- By Colleen McNamara
We don’t need to convince you on the importance of Google. The stats say it all: the monstrous search engine handles nearly 2 trillion searches per year, which works out to be about 40,000 search queries every second and 3.5 billion searches per day. Our reliance on Google to provide us exactly what we need — when we need it — has become as habitual as our morning coffee.
What’s more, after the crazy success of the Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza, we don’t need to convince you just how significant this holiday shopping season will be. This past weekend alone, more than 154 million consumers shopped, and the average spend per person reached an impressive $289 dollars. And there’s still a few weeks to come before Christmas.
The advantages of having a ton of foot traffic into your stores goes well beyond the obvious benefit of bringing in more revenue. If you can collect information on how these visitors found you — and who they are — you can ensure the benefits of a busy holiday season live on into 2017. To get the most out of it, you need insights from Google My Business.
We’ve outlined two insights you need to make sure you’re marketing on Google intelligently.
Fun fact: Hundreds of millions of eyeballs see Google’s homepage every day, which is considered a classic, minimal design in the world of user experience. But, you might be surprised to know that “Google” wasn’t actually centered over the search bar until 2001. The devil is in the details.
Know How Your Traffic is Finding You
The SweetIQ platform provides you with data on how customers are finding you through Google. Did they type in, “best shoe store in New York City” and click on one of your ad campaigns? Or, did they land on your website through an organic search, that lead them to a piece of blog content on the best shoe styles for 2017? Both are good options: if you’re buying ads and you’re converting searchers, then your ads are finding the right eyes. And, if you’re ranking organically for a highly competitive search, that means you have quality, engaging content.
What’s most important here is to discover if there’s a huge discrepancy: are searchers finding you at all organically? Or are your keyword campaigns falling flat? If you’re not getting found on Google organically, it might be time to take a deeper look into your SEO strategy. Likewise, you may need to do more keyword research to make sure your ads are being targeted to the right people.
For the holidays, if you have a blog post or landing page that ranks particularly well, put pertinent information about what your store is offering for the season on that page. And, you can add special holiday offer extensions on your Google Adwords that perform the highest. In essence, take advantage of what’s performing the highest and capitalize on that for your special holiday campaigns.
Fun fact: If you want to take a break from gift buying and turkey eating or gift buying this season, take a minute to surf one of Google’s coolest features: Google Sky. You can “space out” and look at the stars captured by NASA satellites, the Sloan Digital Sky survey, and the Hubble Telescope.
Know Where Your Traffic is Coming From
Do you have an insane amount of traffic volume coming from the west coast, but barely any in the east coast? When you can measure where your traffic is coming from, not only can you predict what store locations are most likely to see heavy foot traffic, you can form an assessment as to where you need to make some changes.
Take this situation for example: if your market is highly competitive in a certain city and you’re not getting a ton of traffic there, perhaps you need to increase spend on AdWords campaigns, or rethink your organic strategy. However, if your search volume is low although your foot traffic is actually high — perhaps other advertising methods — such as print — are working well in these areas.
If high search volume aligns with heavy foot traffic, you can focus your efforts on the places you know you’re going to be swamped over the holidays. You can leverage heavy crowds of people to your advantage, like offering discounts to repeat visitors (like coupons for coming back within a certain time frame), or encouraging people to leave reviews on your most important review sites.
Fun fact: Google’s “Googleplex” has gained a lot of attention over the past decade; the company was a trailblazer for many nuanced company culture values and practices. One of them was great food for all, so they hired former chef for The Grateful Dead, Charlie Ayers, to lead the way. Googlers and “Dead-Heads” must have something in common.