Brands Archives - MiShop.local

What Are Google Product Listings?

Google Product listings appear prominently within Google My Business and are seen every time customers search for your store.

Features:

Listings may contain several key product images, descriptions, pricing and links to your website.

It’s a great feature for any business that sells a few products or wants to showcase a few key items.

However, ongoing maintenance and getting the most from the Google Products service can be a challenge.

What Are Google Products?

Google Product listings are a feature of Google My Business that helps businesses showcase the products they sell.

Within your Google My Business profile, you will see the option for Google Products.

Simply, populating a list with images and pricing information will produce a prominent section underneath your contact details, and just before the Google Updates section.

It’s a neat sandwich of promotions which really compliments your offerings and improves your public profile.

Why Are Products Useful?

Small to medium sized business who only stock a few products are unable to afford a full e-commerce site, or rely on footfall alone.

Google Products is comparatively easier than complex e-commerce and maintenance of a website.

However, be aware that ongoing maintenance of Google Products is a task in of itself with several pitfalls, especially if you are a multi-location retailer.

Thus, it’s easy enough to setup but becomes an extra headache if mismanaged.

How Are They Used For Best Effect?

Each time a customers searches for your store, and ends up browsing or comparing local offerings, Google Product listings appear.

Your products are presented alongside your NAP and just when customers are seeking you- both increasing their awareness of key items and enticing them to visit your store.

Together, this promotes footfall, clicks and calls to your business.

What Is The Best Way To Use Google Products?

Ideally, a medium business would regularly update their key and current offerings.

Examples of use:

  • Shoe Stores: Promote that latest, greatest designer trainer.
  • Car Show Rooms: Hit sales targets faster by attracting attention.
  • Estate agents: Help customers browse your key properties.
  • Banks: Display financial products and services.
  • Florists: Utilize this virtual shop window to display your bouquets.

As you can see, Google Products is not limited by sector.

Google Products noticeably increases product presence to drive footfall, clicks and calls.

However, larger businesses may wish to use the See What’s In Store feature in Google My Business instead. It’s easier to update on a rolling basis.

Concession Stores – Multiple brands listed at the same Address – Threat or Opportunity in Local Search?

A growing number of brands are listing themselves as a concession store in a department store such as John Lewis, Debenhams, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges.

Listing multiple concession brands at a department store’s address presents an opportunity and a threat in local search.

An address is an asset in local search – so if you can list your brand at a legitimate business address it is more likely to appear in local search results.  However, the NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) must to be consistently listed in local listing sites and citations.

The Opportunity – multiple brands (when set-up correctly) can be listed at the same address with different web links, presenting a rich local search profile and enhanced organic performance for key categories.

The Threat – multiple brands incorrectly listed at the same address can interfere with each-others’ organic search performance and undermine the search profile of the department store.  We’ve seen examples of 7 different brands listed at the same address all of which were using the same phone number!

We’ll explain below:

Department stores host a number of brand concessions selling anything from clothing, perfumes, furniture and electricals to holidays and food, etc., yet as they are listed in local citations as “department store” they have a fairly limited category group in which to appear in local search.  The opportunity is to list each (major) brand concession separately in local citations in-order to broaden the category search footprint AND to let brands appear in their own respective category searches.

For example, instead of mentioning fashion and electricals in a single category listing for “department store”, you could have three separate category listings; one for fashion, one for electricals and one for department store.

As a result, you could get three strong search result for three unrelated categories.

HOWEVER, this needs to be done correctly and in a controlled way to avoid NAP citation conflicts.

Here are our guidelines for multi-brand stores:

1. Have a NAP listing policy that all concession brands must adhere to.

2. Brands must get the permission of the store before listing.

3. Brands that are listed at the same address MUST:

  • Be listed as a brand not the department store name
  • Use a different telephone phone number to the department store (and other brands)
  • Be clearly and categorised (e.g. Fashion, Clothing, or Electricals, Appliances)
  • Use a different URL which preferably points to a location specific landing page.
  • Use rich brand content (in local citations).

4. Control the number of brand and category listings.

5. Clean or remove conflicting local citations.

This approach is not limited to concession brands, it can also be used for supermarkets (for example) that offer different in-store services such as opticians, pharmacy, restaurants etc.

MiShop.local helps multi-location companies to control their brand in local search.

If you are flummoxed by how to practically implement a NAP strategy for a multi-brand location – please call us now – we can make things clearer and easier.

Why big brands have problems in local search

Big brands that have had the same high street address for years are at a disadvantage in local search compared to new businesses that are opening around them. How can this be?

Local Citation building is integral to an effective local search strategy; and core to that is consistent Name, Address and Phone numbers listed in local listing sites.

Established brands already have multiple local citations by virtue of the fact that they are probably listed in every directory and local listing site, so why should they not perform well?

The simple answer is – lack of NAP control!

Inconsistent NAP confuses search engines and customers, having a negative effect on your local search presence and even worse, giving customers the wrong information.

Here are the main reasons why high street brands have inconsistent NAP:

No Local Listing Policy – Because we’ve not needed one till now!

Most high street companies do not control their local listings and as such, they have slowly become corrupted with inconsistent naming, telephone numbers, branding and weblinks.

The difference may be subtle, for example “Marks & Spencer” may also be listed as “Marks and Spencer” or “M&S” or different telephone numbers listed in different sites, but slowly over time, these differences percolate throughout the listing ecosystem resulting in name variations, category inconsistencies and outdated telephone numbers.

Change of Name through re-brand or acquisition

Re-branding can have a major impact to your local citations.

Where a company changes its name, but keeps the same address and phone number, we often see conflicting listings appearing with the old and new brand names appearing alongside each other in the same listing.

Look at KFC – it officially re-branded from “Kentucky Fried Chicken” in 1991 – yet you can still find local listings for “Kentucky Fried Chicken” throughout the UK. Or Lloyds TSB – they split into Lloyds and TSB in 2013, yet there are still multiple listings for Lloyds TSB.

Change of Address

Brands that move premises a few doors up or down the high street can find themselves with duplicate listings. Moving premises on the same street only changes the shop number; the Name, Telephone Number and Post Code stay the same. This can get very confusing.

Change of Phone Number

Brands change their telephone numbers for different reasons, for example to centralise customer services or to introduce a different number plan. Whatever the reason, these numbers need to be changed in the listings.

Gone are the days when BT would supply your phone number and update your listing at the same time. Today we have multiple telephone service providers and number plans offering different services including, Local, Mobile, VOIP, Cable, 01, 02, 03, 08 etc. etc. No single company is responsible for ensuring that numbers are listed correctly. If you have a new number, it is your responsibility to ensure it is listed correctly.

All in all, brands through no fault of their own are victims of a legacy of old information that has accumulated over time in multiple local listing sites and citations.

An address is a strategic asset in search, but only if local citations have consistent NAP.

Cleaning old listing to achieve correct and consistent local citations takes time and energy and systematic approach.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article,
please use the contact form below or call MiShop.local in confidence on 01273 987498.

    Are You in Control Of Your Local Brand Presence?

    • Do you know how your brand is portrayed on local listing sites?
    • Are you comfortable that information about your brand is compiled and displayed on 3rd party listing sites that do not know you?
    • Are you comfortable that anyone can change information about your business without your knowledge?
    • Only by claiming your listings can you control how your brand appears in local search.

    Most local listing sites rely on 3rd party directories, business owners and even the public to keep the business listings up-to-date. However, there are no ‘rules’ as to who, what, when and how information should be updated. Consequently, many sites list information which is out-of-date and incorrect.

    Your business could be listed on these sites with the wrong phone number, wrong address, wrong web link, wrong business name, wrong category, wrong logo, uninspiring or uninformative business descriptions.

    Every interaction with your brand should be positive. If your customers find information that is incorrect, regardless of what it is or where they found it, it could inconvenience, frustrate or even confuse them.

    These may seem trivial, but put yourself in the shoes of a customer that has followed directions to an incorrectly placed map pin, or turns up when the shop’s closed, or calls a dead or the wrong phone number, or click on a dead link, etc. Best case, they look again, or, maybe they give up and go somewhere else! Don’t assume that they will always go to your store finder, they won’t!

    As well as NAP details and opening times, these sites can also display information about your brand. Is the description inspiring and contain key words that work for you in search? Is it on brand?

    Is the logo correct? Does it stand out?

    Click-through rate increases when your brand stands out.

    Your brand image on these sites is just as important as having the correct name and address. A branded listing stands out from the competition and is more engaging.

    How you are categorised is important too… Are you a restaurant, or an Italian Restaurant? Are you a Fashion Retailer or Supplier? Are you a Plumber or a Plumbing Supplier? Miss-categorisation means that you will not appear in the right local search results.

    Only you know what information is correct and how you want your brand to be portrayed on 3rd party listing sites. So why leave it to someone who does not know you?

    To control your local brand presence you need to claim and manage your local listings. 

    If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article,
    please use the contact form below or call MiShop.local in confidence on 01273 987498.