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Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the United States.
Online shopping brought in $8.9 billion in sales for 2021. What’s even crazier is that figure doesn’t include brick-and-mortar purchases. Making it, without a doubt, one of the busiest and most competitive times of the year for local businesses trying to compete with big players like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
So if your clients are looking to capitalize on the Black Friday buying frenzy, you’ll want to prepare their local Google Business Profile (GBP) and website well before Black Friday arrives.
In this quick guide, we’ll share how to incorporate a Black Friday marketing strategy into your client’s current digital marketing strategy to drive sales during the holiday shopping season.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s your local business checklist for Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
1. Set holiday hours
Black Friday sales are notorious for attracting bargain-hunting shoppers during the wee hours of the morning.
And every year, Black Friday sales start creeping closer and closer to Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). Not even a full belly of turkey and pumpkin pie can keep the determined shopper at bay.
Since most stores have different opening hours around the holidays, it’s critical to update your client’s Google Business Profile to reflect their specific hours for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.
Are they open on Thanksgiving? Do their store hours differ on Black Friday compared to their regular operating hours? Asking and answering questions about Black Friday in the Q&A section of your client’s business profile is the perfect way to keep their customers informed about holiday hours and sale details.
Google also recommends confirming your client’s holiday hours, even if they will be the same as their normal hours. This simple gesture reassures customers that they are open for business on those days.
Source: Google Support
As a shopper, there’s nothing more infuriating than searching for and confirming store hours on Google and then showing up at the storefront only to find that the store is closed, especially when you are on a mission to find the best deals around before they sell out.
Thankfully, all you need to do is a simple update in the Google Business Profile. Follow these steps for setting holiday hours:
- Navigate to Business Profile
- Click Edit profile → Business information
- Click the Hours tab
- Within Business hours, click Holiday hours
- Select the date
- Update your client’s hours
- If they are open on the holiday, check the box next to the date and enter the open and close times
- If they are closed on the holiday, uncheck the box next to the date
- Click save
As an essential reminder, make sure to select “Open with main hours” to guarantee that your client’s business hours appear on their Business Profile.
2. Add Black Friday specific products to the Product Catalog
The Google Business Profile Product Editor makes it easy to showcase your client’s products, drive customer interactions, and increase sales through the Google Business Profile.
Customers will see a curated showcase of products on the Business Profile Products tab on mobile or the Product Overview module on the computer. This coveted virtual real estate is the perfect place to promote your client’s top products available for purchase during the Black Friday sale.
65% of customers admit that they’ll look up price comparisons online while shopping in a physical store. This is an excellent opportunity for your client to get a leg up on the competition. Make sure your client’s prices are accurately updated to reflect any offers or discounts during the sale. You can also use price ranges for simplicity.
In this example, CocoNene, a local home goods store in Kapolei, Hawaii, shares some of its best-selling products in its Product Catalog. Notice that they include both high-quality images and prices for each related product.
Black Friday is more competitive than ever, so make sure your client’s products are attractive and have the information needed to catch the buyer’s attention.
Use a collage maker to create high-quality, professional-looking product images for your client to include in an offers post. You can even add the discount somewhere in the image to reiterate the value of the sale, like how Steve’s Plumbing & A/C Service adds the instant $750 rebate to the image.
Another great thing about the Product Catalog is that you can include a call-to-action (CTA) directly in the interface. In this case, CocoNene connected its Google Business Profile to its website to streamline a one-click purchase.
When you click the “Buy” CTA, it brings you directly to the product on their website to finalize the purchase. Providing a seamless shopping experience for the customer will help improve conversion rates.
The goal of Black Friday is to sell as many products as possible to make up for the heavily discounted prices. Since you expect higher purchase volume and customer reviews, connect your client’s online store to the appropriate sales software to track and optimize sales and customer experience.
Make sure you monitor reviews during this period as you may see an increase with more products flying out. It’s an important time for reviews and you may want to consider using a review management tool to help.
Automating any part of the sales process will help cut down on wait times, improve customer experience, and ensure optimal reporting. Then you can both sit back, relax and watch the sales pour in.
3. Publish Google Posts to help customers prepare for Black Friday shopping
Don’t underestimate the power of Google Posts as a Black Friday marketing strategy. These posts are different from the average blog posts on your client’s native website.
These posts appear instantaneously in local search results and Google Maps. You don’t have to wait days, weeks, or months for blog posts to rank on the first page of Google. What’s better than that?
Use Google Posts to share announcements, offers, new or popular items, inventory, event details, or other details about your client’s business with customers. These posts are visible through the “Updates” or “Overview” tabs of the Business Profile.
Since customers can access your client’s business information and updates as they browse, they can make better decisions. This helps them to:
- Communicate directly with local customers.
- Provide timely information to improve the customer experience.
- Promote Black Friday sales, specials, news, and offers.
- Increase engagement with their customers via posts, videos, and photos.
So leading up to Black Friday, create a consistent publishing schedule of Google Posts about topics that’ll help your client’s customers prepare for their Black Friday shopping.
For example, if they sell plumbing services, consider writing a post that ranks the top kitchen sinks or steam showers on the market (including links to product pages on their website). You can also consider reaching out to local press sites to get their offers included in round-ups to increase engagement and reach.
Another great option is to repurpose these Google Posts and turn them into email marketing campaigns to convert more browsers into buyers.
Here are a few tips for using email marketing on Black Friday:
- Make sure that your client’s emails are personalized—use the customer’s name in the subject line to make them feel like they’re getting something special just for them.
- Include discount codes and promo codes in your client’s emails so that people can save money on their purchases right away (and know what they are getting).
- Send out a reminder email on the day before Black Friday with links to all of your client’s products at a discounted price. This way people who might have forgotten about your client’s sale can still take advantage of it.
- Use images in your emails to increase engagement and score more clicks.
4. Create a website landing page for Black Friday sales, deals, and promotions
Up to this point, we have focused on optimizing your client’s Google Business Profile.
Unfortunately, Google restricts content on Business Profiles for financial services, pharmaceuticals, health/medical devices, etc. If your client’s business falls into one of these categories, like a local pharmacy that sells antidepressants online or a winery that sells alcoholic beverages, using their own website for promotion is the only way forward.
But don’t fret. Google shares some excellent recommendations for optimizing a website landing page for Black Friday shopping. Here are some of the highlights:
- Don’t wait too long to create the page. It’s best to make the landing page for your client’s promotion well before the sale so that Googlebot has time to discover and index it.
- Include internal links. Adding a link from your client’s home page to the landing page will help users (and Google) find the landing page faster.
- Use a recurring URL. Create a meaningful URL that reflects the event and can be reused annually. For example, www.example.com/sale/black-Friday instead of www.example.com/sale/2022/black-Friday.
- Add an image. Similar to Product Catalog, include a high-quality image that represents your client’s sale and has appropriate alt-text.
- When in doubt, apply for a recrawl. Ask Google to recrawl the landing page via Google Search Console to ensure the updated content reflects correctly (given the URL is repurposed).
Pro Tip: Focus on creating evergreen landing pages that are the same each year for Black Friday and other major sales. That way, they can gain authority over time and rank higher in Google search results.
Source: Exclusive Templates
A well-crafted landing page for your client’s Black Friday sales, like this one from The Winery at Bull Run, can make the difference between someone buying from your client or moving on to the next deal. So make that first impression count.
5. Upgrade to a mobile-friendly website
Mobile access to online retailers and ordering options have made the smartphone a crucial tool in consumers’ shopping habits. In 2021, almost 43% of Black Friday sales were purchased through mobile phones.
But smartphones aren’t just for buying. They’re also changing in-store behavior. Customers use their phones to find nearby retail locations, check local inventories, confirm store hours, compare prices and pay for purchases.
Just for Fun, a store in Noe Valley, San Francisco, selling art supplies, crafts, and toys, uses its Google Business Profile to share live inventory details with its customers around the busy holiday season. These details are available on both the desktop and mobile versions of their profile.
What’s the key takeaway? Your client should have a mobile-friendly website to cater to changes in consumer behavior. Thankfully, the best website builders and Google Business Profiles already include mobile-friendly features.
A mobile-friendly website can make or break your client’s Black Friday sales volumes. Don’t miss out on this significant source of traffic. It’s worth the last-minute check to ensure their website is up-to-snuff.
Preparing your client’s Google Business Profile and website for Black Friday is a lot of work, but the payoff is worth it.
Making sure everything on their site and profile is up-to-date increases the chances that customers will find what they’re looking for during the most significant sales event of the year. If you’re not sure what state your GBP is in, try running a Google Business Profile Audit.
But it doesn’t stop there. These tips for a Black Friday marketing strategy also help your client build a strong online presence. And if they know how to use it to their advantage, they can turn it from a one-time revenue boost to a year-round driver of sales.