Tag Archives: google my business

Join Us for a Small Business Week Workshop to Learn How to Connect with Local Customers Online

It’s National Small Business Week and our partners across the country are hosting in-person workshops where you, and fellow business owners, can learn how to connect with local customers online.

Find a free, local workshop near you.

Can’t find one that works for you? Register to watch our livestream online (Wednesday, May 2 at 9am PT/12pm ET). Ask your questions during our live Q&A session by posting your question on Twitter using the hashtag #PartnersConnect.

We hope you can join us!


Posted by Whitney Cox, Marketing Manager, Get Your Business Online

Answer customer questions on Google

Planning a visit to a local business can raise questions ranging from “Does this restaurant provide high-chairs?” to “What accessibility accommodations does this B&B offer?” When looking for answers, 82% of people turn to search engines, but they often have a hard time finding accurate, up-to-date information.1 That’s why Google is bringing Questions and Answers to local business listings.


As a business owner, you have the most reliable answers to your customers’ questions and we want to make it easy for you to receive and respond to those questions. That’s just what Questions and Answers lets you do. To start using it, just search for your business on your mobile phone and go to the Questions and Answers feature on your Google business listing.


Questions and Answers offers new ways for you to engage with your customers:

  • Add frequently asked questions to your listing so that mobile users who find your business on Google Search and Google Maps can easily get the answers to your customers’ most common questions.

  • Answer questions from potential customers on Google Search and Google Maps on your mobile phone. If you have Google Maps on Android, we‘ll also send you a push notification when a new question has been asked about your business so you can post an answer instantly.

  • Highlight top responses. Beyond FAQs and your own responses, customers are also able to answer each other’s questions. You can highlight the most helpful answers from your customer community by using the thumb to bump them up to the top of the list.



If you’re not using Google My Business yet, sign up and start managing your free business listing on Google. Once you’ve verified your business, you’ll be ready to start posting and answering questions. To learn more, visit the Google Maps Help Center.



Posted by Lisa Wang, Product Manager, Google Maps




1. Google. Google Consumer Barometer, 2017.

Make your business stand out on Google with Posts

With 82% of people turning to search engines to find local information,1 your Google listing is the ideal place to showcase what is unique about your business. Even when customers know exactly what they're looking for, they still want to get to know the business and see what it has to offer. That’s why Google My Business is bringing Posts to local businesses — an easy way to help attract new customers and build relationships with the customers you already have.




Posts appear on your Google business listing. Customers can tap to read the full post, and they can also share your post with their friends directly from Google.




Posting on Google gives you new ways to engage with your customers:



  • Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
  • Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
  • Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
  • Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.


Seventy percent of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice.
2 With Posts, you can share timely, relevant updates right on Google Search and Maps to help your business stand out to potential customers. And by including custom calls-to-action directly on your business listing, you can choose how to connect with your customers.





“Posts definitely helped our business because a lot of people look us up through Google. When they do, they want to see the vibe of the place. Being able to post directly to Google allows them to see the reviews and get a feel for the shop all in one spot.” - Cut & Grind, London, UK
“As a small business, we don’t have a ton of resources. We post with the intention of engaging new and existing customers, informing them of new therapists and services we offer as we expand our business. The posts help us stand out in a unique way and allow us to differentiate ourselves from our competition.” - Just Mind, Austin, TX
“Posts are worth my time because with limited effort you can get something fresh that is reaching people's eyes. 1,100 people saw my last post. Getting information out to the customers is big for this kind of business, letting them know we have bikes or different sporting goods they may not be aware of.”- Play It Again Sports, Saint Paul, MN


If you’re a Google My Business user, you can start posting right now. Posts can be created on-the-go using the Google My Business Android and iOS apps or website.



If you’re not yet using Google My Business, sign up and get started today managing your business listing on Google. Once you’ve verified your business, you’ll be ready to start posting. To learn more, visit the Google My Business Help Center.




Posted by Rosa Wu, Product Manager, Google My Business




1 Google. Google Consumer Barometer. 2014/2015.

2 Google. Google Consumer Barometer. 2014/2015.

Create your business website in minutes

Business is all about connecting with customers - wherever they are. They can find you on Google Search and Maps, but your website is where they learn the most. As per industry reports, with over 400 million Indians online, and approximately 300 million of them on smartphones, the internet has emerged as the go-to destination to research and buy. However, 32% of small businesses in India* are completely offline. That means they are missing out on many potential customers.

Small business owners tell us that building a website is complex, expensive, and time-consuming. We hear you, so we’re introducing a new simple, free, and fast way to build a website through Google My Business.

With Google My Business, websites are now for everyone - no business is too small. For instance, Pet Palace Dog Hostel has been a part of the pilot project in India. They are based out of Pune, Maharashtra and operate six pet hostels. Pet Project Hostel created a website through Google My Business, and within a few months it has garnered close to 10,000 visits. Similarly Ravi, a Mehndi artist based in NOIDA, UP created a site a few months back and since then it has already received over 6,000 visits.

Using Google My Business, you can create your first website for free, right from your phone in less than 10 minutes. It’s so easy it basically creates itself. We use your Google listing to build the site, taking care of the design and making sure your website is found in Search and Maps.

Our website builder makes it easy to:
  • Create a well-designed site that looks great and runs smoothly wherever and however people find it
  • Stand out online by choosing a design theme, adding your photos, and describing what’s unique about your business
  • Get a free domain from Google or buy your own with Google Domains right from Google My Business
  • Connect with customers by telling them exactly what you want them to do next, like call your business, book an appointment, or sign up for your mailing list
  • Manage everything in one place whether you’re on desktop, mobile, or the Google My Business app
  • Earn new business from AdWords Express and your expanded presence online

In India, you can build a templated and editable website in ten languages - English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam. Over 120,000 Indian businesses are already a part of the pilot program that has been running for the last five months.

No matter what kind of business you own - from an eyeglass shop to a restaurant - a website is a powerful tool to share your business story with your customers, and engage with new customers, even beyond the boundaries of your physical location. People will find you for all kinds of reasons, such as getting your address or seeing photos of what your shop looks like, and you'll be able to grow your business.

Here at Google, we believe in helping local businesses grow their footprint online, and we try to make it as easy as possible. You’ve come this far, so we know you believe in your business. Now make your family and friends proud by showing off your own website, and connect with people locally and around the world.

To create your own website for free, visit google.co.in/business/how-it-works/website/.


Posted by Shalini Girish, Director - Google Marketing Solutions, Google India

Updating Your Holiday Hours on Google? Easy as Pumpkin Pie.

Heather Mohorn, owner of Momo’s Tree House, adds special hours on Google to let last-minute shoppers know when her business is open. “The holiday hours feature makes it easy to communicate [changes in hours] to customers,” she says. “It reduces the number of phone calls we receive to ask whether we’re open, which is nice when we’re busy wrapping those last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve.”

With Google My Business, you can update your business info on Google for free to ensure that your phone number, address, and hours of operation are correct so customers can find you this season (and beyond).

To help you make the most of the season, we put together a holiday workshop filled with tips for using the web to connect with shoppers. Preview the section on updating your holiday hours above, or watch the entire workshop at gybo.com/livestream.

For a list of step-by-step instructions on how to update your hours on Google My Business, visit our help center

We hope this is one thing you can easily check off your holiday to-do list.

Cheers,
Emily Harris, on behalf of the Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map team

Help Holiday Shoppers Find Your Business

Since 1992, Werkheiser Jewelers has been helping customers find the perfect holiday gift–from picking out an engagement ring to restoring cherished family heirlooms. While they’ve kept their love for tradition alive, the way they do business has changed with the times.

Today, 78% of shoppers online use the Internet for holiday research.1 That includes jewelry shoppers searching for a gift for that special someone. Alyssa Rizzo-Berg, Media Marketing Manager at Werkheiser Jewelers, explains, “Maybe they’re looking to buy that first big piece of jewelry or an engagement ring. Because of Google, they’re able to find us.”

We all rely on small businesses to help make our holidays special, and we rely on the Internet to help us find the right local spots. Is your business ready to connect during this busy time of year?
In the next few weeks, Google and our partners are bringing hundreds of local workshops to a city near you to help your business get ready for the holidays. On October 26th, we’re also hosting a live workshop online with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Join us to learn how to create a free business listing on Google, optimize your website for mobile, and advertise online.


- OR -



We hope to see you there. And from our team to yours, happy holidays!



1. Ipsos MediaCT, Google Post Holiday Shopping Intentions Study, January 2015, n=1,500.

Get Better Insights With Google My Business

Search engines have become the most popular way for people to find info about local businesses1 – and millions of business owners rely on Google My Business to reach new customers on Google Search and Maps. In fact, the average well-maintained Google My Business listing gets five times more views than listings which haven’t been claimed by their owners.2

Today we’re announcing some exciting changes to Google My Business, designed to let our users see where and how people are finding them on Google.

Where are people seeing your listing?
Now when you log into Google My Business, not only will you see the total number of views for your listing, you’ll also see a breakdown of how many are coming from Google Search vs. Maps.

How are people finding you?
Though some people search for you on Google by name, others search more generally for what you have to offer. (For example, “pizza restaurants in [your town].”) In fact, when researching a future purchase, 76% of people consider more than one business before making their final choice.3 Now you can see who visited your listing after searching for it directly, and who discovered your business while looking for a broader category.

To better serve our users, we’re focusing these new insights on Google Search and Maps, and removing Google+ statistics from the dashboard. With deeper insights on how people are finding your business on Google, you can make sure your efforts to maintain and promote your business are paying off. Keep your listing up-to-date by adding photos, responding to reviews, and updating your hours so that users find helpful, relevant information when they’re looking for you directly. And, if you want to reach more customers who are searching for your business category, consider promoting your listing with AdWords Express.

We hope these changes make your life a little simpler, and we’re excited to introduce even more insights into your customers' behavior soon. To learn more, check out our help center. Happy Tracking!



1. 82% of consumers use Search Engines to find information about local businesses (Google Consumer Barometer)
2. Google Internal Data
3. Google Consumer Barometer

Use Online Reviews to Connect with Back-to-School Customers

It’s time to get down to business for back-to-school. During this time, students, teachers and parents are relying on reviews while searching online for everything from notebooks to new clothes to campus coffee shops. In fact, 3 in 4 consumers say it’s important to read reviews before visiting a business.1

Business owners like Brian Wood of Sureflow Rooter see the value in customer reviews. “We often ask our customers how they found us: online, word of mouth or advertising? We have been pleasantly surprised to hear them say ‘from Google’ and that they liked our reviews and felt comfortable calling us.”

Small business owners looking to make a good impression on back-to-school shoppers should use tools like Google My Business which allow you to engage with, and manage, customer reviews. Below are a few tips to help you get started:

Tip #1: Just ask
Satisfied customers don’t always remember to write reviews, so it’s important to give them a reminder after they make a purchase or interact with your business – but remember to keep review guidelines in mind. Try including a survey link in your receipts or sending an automated follow-up email, rather than, say, setting up a laptop for reviews in-store, or offering incentives, which violates Google policy.

Tip #2: Be proactive about responding to reviews

It’s important to address both positive and negative reviews, since 83% of customers remember reviews from search results.2 When responding to reviews, it’s always good to thank customers. In the case of a negative review, address the issue without getting defensive. For example, try posting a reply describing the steps you took to remedy the situation.

These personalized responses are an opportunity to build relationships with customers. Don’t be afraid to highlight your business’s personality.

Tip #3: Actively monitor your reviews
Managing reviews is an ongoing process, so you should make sure to check in periodically and stay up-to-date with what your customers are saying. You can do this by checking the reviews section of your Google My Business dashboard.

The Children’s Museum of South Dakota noticed that this method helped their business stay in tune with customer interests. Randy Grimsley, the Director of Marketing, told us, “We regularly check on customer reviews. It’s a quick way to discover what’s working and what may need tweaking.”

Your back-to-school assignment? Apply these lessons to your business, and start getting proactive about online reviews.

For more helpful tips on managing your online reviews, check out: gybo.com/review



1. Impact Report: How are Customers Discovering Small Businesses?, May 2016
2. Google/ Ipsos, Impact of Search Listings for Local Businesses. Base: Saw Listing (Control=494, Test= 496), August 2014.

Make the Most of Shopping Moments this Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to shop! This means that many of us are finding ourselves searching for that perfect gift on our smartphones in countless micro-moments throughout the day. These shopping micro-moments have replaced shopping marathons. In fact, shoppers now spend 7% less time on each mobile session, yet online shopping purchases on smartphones have gone up 64% over the last year, and 30% of all online shopping purchases now happen on mobile phones1. That’s why it’s crucial that your business show up when people turn to their mobile devices this holiday season to find products and services like yours.

Here are tips to help your business connect with potential customers during these shopping micro-moments.

1) Update your AdWords campaign for the holidays
Over half of holiday shoppers say they plan to shop on their smartphones in moments throughout the day while walking and commuting2.  Reach shoppers on the go with ads on their mobile devices. If you haven’t checked the text on your ads in a while, take a look and create copy highlighting your seasonal hours, discounts or promotions. This could lead to more traffic to your website and more phone calls and sales.

2) Drive traffic to your place of business
With location extensions in AdWords, you can create mobile ads with your address, phone number, and a link with directions to your physical location.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.42.29 AM.png
Evergreen Lodge, for example, uses location extensions and seasonal campaigns to drive customers to their winter package deals at Yosemite. From September until now, their ads have seen a 54% increase in click-through rates compared to ads without an address.

For businesses looking to drive holiday shoppers to their store this holiday, simply updating your ads with location extensions not only helps people find you online, but can drive foot traffic to your business.  Roughly 95% of retail sales still take place in physical stores3. In addition, 82% of smartphone users say they use search to find a local business4, and 3 in 4 shoppers report being more likely to visit physical stores as a result5. 

3) Adjust your budget for the busy holiday season
It’s a busy time of year with holiday shopping traffic increasing for many businesses. Make sure you’re not losing potential traffic. Take a few minutes to see if you’re hitting your CPC (cost-per-click) or CPA (cost-per-acquisition) targets. And glance through your AdWords budget report to make sure your business is showing up when people are looking for you especially during your peak hours. There might be an opportunity to up your budget to maximize reaching that increased traffic while still driving ROI.

4) Consider creating a gift guide for shoppers
We could all use a little help in our hunt for the perfect gift, and shoppers are now searching online for gift guides more than ever. If you sell products that are especially helpful for holiday shoppers, think about putting together a list or gift guide to help your customers make choices faster. Kansas City Steaks provides suggestions to shoppers looking for deals on their freshly packaged choice cut meats. They place the gift guide at the top of their website and offer price tiering as well as free shipping deals to increase holiday sales from their website.

If redesigning your website isn’t a possibility, tap into the 1 in 4 shoppers who say online videos are their go-to source for gift ideas6 by creating a YouTube video highlighting your top holiday items.


Holiday Dark Phone (1).jpg
5) Spruce up your business listing with photos
Google business listings with photos get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks than those without7. That means window shopping is happening online, too. Captivate shoppers before they even click on your website or driving directions by uploading photos on Google My Business. The average user looks at 12+ photos before making a decision, so create the perfect depiction of your business using this shot list or visit www.gybo.com/holidays for more details on how to create great holiday photos on Google My Business.

We hope these simple tips provide you with easy ways to show up in front of mobile shoppers throughout the yuletide blitz. From our team at Google to your business, we’re wishing you the most fruitful holiday season yet.



Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of SMB Marketing

1.  Google Analytics, Account Data in United States, Sept 2014/2015

2.  Google/Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study, 2015
3.  eMarketer, Total US Retail Sales Top $4.5 Trillion in 2013, Outpace GDP Growth, April 2014
4. Think with Google, Extra Space Storage Creates and Tests Ads in Real Time, Increases CTR by 113%, December 2014
5. Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands Research Study, March to May 2014
6.  Google/Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study, 2015
7.  Google/Oxera, The Benefits of Complete
 Business Listings, December 2014

‘Tis the season to showcase your business with photos on Google

Tony Li opened The Palace restaurant in 2007 after the Chinese restaurant he worked in as a server for 15 years closed. Now, he’s gearing up for another busy holiday season: “The holidays are really crazy. We’ll have probably at least twice as many people in here as we do on our best day outside of Christmas and Christmas Eve.” Across the country, Heather Mohorn is readying her toy store in Philadelphia, Momo’s Tree House, for the holiday rush. “I love being part of the holiday celebration - it's time to think about your loved ones and what would be a special gift for them.”

Window shopping starts online

61% of shoppers will have already started researching their holiday purchases before Thanksgiving weekend1. And people are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to discover holiday destinations and buy holiday gifts. Last year, for example, nearly $1 trillion - 28% - of all retail sales were influenced by shopping-related mobile searches2.

Stand out with photos this holiday season

Business owners like Tony and Heather are looking for ways to stand out to consumers busily preparing for holiday parties, family gatherings and gift exchanges. For both, the answer is clear: “Putting photos on Google helps us make an instant connection with customers,” said Heather. “As a retailer, I want people to see a photo of my store and be taken there in their minds. That makes them more likely to come visit in real life.”

In fact, Google data shows that the average user looks at 12+ photos before making a decision, and online business listings with photos get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks than those without3 - meaning more visitors both online and in person.





We’re here to help you showcase the best your business has to offer this holiday season - which is why we’re introducing www.gybo.com/holidays, a site with resources for updating your business information and uploading photos to Google My Business. You’ll find:
  • Video tutorials: Hit play on these new demos to help your business get seen by holiday shoppers.
  • Live help: Get help from Google My Business experts by calling us at 1-844-442-8695

Be there and look great in the moments customers are looking for you. These resources are free and available to all businesses, so spread the word and the holiday cheer. Visit us at www.gybo.com/holidays. We (and the rest of the world) can’t wait to see photos of your business.


Happy holidays!


Posted by Soo Young Kim, Head of Marketing, Get Your Business Online


2 Think with Google, 5 Holidays Shopping Trends to Watch in 2015, July 2015
3. Google/Oxera, The Benefits of Complete Business Listings, December 2014