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Black Friday and Small Business Saturday have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean your holiday sales are over! In fact, brick and mortar businesses have an advantage in late December when the shipping cutoff for Christmas delivery has passed. That’s why effectively marketing your business is critical right now.

And guess what? There is a FREE and EASY way to capture customers right in the moment that they’re looking to buy. These days, 97% of consumers use the internet when looking for a local product or service.

Enter Google Business Listings. We’ve talked about Google Business Listings before, so hopefully you’ve already claimed and verified your business. If not, it’s easy and only takes a few minutes — just click here to get started.

If you’ve already claimed your listing, it’s time to optimize it NOW. Searches for “where to buy” peak in the week before Christmas, topping out on Dec. 23rd. Other top search terms like “open now” and “store hours” grow in volume throughout December and peak on Christmas Day.

By updating your Google Business Listing, you will be one step closer to ensuring your business is displayed in the search results for these shopping queries.

Here are three ways to optimize your listing:

1. Double-check that your business name, address, phone number and store hours are correct. For example, do you have extended business hours during the holiday season?

2. Make sure you’ve selected two to five Google categories that represent your business. Here’s a guide to picking the best categories for your business.

3. According to Google, “Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google than businesses that don’t have photos.” Types of images include your logo, the exterior and interior of your business and specific products or menu items. SB Tip: If you are carrying an item that is particularly popular this holiday season, include photos of that item, too. Here are some tips from Google on photo best practices.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and profitable holiday season!

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