Local Business Marketing Meets Mobile!

Local Business Marketing Meets Mobile!

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Rachel: Hello, and welcome to another hangout on air with the Google Small Business Community. My name is Rachel Sterling. Many of you are probably watching this hangout on a desktop computer. But many of you might also be watching on a phone or on a tablet. In US, the average person now has almost three devices.

So we’ve been talking about mobile all month here in the community. And to help demystify mobile advertising, we’ve invited fellow Googler Sheryl Lim from the Local Small Business Solutions Team to help out. Sheryl thanks so much for being here.

Sheryl: Thanks for having me.

Rachel: So what do you do here at Google?

Sheryl: So I work in a Small Business Solutions Team here in Google. And what we do is to develop solutions as well as products that help businesses discover the right Google product for them, and help them grow their business.

Rachel: So we’re aware that there are so many different things that small businesses can do and you’re just trying to make their lives a little bit easier.

Sheryl: Exactly.

Rachel: Okay. So before we get started with our discussion, we always have one question that we like to ask all of our guests. If you could ever hangout with anyone in the entire world, who would it be and what’s the most embarrassing thing you would ask them?

Sheryl: So, this gave me the inspiration because I just watched Avengers: Age of Ultron last week and so I just thought how cool it would be if I could have a hangout with Tony Stark.

Rachel: Absolutely.

Sheryl: My question for him would be, can I just borrow your suit for a day?

Rachel: Where would you go in the suit?

Sheryl: My fly across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Rachel: Great views.

Sheryl: Exactly.

Rachel: I’d also wonder if the suit is warm because it’s really cold out there.

Sheryl: Yeah, they’ll be useful.

Rachel: So, we want to get started talking today about the importance of mobile. We mentioned that everybody is got mobile devices. I’ve got a phone. I’ve got a tablet. Even my 4-year old has a tablet at home. So mobile has been a hot topic for a while. Why do you think it’s become so important even for small business owners?

Sheryl: So it is because how integrated it is to all our lives. You talked about you’re your small 4-year old has one? I look at my own life; I look the mobile as the first thing I look at when I wake up. I check it throughout the day. I dare not count the number of times I look at it every hour. And it’s the last thing I look at night to catch up news.

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Rachel: I think I read stuff that said people look at their mobile phones 150 times a day.

Sheryl: Exactly.

Rachel: And everybody sleeps with it by their head.

Sheryl: That’s scary. That’s me. And also on top of that, consumers spend three hours a month looking mobile apps. So because of that SMBs want to be a part of the conversation. Also SMBs are the consumers themselves. So they probably exhibit the same behavior. And I knew a lot of SMBs from who manages businesses in mobile. There is receiving calls is major calendar.

Rachel: So I know that apps have started to play an increasing important part in my life. I know you work at Google. So this is a real plug for Google thing. But I’ve downloaded Google Now to my phone. And every morning I check Google Now and it tells me what the weather it’s going to be like.

It tells me how long my commute down 101 is going to take. Like today I took an hour in change to drive 12 miles. And then I get other app notifications all the time. So those apps do drive my behavior.

Sheryl: Exactly. And there’s such an important part. They kind of tell you what to do next. SMBs want to be a part of that. SMBs should be driving those notifications. Tell them that you’re near by a school.

Rachel: So mobile is important we’ve established that. What are some of the differences between mobile web versus the web at large?

Sheryl: I think there are two key differences. Firstly, you’re in a very, very small screen size. So does only limit the things that you can do in it. And so you want to be make sure that information is very pertinent to the user. And users have very little patience and high demands. They want to do everything on a mobile MR compared to the desktop.

Rachel: And so you mentioned small screen size. I would also say that then what’s probably really important if you’re loading complicated images and it takes forever, how is your consumer, how are your users interacting with that content? Are getting frustrated?

Sheryl: Yes. And most likely they could abandon it and move on.

Rachel: Okay. So what do you think the time delay is like before people get frustrated and move on?

Sheryl: I don’t know. I heard like less than a minute, less than 30 seconds.

Rachel: For me I would say it’s probably less than five seconds. I have a limited to know patience on my mobile phone. On the desktop I might give it some more time because I would just assume that my computer is slow or older whatnot. But my mobile phone it doesn’t deliver what I’m looking for in that moment, I get so frustrated. Okay.

So let’s talk a little bit more about behavior. According to the folks here at Google, 91% of smart phone users look up information while in the middle of a task. So for me, last night my son complained on stomach pains. Now, normally I would think he’s just trying not to eat his vegetables. But then he didn’t eat his dissert.

So I knew something was serious. I was on the phone in a second looking up where the after hours pediatric care was. And like let’s say that took a long time to load, that would have really frustrated me. so what are some of the other typical behaviors that people do on mobile?

Sheryl: So you’ve touched on a big point which is that lots of people are looking for local information while they are on the go whether you’re in a store. I’ve been there as well. And deciding between tow products to purchase. And I look on my mobile to see which one has the better review.

Or you’re trying to find the nearest door and you look in your mobile to navigate to the location. On top of that people use mobile for entertainment. You probably done this yourself which is to watch a YouTube video while you’re standing in line. Or just hang out in the evenings and use it for communication.

Rachel: I do all of those things. I was looking at new furniture for my patio because I’m still renovating my house. And I went to the store and I thought that their prices were too expensive.

And right there in the store I could look up the set that they were trying to sell me and I saw that I was 25% more than if I got it from an online retailer with free shipping. And then waiting for coffee, I’m constantly reading New York Times or Mashable or BuzzFeed while I’m just waiting.

Sheryl: Exactly. I think mobile has become kind of like our personal assistant and entertain everybody.

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Rachel: I like that a shopping assistant. Your mobile phone is your shopping assistant. Okay, so you mentioned talking about people being in that I want to buy it moment or looking for something when they are on the go. That brings us to sort of the cracks of the conversation that we want to have here today which is local. How can businesses use mobile to tap into local customers?

Sheryl: So the first thing mobile businesses should recognize what customers are doing. And we talked a lot about that earlier. Customers are looking for information while they are on the go. So SMBs and businesses should tap into that. Make sure that you’re there when customers are looking for you.

And we talked also about how they have little patience but high demands. So make sure that for example that your side is discoverable. Or your part of that conversation where there’s an app or mobile site strategy.

Rachel: So let’s talk about the apps for a minute. Now, I’m renovating. So I go to home depot and I noticed that home depot had an app. And typically when I walk around that store, I wonder around looking for somebody in an orange vest to desperately help me. And they can almost sense my desperation, so they avoid me.

But I noticed that they had an app. And the app was great because it showed me where all the products were, what aisle it was in. And for me that was so empowering. It meant I could walk into a store.

I didn’t need to ask anybody for help. I just could go on my phone, get the review, get the location and get out as quick as possible. Is that what you’re talking about when you say about like helping your customers?

Sheryl: Yes. That’s through an app strategy. Some of it may also be that you’re looking for like you said a patio furniture and you searched it to Goggle when you searched for patio furniture.

Businesses that offer patio furniture should make sure they are part of Goggle as well so that you can surface the wider ray of patio furniture that you offer or even the very product that you’re looking for.

Rachel: Part of Goggle. This is our next question. I love that segue. So we’re talking about how you can optimize for mobile and people think it’s complicated, it’s a lot of work or really, really expensive. Let’s talk about the bare minimum thing that businesses can do that we can help them with here at Google.

Sheryl: So we have a great product here that we call Google My Business.

Rachel: We call it GMB for short.

Sheryl: GMB for short? And what it does is it allows you to get on Google. The best part is that it’s fee.

Rachel: Okay. So when Sheryl says get on Google, what she means is you’re actually putting your business on Google maps. And that includes your location, your hours and a link to any reviews and your phone numbers, is that correct?

Sheryl: Exactly. So that you’re there when customers are searching for you on that. And not only that is on Google Search as well so that customers are looking for your business on Google Search, your business shows up.

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Rachel: I think it also provides credibility. If somebody is looking for you and they don’t know if you’re like let’s say they’ve never heard of you because you’re a small business and you haven’t done a lot of advertising. The minute that people see that you’re there in maps, they know that you’re a real store. They know that you’re real product and it becomes credible.

Sheryl: Yes. And what Google My Business also allows you to do is take control of that information that we share and make sure that it is complete and it is right. So as you mentioned you’re able to make sure that your right directions are there. Your hours are shown.

Your business description is shown to the customers know exactly what kind of business they’re looking for. And photos. Photos are so important. I look at photos when I try to search restaurants.

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Rachel: Yes. So like I know that now not only can you do street view photos. But you can also do upload photos inside your store.

Sheryl: Yes. There’s also what this product called a 360 view. That our photographer to come into your store and take a video and a photo shoot the earnest workers at your store.

And funny enough I had a SMB down in Palo Alto tell me that the customer came into the store because they saw one of the photos and saw that the store carried a friend that they were looking for.

Rachel: So it wasn’t even like through search. It was from randomly looking at a picture.

Sheryl: Exactly.

Rachel: That’s amazing. Well, what we can do here after this is over is we can include a link to Google My Business in the Community so that if anybody is interested in learning more about how to get on Google like can just click on that link and follow the steps. It’s pretty easy.

Okay. Moving on we’re talking about mobile optimization. So yes, we can encourage people to get on Google and have their shop list on maps. But what if they’re looking to optimize their website? So when optimizing for mobile, what are some design principles folks should keep in mind?

Sheryl: Well, I think the first part after you spend all the effort and probably call us in developing the website is make sure that it is accessible from search. I’ve seen plenty of SMBs where they’ve got a great-looking website you can if you find it. For some reason it is not indexible like Google Search.

So you make sure to use that. Secondly as we mentioned, users have little patience and so you want to make sure that you anticipate some of the users needs. What are key information that they are looking for and get it there in front of them.

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Rachel: So does it make sense then to put yourself in the mind of your consumer? What are the steps and the decisions that they take in advance of going to your site and making a purchase?

And then look at what those pain points are? Where are they getting hang up in the process? What’s taking too long to load? What is an obvious question that perhaps you’re not answering right on that first screen?

Sheryl: Exactly. Oh maybe what you could do is ask your best friend or one of your families or your mother is look at your website and go through it. Because they’ll probably give you a different perspective.

Rachel: And you and I were talking before we got started. We met a couple weeks ago and we were talking about this hangout. And you said something that I want to bring up right now. You said make every tap and swipe count. What does that mean?

Sheryl: So this goes back to how where usually we’re searching for information ago. And we have very very little time to find the things that we’re looking for. And so we don’t want to go through 10 different steps, 10 different tabs. Go backwards, go forwards and look for that information most likely you’re going to give up. So make sure that they find the information with the least amount of tabs and swipes possible.

Rachel: So if your 4-year old has stomach ache and is not eating his dessert when you do the search for urgent care after hours on fathers day at night, you get the place that’s open and the address and the phone number right there on that main screen.

Sheryl: Exactly. Or the phone number right smack at the top because the likelihood is that you want to call.

Rachel: You also want to make sure that that phone number is clickable. That is something that I’ve noticed a lot also is that people will put a phone number on a mobile website but when I go click on it, it’s not actually activated to make a phone call. And then I have to basically –

I’m terrible with numbers. Everybody knows this about me. And I’m like I’ll turn to anybody I’m like, okay you remember the first three digits because you can’t go back and forth. So that’s also just something really easy that people can do.

Sheryl: Exactly. Because otherwise all you type – you either call the wrong business. But you probably go to the next one. The other has the phone number.

Rachel: Yes, absolutely. Okay. So, let’s say you’ve done all of these. You’ve gotten on Google, you’ve optimized your website for mobile, you’ve made sure that you’re accessible on mobile search, you’ve done an analysis to make sure that you’re there answering every single step in the consumer’s journey and like every tap and every swipe counts.

You want to increase the amount of exposure and traffic you have. And we know that that requires some paid promotion. If you’re a small business owner, how do you get started with paid advertising?

Sheryl: My recommendation would be to just star on Google Search first. What you want to do is then capture the intent of consumers. Go in Google Search and type in what you’re looking for. And you want to make sure that you’re there as a paid ad on top of their search. Whether you’re looking for restaurants or plumbers or lawyers.

Rachel: And so after Search, what would be the next step?

Sheryl: So when you set up your search ad, what you want to do is make sure that if you have a store front business that you append your business information to it through a location extensions product.

Rachel: Okay. What is that?

Sheryl: So what it does is ensures that there is an address at the bottom of your ads so that consumers can figure out, can easily identify where the nearest store is or how far the store is because we also append the distance from the user to the store. They’re also able to navigate their way in getting – I think Google Maps is very easy with one click and make the way to the store.

Rachel: I was deciding between two after hour care places last night. And I picked the one that showed up on maps. It’s taking eight minutes versus 12 minutes. So it is really important to me to make sure that it’s there.

Sheryl: Yes. And sometimes the store there is like 2 miles away from you. May take longer because of traffic. The store is 4 miles away from you.

Rachel: I also want to clarify my son is fine. And he ate the dessert this morning. Okay. So, back to this just for one quick minute. In addition to advertising your products and your business, if you spend the time to build an app, should you advertise the app download itself?

Sheryl: Yes. You should certainly do that because I imagine you’ve been in this app store itself and you seem – you’ve been mandated with thousands of millions of apps. Consumers can figure what app they want.

Rachel: We have a statistic here about it. I’m sorry. According to statistics there are over 3 million mobile apps available for download.

Sheryl: So can you imagine one of that 3 million, how do you make sure that you stand out?

Rachel: And if you spent the time building it. You want to make sure that people can find it. Okay. So let’s talk more about local advertising now. One of the main benefits of mobile marketing is the ability to reach customers when they are on the go. And what we’re calling these are near me searches.

I’m looking fro restaurants near me, I’m looking for plumbers near me, shoe stores near me, urgent care facilities near me. Near me searches have doubled in the last year. And 80% of them come from mobile. How can business owners tap into that sort of local targeting on mobile?

Sheryl: So what you want to do is if you are near the consumer when you’re typing near me, make sure you show up. And how do you do that? What you want to do is take advantage of location targeting. For example, you’re a plumber based in San Francisco.

What you want to do is make sure that your ad just shows – limit your ad to San Francisco only. Why waste your ad on New York City when consumers in New York City will not be able to take advantage of your services.

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Rachel: Okay.

Sheryl: So limit it to San Francisco and maybe 30 mile radius around San Francisco if you’re willing to serve that area.

Rachel: Or depending on the traffic I would say of 5 mile radius.

Sheryl: Or if you have a store down in Palo Alto, most likely you want to highlight your store to people who a have or five miles away from your store because the other people who are most likely to come to your store. So what you could do is do location targeting as well as big your ad up when the consumers are about a mile away from your store.

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Rachel: I’ve done that sort of search. I’ve been let’s say racing out of here on a Friday afternoon and I have an hour to kill and I’ll do a search for nail salons in my town. And the ones that show on top are going to be the ones that I click on. And that person is probably prioritize that search because they know I’m in a one mile radius of their store, and I’m looking for that result right away.

Sheryl: Exactly. And we’ve also seen some SMBs do that. They had success with it. So I have one SMB based in Florida where they own three marina clubs. And they managed to kind of limit their ads to just Florida area as well as do some of those bidding strategies. And what they saw is an increase in clicks. But not just an increase in clicks but also an increase in reservations.

Rachel: Interesting. Okay. So they’re getting people who are before the actual purchase and people who are in the process of the purchase.

Sheryl: Exactly.

Rachel: Okay. So I wanted to share this stat because I thought that this was really interesting. 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smart phone visit a store within a day. 18% of those searches lead to a purchase within a day. So for me this feels like a slam dunk. If you’re there on mobile, if you’re capitalizing on those near me searches, 50% of the time somebody is going to walk in the door.

Sheryl: Yes. And I’m one of them.

Rachel:  All right. Let’s move on to the next question which is, we always like to do this on our hangouts. We want to empower people after they’re done watching this so that they feel that they can go out and do everything that we’re talking about. So what are the three things a business owner should do today to get started with mobile?

Sheryl: Number 1. get on to Google My Business or GMB. It’s free. It’s gets you on Google Maps, Google Search. So it’s a why not. 2. Make sure that your site is optimized. So make sure that it is index able and searchable on Google search or any of the other search engines. And make sure that you take advantage of every tap and every swipe. Consumers are impatient.

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Rachel: It’s like you would know and drive traffic on a mobile device to your website to only find out that its’ the desktop version that’s slow loading on the phone.

Sheryl: Exactly. And they do remember that. And so they would kind of ignore your business in future.

Rachel: 100%. And then we also talked about this. If you want to actually do any paid search, what should be the first thing that people do?

Sheryl: So I recommend AdWords Express. It is a lively version adwords. It’s simple and it guides you through and it manages your campaigns for you. Al you have to do is set it up in a business and let us do the work for you.

Rachel: That’s fantastic. So at this point we’re going o take some questions from the community and then go over here to my tablet. Hold on just one second. Okay. And it’s not turning on. There we go. Okay. We have some questions here. The first one from Military Paralegal Services. What’s the best way to reach clients if I offer services but not products?

Sheryl: So I think we’ve got – we talk about both products that work for that. Google My Business allows still highlight your business, your opening hours, you know store base but all you have to do is just highlight the geographical area that you serve.

Rachel:  I actually talked about this with my contractor who’s renovating my house. He’s in the process now of getting on Google My Business. And I talked about how when you’re interviewing people who are sole proprietors and their own business, the credibility is really important. Somebody is on Google doing Google My Business instant credibility.

Sheryl: Exactly. One other thing I’ll highlight is that our ad products. You want to take advantage of location targeting. Most likely if your service is fine, you probably serve a very limited area. So you want to make sure that you show which area and you’d highlight your ad to that specific area that you’re service.

And the other thing is our calls product. You want to make sure that call that you mentioned is prominent alongside your ad because to the consumers they can just call you and engage your services.

Rachel: Location targeting and click to call.

Sheryl: Exactly.

Rachel: Perfect. Okay. Our next question is from Collins Barrow who said, do adwords search campaigns on mobile point you to local client locations if you perform a search?

Sheryl: I’m not sure I understand what you mean by local client locations if I read it correctly I assume that means store locations. And say if you do enable location extensions where you add the business address to the specific ad itself.

Once a user clicks on that address, it will point the user to Google Maps and the user can figure out where it is pinpoint the map and will navigate to it.

Rachel: He might also be asking like if you’re doing searches, is there any sort of recognition of where you’re calling from? Or where your phone is pulling the signal from? So if you haven’t done location targeting, would you show up?

Collins we can always follow up with you after the hangout if you want further clarification on this question. Okay. Molly asks, how can we tie in Google Analytics and/or Google AdWords to work with Google My Business?

Sheryl: So at the moment Google Analytics does not work with Google My Business right now. But Google Analytics is a great product to enhance your adwords so that you know how the user behaves once they get into the website.

What you can do with Google My Business and adwords is that you used the Google My Business information that you’ve invested time, make sure your information is correct and use that to drive the location extension product within Google adwords.

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Rachel: Okay. Thanks. Another question from Military Paralegal Services, how is Google My Business beneficial to a business that is virtual?

Sheryl: So if you’re virtual meaning I presume more likely ecommerce, then what I would recommend with Google My Business is to just build a brand page and ensure that your business is there. More of a promotion of your business rather than a kind of directions. Google My Business is predominantly directed to consumers with a physical business location or a physical service.

Rachel: Okay. And Sayeed asks, how can this be helpful from my online custom made dress-shirt business?

Sheryl: So if you have an online business then I would not recommend you start with Google My Business in order to promote yourself. I would recommend – well, I think the mobile site principle still remains which is even more pertinent if you have an online e-commerce because you want consumers not just to find the information that they’re looking for but to be able to complete a purchase on the website, on the mobile web.

And so actually it’s even more pertinent for you to ensure that they’re able to easily complete that purchase. And then you can enhance your website with adwords and make sure that consumers are able to search for you.

Rachel: And Sayeed I can always talk to you after because I think my husband needs new shirts. That’s all the time we have for questions today. Sheryl thanks so much for joining us here. This was really great.

Sheryl: Thanks from me. I had a lot of fun.

Rachel: Okay. And as always you can find more information about this topic and others in the community at g.co/gsbs. Until next time, I’m Rachel Sterling. Thanks so much for joining us here on the Google Small Business Community. The place where you go to get the help you need to succeed on the web.

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