As much as we all like to do our Christmas shopping online, I’m willing to bet we’ll still see a massively increased footfall on the high street this December. For physical businesses around the country, that means now is the time to make sure your location-based marketing assets are up to scratch.
With over 70% of Google searches including a location-specific term, and with contextual search quickly becoming the standard for search engines around the world, location is, for sure, one of the dominant factors in whether or not people will find your business online. Before most of your customers step out of their homes they’ll already know where you are, how to get to you, whether you’re open right now, and whether you have what they want.
If you’ve remembered to update your data, that is. Keeping everything in check can be a bit of a pain when it comes to location services, so we’ve put this checklist together to give you a helping hand.
Update your Google Business listing
With Google getting the lion’s share of the world’s search traffic, your Google Business listing is perhaps one of the most crucial pieces of the location puzzle. Sign in to Google and make sure your locations, business name, phone number, and description are all correct.
Add business hours
This is a crucial one for retailers as people will want to know whether you’re open late for the holidays. Make sure they’re listed correctly.
Check you have a contact and about page
These are essential items for any visitors to your site, be they human or robot. Google cross-references information on your contact and about pages with information about you elsewhere on the internet. If everything matches up, Google will know you’re unlikely to be a spam business and will make sure you appear in search results.
Activate your Geolocation API
If location is crucial to your business you’re going to want to know where visitors to your site are accessing from. By using the HTML5 Geolocation API you can track any available location data dropped to you by incoming IPs, giving you useful insight your web traffic.
Enable click to call on phone numbers
Picture the scene. You’re debating whether or not to make the trip down the high street to pick up that singing Elmo for cousin Tarquin. You decide to check the store’s website first to see if it’s in stock but…erg, you have to type in the phone number by hand. “Screw it”, you say, “I’ll order it on Amazon”. Don’t let this happen to your business.
Add listings to third-party sites
As we mentioned before, Google finds it helpful to confirm your business’ details from multiple sources. The more third-party location sites you’re listed on, the more likely you are to be found by both people and by Google. Create listings on Yelp, Yell.com, Foursquare, MapQuest, Hotfrog…in fact, just make sure you can be found everywhere on this list.
Check everything for name, address, phone (NAP) and category consistency
It’s important to search results that your business details are consistent no matter where they’re mentioned. Remember, it’s a machine that ranks your website, not a person, so even slight differences can cause confusion. Make sure you’re using Road, not Rd., that your phone number always has an area code, and that everywhere describes you as a flower shop, not a florist.
With all these in place we’re confident you’ll stay on the map this Christmas. We hope you’re ready for the rush!