How To Show Your Holiday Hours on Google’s Search Results

Will your business be working extended hours during the holiday season? If so you want to show it everywhere possible, and now you can also let those who find you on Google searches know about your extended hours, by taking advantage of Google’s recently introduced Holiday Hours feature for businesses to easily show their temporary schedules in their local business listings and maps.

We strongly recommend you take advantage of this feature, not only so your patrons are informed, but also to avoid Google’s own warning message showing next to your listing,  as published by Google: “If you search for a business and the holiday hours aren’t listed, you’ll see a warning message alerting you that the actual hours may be different because of the holiday.” Besides, it’s always good to keep your Google My Business page updated because, as we’ve mentioned many times, it helps get higher rankings by keeping your listing fresh.

One truly useful thing about this feature is that you can add as many special hours into the future as you want because they will show on your listing as the holiday comes closer, and will stop showing after it’s over. So you can enter all your holiday hours for the entire year, and your listing will always be up to date with the correct information.

We have listed how to set this up step by step, to make it as easy for you as possible to take advantage of this feature and show your holiday hours when potential customers come across your business listing in their searches.

How to List Your Holiday Hours on Your Google My Business Page

1. Log into your Google My Business dashboard and select the location to which you wish to add special holiday hours, click edit.

Step 1

2. On the “Location Details” page that displays next, scroll down to the “hours” and click click the little pencil to edit.


 

Step 2


 

3. On the on the pop-up screen click on “add another set of hours” as shown below.


 

Step 3

 

 


 

4. In this screen you’ll be able to set your special hours and the dates they are in effect. Enter the opening and closing times for each day,   indicate that the location is closed all day by clicking the box next to “Closed”, and if you are open 24 hours, enter 12:00am–12:00am. Make sure you save your changes before closing this screen.


 

Step 4


 

That’s it!

We hope this was helpful and if you need help with your Google My Business page or have questions about how to set it up or optimize it, or if you really need to worry about it, schedule a call with one of our consultants. We want to hear from you and are here to help!

 

Does Your Business Really Need Social Media?

Many business owners realize they need to be on social media but few actually see that it should be taken seriously in terms of what it can do for their business.  Since it does require time and effort, something business owners don’t really have,  they understandably see it as a waste of their time, or something anyone technology literate can manage, such as an intern or a student.
The truth is that while young people are very familiar with communicating through social channels,  using social media to market a business also requires a good dose of marketing knowledge they don’t really have.

When used strategically, these are some of the things you can do through social media channels:

• Interact with your prospects and customers
• Build awareness of your business
• Drive buyers to your website
• Grow a list of leads or subscribers
• Demonstrate your expertise, and  build your authority and influence
• Attract followers who will promote your message
• Promote events and special offers
• Find new customers
• Learn what your target audience wants
• Advertise to people who visited your website
Social media is here to stay. New networks arise constantly ( you don’t need to be in all of them), and more and more people are joining in. People love to share their views and opinions and social media provides an accessible outlet for that, at anytime through a device everyone keeps at arm’s length: their phones.
Marketing through social media can’t be ignored, it’s time you use social media strategically as a tool to grow your business.  If you need assistance in planning or executing your social media strategy, consider us a resource. Find more information on how professional social media services can help your business here ,  or to ask your questions or discuss what you could be doing for your specific case, get in touch here.

 

7 Home Page Improvements For Higher Conversions

When it comes to website effectiveness, many business owners tend to focus on top page rankings, often overlooking the role their home page plays as a key piece of the puzzle. The thing is that rankings are just one step in getting more clients, an important one for sure, but paying to reach the top of google can be money down the drain if visitors leave your site without taking any kind of action.  At the end of the day,  conversions are what really counts, they are a must to stay in business.

In order to keep close tabs on your site’s visitor’s activity,  a good place to start is your Google Analytics report (which you do have installed on your website, right?).  Take a look at your bounce rate,  how long visitors are staying on your site, which pages they view most, etc. One major red flag is a high bounce rate, it clearly indicates that your home page is not communicating to your visitors from the get-go, and you need to do something about it right away.

Fortunately,  even small changes can increase conversions, so we put together these 7 tips that address common mistakes, to help you evaluate your home page, and take care of the changes you need to make.

Change the Headline

One of the most common reasons for site visitors to leave is a headline that doesn’t give them a reason to read more.  If the headline talks about how great you are, or lists your credentials, change it! Make it all about your audience: their reason for seeking your product and how you have the solution.  Think about your potential clients’ pain points and make that the title. For example, if you are a remodeler, one legitimate fear your audience may have is whether the job will take way longer than promised, or you might even disappear after they give the deposit. So your headline could be: Worried your kitchen remodeling will turn into a never-ending story?

Trim Down Information

One of the most sure-fire ways to drive people to leave your site, is having  just about everything you offer jammed up on the home page. Make sure the information is to the point, is broken down in a logical way, and organized in terms of what your visitors are looking for so they find it quickly.

Use Colors Thougthfuly

The effect of color in sales has been proven in many studies. Use the wrong color and you could be sending the wrong message subliminally. You can check the meaning of the major colors  in this infographic, so be sure that your colors work to support the message you intend to convey.

Use Video and Images Purposely

It is a fact that visual media gets attention, but not just any images and videos will do, so you want to make sure these have a clear purpose in reinforcing the message,  are  professional, and represent your business properly.

Include Clear Calls to Action

Tell your visitor what you want them to do: download a report, call for an appointment, request a quote. Make it clear and very visible. Don’t use the same stock buttons everybody else does. Be sure you test the shape, wording, placement and colors of your calls to action buttons.

Test Everything 

Test each and every element of your home page, as this is where most of your visitors enter your site. One single word change can stimulate visitors to take action. Simply because you like something doesn’t mean it will convert. Test and be ruthless when it comes to conversion optimization. Use A/B tests, as they are less onerous to run and can give you quick results.

Check Performance Regularly

Stay on top of how everything is working on your site. Take some time at least once a month and check the bounce rate, visitor flow, time on the site, etc, so you can monitor results and compare to the conversions you are getting,  and make adjustments.  Make sure your decisions are based on data, and not “gut feelings” or emotion.

If you are not getting as many leads as you thinik you should in terms as the number of vistors, chances sure your home page needs some adjustmens. If you don’t have the time to get into this, get in touch, we are here to help!

 

Photo by Nokhoog Buchachon,  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Handling negative reviews

When a customer leaves a negative review it gives you the golden opportunity to make  corrections and improvements to your services, especially if you have employees that face the public and you might not really know how they handle themselves.

Every business owner wants nothing but good things to be said about their business and that only happens if customers are happy with their services. If your are committed being the best, knowing what your customers really think of your service and what matters to them is very valuable.

However, when it comes to negative reviews,  not every business owner takes negative critique well, and instead of making corrections to improve their service, or attempt to make it right to the customer, some make it a lot worse.

We found these examples of business owners extreme way to handle the situation:

 

Restaurant owner tracks down to harasses reviewer

A group of friends go eat at an asian food New York restaurant and one of them leaves a one star review on Yelp, with a detailed explanation of why he wasn’t satisfied. The owner was able to track him down through Facebook and started sending a series of really nasty, even threatening messages. This turned out to be a costly decision, all his messages quickly spread in social media, and a group started a Facebook page promoting the banning of the restaurant! This guy eventually apologized but the damage to his reputation was already done.

 

British couple gets fined  £100 for posting a negative review

This british hotel was getting poorly rated consistently with complaints about their state of disrepair. In order to prevent bad reviews, instead of making any corrections, they decided to fine those who didn’t like the hotel and rated them, and started warning customers of their policy in their booking document that reads  “…For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review.”

A british couple who didn’t read the small print and left a one start review on Trip Advisor, found this out when they got the extra £100 charge on their credit card.
Beverly Hills Dentist Sues Over Bad Yelp Review

A woman had cosmetic dental work done which left her with bigger teeth than everybody to a point that she couldn’t close her mouth. After two years of no resolution, her then husband wrote a pretty bad review of the dentist, calling him a butcher and a crook. The dentist sued the couple in turn, claiming it was another dentist, not him.  I don’t know how that will end, but probably not well for neither of them…

 

What to do instead

If you are one of those who takes it personally and get’s offended, take a deep breath and go for a walk. Accept that this comes with the territory.  If you want to be known for the great service you provide, then be open to feedback that will ensure you are on top of your customer service game from your customers perspective, which is the only one that counts. Welcome negative feedback and take it as an opportunity to quickly address any issues, and more importantly, as an opportunity for dialogue with your customers to show them you care about their satisfaction. It is as simple as responding to the comment promising to address the issue and make things right for them. Keep in mind, those searching for reviews will also see hoe you handled it.

How do you handle reviews? Do you have a systematic way of collecting them? Do you check regularly what’s being said? Whatever you do don’t be those guys…

Sources: Mashable, ABC news, UpRoxx