How To Increase Offline Sales For Local Businesses

Google has published a guide on four ways to drive local search traffic to a local offline business and increase sales. It’s a good reminder that Google is more than the ten blue links on a search page.

Understanding all the ways that customers are trying to find business will help create more sales.

For local retail, Google said various types of searches are growing exponentially.

In particular, three types of research show dramatic increases:

  1. The first type of search involves consumers looking for businesses that are close to them.
  2. The second type of search is for consumers who are looking for local businesses that have something specific in stock.
  3. The third type of research concerns research related to restaurants.


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Google’s guide shared:

Local retail

“Local” + “business” searches have increased over 80% year over year, including searches such as “local businesses nearby” and “supporting local businesses”.

Searches for “who’s” + “in stock” have increased over 8,000% from the previous year, including searches such as “who has a Nintendo Switch in stock” and “who has gym equipment. in stock”. “

Local restaurant searches

Google then shared that restaurant-related consumers not only use Google search but also Google Ads to find information before making a purchase. Google advertising can be a good way to gain an additional edge over the competition.

Google shared:

“Two in three restaurant consumers said they used the search to find information on food and drink during the pandemic.

Fifty-seven percent of restaurant consumers said they discovered information about food and drink during the pandemic through online advertisements. “

Think With Google article: What’s New at Mealtime?

YouTube and local shopping

YouTube is generally not seen as a way to generate sales with a local business. But it should be considered. Google shows YouTube videos in response to search queries and in specific contexts that provide more information to internet users who need to know about a service or product.


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According to Google:

“Forty-five percent of viewers say they watch YouTube to see a product demonstration before they buy.

Viewers say they’re twice as likely to go in-store or online to buy something they’ve seen on YouTube compared to the competition average. “

Google maps

Google Maps is not normally considered a search engine. But like YouTube, this is where people turn to find local businesses that provide specific services.

This trend underscores the importance of claiming and working with a free Google My Business account to improve your Google Maps listings.

The important thing to remember here is that Google Maps should be viewed as a search engine that provides highly targeted context for your local business presence.

Google shared:

  • “Google Maps searches for ‘curbside pickup’ increased 9,000% year over year in the United States
  • Searches on Google Maps for “discounts” have increased globally by more than 100% year on year.
  • Searches on Google Maps for “gift shop” have increased over 60% year over year globally. “

Google Maps is more than just a way to learn how to get from here to there. Consumers use it to find businesses.

Here are the main generic searches in Google Maps:
(Source: Google data, United States, February 2021)

  • “Restaurants
  • hotels
  • nearby restaurants
  • gas
  • the food
  • food nearby
  • grocery
  • gas station
  • Coffee
  • Pizza”

Offline Sales Guide

Google also posted a short business support page on how to get more local search traffic with advertising that also contained two tips that also relate to non-advertising search traffic. (Create your digital showcase)

The first tip advised businesses to create an online storefront and use it with a free Google My Business account to stand out in local searches in regular Google search results and in Google Maps.

The second tip showed how to get up to 42% more referrals from Google.


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Google shared:

“The key to driving in-store traffic from the web to your physical location is letting customers know that you are nearby and that you have what they are looking for.

Businesses that add photos to their business profiles receive 42% more route requests on Google Maps and 35% more clicks to their websites than businesses that don’t. “

This 42% and 35% increase in engagement because of photos is not surprising. In an article on images (5 Benefits of Using Visual Content in PDF Marketing Materials), I highlighted the ways in which images engage consumers and drive sales.

The strong points are:

1. The images are emotionally engaging

Scientific research has discovered that images can influence a viewer’s emotions in a positive way that enhances the marketing message.

2. Pictures reduce reading fatigue

People absorb information through images and text. Images used to indicate how delicious a menu item is or the professional level of your employees should not be underestimated.

3. Images are easier to remember

Images have a strong impact on consumers because they are easy to remember. According to research, consumers have the ability to remember more than 2,000 images for days with 90% accuracy.


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4. Graphics communicate visually

Graphics can be a fantastic way to communicate the superiority of your business or to communicate ideas. According to neuroscientists at MIT, a human brain can identify images in 13 milliseconds. Visual communication of ideas is a powerful way to get a successful marketing message across.

5. Images build confidence and increase profitability

Researchers have found, through analysis of millions of eBay auctions, that liberal use of images increases sales.

Google is more than ten links on a search result

There are many things to remember from Google’s helpful guide. The most important thing is to go beyond trying to rank in Google search and consider ways to increase visibility on Google Maps and YouTube. Additionally, it may be helpful to add as many well-staged and photographed images as possible in order to communicate the professionalism and high quality of the products and services offered.


Guide to offline sales with online ads

5 Benefits of Using Visual Content in PDF Marketing Materials