Why Lazy Local SEO Literally Ruined Christmas and New Year

badsanta

Let me set the scene:

It’s December 24th at 5pm. Work is over for the year and you need to pick up the last few bits and bobs for Christmas Day (or if you’re like me then you actually need to start your Christmas shopping).

Like the 89% of people who search for a local business on their smartphone once a week or more, you whip out your phone and search for some local shops. BINGO. Google tells you that the Tesco down the road is open until 8pm.

You get to Tesco for 7:45pm (you’re clearly a daredevil – I like it) but disaster strikes. IT’S SHUT. Those pesky tykes haven’t updated their Christmas opening hours for their local results and now Christmas is officially #ruined.

While I may have got a little carried away with my example, there has been a number companies and stores who didn’t update their local SEO information for the holidays. In turn, this has left potential customers angry and lost sales. Just check out some of the examples below:

Local SEO Angry Tweets

How to Get Your Google Opening Hours Right

It’s now easier than ever before to keep your Google My Business listings up to date. Google have added a special hours feature to the interface which reminds local businesses to update their hours for the holidays (known as Special Hours).

This means that you don’t have to change your core hours and risk your local presence by confusing Google; You can simply add in your holiday hours which will automatically show in the search results on the allocated days.

And Bob’s your uncle! Your customers are happy (and putting money through your tills), Google’s happy, your boss is happy… it’s a win-win.

Managing your GMB account is absolutely essential for retailers. As well as having up to date information readily available for customers, you are also showing Google that you are active in the account which means that you’re less at risk of Google making unwanted changes to your business info.

For more info on how to make the most of Local, check out our Local SEO Guide.

(main image: Richard Elzey under CC BY 2.0)