The introduction of Google Street View to Jersey has brought with it both excitement and a wave of protests over privacy. Most of us have just used it for a quick exploration of our neighborhood, or in an attempt to find ourselves meandering the streets of St Helier on the way to work. However, for small business owners, Google Street View provides many new marketing opportunities. As I’ve explained in my previous post, Google Places: Free and Easy small business promotion, there is no reason to avoid getting a Google Places listing. The introduction of Street View to the Channel Islands has only exacerbated this.
A screenshot from Google Street View showing Gorey Pier and the Google Places listing for the Seascale restaurant.
This new technology is likely to be popular with tourists, so the hospitality industry needs to be the first to experiment. Finding somewhere to stay, something to eat or something to do, is not easy for non-locals and increasingly this knowldge gap is being plugged by Google’s localised search tools. Google Street View adds new considerations, for example, visitors are able to explore the local area of a hotel, assess the look of a restaurant from the outside, and decide on the feasibility of getting to a bar from their current location. While augmented reality apps are still in their infancy, popularity is growing and Google’s information is at their core.
A funny street view image from Glasgow, showing a Statue of the Duke of Wellington with traffic cone on his head.
Now might be a good time to take another look at your Google Places listing, specifically take a look at these five considerations:
1. Is the map pin for your business in the correct location? This is now more important with Street View as your Google Places listing appears against your front door. You don’t want customers going to your neighbours!
2. Is your Google Places profile up-to-date? (correct address, website link, contact details etc.)
3. Have you uploaded an attractive image of your store front/business logo on your Places profile? Your primary image is displayed next to your address on the Street View bubble.
4. Have you got any reviews on Google Places? A star rating system is displayed in the Street View bubble? Is your Google Places account linking to reviews you may have on other websites such as Trip Advisor or Review Centre? Can you find a way of requesting direct reviews from your happy customers, a simple “Find us on Google Places” poster in your premises might do the trick.
5. Could it make sense to offer coupon offers on your listing? I.e. 20% off for all customers who quote a particular code? This can be a great way to get people through the door, especially at quiet times of the year. As this promotion is completely under your control you can quickly add or remove offers and experiment as wish.
What are your impressions of Google Street Maps? Seen anything interesting on Jersey’s streets? Seen any good marketing examples? Please share you comments below.
Google’s promotional video about Google Places