.

But in today’s fast-paced, technological day and age, attracting clients is easier said than done. That’s why SCORE Bucks County is hosting two “Google Get Your Business Online” workshops on Jan. 18 in New Britain and Jan. 19 in Fairless Hills to help small businesses become more searchable on Google.

Both workshops will be hosted by Google-supported trainer Randi Penfil, a longtime small business expert with experience in digital marketing and regional content development. Penfil is part of the “Google Get Your Business Online” team, a group of professionals dedicated to helping local businesses nationwide grow and ultimately thrive online.

Google-supported trainers aren’t technically Google employees, but they are part of the organization’s ongoing initiative to help new and established small businesses enhance their web presence. Companies and nonprofits across the country are able to request a trainer to speak to their respective communities, and that’s just what SCORE Bucks County did.

As the local chapter of a national organization that helps more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses each year, it only made sense for SCORE Bucks County to partner with the search engine of choice for most potential customers.

At both upcoming workshops, Penfil will divide the morning into two distinct sessions. During the first, she will educate small business owners on vital, behind-the-scenes steps they can take to enhance their online presence. These include updating website content and creating social media accounts on various platforms.

In the second half, Penfil will go into detail about “Google My Business” and why every owner should have an up-to-date listing. Through this tool, businesses can upload a picture, post special holiday hours and be personally responsible for the information available to prospective customers.

“They can take ownership of their online presence,” Penfil said.

Under her guidance, attendees will be able to update their business information on Google search and maps, all while learning about website best practices. Penfil will also offer insight on search engine optimization, web analytics and how people find businesses online — something that’s rapidly evolving.

According to Penfil, our 21st century selves experience “micro moments.” A question or desire to learn something pops into our mind, and our natural instinct is to whip out a smartphone. We expect an answer instantaneously. If not, we’ll look elsewhere. This phenomena stands true for businesses. If a local shop doesn’t appear in the first few results of a Google search, potential customers have already lost interest.

This is the last thing small businesses want. But Penfil understands adapting to current technological trends can be difficult, especially for older, established owners who used to rely solely on word of mouth. Even if someone is hesitant or not tech savvy, Penfil encourages them to embrace these changes.

“The bottom line is the web isn’t going away,” she said. “But every business has the opportunity to be included in a Google search.” ••

If you go…

SCORE Bucks County’s “Google Get Your Business Online” workshops will be held Jan. 18 at New Britain Borough Hall, 45 Keeley Ave. in New Britain, at 9 a.m. and on Jan. 19 at Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce, 409 Hood Blvd. in Fairless Hills at 9 a.m. Cost is $20. Seating is limited to 75 for each workshop. For more information or to register, visit buckscounty.score.org. Please bring Google login information.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com