It's the middle of November and the holiday season is right around the corner. The next couple months is one of the busiest stretches of any time of the year for all businesses. Because it's so busy, it's important to put your business in a position to capitalize on this busy time of year- and that goes for your Google Maps listing as well. These 3 SEO tips can help you optimize your Google Maps listing for the holiday season!
Google My Business has a built-in feature that lets you customize your Google Maps listing by detailing what your business's hours are for specific days of the year. This section is found within the "info" section on your Google My Business dashboard. It looks as shown in the screenshot below.
Click the pencil icon to pull up the list of different holidays that you can edit for your business. There are plenty of holidays lined up in the coming months that may affect business hours such as Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Martin Luther King Day. You want to make sure you let both Google and your customers know what your business hours are on these days whether you are closed, are open with different business hours than normal, or are open as regularly scheduled.
Shown in the screenshot above is what the "special hours" field looks like. Mark yourself closed, customize your business hours, or confirm your hours are not changing for each of these days to aid in maximizing your Google Maps listing's optimization. This don't want confused customers thinking that you are open when you actually aren't, leading to frustration their part. Likewise, you don't want customers to think you're closed when you are actually open and miss out on that potential business.
One of Google My Business's best features is the Posts feature. It lets you post to your Google Maps listing for a variety of things such as advertising sales and promotions, showcasing products, informing customers of upcoming events, and more. If you're not familiar with it, check out our blog that covers all things related to Posts here.
The Posts feature is accessed via the "Posts" tab on the Google My Business dashboard. There are multiples types of posts you can utilize, and you're encouraged to post regularly to maximize optimization- especially during the holiday season.
The What's New post can be used to notify your customer of changes to your business hours, reminders that you're closed on Christmas, and more. It's your basic announcement-style post.
Event posts can help you optimize your listing for the holidays by showcasing the different events your business is taking part in or sponsoring during the holiday season. Maybe you have a month-long deal for December where you give couples a discount of some kind, or you are holding a local sweepstakes to give away a $50 gift card and all customers between December 12-19 are automatically entered to win - these would be the types of things to advertise on an event post. It doesn't even have to be something directly related to your business itself. Let's say there is an upcoming Christmas play or a charity basketball game that your business is sponsoring- you can post about that too!
Offer posts are used to specifically advertise sales, promotions, and limited-time deals that your business is offering. A helpful optional feature of offer posts is that you can attach a coupon code to the post. So, you could advertise a discount or some type of BOGO offer for customers who show you the coupon code in-store after seeing it on your Google Maps listing. This is a good way of optimizing your Google Maps listing for the holidays with limited-time offers while utilizing your listing to drive customers to do business with you.
Product posts let you post specific products complete with pricing and a button that can be used for either attaching a link for online ordering or having click-to-call capabilities so customers can call to order instead. Make product posts about holiday-specific products or services that your business offers. Maybe you have some products you're hoping to sell more of during the busy holiday season- post about these also.
Google My Business lets you upload an unlimited amount of photos to your Google Maps listing. Take advantage of this and upload some photos for the holiday season. Add photos of different products you're selling during the holiday season to promote them in addition to product posts. Did you decorate your storefront or the interior of your store for the holidays? Upload pictures of your store, both inside and out, and encourage potential customers to come and stop by the store. Photo uploads are often an underutilized tool by many businesses because they underestimate the powerful effect photos can have. Help optimize your listing to the fullest this holiday season and upload as many photos as you can of as many different things that you can!
Cordell Crowley is a Google Specialist and content writer at Atwill Media. He has two degrees from Arkansas State University: an associate's degree in Computer Information Technology and a bachelor's degree in Management.
When not at work, he spends his free time with his family and friends indoors because Arkansas humidity makes outdoor activities no fun.