After closing Google+, Google is focusing all its efforts on offering very powerful tools to stores open to the public. Attention to SMEs is evident since Google for Small Business has been launched in America.
Google for Small Business is one of the “Grow with Google” initiatives, and it aims at helping small business owners to find the Google product that best works for their business.
In addition to the classic Google My Business listing, there are various Local Marketing tools that are useful for local activities and that are are already available. You can start using them on your own or with the help of a digital agency. Let’s see what these tools are.
Why it is useful for your shop to follow this trend
A Google My Business listing allows a company or a freelancer to be visible on Google Maps, the Google service you use as a navigator on your mobile phone. This allows an excellent chance to combine offline and online strategy, which is indicated by many as the true key to success for a modern business.
Google My Business
The Google My Business service page is dedicated to shops, and it gives you some important opportunities for interacting with your customers, in addition to the possibility to answer the reviews (a feature that was already present).
Here is what you can do now as a business owner if you have a Google My Business listing:
- give your potential customer the possibility to reach your shop via the smartphone browser
- allow your customers to find you by voice search: “Search + business category + near + location” or “Search + nearest + business category”
- increase your customers’ trust and have a new channel available
- have a personalized landing page
- allow the customer to contact you directly from the search results page
- publish your promotions directly in SERP
- publish your products
- make an Adwords Express campaign
You can open your Google My Business listing on your own and for free if you are good at using your computer, otherwise you can contact an agency that will provide you with assistance.
Those who follow me will maybe have already read my article on Linkedin about the listing fraud made by some agencies that entered the shops or called customers presenting themselves as Google. I remind you that the only calls you can receive from Google are those for tickets opened in the assistance section and that the ownership of the listing must be yours.
When it is right to entrust your listing to an agency
The Google My Business listing is free and you can open it by yourself if you have time to spend and you are good at using computer. In the absence of these two factors, you can always entrust the opening of the activity page to a communication agency, but it is important to remember that no professional who takes charge of your Google My Business listing can guarantee you optimized listing for positioning on search engines.
The optimization of your listing concerns the assistance to the maximum personalization, as well as the management of the account connected to it and the posting activity, therefore it will be essential to be supported by professionals who will provide you with the right content to make the most of this channel. In case you have a franchise or a multistore the agency can deal with complex procedures such as loading multiple locations and can suggest the right coordinated communication. This is the next step to take after opening the listing, the step that will make the difference.
New message feature
It is now possible to contact shops and companies directly from the search results page via messaging, as we are used to doing with Facebook pages. To activate this feature, you need to connect your mobile number or your Google account to the MyBusiness listing via the administrator panel. You can follow the Google My Business guide. The procedure consists in activating the exchange of messages with customers from the “Messages” tab of the MyBusiness menu. Users will find a message button on your business listing on Google Search and information about your average response time.
Facebook Location is the Facebook service that allows you to manage your location page. The Facebook Advertising system is preparing an advertising system in order to record conversions even offline, and this system will rely on location. This is an excellent opportunity to anticipate future trends. In order to activate the location, you must enter a public number dedicated to your shop.
Waze is an app that customers use to control traffic, and it also has an advertising feature. The system will notify the user about your shop when he will be nearby and will have already parked, and it will be active only during your opening hours. You will know how many people viewed the sponsored ad and how many came to your shop thanks to the promotion you inserted on Waze.