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How to Promote Holiday Offers Free on Your Local Google Listing

Did you know you can post expiring coupons, videos, and update posts on  your company Google My Business listing?

Did you know that you don’t have to pay for online advertising to benefit from local search traffic?

Your Google My Business listing is the ultimate key to driving more local traffic to your store. It’s free to have: you’ll soon notice a rise in online traffic when you create your online listing.

The best thing about your local Google listing is that you can change it whenever you want. That means you can use it to make the most of seasonal promotions so that anybody looking for your services in the area will immediately be tempted by your offers!

This quick guide will show you how to get your free listing – and how to use it for seasonal promotions, too.

How to Claim Your Google My Business Listing

There are just a few quick steps to claim your free online listing:

1. Visit www.google.com/business and select the Start Now button.

2. Create or sign in to your Google account for your business.

3. Follow the instructions step-by-step to create your listing.

4. Verify your listing to make sure you appear in local searches.

When you’ve completed the above, your free local listing is live!

Everybody Loves Something for Free

The great thing about using your local Google listing to run holiday promotions and offers is that both you and your customers benefit!

Your marketing budget is kept low and your customers will receive money off (or free gifts) when they make a holiday purchase. It’s a win-win situation!

Some businesses feel that running offers can devalue their product offering. This can be true if your shop always has some discount area or constant sales.

However, irregular seasonal offers can be a great way to tempt back wayward customers as well as finding new ones. Customers feel they’re getting a bargain when they see discounts or special offers and that can be enough to help them choose your shop over another.

With that in mind, let’s look at how to boost your holiday offers without spending any extra money on marketing.

How to Promote Seasonal Offers on Your Local Google Listing

Now you’ve got your online listing it’s time to make the most of the free marketing opportunities.

1. Add a Post About Your Seasonal Promotions

You can add an offer in your post as an update, or specifically as an OFFER.   Update your Posts by going into your Google Business account and selecting “New Post” on the left-hand menu and choose the “Offer” tab in the new pop-up.  Add an image, and in “offer title” and “details” give information that is memorable and grabs attention as this is the first thing people will see of your offer.  You can add a start and end date, an optional coupon code, terms and conditions, and a link to your offer redemption page.

If you do a regular update post instead of offer, it’s similar. Add in a short amount of text and an image that shows off your related promotions. For example, if everything is ‘buy two get one free’ in a certain range for the holidays, include this in your post. You may also include coupon codes for your online store.

Once the post is published it will show up under your Google My Business listing when a related search is made.

2. Promote Your Holiday Event

Are you open late for a special evening shopping event? Do you have a special networking dinner for your business customers?

You can use the Posts function to add a new event, too. In the pop-up, just choose the “event” tab. Add the details, such as date, location, and start time, and hit publish.

Users will be able to click on this promotion to book their place on the event. This will help you to manage your attendee list so that you know how many to expect.

You can also create a list from those who have expressed an interest in the event to send further targeted marketing communications about the event and related products.

3. Shout About Your Seasonal Products

There’s one more function of ‘Posts’ on your listing: the What’s New section. This is the perfect place to shout about your holiday-related products.

Add a post as above: the What’s New posts have more space for additional information, images, and even videos. This is a great way to tempt local shoppers to visit your website and your bricks-and-mortar store during the run-up to the holiday season.

Ask an Expert to Help

If you’re having trouble setting up your local Google listing to make the most of free seasonal marketing opportunities, it’s time to speak to an expert.
free offer in GMB
A GMB and local SEO expert will be able to use the perfect keywords, based on customer psychology and keyword research, to make sure your free online promotions are effective in boosting sales. Get in touch with our team today to find out more!  Need help?  I will post your offer FOR you – not cost or obligation.  Just book a call time here.

Here’s a sample of a posted offer in GMB.  Take advantage of our special offer we posted on our GMB listing.

7 ways Google+ Makes sense for your SEO

Google+ has thus far not been taken very seriously by businesses aiming to market their products and services. This is rapidly changing! Google+ has positioned itself nicely to challenge Facebook as a major social network for business. Websites using the +1 Button increase page traffic by 350%, and over 925,000 people join Google+ each day! Combine all the functionality of your Google account, and big search engine benefits, you’ve got something we can get excited about.

Seven Tips for Utilizing Your Google+ Page

Here are seven techniques for getting your Google+ page to help your business.

  1. Complete your Google+ profile – Give this a bit of thought as you do it. Use interesting photos and images, and be sure you link out to your other social media accounts.
  2. List your contact info – Include hours of operation, your contact details, along with maps and directions.
  3. Link to your blog or site – Be sure to link to your main business blog or site. This will result in added traffic plus a great link.
  4. Create a business page – Showcase your business where it matters. This has direct benefits for search engine results and for people who find you on Google+.
  5. Link out to your content –Doing this will have a number of benefits, first of all getting them indexed nearly instantly, and also a number of other search engine advantages. You can even use your Google+ page to make posts, including multimedia that can link out to your content elsewhere.
  6. Utilize Direct Connect – Utilize this feature in Google+ to let visitors to add you to circles whenever they find you in search. Think of this as a Facebook “Like”.
  7. Use video chat in Google+ Hangouts – Whenever you hold a video chat, Google+ streams it, records it, and supplies you with the recording via email. You can then upload to YouTube if you want, or use it on your website or in private. One excellent strategy to use these is to create impromptu product demos.

This is only the beginning of what’s possible with Google+. To see more methods along with a very cool infographic on the subject see this post on CopyBlogger.

Grab your free Google+ Local ebook with detailed instructions to get the most out of Google Plus Local.
Don’t forgot that we can help you optimize your Google+ Local page with our local search ranking services 

Places to +1 Local Transition Updates

It’s Aug.20, 2012 and Google is still in transition from their “Places” to Google+ Local listings

I know they are making things very confusing for local businesses right now, and they will still take more time to settle into their new system.

These questions arise all the time.

  • After I verify my business, where do I edit it – the Places page, or in Google+ Local page?
  • What do I do if I’m a service area type business and not storefront type?
  • I was a service area business in Google places, but now I’m not visible in the new Google+ Local – what happened?
  • I verified my business, but now I’m waiting – it’s been weeks and it’s still “pending”.

They’ve now finally posted some updates and a FAQ on this site.

If you received our guide for setting up Google local listings, then you need to keep in mind these updates and constant changes.  The core of setting it up Places is the same, it’s just after you’ve done it where it get’s trickier.

We service-area type businesses that go TO our customers are still left hanging in the transition.  It seems neither big govt. nor big Google still see the importance of our type of business in the economy.  We’re always the last ones or ignored.  Here in Surrey, BC – small home-based businesses make up over 40% of all businesses in Surrey (most of these are service type).  Many of these provide jobs or contract work to others.  Though small individually, collectively we make a huge contribution to the economy.

Come on, guys.  Treat us small service businesses like any other business and equally important!

So, currently, where you EDIT your business listing depends on how new it is, whether it’s brick & mortar, and whether it’s been verified or not.

Those of you who are my Google Places optimization service clients, please be patient as well – we cannot control Google and their many changes – we just have to keep up to date with them and adjust accordingly.