Most retail businesses recognise the value of keeping their physical presence fresh and consistent but how many are missing out on attracting new customers through the quality of their local ‘online’ presence?
To stand out in internet searches then your individual store ‘Google Place’ needs as much attention as your shop front!
We have learnt that if you want your retail business to stand out from the crowd in internet searches then your individual store ‘Google Place’ needs a similar level of care and attention to that you would provide to your retail store shop front.
Here are my 7 easy ways to make sure that you stand out from the competition for consumers wandering past on the super-highway.
7 Steps to stand out from the crowd using Google Places!
- Be In Control
The first thing that is a must for every retailer is to claim their ‘Google Place’ or set one up if one doesn’t already exist. Unless your ‘Google Place’ is claimed you won’t be able to amend any details or more importantly control the content and therefore this is essential for your local marketing. Consider it as the same importance as your yellow pages listing from 10 years ago. You’ll need a Google account and to arrange either a phone, sms or postcard based validation to complete this.
- Look Like Yourself
As with any marketing your Google Place should be consistent with your brand, this includes your business name, logo and any images provided, ideally use a picture of your shop front to show potential visitors what to look for if they visit you. Maybe feature seasonal merchandise and signage at the right times of year and ensure that any products pictured are actually available!
- Be Where You Are
When positioning your map pin, Google starts with a centre of postcode location, depending on your specific postcode this can be some way away from your actual location and more importantly may actually direct potential shoppers to a point from which you can’t be seen or worse, has no access to the entrance to your store.
- Open Your Doors
Have you ever arrived at a store to find it shut due to a lunch closure, shorter early week hours or no Sunday trading? Potential customers use details on Google Places to find out when you are open. Make sure that you provide up to date opening hours so that potential customers know exactly when they can visit.
- Be Multi-Channel
Your customers may wish to call, text, browse the web or visit your store. Make sure that your potential customer has access to all your channels via your Google Place. When including your website make sure you bring consumers to an appropriate page, not necessarily to the homepage, maybe create a landing page specifically for local visitors with special deals.
- How Can You Help Me?
The description of your business and the categories to list yourself under are often used by Google to match to relevant searches. Make sure that you think about what the ideal customers you want to attract would search for and include that text where possible in these aspects of your Google Place. Common examples that we find work well are a product category, brand name, convenience or destination product.
- Tomorrow Is Another Day
The biggest failure we see in Google Places management by retail businesses is failure to keep their details up to date. All of the above aspects can change due to internal business, seasonal circumstances or even unexpected events.
Make sure you revisit your listing details regularly, maybe set a reminder every month. Also it’s wise to keep up to date with Google listing guidelines and new features, plus check occasionally for duplicate or unethical competitive listings by searching for your business details.
Following the above steps will make sure that your local online presence is as polished and effective as renovating your physical store and a lot less costly!
This blog was written by Andrew Rayner, Managing Director of e-mphasis Internet Marketing, THE experts in local internet marketing for retail, hospitality and leisure.
For more information or to find out how e-mphasis can help your retail business contact the team via www.e-mphasis.com or call on 0844 4145159.