18 Dec Why Accurate Google My Business & Local Directory Listings Are Critical During the Holiday Shopping Season
The Importance of Optimizing Your Online Listings in the Holiday Season
Are you looking to increase your holiday sales? We are currently in the holiday season, which is arguably the most crucial season for small businesses. This is especially true in the last few days before Christmas, when shoppers are rushing to buy last-minute gifts for their friends and families. According to the National Retail Federation, over 174 million people shopped both in stores and online between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. Furthermore, last-minute shopping in late December 2016 surged up to 4 percent higher than previous years.
To make the most of the holiday season, it is important for businesses to fix Google My Business listings, and it is equally as important to fix local directory listings. According to The Local Marketing Institute, 56 percent of businesses have not claimed their businesses on Google My Business. To add to that, only 33 percent have claimed their Yelp listing, 21 percent claimed their Yahoo listing, and 19 percent claimed their YP listing.
This means that the majority of businesses are missing out on potential customers by not claiming and adding valuable information to their online listings that could boost sales. As a small business owner, you can gain a competitive advantage by claiming, updating, and interacting with customers through your online business listings.
Claiming Your Google My Business and Local Directory Listings
Google My Business is one of the best ways to bring customers to your business, and it’s free. To claim your business listing, you can go to the Google My Business site. Keep in mind as a local business, it’s also important to claim your business listing on local directories, such as Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and YP.com. Having your business listings claimed on as many local directory sites as possible will maximize your exposure to potential customers who frequently use these sites to find reputable businesses in their area.
Optimizing Your Google My Business and Local Directory Listings
Once you have claimed your online listings, it’s time to optimize them. Here are a few tips to optimize your online listings:
- Add your business hours to your listing. In addition, you should include special holiday hours. Adding your hours will ensure that customers will know when you are open so that they avoid the inconvenience of showing up when you are not open.
- Add reviews to your listing. If you have customers who have great things to say about your business, asking them to write a review on your listing will help potential customers in deciding to shop with your business.
- Add important contact information to your listing. Include the address, phone number, and website of your business. This ensures that potential customers can find you and contact you.
- Interact with customers who leave reviews on your listing. Thank the customers who leave positive reviews, and respond to negative reviews by offering to fix the issue for the customer. Customers are more likely to become repeat customers if they feel that you are listening to them.
- Write a description for your business. Include what your business has to offer and include important keywords in your description.
Still Have Questions?
Are you in a time crunch to increase sales during holiday season? Do you still have questions or feel overwhelmed by the prospect of claiming and optimizing all of your business’s online listings? We can provide you with Christmas marketing ideas for small businesses. Check out our local marketing packages, or contact us today to find out what we can do to help you get the most out of your Google My Business and local directory listings.