With the busiest shopping season of the year fast approaching and the current Coronavirus restrictions, there’s no doubt that shoppers will be flocking online to finish their Christmas shopping and to prepare for the festive season.

With the additional surge of ‘Shop Local’ campaigns across social media over recent weeks, reaching new customers online will be crucial for local small businesses to survive over this time. To help, Google has recently launched a hub of digital marketing resources to help small businesses prepare for the festive shopping season.

Here’s an overview of the new tools that Google have introduced and how they are designed to help small businesses facilitate online shopping this holiday season. 

Grow my Store

If your business has an online store, the Grow my Store tool will analyse and compare your sites’ user experience to your competitors. It generates tailored recommendations for improvement to maximise your reach to potential new customers. 

It’s easy to use and only requires an ecommerce site URL to get started.

Since you don’t need to verify ownership of your site before creating a Grow my Store report, you can also use this tool to carry out competitor analysis.

While it does take a few hours to generate a full report, the tool will provide you with instant recommendations based on your industry.

Local Opportunity Finder

If your business has a physical store as well as online, you could also benefit from using the Local Opportunity Finder, which is designed to help businesses optimise their Google my Business profile. (If you haven’t set up Google my Business yet, this should be at the top of your to-do list!) 

This tool provides suggestions for improvements to your business profile on Google to help users contact your business, book an appointment, view your opening times, browse what you offer and more.

Unfortunately, UK businesses don’t yet have access to this tool, but we can take advantage of all the other features in the hub.

Lessons & Livestreams

Besides the business tools, the festive marketing hub features a number of lessons to help marketers & business owners understand and improve their online marketing. 

These lessons range from 4 to 16 minutes long and include the following:

  • How to list products in Google
  • How to create an effective social media plan
  • SEO best practices
  • How to make it easy for customers to find you

You can also find helpful guides on how to use a range of different Google my Business features to get the most out of the tool.

If live streams are your cup of tea, you’ll be happy to know that the hub will also feature live streams, starting this month with a live demo on using Shopify with Google Merchant Centre. 

Click here for more information about the Google Small Business Holiday Hub, or if you are interested in getting more personalised guidance on optimising your business’s online presence over the festive season, get in touch with our helpful SEO and PPC teams at Colewood.

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