We’ve recently learned an important lesson about claiming your business location online, thanks to the collaboration of one of our clients. As a result, we’d like to ask you this important question: Have you searched for your business’ address recently? Here’s why we’re asking.
After working with the business owner to claim his store’s location on Google My Business and Google Maps—along with other directories including Bing, Facebook, FourSquare, Yelp and Apple Maps—the client’s location was properly placed and pinned across these networks. Leading with his store’s name, we claimed, placed and pinned his store on all of these online networks.
Almost immediately, we noticed that his listing was performing well. In fact, amazingly well. His Google My Business metrics exploded from the minute we took control of his listings. His views have increased and held steady every month, to the tune of 190% growth from the first month to the most recent. His total actions, which add together clicks of their phone number, directions and website buttons from their Google Listing, have increased by 202%.
Like any good business, though, his marketing presence didn’t end there. Because of the nature of his business—he’s a retailer with time sensitive promotions and always-changing inventory—he also advertised in local newspapers. And at the bottom of every ad, he wisely put the address of his store.
That’s when he started to get phone calls. The problem? When potential shoppers would search for the address of his location, the pin for that search was misplaced on Google Maps and was leading his customers to another store. In other words, if you searched for the name of his store, you’d be brought to the right location. But if you searched for the address of his location, you’d be lead elsewhere. And he had concrete evidence that his customers were being misled, leading to lost visits and sales.
“My customers would search for our location on Google Maps and were brought to another area on the opposite side of our premises,” said our client, who asked for his name not to be published. “This was frustrating and confusing for all concerned. I had numerous clients tell me that they circled around until they figured out on their own how to get to us, or called us.”
When he brought this to our attention, we immediately jumped into action, contacting Google directly and requesting that they match the pin placement for the search of his address to the one we claimed for the name of their business. It took some time—exactly a month—to go from request to successful pin move. The request was actually escalated from the Google My Business (GMB) team to the Google Maps team to reflect the importance of the problem.
So, now, when our client buys advertising in print publications, he can do so with confidence, knowing that those who want to come to his store to shop will find it.
Within a month or two, we should see the impact on the GMB metrics for this listing, likely resulting in more views, as well as more calls, website visits and in-store traffic. We’ll check back in on this story and let you all know.
In the meanwhile, we suggest you conduct a search of your address and see if it matches up with your listing. If not, we’d be happy to help you set things straight—and help shoppers head straight to your front door.
There are so many choices to consider when developing a digital presence. Small business owners throughout Canada are trying to figure it all out, trying to determine how to best leverage the digital ecosystem to capitalize on the extraordinary numbers of people that digital can drive to a business.
With so many options to choose from, we’ve actually seen business owners paralyzed by how overwhelming it all is. After all, the options available to promote a business are just one variable, other considerations include the type of business being promoted, the type of customer being sought, the radius the business is looking to draw from, the assigned budget, and the time devoted to executing a digital marketing plan.
While these seem like excuses for not doing anything, they’re not. They are legitimate reasons for being confused, hesitant or downright wary. And with so many decisions to make, the small business owner ends up making none. Decisions get put off for another day. After all, small business owners are often not marketers. They’re concerned with making the best pizza, or providing the best customer service, or building the best product.
That’s why we propose taking baby steps. Start small and build around your initial successes. The easiest of most cost effective first step? Ensuring that how you appear online is consistent across search engines, review sites and mapping technologies. Claim your listings, take control of your message and manage the information that is critical to driving people to your door or to pick up the phone and call you.
But with so little time and savvy, what’s the best way to get going?
Allow the experts at 10|20 Marketing to walk you through the process, take it off your hands and get you online and findable quickly, effectively and easily. Allow us to claim your location, manage your listings and publish your menu (or price list), at a monthly cost of a single sale or one day’s worth of an employee’s salary. By managing your location’s listings across the web, you’ll benefit from the information being accurate, consistent and easily updatable.
And once we have enough data streaming in, we’ll be able to tell you how many views your properly managed listings are generating. When the time comes, we can help you use this data to add the next piece into your digital mix.
So don’t be paralyzed by choice. Start small with a managed plan, become found online and promote your small business to a specific target in a specific area to increase your sales and profits.
So, what is a “near me” search? For the small business owner, it’s probably one of the fastest growing search techniques and, some would argue, the most important. A “near me” search basically consists of a web user, most often on their phone, searching for combinations of ideas that are “near me.” Think coffee shop near me. Or shoe stores near me. Pizza places near me. You get the idea. Using location services on the consumer’s phone, search engines are able to deliver results based on a searcher’s physical location in proximity to your brick and mortar location. The closer you are to the person looking for you, the more likely you are to turn up in their specific search results.
While the “near me” search technique is a relatively new way of searching, a Google case study from 2015 found that “near me” search had doubled since the prior year and 80% of those where on mobile devices. For a trend that didn’t really take off until 2013, we’re talking full out explosion of the “near me” search technique in 2015.
We dug up some statistics that show just how important it is to be optimized for local search. In the summer of 2015, Google surveyed mobile phone users about their mobile shopping and search habits. The results speak for themselves.
- 91% said they turn to their phones for ideas when trying to figure something out
- 90% said they are usually not certain about which brands they want to buy from
- 87% of Millennials say they have their smartphone at their side, day and night.
- 82% use their phones to check for potential in-store purchases
- 71% of smartphone users say they’ve used a store locator to find a specific store location
- 61% percent of smartphone users say they’re more likely to purchase an item from a business that takes the time to customize location information.
- 51% said they discovered a new company or product through a mobile search
So, as a small business owner, what should you do?
- Make sure the information about your business is consistent and error-free across search engines, review sites and mapping technologies so you are found when a consumer looks for something “near me”.
- Ask for reviews from happy customers on Google, Yelp, Facebook and other must-have networks. Reviews are important to solicit, and positive reviews do even more to ensure that you’re indexed favourably.
- Use the data from each platform to customize marketing campaigns and content development to ensure that people find you, click on options to call your location, ask for directions to your business or visit your website.
The evidence is all there, consumers are more and more phone-intensive. Brand loyalty to a retailer is up for grabs and if you can be there for them when they need what you have, your proximity to them and the value you offer are the key ingredients to driving them through your door. The bottom line? Be sure they can find you.