Make Your Google My Business Listing Holiday-Ready

Customer inquiries and sales often go through the roof during the holiday season. To many small business owners, those last few weeks of the year are so crucial that they exert effort to generate as many sales as possible during the holidays. Online search is a major deciding factor. Optimizing a site for Google is critical if you want your digital business to thrive this season.

Nearly 50% of shoppers do Google searches before deciding what to buy and where to buy. So think of search engines as the new front door of your business. The Google My Business platform makes it possible for any company to make a good impression on potential new customers.

There are various projections for ecommerce and holiday shopping this year:

  1.   Ecommerce sales might increase by as much as 12%.

  2.   Supply chain problems might cause an increase in prices.

  3.   Social referrals may generate 30% more sales.

  4.   Post-pandemic holiday shopping is in the green.

  5.   Nearly 30% of shoppers in the US and UK plan to do more shopping this year than last year.

How do you make your listing ready for the holiday rush? Here are some solid strategies.


  1. Don't Forget Your Special Holiday Hours

You can add special hours to Google My Business to let customers know when you're open (or closed) during holidays. You may have received a notification from GMB in the past about setting these special hours.

You can adjust your business hours for any holiday, any time. You don't have to wait for the email prompt from the platform. You can schedule special hours for any business day (not just the big holidays) in advance. This feature allows you to cross one item off your to-do list.

Is your store open later than usual during the holidays? Are you planning to close early to give your staff a well-deserved holiday break? Update the special hours section of your Google My Business Dashboard to inform customers well ahead of time. Many savvy shoppers plan their shopping trips well in advance, and making your GMB listing as updated as you can just put you on these customers' A-list.


  1. Be More Responsive to Customers

When people are fully engaged with the holiday season, they feel a particular rush to get things done.

This feeling makes customers more willing to communicate with businesses to ask questions and plan. In addition, you can use your GMB listing to engage with your customers directly with GMB Messaging. GMB Messaging is a great way to manage the influx of inquiries during the holiday season, so your site doesn't get crushed with emails.

The first requirement would be to assign staff to watch the messaging system, so someone can answer when the inquiries do come in.  The GMB Messaging feature is a beautiful way to increase sales and turn those casual inquiries into sales. Another benefit of activating GMB Messaging is you will be able to get feedback from your customers (albeit informally). You will be available to online searchers in real-time. Since the GMB app is available on mobile devices, business owners can get in on the action.


  1. Maximize Visuals on Your GMB Listing

Visual storytelling is the next step in your journey to more effective digital marketing. GMB makes it easier for anyone to become a visual storyteller. Just as platforms like Instagram and Facebook thrive with rich media, you can also upload images, video clips, and even animations on your GMB listing.

Marketers frequently employ storytelling to establish an emotional bond between a brand and its customers.

The addition of graphics to a story is known as visual storytelling. When you add marketing to the mix, you get visual storytelling promotion: capturing your target audience's attention, creating content that resonates with them, and creating an emotional bond through the process.

Visual storytelling is just a more concentrated use of visuals than what you usually do in content marketing.

To begin with, visual storytelling works because our brains excel at processing visual cues. So, for example, when a person is reading, the letters onscreen or on the page have to be manually interpreted by the brain as a series of small pictures that must then be pieced together linguistically or logically before the message starts to make any sense.

Reading becomes inefficient as a result of this.

Within a few days of receiving knowledge, people only remember approximately ten percent of what they hear or read. However, if they are given an image and the information, the quantity they recall rapidly increases.

Some fine examples of visual storytelling materials are infographics, animation, video, graphs, charts, images, videos, GIF files, memes, and photographs.

Anything that can capture your audience's attention and hold it for more than a minute is a good idea for a storytelling visual. Don't be afraid to experiment – you might be surprised how seemingly simple visuals can get people to engage with your brand more easily.


  1. Audit your GMB Listing

Don't forget to update your location and other business details before the holidays. Your store hours should be 100% updated, too. As we've mentioned before, the GMB feature creates these special business hours ahead so all holiday shoppers who find your GMB listing know when you're open late and when you're closed. While you're at it, double-check the location information for all of your company's locations to ensure that numbers and street addresses are correct.

The last thing you want is customer frustration because the GMB listing sent people to a wrong or outdated location. Therefore, you need to evaluate your GMB listing to ensure you've addressed the essentials of optimization. Also, optimize any service or product descriptions to make them more visible and more apparent to customers.

"Near me" searches and more conventional searches are equally crucial to your success. Remember – some 50% of searches on Google are "zero clicks," meaning people get their info directly from the passages displayed on the SERP. Therefore, all the essential details must be correct on your profile so you can maximize searches with click-throughs and zero-click ones, too.


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