Tag Archives: google my business

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.

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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.

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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

How to Win Autumn’s Mobile Moments

Autumn has arrived. For some, that means settling back into football season. For others, it’s venturing to a local apple orchard on the weekend with friends. And for many, it’s making another attempt at winning the Halloween costume contest. But no matter what, people turn to their mobile devices whenever they want to make the most of their autumn. This time of year is full of potential for businesses to connect with customers in the I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do or I-want-to-buy moments when they are making decisions.

With that in mind, it's time to create the best mobile experience so your business can be there in the moments that matter most this season. Start with these three tips from real-life businesses that are turning autumn into a season of opportunity.

Be there
Lyman Orchards shows up when people search on mobile

Lyman Orchards is the twelfth-oldest family owned business in the United States. Deeded in 1741, this quaint and picturesque farm spans 1,100 acres in central Connecticut and will celebrate its 275th anniversary throughout 2016. Though its roots are in the 18th century, the company connects with potential visitors in a very 21st century way. Lyman Orchards uses Google My Business to easily provide driving directions, hours of operation, a phone number, and even photos to people using their mobile device to search for fun fall activities.

Nowadays, consumers are 38% more likely to visit and 29% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings online1. And because 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information like store addresses, business hours, product availability and directions2, small businesses need to make sure their information is available when their customers are looking for them–especially on their mobile phones.

Try updating your Google My Business listing with your seasonal information, hours, and some fall-friendly photos to make sure you're providing would-be visitors with all the information they need in the moment it matters.

Be useful
Blitsy engages customers with crafting how-to videos

Blitsy, the self-described “must-go source for crafters,” merges old school hobbies with modern day technology by helping crafters discover the latest designs and trends from their favorite brands. When they know their customers are gearing up for Halloween, Blitsy leverages YouTube to motivate crafters with how-to video content, including DIY Halloween Bats, Witch Broom Drink Stirrers, and Easy 3D Paper Pumpkins. With the season inspiring plenty of spontaneous I-want-to-learn moments, Blitsy connects with their mobile customers in creative ways with useful information.

What makes Blitsy's strategy so crafty? In our age of instant information, sharing knowledge and useful content can influence purchasing decisions. In fact, 1 in 4 shoppers (26%) say online videos are their go-to source for gift ideas, and 32% of shoppers say they plan to use online video more this year for holiday purchases3. When it comes to providing the right information at the right time, videos can convey your company’s message and story more dynamically and provide a better experience to curious potential customers, many of whom are watching on-the-go. More than half of YouTube views now come from mobile devices.

So get the camera rolling this fall. Create videos to tell your company's story, share how-to clips, and capture the attention and imaginations of viewers, wherever they're watching.

Be quick
Print Syndicate makes sure its site is built for swipes

For those who want to express themselves this autumn season but aren’t inclined to wear a costume, they can turn to Print Syndicate. Selling through its three brands—LookHuman.com, ActivateApparel.com, and MericaMade.com—Print Syndicate is a print-on-demand e-commerce company that designs socially and seasonally relevant apparel, phone cases, housewares and more. Their extensive Columbus, Ohio based team is constantly creating new designs in response to social media trends or upcoming holidays. Given that 30% of online shopping purchases now happen on mobile devices, Print Syndicate has ensured that all three of its brands have mobile-friendly sites showcasing their latest and most clever Halloween shirts. With a few simple swipes on their mobile sites, anyone can find, view and purchase a quirky Halloween t-shirt on-the-go from anywhere in the country.

Print Syndicate is making sure everyone is ready for Halloween, but it’s also looking ahead to the holidays: 1 in 4 people start holiday shopping before Halloween, and last year more than half of those who shopped online did so using smartphones or tablets. Print Syndicate knows that capturing those mobile I-want-to-buy moments is increasingly important for businesses to compete during the holiday season, so the company runs mobile ads through Google AdWords to reach shoppers searching for creative gifts on their devices.

Be there when fall’s early holiday shoppers head to the web, and make sure your website is mobile optimized and thumb-friendly to reach customers who are searching on the go. You can also update your website with a seasonal landing page to create an even stronger user experience.

Mobile is changing the way we live, and changing the types of information customers expect from businesses online. Make the most of that this fall: when mobile users head to the web, be there, be useful, and be quick. These three simple tips can help your business make the most of the season's best autumnal moments.

Posted by Claire Mudd, Head of Small Business Marketing

1. Ipsos MORI, Impact of Search Listings for Local Businesses, August 2014
2. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014
3. Google / Ipsos MediaCT, Consumer Holiday Intentions Study 2015

Getting San Francisco Bay Area Businesses Online Ahead of Football’s Big Game

Earlier this year, we launched "Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” to provide businesses across the U.S. with simple ways to be found when customers search for them online. We’ve been making that process faster, easier, and free, so that more customers find businesses in their area when they turn to the web for information.

With pro football’s Big Game happening this February at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara -- the first in the Bay Area since 1985 -- we want Google’s hometown businesses to have the tools they need to show up when visiting sports lovers inevitably start searching online for local restaurants, hotels, attractions and more. That’s why we’re announcing a special series of “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” workshops designed especially for the Bay Area businesses we know and love to learn strategies to getting online -- and in front of everyone coming to town for the Big Game.

The 2015 championship game brought more than 1,000,000 people to downtown Phoenix earlier this year, and 500,000 people enjoyed events in downtown Scottsdale, driving over $700 million in economic impact to the region.1 Drawing the eyes of the nation, and with "near me" searches doubling over the last year,2 the opportunities for showing up are real. But small businesses are still notably behind the curve when it comes to showing up online. Four in five consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses,3 but less than half of US small businesses actually have a website4 and only 37% have claimed or updated their business information on a search engine.5

As part of the workshop series, we’ll share tips on how to build an online presence, offer a free website with a customized domain name including free web hosting for a year, and help businesses create a free business listing on Google Search and Maps. Interested local Bay Area business owners can RSVP below:

  • August 10, 2015 -- YouTube Headquarters, San Bruno, CA -- register here
  • September 22, 2015 -- Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA -- register here
  • December 4, 2015 -- Google San Francisco Office, San Francisco, CA -- register here

From farmers markets to taquerias to a virtual reality arcade, we know it's never too late to show up online -- even in the heart of Silicon Valley! We’re encouraging businesses to use this opportunity to take steps right now to maximize online interest they may experience leading up to the Big Game. Join us as we help put the San Francisco Bay Area on the map!

1. Seidman Research Institute and W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University Study, June 2015.
2. I-Want-to-Go Moments: From Search to Store. Think with Google, April 2015.
3. Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014.
4. Google/IPSOS, Survey of businesses with less than 250 employees, October 2013.
5. Marketing Sherpa, Search Marketing Benchmark Report SEO Edition, 2012.

Building a Proud Community with Google My Business

No two businesses are the same. And for small business owners, their unique character is vital for their success and keeps their loyal customers coming back.

Hailee Bland Walsh, the owner of City Gym in Kansas City, believes her gym “should be more than a place to workout. It should be a place to belong." She uses Google My Business to share that her gym is a safe place where everyone is welcome.

This message has been especially meaningful for Jake who recently returned to City Gym for the first time after having surgery. For him, City Gym has been an integral part of his transition from female to male, providing a place to explore his changing body and a community of support for him and his friends.

In recognition of LGBT Pride Month, we are excited to share the story of Hailee and Jake, and the power of the web to connect remarkable businesses like City Gym with their people.

Better than 1,000 words: introducing new photo tools to help you show off your business on Google

When it comes to attracting new customers, photos can both entice customers to your business when they’re browsing online and give customers confidence that they’ve come to the right place.

Starting today, you can tell us which image you’d like to appear when customers search for your business on Google. Just log in to Google My Business on the web or in the Android or iOS apps, and visit the Photos section. While you’re there, you can also give your business a fresh look online by updating your profile, logo and cover photos.

Photos you add through Google My Business can be displayed on Google Search, Maps and Google+

We’ll also guide you through adding the best photos to show off what makes your business unique. For example, hotels will receive guidance for adding exterior, room and common space photos that show guests what to expect inside and out. Cafes and restaurants can get customers drooling over their latest food and drink and provide more details with a menu photo.

Log in to Google My Business today to see suggestions of photos to add for your business.

Businesses, start your smartphones

Running a successful small business is about finding and connecting with the right customers. Business owners are increasingly using their smartphones, and so today we are making enhancements to both the Google My Business and the AdWords Express apps. We hope this makes it easier to find the right customers, whether they are looking for you at their desktop computer or on their phone on the go.

See reviews and insights in Google My Business
Nothing makes your day like a great review from a happy customer. Starting today, business owners can see reviews from across the web in the Google My Business Android app (iOS update soon). Business users have told us how much customers appreciate a response, so we are also making it possible to respond to Google reviews in the app, along with real-time alerts if you want to keep a pulse on your reputation online.

Wondering how customers are using their smartphones to get in touch with your business? When people find you on Google, you can see when they call or from where they get driving directions, so you can be prepared for that next manic Monday rush.

Reach new customers with advertising
Finding more of the right customers doesn’t have to wait until you’re at your desk. Over the last few months, we’ve gotten great feedback about how easy it is to advertise with our AdWords Express mobile app, and today we are expanding the Android app to 20 additional countries (iOS coming soon).

When you advertise your business through AdWords Express, you can reach potential customers right when they’re searching for the product or service that you sell. Your top stats for the month are displayed in the Google My Business app, and you can switch over to AdWords Express to see more detail or edit the ad to promote your next big event.

These changes will be rolling out over the next few days, so check back soon if you don’t yet see the updates. For more information about the mobile apps, visit the Google My Business and AdWords Express help centers.

See the metrics that matter for your business

With the launch of Google My Business, we’ll be exploring new ways to build a strong online presence for your local business.

For this post, we’ll be focusing on using Google My Business to see how your business performs on the web. Have you ever wondered how many customers search for your business on Google Maps or whether your customers are seeing that photo you uploaded last week?

Google My Business makes it easy to find valuable information about your local business on Google, including:
  • The number of times people saw your business information show up on Google Maps, Search and Maps for Mobile 
  • The areas from which users have searched for driving directions to your business using Google Maps 
  • The number of impressions of your Google+ photos, profile, posts 
To access Insights, open Google My Business, choose the page you’d like to manage, and click View Insights. Insights are another good reason to verify your local business--you won’t be able to see the data without going through that process.

Once you’re there, you’ll see three tabs: Visibility, Engagement, and Audience.

Click Visibility to get numbers on how customers engage with your business on Google--through driving directions, clicks to your website and more.

The charts on the Engagement tab lets you know how your customers interact with your posts. You can even breakdown the information by type of post to see whether your customers respond better to picture or text posts.

Visit the Audience tab to understand the makeup of your Google+ followers, including their age range, country, and gender.

With Insights, you have the tools to watch your local business grow online.

Help your business shine with Google My Business

There’s one thing that lies at the heart of every business: customers. Customers are the reason why businesses flourish, and their shared passion for your craft is what makes running a business so rewarding. For many business owners, customers are more than just patrons - they’re your regulars, your advocates and your friends. In other words, they’re your people.

The Internet is connecting more businesses with their people every day. However, our users tell us that finding these loyal customers can be complex and time-consuming. We believe it shouldn’t be. That’s why we are happy to introduce Google My Business - a free and easy way to find and connect with your people, wherever you are.

Google My Business brings together all the ways Google can help your business shine in one place:
  • Update your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ from one place to make it easy for customers to get in touch
  • Add beautiful photos of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique
  • Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events and other important updates from your Google+ page
  • Stay on top of reviews from across the web, and respond to Google reviews
  • Understand how people find and interact with your business using custom insights and integration with AdWords Express
  • Manage your information on-the-go with the Google My Business Android app and the iOS app (launching soon)

In addition to new businesses getting started with Google My Business, we’re also upgrading current users of Places for Business and the Google+ Dashboard to this new experience.

Businesses with a passion for everything from beautiful hand-made hats and fresh crab cakes, to the best local pale ale, are finding their people with Google.

To learn more about how you can find your people, visit google.com/mybusiness.