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Optimizing Google My Business: The Importance of NAP Consistency

Optimizing Google My Business: The Importance of NAP Consistency

Every retailer needs a Google My Business listing. 

It’s the single most important tool that store owners can leverage to gain local exposure. But it’s not enough to just have a listing, you must optimize it so you can reach as many local shoppers as possible. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the first step in optimizing your business listing. 

What is NAP Consistency?

To get started, Google My Business will request basic store information including your store name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP). 

This will act as the starting point for your store’s local seo

NAP

It is extremely important that the NAP you provide Google My Business is exactly the same as the information listed on your website. Otherwise, your ranking in search results will be negatively impacted. 

In fact, your store’s NAP should be consistent across the entire web – including other local directory listings and your social media.

This is known as NAP consistency: it can be defined as having your store’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistently listed the same across the entire web. 

How Does it Affect Local SEO? 

NAP inconsistencies are the #1 issue affecting local search ranking.

ranking issue graph

NAP is critical for any retail store that wants to rank high in organic search and be found locally. This is because NAP is what causes your retail store to appear in local or geo-targeted searches. In other words, when a user searches for product or store information, Google uses NAP information to decide which stores to display in the search results. 

NAP Helps Google Determine Legitimacy 

It’s important to note that Google prioritizes businesses and sites that it believes to be legitimate. And to determine the legitimacy of a business, Google will reference how a business’s NAP appears across the web (including websites, local directory listings, social media profiles etc). If this information is not consistent, Google won’t know to display your store information to local shoppers. 

NAP Consistency Checklist for Retailers 

1. Decide how to format your name, address, and phone number. 

Tip: Keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent. For example, if you use Allison and Bret’s Pet Store, 123 Main street, and 555-555-5555 on your website, don’t use AB’s Pet Store, 123 Main St., or (555)-555-5555 on Google My Business.

2. Post your NAP on your website. You’ll want to ensure that it is visible on specific parts of your website including: a prominent location on your homepage, your contact page, and the header/footer on the rest of your webpages. You may also want to include an embedded Google Map of your business address on your contact page (this acts as a strong local SEO signal). 

3. Post your NAP on your Google My Business listing. Remember, it has to be exactly the same as the information listed on your website.

4. Improve local SEO by listing your business on local directories. Again, NAP on each listing should be consistent with your Google My Business profile and your website. The following are some online directories that will help your store appear in local search results:

  • Yelp

  • Yahoo Local 

  • Bing Place for Business

  • MerchantCircle

  • Yellow Pages

  • Foursquare

  • Manta

  • Angie’s List

  • Citysearch 

5. Add your NAP to your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.). 

6. Once your NAP is listed across the web, make sure to periodically check that it is accurate and consistent.

SEO

Looking to increase foot traffic and store sales? Easily implement Google Local Inventory ads with our new Google integration. Learn more here.  

#NAPconsistency #NAPdefinition #localseo #googlemybusiness #optimizinggooglemybusiness

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Retail Marketing: Attract Local Shoppers with Google My Business Posts

Retail Marketing: Attract Local Shoppers with Google My Business Posts

For those of you who don’t know, Google My Business is a powerful tool that allows retail businesses to connect with local shoppers. 

And posts on Google My Business is a promotion tool that helps optimize a store’s business listing and increase foot traffic. 

Put simply, it is an easy and free way to promote your business locally. 

I’ll explain more below.

What are Google My Business Posts? 

Google My Business posts is a feature that allows you to share content about your store on Google Search and Maps. It is similar to any other social media platform like Twitter or Facebook. 

As a store owner, you are able to share news, promotions, events, and new products with shoppers. It posts directly to your Google My Business listing – so existing and potential customers can see your content directly in search results. 

google my business posts

What are the Benefits of Google My Business Posts?

local shopper

Posts on Google give retailers the ability to communicate with shoppers so they are better informed when making purchasing decisions. Which means that local businesses are able to: 

  • Engage shoppers with attractive content (photos, videos, GIFS etc.) 

  • Promote any new sales, products, or events

  • Improve shopper experience with relevant and timely information 

  • Communicate directly with local shoppers 

How Does it Work?

google search

For each post, business owners can include text, call-to-action buttons, and/or photos or videos to promote their store. There are four different GMB post types including: 

What’s New: Share general information about your retail business. For example, you can give shoppers an inside look at your Halloween displays and merchandise.

Events: Promote any upcoming events that you are holding. Each event requires a start time, end time, and a title. It is also good practice to include a photo/video,an event description, and a call to action button leading to a landing page for your event.

Products: Store owners also have the option of promoting any products or new merchandise. For example, a pet store could promote their new range of dog food. Keep in mind that product posts require a title and photo/video.

Offers: According to Google, 50% of shoppers are looking for promotions and discounts when searching for a business online. So provide shoppers with information on the latest sales and promotional offers. Offers will appear at the top of your business listing on both Google Search and Maps. 

These posts require a title, and start/end dates. It’s also good practice to include photos/videos, descriptions, coupon codes, and terms and conditions of the offer. The call-to-action button “View” will automatically appear on all Offer posts.

Some Important Things to Note 

  • GMB posts disappear after 7 days unless you set another shorter time frame. This is why it is important to post consistent and relevant content. 

  • It is a good idea to include GMB in your marketing strategy. Place the same importance on GMB posts as you would on other social platforms like Instagram or Twitter. 

  • Google provides insights on your posts – including how many views each post got. It also tells you how many users clicked on a link in a post


We hope you found this article helpful!

Would you like to learn how to attract local shoppers on Google?

Good news – we are hosting a breakfast seminar exclusively for GTA store owners! We will be discussing how you can attract more local shoppers with POS technology among other important topics. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

#retailmarketing #googlemybusines #digitalmarketing #localseo #foottraffic #googleposts #posts #benefitsofGoogleposts

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Retail Marketing: How to Get More Google My Business Reviews

Retail Marketing: How to Get More Google My Business Reviews

Reviews are an important part of local search. According to Google, 2 out of 3 shoppers say having positive reviews was an important factor in selecting a business or store to purchase from. 

Which means two things: 

More good reviews = higher ranking in local search 

Higher ranking in local search = more foot traffic = more sales

This is why it’s important to gather reviews and respond to them. 

How to Get More Google Reviews

1. Ask for reviews at the right moment

According to Brightlocal, 70% of shoppers who have been asked to leave a review went on to do so.

It is generally good practice to ask shoppers to leave a review after they have made a purchase from your store. Also think of asking loyal and long-term shoppers who have not made a purchase in a while. 

How you ask for reviews is equally as important as when you ask for them – which brings us to the next point. 

retail transaction

2. Make it Easy 

Shoppers are unlikely to leave review if the process is difficult. The easier the review process is for your store, the more reviews you are likely to gather. 

Below are a few ways you can make it simple for your shoppers to leave a review. 

customer in store

1) Create Review Cards 

Create physical “drop us a review” cards with your store’s short URL. Place them near checkout and remind your employees to hand them out to shoppers after they make a purchase. You will want to go over best practices with your employees. 

It’s best for employees to hand them out to shoppers who have had a pleasant experience at the store. For example, your staff should look out for the following situations: 

  • if an employee had a positive interaction with a shopper in-store

  • if a shopper was experiencing a problem and are grateful for your store’s customer service.  

It is obviously a good idea to avoid handing them out to unpleasant or rude shoppers. 

You can also create a reward system within the store for your staff. Create incentives for your employees; reward the staff member who hands out the most review cards or generates the most reviews.

review cards

2) Send a follow-up text or email

Go mobile by sending shoppers a follow-up text or create an email campaign. Here are a few tips for what to include in your follow-up text or email: 

  • personalize the email or text : you can personalize the message by including the shopper’s name. Not only do personalized messages make shoppers feel important, they are proven to have a higher open rate as well

  • keep it short : make sure your message is short, simple, and straight to the point. 

  • Include the short review URL : shoppers will not take the time out of their day to find your Google My Business account. Once you claim your short name on Google My Business, you will have access to a short URL that will directs shoppers to leave a review (shown below).

To get access to your short URL for reviews, you must first claim your short name. To find out more information about Google My Business short names and the steps you must take to claim your short name, click here

store owner

1. Sign in to Google My Business

2. Click “Home” on the left menu bar.

google my business home

3. You will see the “Get more reviews” box on the right side of the page – as shown below. Copy your short URL for reviews to share in your email or text message. 

Google get more reviews

4) Add a Review Link on your Store’s Website 

Include a review link or button on relevant pages of your store’s website. This might be your contact page, thank-you page, or even a section on your homepage. 

mini shopping cart

5) Incentivize shoppers  

Offering shoppers a reward or incentive for leaving a review is a great way to gather more Google My Business reviews. Effective incentives include a $15 gift card or store credit, loyalty points, store merchandise etc.

gift in shopping cart

6) Include a Review Link in your Email signature 

Adding a short and simple call to action in your email signature is another effective way to gather Google My Business reviews. For example, “Your opinion is important to us! Drop us a review at [GMB short URL].” 

This strategy is especially important for retailers who regularly email their customers. 

email marketing helps generate Google My Business reviews

Responding to Reviews

Once you’ve set up a process for gathering reviews, your focus needs to shift to responding to them effectively. 

Responding to reviews shows potential shoppers that you value good customer service. It also shows shoppers that their opinions will be heard and leaving a review is worth their time. 

This is why it is important to respond to all reviews – the good and the bad. In fact, 45% of customers state that they are more likely to visit a business if that business responded to negative reviews

For more information on how to respond to reviews, click here


We hope you found this article helpful!

Would you like to learn how to attract local shoppers on Google?

Good news – we are hosting a breakfast seminar exclusively for GTA store owners! We will be discussing how you can attract more local shoppers with POS technology among other important topics. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

#retailmarketing #googlemybusiness #reviews #googlereviews #reviewmarketing #digitalmarketing #localseo #foottraffic

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Google My Business for Retailers: Creating a Short Name

Google My Business for Retailers: Creating a Short Name

Google recently introduced a new feature for verified merchants on Google my Business (GMB). Business owners can now create a GMB short name (also called a custom name). 

You may be wondering what the purpose of this new feature is. 

Google My Business short names make it easier for shoppers to find you online! 

I’ll explain more below. 

What is a Google My Business Short Name? 

It is basically a simple or shorter name that is used to represent your retail business or location. If your retail business has multiple locations, it is a good idea to use your business name with the location (city, neighbourhood, street etc.) of the store as your short name. 

The majority of merchants and business categories now have access to the feature. So it is a good idea to claim your preferred short name before it is no longer available. 

What are the Benefits of a Google My Business Short Name?

store front

GMB short names make it simple for you to share your business listing with shoppers – so they can easily find you online.

Before Google released this feature, GMB profiles had extremely long URLS – making it difficult to share with shoppers or use as a landing page. 

When you create a short name, shoppers can enter your short name URL “g.page/[yourcustomname]” and they will be directed straight to your business profile. 

Once you claim your short name, you will also get access to a short URL for requesting reviews.

GMB get more reviews

With a GMB short name, it is now easy to promote your business to gain more reviews, share directions, and get leads. 

Best Practices 

Before you take the steps to claim your short name, here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • It’s important that your short name is associated with your store’s name.

  • Make sure that it is simple so that you can easily promote your business and shoppers can remember it. 

  • If you have multiple locations, you must claim a short name for each GMB listing. Again, it’s a good idea to include your location (city, neighbourhood, street etc.) to make your name unique and easy to remember. 

  • It is also a good idea to use your short name URL on marketing materials. This way, you can gain more reviews and local exposure. 

How to Claim Your Short Name on Google My Business

1. Sign in to Google My Business

2. Click “Info” from the menu bar on the left.

info in GMB menu tab

3. Click on “Add profile short name”.

GMB short name

4. Enter your short name – it can be up to 32 characters. If your name is unavailable, you will receive an error message. You can try a shortened form of your name or you can try adding your location. Otherwise, try another short word that describes your retail store. 

Apply GMB profile short name

5.Click “Apply”. Once you do so, your short name will show as pending. When it is ready and approved, it will show up on your business listing. 


Did you find this article helpful? 

Would you like to learn more about how to increase your retail store’s online presence? 

Good news- we are hosting a breakfast seminar exclusively for GTA store owners! We will be discussing how you can attract more local shoppers with POS technology among other important topics. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

#googlemybusiness #retail #shortnames #attractlocalshoppers #retailpos #cloudpos #localseo #searchengineoptimization

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benefits of seo black friday budget marketing canada cloud adoption cloud point-of-sale cloud pos cloud retail software cloud technology customer loyalty custom names digital marketing footfall foot traffic free images free marketing geo-targeting google google local inventory ads Google My Business google my business features google shopping halloween holiday marketing in-store Industry Trends local seo main street retail marketing tips online search physical retail point of sale pos POS Tips retail retail marketing retail stores retail technology search engine optimization sell more seo small business stock photos technology thanksgiving