Are you using the internet to drive buyers to your store? You may be thinking that because you don’t have an ecommerce site it’s not important. But your customers are using their smartphones as their shopping assistant and not just to find products but to find you!
When someone searches for your business, Google Local Listings pops up an ad with your phone number, address and hours. It also provides a picture of the outside of your business and a small map to help customers get oriented.
If they are searching on their phone, they can click icons that allow them to quickly find directions, go to your website or call you. These are very useful tools for customers on the go. If they are using a desktop computer, they will see links to your Website and Directions to your place of business.
With either type of device, a customer can easily write a review or add a photo. On the desktop version, there is a the Send to Phone feature that according to the Google business website is designed to send you a place on Google Maps directly to your phone. This feature seems really cool, but in our testing (iPhone), it didn’t seem to work. Maybe Google is still working out the bugs on that one…anyway….
Here is what our Google Local Listing looks like on a computer :
And here it is on an iPhone:
Google Local Listings are free so there’s no reason for you not to set it up and it will make your customer’s life easier. If you haven’t already, you will first need to claim your store on Google to get your free local ad.
You can claim your store by going here: https://www.google.com/business/
Start the process by clicking the “Start Now” button to get your store information entered. You should put in your store location(s), hours, phone numbers and URL. This is the minimum. Once setup, your potential customer will be able to find you when they are looking for you via Google Search whether they are on a PC, tablet or phone. Note that it may take a several hours for the information to become available.
One of the most useful features is the “Directions” button. Someone trying to find your store can easily click that button and get detailed driving directions from their location right to your door using Google maps – which they also have on their smartphone.
Google even keeps track of your store hours in ‘real-time’ and lets a customer know that you will be closing soon.
Pretty cool. Not many things are actually free, easy and useful but Google Local Listings qualifies.