In recent years, many small and medium-sized retailers have been working on digitizing their business. Online and offline sales channels are increasingly merging. Omnichannel marketing and local marketing, for example, play a crucial role. In this context, the Google Business Profile occupies a key position. But what makes it so significant and how should it be cultivated in order to exploit its full potential?
Omnichannel marketing involves companies linking different sales channels. This includes the integration of physical stores, online stores and social media. The goal is to provide customers with a seamless, consistent, and convenient customer journey - regardless of how, when, and where they engage with the brand.
The Google Business Profile is like a retailer's digital fingerprint. It offers customers a comprehensive overview of what makes a company tick – both online and offline.
For one, it improves visibility in search results, which can drive more traffic to the website and retail store.
Secondly, Google Maps often favors local businesses when users search for retailers, products or services in their vicinity. This means that a small store in the immediate vicinity of searchers has a much higher probability of appearing in the search results than a large company that is further away. However, this requires a Google business profile. So, especially for retailers who rely on local customers, a well-maintained profile is crucial.
Local marketing is a strategy aimed at promoting products or services in a specific geographic region. This is done through local advertising, search engine optimization for local searches, and targeted social media marketing strategies.
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Google Business Profile maintenance: What to consider?
1. Up-to-date information: Make sure your company data is always up to date. This includes opening hours, address, contact information and other relevant details. Also, remember to adjust your opening hours on holidays, if necessary. According to the "Google Omnichannel Excellence Study," 61 percent of consumers abandon their buying process if business information such as address or opening hours is inaccurate or incomplete. This shows how important good maintenance is.
2. Photos and multimedia: Use the possibility to upload pictures and videos. Show your store, your products and your team and give your clientele a vivid impression of your brand and your offerings.
3. Customer reviews: Respond to customer reviews – both positive and negative. This shows commitment and professionalism. If you don't have that many reviews yet, ask your clientele to write you a review. People tend to rely on the opinions and experiences of other users. This gives small brands the opportunity to present themselves as authentic and trustworthy.
4. Posts and updates: Think of your Google Business Profile as another communication channel. Regularly share news, offers or events via your profile to keep your clientele up to date.
5. The more the merrier: With the Google Business Profile, there are a variety of ways to describe your business in detail. Is your store accessible? Do you offer Click & Collect or other services? In which languages can you offer consultation? Does your store have a restroom with a changing table? Take the opportunity to answer frequently asked questions here. The more accurate the description of your business, the better your target group will feel addressed.
Anyone looking for inspiration for their Google Business Profile can find it at the Google Future Workshop. Business people like Claire, owner of a gift store in Newcastle, or Andrew, manager of a comic store in London, tell their success stories here, which they also wrote thanks to a Google Business Profile.
Alongside this, local marketing has been extremely important for many of them. Google offers advertising options that are specifically tailored to local businesses. This enables small stores to place targeted ads for users in their vicinity. Many learned the basics of successful online marketing with Google in the free courses offered by the Google Future Workshop.