Checklist for effective business performance in location-based services: 9 local marketing tools

For any offline business that offers goods, services or leisure it is important to care about its online presence and reputation in location-based services on a daily basis so as during special seasons like holidays. In this post, we figure out how to prepare your business for successful performance using local marketing tools and make your listings shine bright in location-based services all year round and especially during the holiday season.
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Shopping experience trends in 2021

The pandemic continues to make its own adjustments to shopping and consumer behavior. According to Deloitte, today 49% of cutomers prefer a combination of offline and online shopping. Google notes that customers are returning to offline stores, just like before the pandemic, but with new habits — maintaining social distance, wearing masks and taking all compulsory measures and safety attributes.

Taking into account new consumer behavior patterns, RocketData analyzed last year clients' experience, which shows which local marketing tools can help drive foot traffic to the companies and also what is efficient during the holidays. So we are ready to share step-by-step instructions on how to properly use local marketing tools to boost your online presence everyday and also during the hot seasons.

So let's get down to the checklist for effective business performance in location-based services

1
Check the relevance of the information in your listings
This is absolutely always important. But before the holidays, it is crucial that the information in your listings is complete and up-to-date. Imagine if a potential client in the Christmas bustle comes to your company, for example, at the wrong address — he will not only get upset and waste time, but also with a high degree of probability will give preference to a competitor.

To avoid this, be sure to:

  • Check the addresses and phone numbers of each point of your company in popular location-based services. Start with the most popular ones — for example, Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) and Facebook;
  • Check the link to the site. According to research, 80% of shoppers look for information about a product on the Internet before buying it.

If you have many locations it is better to use special tech solutions to make it easier to check and update your data and to save your precious time. In RocketData we have a Data Actualization service to help manage your listing and take control on all the information about your company in location-based services.


By the way, if you have for example a special Christmas offer for clients, and it can be found on the website, put a link to the desired landing page in the listing instead of a link to the main page — this way you can give your customers what they need and draw attention to your holiday promotions.
2
Manage the photos in your company's listings
The ability to provide the users with high-quality company photos is your competitive advantage. You can add attractive photos of your store's design, company's Christmas gifts, decorated display cases and halls.
During the holidays, the competition between businesses increases significantly. Therefore, attractive photographs are more important than ever. According to Google, business listings with photos receive 42% more route requests and 35% more clicks. And that's not to mention the fact that 60% of users pay attention only to listings with photos.

In addition, it is important to remove irrelevant photos from listings that users add themselves. Believe us, anything can happen. For instance…
As you understand, working with photos is a process that requires attention and a lot of time. Especially if your company has a lot of locations and, accordingly, listings in location-based services.

After connecting our Photo Management Tool, in your RocketData account, you see a dashboard with all your photos from location-based services. You are able to navigate there, easily find and delete irrelevant or unattractive photos.
3
Set up a special schedule
Working hours are the other important decision factor for a potential customer. For example, if you work longer on holidays, the client might schedule a gift pickup right after work. Or arrive early on the weekend not to spend time in a long line.

Be sure to indicate the updated work schedule in the company listings as soon as you find out about it, since it takes some time for location-based services to moderate the changes.

If you use a platform like RocketData, you can change the schedule right in your personal account. But if you want to set a temporary work schedule manually, just visit your Google Business Profile for example and set up holiday hours. The detailed instruction is here.
The correct work schedule is about taking care of your client. If you indicate the correct work schedule, you will help them quickly find what they need and understand when it is more convenient to come to your company and make purchases.
4
Add information about (holiday) offers using special features in listings
This is a great opportunity to attract customers during the holidays. You can place such offers using the "Menu", "Products" or "Services" functions in Google Business Profile. They are useful cause customers can immediately familiarize themselves with the assortment and prices in the listings — this allows them to make a preliminary impression of the company and choose you.

In addition, due to the keywords in the menu and services that correspond to user requests, your listings are better indexed, that is, they are more often shown to users in the search engine.

Menu on Google looks like this:
If you load your price list as "Services", then it will look like this:
While "Products" are:
5
Add (holiday) posts
According to a study by dbaPlatform, if you post on Google Business Profile once a week for a month, the visibility of your listings doubles. The more often the listings are shown in the search results, the more users choose your company among others, which means they become your customers and choose goods and Christmas presents from your company.
You can make a selection of Christmas gifts or a post on how to decorate your home if you sell decor items. It is a great idea to make posts with keywords — for example, "Christmas decorations", "Christmas wreaths sale".
This will give your company a better chance of getting to the top of search results for similar queries. Thanks to posts, you expand the range of requests for which your listing is shown, which means that more potential customers see you.

You can create posts in Google and Facebook listings directly from RocketData personal account. Just a few steps and your post appear in selected location-based services!
6
Add health and safety attributes
Today, most shoppers feel a threat to their health while shopping offline because of pandemic situation. Your task is to make the potential customer understand that your company follows safety measures. In Google Business Profile, you can specify the following health and safety attributes: contactless payment, the ability to deliver, wearing masks, disinfecting surfaces, and so on.
7
Anticipate and answer customer questions in advance
Typically, customers use the Q&A section on Google to get a quick answer to their question from the business owner. The task of the business is to react as soon as possible so as not to lose a "hot" client.

We propose to get ahead of the events a little, formulate frequently asked questions that arise in general or before the holidays season, publish them in the "Question-answer" section and write an answer. This will save your customers time and they will be able to quickly get answers to their questions.
8
Pay special attention to reviews, especially during the holiday season
Reviews are very important to your brand reputation and local rankings. In the Christmas Eve, the relevance of good reviews and high ratings increases, as potential customers choose products or services from hundreds of offers.

During the "hot" seasons, it is important to prepare for the fact that the load on work with reviews will increase. So be prepared for this period in advance — create templates for the customer service managers. For example, to a positive review: "Thank you for the high appraisal of our work. We will be happy to see you again!".
You can easily do it with the help of RocketData Autoresponder service. Right in your personal account, you can customize auto-replies according to the scenarios you choose

Thus, you will be able to keep in touch with customers, fulfill KPIs for processing feedback, if any, and also unload your employees duringsuch periods as holidays.
9
Use the Google Chat feature
This is a Google Business Profile tool that few business owners know about, but definitely worth a try, especially during a period of high holiday demand. Messages are another way to quickly answer customer questions.
How to connect messages to your Google Business Profile: first go to your company's personal account in GBP, then go to the "Messages" tab and select connect messages. During the day, a "Chat" button will appear in the listing of your company, by clicking on which users will be able to write their question without publishing a review or question.

To wrap up

In times of high demand, local marketing as a tool to drive foot traffic can be especially beneficial for your business. After completing a couple of simple steps, you can draw the attention of a potential client to your company and become his choice both during the holidays and in general.
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