Knowing where to spend your advertising dollars in today’s market is very overwhelming. There are so many ways to reach your audience, but what matters most is which medium is going to give you the best return on your investment? Without a doubt, the two most common things we hear are ‘we just do social media’, and ‘all of my business comes from word of mouth’. Yes, these two things are very important, but one of the mediums you do not want to cut corners on this year is Google’s Posts for local businesses.
Four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information, and Google has a 92.5% market share in Canada. Showing up, or not showing up, is predicting your sales for that month, and ultimately swaying your businesses reputation. By creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing, your business information will show up in Google Maps, Search and other properties. When users are searching for businesses and places near their location, or directly by business name your business will appear.
It’s important that your GMB listing has the following:
- Enter complete data. It’s easier for Google to match the right results to searches when your business’s address, phone number, and category are accurate.
- Verify your location(s). Google needs a verified location to have you appear in map and search results. Businesses with multiple locations need to verify each location and therefore each location needs a GMB listing.
- Add your hours of operations. Keeping your hours of operation updated including holidays and special event. Potential customers want to know that you are open if they are traveling to your location.
- Manage and respond to reviews. Interacting with your customers on both positive and negative reviews shows that you value your customers and their feedback. It also increases the likelihood of potential customers and improves visibility.
- Add photos. Photos add to your businesses personality and is an opportunity to show your customers your storefront, product/service offerings, and team members, making it easier for them to make a buying decision.
My example below is to show how a generic search can turn up results that are accurate and near my location.
Selecting one of the listed businesses opens the businesses GMB listing which showcases the businesses information that was covered above.
Google is offering more than GMB listings, and it has us excited! Google posting. Yes, Google has deployed a posting strategy and we are offering it to our local businesses. Your local competitors are already doing it, and your local buyers are already using, so you need to too.
Google posts enhance your GMB listing and give your customers access to your businesses information so that they can make better decisions as they browse. Investing in a Google posting strategy offers 4 main benefits:
- Promotion of your events, offers/specials, product updates, announcement
- Appeal to your customers with engaging photos and videos
- Improved customer experience through timely information
- Direct communication from you to your local customers
Below are some examples of how we’ve used this posting strategy to reach our own customers.
1. In this first example, we aimed to reach our existing and new customers to share our newest Mysask411 feature with them.
2. On April 9 we held an event with our local experts to help local businesses on their Marketing Plans’. Google posting was one of the mediums we used to share this event.
3. The last one I want to share is a post we did on our Digital Billboards. This was one of the avenues we used to get the message out there, while also educating the customer on how digital billboards will work for your company.
On average, these posts resulted in 132 views, and 4.5 clicks.
-Lisa Mickler is Product Consultant on the Revenue Growth Team at Directwest. Lisa has experience in Product Development, Data & Analytics, and Strategy.April 25, 2019