With lockdown restrictions lifted again by the government, hairdressers, barbers, salons, pubs and restaurants have started to benefit from being able to trade again since the 4th July. In the lead up and post-Super Saturday, we have been monitoring the local business listings in Google across all of these business areas, to see whether businesses updated their listings. 
 
Pre Super Saturday, although all businesses communicated that they were temporarily closed, we have seen that many businesses failed to take advantage of some of the features which Google My Business offer, including the Covid-19 update notification allowing you to update potential customers with the current trading situation. In the week of Super Saturday, we noticed only a handful of businesses updating their customers that they would be opening on the Saturday. 
 
What has surprised us the most though is the number of business’ who are either still stating that they are temporarily closed, even if they are now open or are not using the update features to let customers know the changes they have made to keep them safe. 

Why is local advertising important? 

There are numerous statistics in the public domain about the role and benefits of local advertising. Two that demonstrate the importance of a local approach are that: 
 
97% of consumers go online to find local products and services 
75% of people who find local, helpful information in search results are more likely to visit the physical stores 
 
Since the announcement of restrictions being lifted in mid-June, local searches which contain the ‘my business’ listings have increased significantly. Latest data from Google trends shows how searches for ‘Salons near me’ have continued to rise week on week, with a projected 100% growth this week. 

The benefits of Google My Business? 

No matter whether you have a physical store or not, Google My Business should be one of the first things which you set up when launching a new business. Unlike SEO which can take a while to reap the results, your listing will appear once your listing has been approved. Although the saying goes you get nothing in life for free, Google My Business is one of the exceptions to this. 

Do I need to do anything once I have launched? 

Firstly, head over to Google My Business and create an account. You can then start to fill out information about your business including: 
 
Company name 
Contact details, including address and telephone number 
Your website 
Description and Categories 
Opening days and times 
Products and Services offered 
Images e.g. your logo, store layout 
 
Prior to launching you will need to receive an authentication code from Google. This will be posted to the business address you have entered, and you will usually receive this within a week. Once you have received this, log back in enter the code and your business listing will soon be live. 

What do I need to do to get started with Google Local?  Google My Business is just one aspect of your approach to reaching existing and new customers. If you would like some support on appearing the next time someone searches for a business like yours locally, get in touch to understand how we can help you.  

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