Tag Archives: small business

New features for service area businesses on Google My Business

Let’s say you’ve started your own business. The office you’ve leased is a 22 by 14 foot sprinter van. Every day, you find a new challenge in a new location across the areas you serve. You might be a plumber or an electrician or a landscaper, but above all you’re a business owner. We've recently made a few updates to Google My Business, so you can now share your service areas and information about your business via Google Maps and Search—so you can get found and tap into the many people searching for businesses like yours everyday.

servicecopy

For business owners signing up for the first time, we’ll guide you through the setup process with prompts for your local service area business. The process kicks off with the question: “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?" If the answer is no, you’re routed down the path tailored specifically for service-area businesses. This path lets you add the various areas you cover instead of a static address, which helps potential customers who find your business profile on Google know you serve their area.

Service areas are different from business to business. To help present the most accurate information to customers, you can configure your service area by adding the specific postal codes or cities you cover. Taking into account the changes every business goes through, these settings can be adjusted as needed—so there’s no need to worry about being locked into any specific area.

If you’re an existing Google My Business user, you can already edit your business information from the Google My Business dashboard. You’ll notice that the “service area” and “storefront address” can now be edited separately—if an address isn’t applicable to your business, you can easily clear it.

With this update, we hope to better connect you with potential customers in your service areas so consumers get the services they need and you find new (and hopefully returning!) customers.  Sign up for Google My Business online or download the app on Google Play or the App Store.

Catching the eye with seasonal ads

Reading time: 4 minutes

Seasonal campaigns go beyond the holidays - Cyber Monday, Mother’s Day, and Small Business Saturday are also a huge part of the retail year. They’re less about targeting seasons, and more about finding moments with a common appeal in your client’s industry.

Brands need to be present in these moments, ready to greet panic-driven deal hunters with the perfect solution. So we sat down with Shopify’s CMO Hana Abaza on the Google Partners Podcast to get her top tips for seasonal campaigns that drive sales.


Find your season

Every business has an element of seasonality; times when interest piques and traffic spikes. All you need to do is identify them! Robust Google Analytics reports are a great place to start. Export your data onto a spreadsheet, and with some clever formatting, trends will start to light up like fireworks on New Year's Eve. 

Analytics also helps you uncover biases that may be hiding behind “failed” campaigns. For example, if you pumped a lot of your budget into targeting Valentine’s Day last year without success, it would be easy to write the day off as a ‘bad fit’ for your brand. Take a fresh look at the data, carry out an honest review, and you may find that small tweaks are all that’s needed to turn things around next year. 


Spot your opportunity

You’ve identified the seasons that matter to your business, now make sure your marketing budget is ready to handle the increased workload. Use Google Trends to spot search trends across each region you’re targeting, then compare that to search volume data in Google Ads to find keywords that fit your offering. 

In the build-up of individual events, Consumer Barometer can help you better understand how to reach your audience at the right time, with the right message. Different events bring up different emotions, so keeping track of consumer trends is a great way to make sure your ads strike an emotional chord with your audience. 


Create separate campaigns

It’s important that you measure success without the noise of other, non-seasonal campaigns. This helps you identify nuances in each season, and optimize next year’s campaigns with those insights in mind. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with copy. Products like Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) can help you test different messages with very little effort. All you need to do is enter multiple headlines and descriptions about your products, and Google Ads will test different combinations to identify the best fit for your audience. 


Don’t miss last-minute shoppers

There’s been a 120% increase in “same-day delivery” searches since 20151. For urgent searches, 74% of shoppers say that when they’re searching on mobile, they look for the most relevant information, regardless of the company or brand2. As a result, the retailer that provides the most seamless experience wins. 

Season-specific promotion extensions help your ads stand out on Google’s results pages, and spotlight special promotions you may be running for the event. Highlighting services like same-day delivery, last-minute sales, or gift-wrapping may be all it takes to tip customers in your direction. 

Great seasonal campaigns are all about planning. Arm yourself with industry trends, plan your marketing budget with those trends in mind, and remember to tap into your consumer’s emotions with ads that resonate. With the right tools, a detailed content plan, and thorough research, you’ll be setting yourself up for seasonal success. 

Watch the video below and tune in to the Google Partners Podcast for more actionable tips and insights for seasonal success. 


1 How to reach today’s impatient shoppers - whether they’re shopping online, by voice, or in store, Think With Google, May 2018 
2 How to reach today’s impatient shoppers - whether they’re shopping online, by voice, or in store, Think With Google, May 2018

Help your business stand out this holiday season with visuals from Small Thanks

Thanksgiving is Thursday, and you know what that means: once the turkey and pumpkin pie are gone, the holiday shopping season officially begins. Businesses of all sizes will be trying to get the attention of shoppers. Lucky for you, research shows that 61% of shoppers are open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season. Help your business get noticed  by checking out the newly launched social post styles from Small Thanks, our hub for free marketing materials featuring information about your business and reviews from your customers.  

When it comes to discovering new stores, online reviews have become today’s word of mouth. You can turn your customers into advocates by showcasing your business’s real Google reviews with new seasonal posts from Small Thanks. Share these on your social media channels and as posts on your Business Profile on Google, so they’ll be seen by potential customers in Google Search and Maps.

It’s important to grab the attention of shoppers online, even if you’re a local business. Last holiday season, 78% of shoppers who visited a store turned to online search first. Show those potential customers that you meet their needs by sharing a social post from Small Thanks that highlights your business's unique attributes—such as gift wrapping services or a kid-friendly environment. That way, you'll be on their radar when they're ready to shop.

And if you’re looking for even more ways to add some flair to your social media, check out the new #SmallThanks GIPHY stickers. However your business chooses to get the word out this season, we hope these new visuals give you a few more options to reach holiday shoppers.

Say hello to the new Google My Business app, and say hello to your next customer

I come from a family of small business owners. My grandfather was an inventor and serial entrepreneur who, among many other things, built a successful machine tool company in Clarksville, Arkansas. My father then ran the Galloway Lumber Company in the same town back in the 40s and 50s. He was a charismatic man who built strong relationships with his customers—he knew almost everybody in town and could rely on those trustworthy relationships to keep the business running. As my team built the new Google My Business app, I kept business owners like him in mind and focused on connecting them with their customers. We’re proud to have built an easy-to-use, free tool that helps small business owners reach more people online and connect with their customers through Google, so they can grow their business and spend more of their time doing what they do best—running it.


The world has changed a lot since Galloway Lumber Company first opened its doors for business, and now more and more people start online to look for places to eat, visit and shop. Every month, Google connects people to businesses nearby more than 9 billion times, including over 1 billion phone calls and 3 billion direction requests to stores. When we built the Google My Business app, we wanted to make it easier for small businesses like you to take advantage of that opportunity, and turn those searchers into your customers.


Let’s look at how one small business, Khamsa, gets new customers with the app, and read on for details about what’s new:   

Turn searchers into customers with the new Google My Business app
  • A simple, free way to stand out on Google with a great Business Profile:  With a press of the new Post button in the app, you can upload a photo, create an offer or event and add it right to your Business Profile on Google. You can also manage your business information on Google from the Profile tab and watch your edits appear seamlessly across Search and Maps.

  • Your customers on Google—all in one place:When people find you on Google, they can connect with you in a number of ways—by messaging you, following you, booking your services, or leaving a review—right from your Business Profile. You’ll be able to see all of these customers on Google in one place from the app’s new Customers tab.  From here, you can easily respond to customer reviews and post offers to your followers to keep them coming back in the door, and soon you’ll be able to respond to messages right from the app. And because Google My Business is always on the clock, we’ll be sure to notify you when you get a new customer connection.

  • Keep track of the results that matter: See how many people are finding and connecting with you from your Business Profile on Google. We’ve put your profile results front-and-center on the home screen so you’re always in the know.

People are searching for your business on Google. Turn those searchers into customers with the new, free Google My Business app. Available for download in Google Play or the App Store today.


A veteran-led business strengthening hearts and minds

Editor’s Note: Next week is National Veterans Small Business Week, a chance to celebrate veterans-turned-small business owners, like Suzie Mills, Air Force Veteran and founder of Honest Soul Yoga. Read on about her journey to become a small business owner and how Grow with Google is making it easy to find veteran-led businesses. You can learn more about our Grow with Google resources for veterans on our site.


My grandmother served during WWII and when I was growing up she told me stories about how proud she was to be in the military. I wanted to follow in her footsteps and serve my country, too, so I joined the Air Force Reserves in 2004. My unit was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and the experience took a toll on my nervous system. I eventually found yoga, which gave me the tools I needed to process and move through stressful feelings in a healthier way. When I finished my service obligation in 2012, I wanted to share the healing power of yoga with other members of the military, and create a place that had a strong sense of community.


When I opened Honest Soul Yoga, I quickly realized that a clear, accurate and attractive online location listing for our business was imperative. Quite simply, it’s how people show up at our door. So I turned to Google for help. Products like Google Ads and Google My Business connect me with people who are looking for yoga studios in my area. Before using Google tools we had a phone at the front desk, but it rarely rang. Now, we get several calls an hour! Every call is an opportunity to get a new member through our doors.


Being a veteran-owned business is a big part of Honest Soul Yoga’s identity. We understand the challenges of frequently moving to new cities, being away from family, or having family away for extended periods of time. We appreciate those sacrifices and try to provide a place to connect with the community and meet new people. The addition of the Veteran-Led attribute to our Business Profile on Google makes it easier for potential customers to see that we’re military-friendly.


We’ve always had big plans for this small business, and we’re grateful for our growth, which includes our second location that opened last month and our third location opening before the new year. Over half of our employees are veterans and military spouses and we’ve been offering weekly yoga classes at Fort Belvoir for military families for more than three years. We aim to give back to the military community any way we can.


I’m proud that Honest Soul Yoga became the kind of community that I sought when I left the military—a place where veterans and military families really feel like they belong. Many other veteran-led businesses have the power to bring people together in this way, too. It’s now easier to find veteran-led businesses across the U.S. with this map, created by Grow with Google.

Veteran-Led SmallThanks

If you’re a veteran-led business, you can also make it easier to let the world know by adding the Veteran-Led attribute to your profile on Google and visiting SmallThanksto create free customized assets to share on social media.

Glam Doll Donuts: making Minneapolis sweeter

Editor’s Note: October is National Women’s Small Business Month, a time to celebrate women who are their own bosses and who build businesses that make their communities better. As the month comes to a close, we’re sharing the story of the women behind Glam Doll Donuts, based in Minneapolis. For free lessons on how to grow your business online, head to our Grow with Google hub.


Teresa Fox and Arwyn Birch have been best friends since they were 10. Growing up, one had dreams of being in fashion, the other in the music business—but it was their shared sweet tooth that eventually made them business partners. One day when on vacation together, they saw a donut shop with a line around the block and realized that they could bring some of that sweet goodness (with lots of paying customers) to their hometown of Minneapolis.


They were sold on the idea, but had to figure out how to actually make the donuts (and come up with a business plan). They spent a year watching donut-making tutorials on YouTube and testing recipes (everything from a classic glazed donut to a bourbon-infused apple fritter with caramelized bacon). They relied on resources they found through Google Search to create a business plan, create a budget and manage inventory. When Teresa and Arwyn finally opened Glam Doll Donuts, they had just seven employees. Over time, they built a following (locals often dress up as “Glam Dolls” for Halloween!) and rely on products like Google My Business and their reviews on Google to introduce themselves to new customers.  


Glam Dolls

Arwyn and Teresa with Tedd and Evan, two local fans who dressed up as Glam Dolls for Halloween. 

We became entrepreneurs because we never quite fit in to other people’s world so we had to create our own. This was our chance to leave a legacy and something for the future that was exciting and meaningful to us and our community. Teresa Fox
Co-founder, Glam Doll Donuts

Today, they employ a diverse team of 50 people, have opened a second location, and still find time for the fun stuff—decorating donuts, coming up with new recipes and making Minneapolis a little sweeter.

A passion for roasting coffee enables a firefighter to help fellow first responders

Editor’s note: Here’s the story of how Luke Schneider--a firefighter, paramedic and business owner--used technology to grow his coffee business and share his passion with others, while also giving back to his community. Learn more about Grow with Google--our initiative to help create economic opportunities for all Americans--here, and hear more about how we are supporting First Responders Day here

Like so many Americans, seeing the heroic efforts of first responders in the aftermath of September 11th struck a chord with me. Their willingness to put their own lives in danger to save others, their tireless efforts over the following weeks and months, and their dedication to each other inspired me to become a firefighter myself.

The life of a firefighter can be stressful, and no single day is the same. But I always felt like a part of a family, especially when we gathered around for one consistent ritual: brewing a pot of coffee to get us through long shifts. That comforting, communal feeling was something I always cherished.

My wife Kate and I decided to start roasting coffee for our friends and family. This shared passion drove us to start our own business: Fire Dept. Coffee.

Like many small businesses, the beginning wasn’t easy. We didn’t know a lot about marketing and building a brand. But things really took off about two years ago, when we took our store online and started using Google My Business. Our online reviews helped more people find our website, and now almost 100 percent of our sales are online. We’ve also doubled our production in the past 12 months, and we currently employ seven people--half of them former firefighters or veterans themselves.  

As our business grew, we wanted to do more for the community that had given us so much. After meeting Damien Pereira—a firefighter who was told he would never walk again after a serious spinal injury in the line of duty—we’re starting the Fire Dept. Coffee Foundation. We’ll donate 10 percent of our proceeds to supporting injured firefighters, first responders and their families.

With Fire Dept. Coffee, I want to continue to serve great tasting coffee to hard working people. But my highest honor is that our business growth allows us to give back to the ones who devote their lives to helping others.

Thanking Latino-led small businesses this Hispanic Heritage Month

I first met Eve Rodriguez Montoya, the creator of Yogolandia Yogurt & Botana Bar, at a roundtable focused on the challenges facing Latino-owned small businesses. In 2016, she wanted to bring more healthy food options to her neighborhood, Chicago’s Little Village. She decided to open a frozen yogurt shop that featured the Mexican flavors she grew up with and loved, like horchata, pepino and churros. And to bring her vision to life, she turned to technology. Google Search helped her learn how to create a business plan and to find suppliers. Once she was ready to open her doors, she used Google My Business to make sure customers could find her on Google Search and Maps. Today, business is thriving, she has four employees and she's collaborated with a few businesses in Chicago to feature her unique flavors.

We’re excited to see how Latinos across the country are using technology to grow their businesses and support local communities. This Hispanic Heritage Month, we're encouraging Latino-led businesses to make sure they’ve claimed their free business listing on Google. To help them keep growing, we’re also offering these businesses free marketing materials from Small Thanks with Google, including customized assets, like posters and social posts, featuring real Google reviews from customers.

small thanks - hispanic heritage month

If you're a Latino-led business, make sure to get on the map. And to everyone else, we hope you'll join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and the small businesses in your community!

Start a new .page today

Posted by Ben Fried, VP, CIO, & Chief Domains Enthusiast

Today we're announcing .page, the newest top-level domain (TLD) from Google Registry.

A TLD is the last part of a domain name, like .com in "google.com" or .google in "blog.google". The .page TLD is a new opportunity for anyone to build an online presence. Whether you're writing a blog, getting your business online, or promoting your latest project, .page makes it simple and more secure to get the word out about the unique things you do.

Check out 10 interesting things some people and businesses are already doing on .page:

  1. Ellen.Page is the website of Academy Award®-nominated actress and producer Ellen Page that will spotlight LGBTQ culture and social causes.
  2. Home.Page is a project by the digital media artist Aaron Koblin, who is creating a living collection of hand-drawn houses from people across the world. Enjoy free art daily and help bring real people home by supporting revolving bail.
  3. ChristophNiemann.Page is the virtual exhibition space of illustrator, graphic designer, and author Christoph Niemann.
  4. Web.Page is a collaboration between a group of designers and developers who will offer a monthly online magazine with design techniques, strategies, and inspiration.
  5. CareerXO.Page by Geek Girl Careers is a personality assessment designed to help women find tech careers they love.
  6. TurnThe.Page by Insurance Lounge offers advice about the transition from career to retirement.
  7. WordAsImage.Page is a project by designer Ji Lee that explores the visualizations of words through typography.
  8. Membrane.Page by Synder Filtration is an educational website about spiral-wound nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration membrane elements and systems.
  9. TV.Page is a SaaS company that provides shoppable video technology for e-commerce, social media, and retail stores.
  10. Navlekha.Page was created by Navlekhā, a Google initiative that helps Indian publishers get their content online with free authoring tools, guidance, and a .page domain for the first 3 years. Since the initiative debuted at Google for India, publishers are creating articles within minutes. And Navlekhā plans to bring 135,000 publishers online over the next 5 years.

Security is a top priority for Google Registry's domains. To help keep your information safe, all .page websites require an SSL certificate, which helps keep connections to your domain secure and helps protect against things like ad malware and tracking injections. Both .page and .app, which we launched in May, will help move the web to an HTTPS-everywhere future.

.page domains are available now through the Early Access Program. For an extra fee, you'll have the chance to get the perfect .page domain name from participating registrar partners before standard registrations become available on October 9th. For more details about registering your domain, check out get.page. We're looking forward to seeing what you'll build on .page!

Start a new .page today

Today we’re announcing .page, the newest top-level domain (TLD) from Google Registry.

A TLD is the last part of a domain name, like .com in “google.com” or .google in “blog.google” (the site you’re on right now). The .page TLD is a new opportunity for anyone to build an online presence. Whether you’re writing a blog, getting your business online, or promoting your latest project, .page makes it simple and more secure to get the word out about the unique things you do.


Check out 10 interesting things some people and businesses are already doing on .page:

  1. Ellen.Page is the website of Academy Award®-nominated actress and producer Ellen Page that will spotlight LGBTQ culture and social causes.
  2. Home.Page is a project by the digital media artist Aaron Koblin, who is creating a living collection of hand-drawn houses from people across the world. Enjoy free art daily and help bring real people home by supporting revolving bail.
  3. ChristophNiemann.Page is the virtual exhibition space of illustrator, graphic designer, and author Christoph Niemann.
  4. Web.Page is a collaboration between a group of designers and developers who will offer a monthly online magazine with design techniques, strategies, and inspiration. 
  5. CareersXO.Page by Geek Girl Careers is a personality assessment designed to help women find tech careers they love.
  6. TurnThe.Page by Insurance Lounge offers advice about the transition from career to retirement.
  7. WordAsImage.Page is a project by designer Ji Lee that explores the visualizations of words through typography.
  8. Membrane.Page by Synder Filtration is an educational website about spiral-wound nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration membrane elements and systems.
  9. TV.Page is a SaaS company that provides shoppable video technology for ecommerce, social media, and retail stores.
  10. Navlekha.Page was created by Navlekhā, a Google initiative that helps Indian publishers get their content online with free authoring tools, guidance, and a .page domain for the first 3 years. Since the initiative debuted at Google for India, publishers are creating articles within minutes. And Navlekhā plans to bring 135,000 publishers online over the next 5 years.

Security is a top priority for Google Registry’s domains. To help keep your information safe, all .page websites require an SSL certificate, which helps keep connections to your domain secure and helps protect against things like ad malware and tracking injections. Both .page and .app, which we launched in May, will help move the web to an HTTPS-everywhere future.

.page domains are available now through the Early Access Program. For an extra fee, you’ll have the chance to get the perfect .page domain name from participating registrar partners before standard registrations become available on October 9th. For more details about registering your domain, check out get.page. We’re looking forward to seeing what you’ll build on .page!