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Do You Show up on Google Maps? Why Location Services Are So Important

Do you know how Google My Business works and why its so important for your business?

Google My Business allows business owners to supply information that can show up in a Google search, such as open hours, address, phone number, and photos. Google may combine the information provided by businesses with information from other sources, including a business's own website, user contributions, and third-party websites. It also allows business owners to respond to review and post updates about announcements, events, or sales.

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When potential customers are conducting a search for a local shop they're typically provided with a list of likely matches based on their current location. For example, a search of "florists near me" will show results based not only on proximity, but also on their relevance to the query.

Why is this so important? Because the person searching for flowers may not even know your shop exists, but if your location information is accurate and consistent, the likelihood of them finding you increases substantially.

The local results favor the most relevant results for each search and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.

By making sure that you’ve accurately entered all of your business information in Google My Business, customers know more about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you.

It sounds simple in theory, but unfortunately it goes way beyond Google and the sheer volume of platforms that feature your shop's information make consistency an uphill battle - even if you are vigilant about keeping your information up-to-date as your business changes. Monitoring and editing your business information regularly is one of the most important methods for staying on top of the search results, but many business owners lack the resources to keep on top of this task.

How Can Bloomerang Help?

At Bloomerang Solutions we specialize in driving customers to your door by increasing your visibility. Our Location Services offer the most effective way to properly manage your business data across websites, search engines, mobile apps, directories, social media, and more.

Google determines local ranking based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for your search. For example, Google algorithms might decide that a business that's farther away from your location is more likely to have what you're looking for than a business that's closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.

According to Google, prominence refers to how well-known your business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results.

Referring to established locations is also a strategy we suggest. Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will in most cases improve a business's local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.

See For Yourself

You can check the health of your online business information here with the help of our free listings scan. This scan will help you see how your critical location data appears across dozens of listings and directories.

If things look good then you're on the right path, but if not - never fear - we're here to help out. Don't leave the last mile of your customer journey to chance - optimize it with Location Management from Bloomerang Solutions.

If you have any questions about managing your listings or would like to learn more about how Bloomerang can help your business grow, give us a call at (941) 806-1911 or drop us a line here.

Make This Holiday Season Your Best Yet with Google Ads

Do you remember what advertising was like before Google and pay per click? Remember back when you took out an ad, crossed your fingers and hoped to get a few calls and orders? In those days, you never knew how well it was really working and when you tracked it, you found that you perhaps broke even at best – but at least you got a new customer, so it felt like a success!

Then Google changed everything!

One of the biggest problems in the floral industry is that everyone wants to stay in the past and talk doom and gloom. What do I mean? Even though you can see Google is one of the first advertisers and platforms where people can actually make money form an investment, it's still never enough. Now people complain that it may cost $20 to acquire a customer. Really?

Think about it, where did you ever see those kinds of results before Google? You didn’t see it with Yellow Pages, you didn’t see it with newspapers or any other form of advertising either. You never made money, you got exposure and with that you got a few orders.

Google trades for over $1,000 a share for a reason – it works! Those who understand how it works typically don't share much. I have taught many people how it works but very few understand the system or what is needed to be done in order to make it the best it can be.

Marketing with Google is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It takes some care and persistence and needs to be customized and refined for each and every client in order to be effective. Unfortunately, in today’s world of instant gratification where everything needs to be “plug and play,” most people simply won’t take the time to try to understand how it works – even if the results speak for themselves.

No more excuses!

If you are not making money on Google or creating the results you desire, then you probably didn't set your expectations correctly. In order to do that, you need to go back and define your goals. Some shop owners want more traffic, others want sales -everyone needs something - understanding that early on is extremely important.

If you’re not sure where to start – never fear! Bloomerang Solutions is here to provide custom Google Ads campaigns for your shop that will set you apart from your competition. Call us today or drop us a line here to set up a free consultation to get you ready for the best holiday season of your career!

Want to Increase Your Revenue This Holiday Season? Let's Get Started!

At Bloomerang Solutions, we specialize in marketing strategies for florists and other small business owners. We focus on what is current as well as what’s “up and coming.” For most retailers, and especially retail florists, these next few months are critical for success and profitability. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you with a smooth and successful holiday season.

Preparation for the holidays; why market when you’re busy?

One critical mistake many florists make is thinking they will have all the business they need during the holidays, so they don’t see the value of marketing. Unfortunately, that way of thinking does more harm than good.

You need to view this time of year as your time to shine! With at least three major holidays between now and Valentine’s Day, the world is sending flowers - so how will they find you? PPC (pay per click) marketing is your key to attracting new clients and increasing sales. The next three months provide some of the best retail opportunities of the year; make the most of them with these proven marketing tactics.

Statistically, only a small percentage of these customers will send flowers again in the summer and beyond, so the more orders you secure now, the better your chances are of organic home-grown business. The second order doesn't cost you and reduces the real value of the first order if you paid to secure it.

Offer what you have on hand

Now, more than ever, it’s critical to watch your offerings. The floral industry has changed drastically in the past decade. There are very few "fill to value" orders out there anymore because everyone is looking at a picture online somewhere. Hopefully we are inching closer to an honest industry where what you see will be close to what you get with the understanding you have a product of nature and minor substitutions and varieties may occur.

Use discipline in what you place on your home page because that is where you secure interest. Be sure you have products you can create and don’t make them so local that sending out of town may not be an option. Be neutral on most offerings so your customers call you for all their orders. You would be surprised how many customers call local shops for local deliveries and a 1-800 number for out of town requests.

Over-stuffing, a profit killer

Secure your profits. There is no question you believe in your designers to produce a quality product, the question is - are they adding a flower or two to make it "just a little nicer?" Double checkout is your answer and it’s as simple as this: When a design is completed, have someone else double check it for consistency and value.

Why is this so important? Just $5 of over-stuffing in a shop with 50 deliveries a day could cost you $250 every day, if not more - this adds up quick. This system also helps to eliminate other mistakes you may have missed. You work so hard to offer add –on’s, so you definitely don’t want to forget them on the delivery.

Hand-written cards and other exclusive offerings

All flowers are delivered with a card but the message on that card is usually printed on a plain piece of paper that will probably get lost or thrown away quickly. Why not offer a better option like a hand-written card? It’s an easy up-sell and many of your customers will be grateful that you took the time and care to go the extra mile. Best of all, they have something special to keep long after the flowers are gone. It really is as simple as finding an employee with excellent handwriting! Little touches like this one as well as other exclusive products you offer should be heavily promoted because those are the things that set your shop apart from everyone else in town.

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Rewards

Always start your day with the question, "Why should anyone shop with me?" More than just to buy flowers, but what is the hook? Just about every company today offers some sort of rewards program. From Dominos to Saks and Neiman Marcus, they all have incentives. You are not too big or too small to get in the game. Companies like Profit Point have systems and cards in place you can have set up to reward your customers and keep them coming back.

Start promoting early

Plan ahead! The weekend after Thanksgiving is exhausting from the promotion angle. We have all our promos set for florists to be ready for, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday. Things move pretty fast after that, so the better you're prepared beforehand, the better off you'll be when your shop is packed with customers.

Turn 2

Last, but certainly not least, don't just take one order when you can TURN 2. Most customers that order for Thanksgiving will most likely order for the holidays at some point. While finishing up the order, just suggest an incentive if a second order is placed. Contact us if you would like the script or click below for in instructional video.

There’s more where that came from

Consider implementing some of these strategies to increase revenue in your shop this holiday season and you could be well on your way to your most successful season yet! And remember, for more tips and advice, call Art anytime at (941) 809-1911.

Do You Charge a Re-Delivery Fee?

As retail florists, one of our greatest strengths is our ability to deliver the same day, it’s what sets us apart from the supermarket down the street.

Re-delivery fees are not a new concept, yet as an industry, we seem divided on the subject. Shops are typically either all for them, or completely against them, claiming customers need to know the final cost at the time of purchase.

The average profitability for a retail florist is about 10% and in most cases shops don’t generate a profit on delivery. The average delivery service is typically a loss when we discount it to $10 because average cost is $16.95. These types of numbers don't allow us the luxury of giving away services that cost us money - so then why are we doing it?

Does This Happen In Your Shop?

A customer calls or visits and makes a purchase of a product you decided has a value. They ask for a balloon, so you charge for the balloon. They ask for a teddy bear, so you charge for the teddy bear. All is good and the customer is getting what they want.

Now, they ask for delivery and give you the address. You look it up and charge the appropriate fee depending on where it is to be delivered.

Then it begins…

Your driver goes to the customer's confirmed address and the recipient is either not there, or the address given was wrong, so your driver returns to the shop with flowers still in hand. Your designer then has to re-cut the flowers and change the water as your customer service rep notifies your customer. All of this effort takes time in which we are paying staff and incurring additional expenses which is not our fault.

At this point haven’t you performed the actions requested of you?

Do you now let the customer know the flowers are back at the shop and ask if they would like to pick them up, OR do you ask if they would like to have another delivery made?

Will this second delivery attempt not cost you revenue and continue to chip away at the little margin you have? Maybe you should ask for the proper fee for this additional service they are requesting of you? As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your shop profitable.

How to Ask For The Re-Delivery Fee:

Hello (Mrs. Doe), my name is (Bob) calling from (Your Flower Shop) about the order you requested we deliver to (Jane Doe). After arriving at the address you gave, we found out that she no longer lives there. We had to bring the flowers back and are now calling to make you aware. Would you like to pick up the flowers you ordered or would you like for us to arrange for a new delivery?

Remember, the customer ordered these flowers and the responsibility to pay for them is theirs. We attempted a delivery and the recipient is no longer where we were requested to go - this is not a fault of yours. The customer is responsible for the $50 bouquet and we are trying to help get it delivered.

They paid us to deliver a gift from our shop to a specified location. If this is not possible, who should be responsible? We need to remember we provide services and maybe we gave away this second delivery before, but should we continue to do so? The choice is yours.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

-Art

Understanding the Difference Between Mobile Marketing and Protecting Your Name

The most common question I get when discussing pay per click is "Why would I pay for my own name, they are obviously looking for me, right?"

Although it sounds pretty straightforward, take a look and see for yourself just how confusing it can be even if you know exactly what you're looking for.

I was just looking for Sea Tow and look who slipped in with what is called a Mobile Ad. It looks like an extension of the Sea Tow listing - but it isn’t! I have to admit, it was very well done and almost got me, and I know what I'm looking for.

Now, keep in mind this ad is one you may have trouble duplicating when you get home because it is a Call Only ad and it will only show when the search is on a mobile device. So, you can see how smooth and easy this can happen. In most cases, the person looking doesn’t know what happened and they can never explain it to you if you were lucky enough to speak with someone who saw it happening.

Bidding on your own name is relatively inexpensive. It helps secure the search result between you and your customer and also improves your Quality Score because it has such a high CTR (click-through rate). The lower your click-through rate, the lower your charge per click will be from Google. They truly reward you for this!

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Do you notice how the Sea Tow appears below Flagship Towing and seems to look like it is all the same ad? Their ad was for a general listing so the phone number is not paramount.

The more knowledge, the better, and for this I recommend you consider us or another professional to justify your investment and speak to the results you have achieved. I like to cut and paste raw data, explain it to my clients, then compare results to the same period the year before so they can easily see what Google says. I don’t like fancy Excel spreadsheets where you can easily confuse a client.

You see, to build a successful account you must continuously maintain the strategy you build. It will slip and require attention, but this is how you maintain a successful campaign. Attracting clients is one thing, but growing profitable business is another, so you can see why simply selecting keywords is just not even close to the focus.

If your online marketing efforts need some help, Bloomerang Solutions may be just the answer you're looking for. We specialize in promoting small business and giving them the digital advantage they need to thrive in today's competitive marketplace. Give us a call today at (941) 806-1911 or drop us a line here. Together we can make your business bloom!