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How to claim your business on Gowalla

Just show me how >>

Gowalla iconCongratulations, you made it to the end of the week! I've been writing about getting started on various free location-based services for 5 days now, all of which can be used to drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar business. They're fun, they're easy and getting started takes seconds so why not try them all? Today I'm going to tell you about a service that gets slept on a lot (in my opinion). It's similar to Foursquare, but it's a much more beautiful and game oriented check-in service.

Much like Foursquare and Facebook Places, Gowalla is all about checking in at a location which nets you addictively collectible rewards. More importantly, Gowalla has a rewards program to entice new customers to stop by or previous customers to visit again, so it's a great promotional tool for your small business! Let's walk through claiming your location.

Claim Your Gowalla Location

Example Gowalla claim button

One handy thing about Gowalla is that they've already created a section of their website to help businesses get started. Go ahead and head over to the website and create an account so you can claim your location. Once you've signed up, head over to Gowalla's business section to search for your location - if it's listed, just click the green button that looks like the one to the left. You'll be sent along to a form from which you can provide more details about the location, and most-importantly your phone number so that Gowalla can verify that you're really associated with your location (via a PIN).

On the other hand, if you DON'T find your location when you search for it, you'll need to add it, of course! Now, this is the catch. The reason I saved Gowalla for last this week is that in order to add a location actually have to visit it! So yes, you have a little homework. Presumably if you're adding your business you could just wait until you're at work next but what's the fun in that? In order to add your location, visit it in the real world with your smartphone (or other mobile device) in tow. Load up the Gowalla app (download from iTunes | download from Android Marketplace | download from Blackberry App World), navigate to the Spots section of the app and choose "Create A Spot."

First you have to give your spot a name and description, for example the name of your business and what your product or service is. Next you get to place your business into one of Gowalla's many categories which range from Architecture to Travel. Finally, a preview will be shown of your location via Google Maps and all you have to do is tap the Create A Spot button to confirm it. Now that you've created your very own spot, use the steps above to claim it so you can start making changes!

That's all she wrote, for now.

So that's it, I've highlighted 5 separate location-based services this week. Let us know which one is your favorite or if I left one out! These services are awesome business promotion tools but they're also fun for normal users as well, so give them a try and check-in at your favorite location the next time you visit it! You might be surprised at how addicting it can become.

Quick-Start Guide:

  • Step 1: Sign up for a Gowalla account at http://gowalla.com/join
  • Step 2: Visit http://gowalla.com/business and search for your business.
  • Step 3: If your business is listed in the search results, visit its page and click the green claim button to begin the verification process. However, if it is NOT listed, you must visit and check into its real-world location using the Gowalla app on your iOS or Android device and tap the Create A Spot icon. Then use the beginning of Step 3 to claim your newly-created listing.