spLet customers know your special hours for December

Let Google Show Users Your Special December Hours

It’s that time of year again. You want to showcase the hours you’re open over the holidays while making sure you get the time to celebrate with your own loved ones. Providing special hours in you Google My Business (GMB) profile does this for people using Google to find this info. Also, you can do this on your smartphone on the fly. Go to your favorite local coffee shop, sip and sit for 5 minutes, and your special hours are set up.

There are a few ways to go about this. An easy one is to log into your GMB -> Overview -> Profile -> Clock/Calendar Icon

Google My Business Overview from a smartphone

Google My Business Overview from a smartphone

Edit Special hours (for restaurants and other locations who are open for lunch, then back open for dinner, you can note this in here by clicking the ADD HOURS button)

Edit Special Hours

Edit Special Hours

A nice thing about this is after you set it up, it automatically goes away after your dates of special hours. No follow up needed!

Google Maps Icons

LocalMN 101: Creating a Google My Business (GMB) Presence with Maps Photography

Creating Your GMB

Creating a Google My Business profile has long been well-known as a local search must, even before your own website and for good reasons. Do a branded search for your local business, and chances are there’s a big knowledge box result for you whether you claimed, or verified it or not. You can create or edit your own. It’s easy and awesome.

Partial Localmn Knowledge box. These are awesome. A home page of your business, if you will.

Your Google My Business (GMB) profile is now often considered the home page for your local business. It makes sense. It’s highly visible, includes a link to your website, appointments or bookings, your own customized photos, including 360° photos, managing ratings and reviews, POSTS, and a lot more, actually.

Google Photos and Maps Photography

Organizing photos in Google Photos is a great starting point after claiming your business. They make it easy for you to edit your photos to your preference, and place them on your GMB profile.

Organized Google Albums to Minneapolis

Organized Google Albums Minneapolis for GMB or other uses

You can title each album for your own organization, describe each picture, and automatically have your deets stored in exact location taken, camera used, date and time, and even exact size. Photo proof of your own!

Eventually, when you need photos for your GMB presence, you can be comforted at looking at your photos account like a switchboard. Look at an album, select a photo, use them as your profile, cover, logo, and POSTS.

We consider Maps Photography as quality photos with the intent to drive customers to your door. Include photos of your address, cross street signs and exterior 360° photos can imply and provide customers visual directions to you. Directions is arguably what the majority of customers are seeking.

360° Photo: Sign of the Mayo Clinic Gonda Building, reflection of downtown Rochester, move to view Methodist Hospital, the Kahler Grand and 2nd Ave SW.

After awhile, you’ll see that you’ll have enough real digital photos to use, without having to pay for fake stock photos. You know the ones. They’re attractive, with a smiling person pointing to a graph that goes up. Seriously, they’re horrible! An exception goes to Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco courtesy of @Buzz60 a few years ago, but I digress.

These photos can easily be done with a few photo and editing tactics. You could include your own staff, being serious, or being cleverly comedic like above by including a local celebrity. I’ve never met The Fancy Ray, but I’m a fan and love his local commercials and outdoor billboards. I’d love to see him in local stock photos like this. Again, I digress.

With a Street View app, (preferably along with a compatible 360° camera), you can create these photos publicly as long as Google accepts them to Maps. These are stored within your Street View app. Plus they can appear on your Google My Business profile, as well as providing an short, embedded code for you to include to media, social profiles, and content marketing strategies such as your blog.

Back to your Google Photos and albums. You can easily edit any photo on mobile or desktop. Often, it can just be by selecting Auto to bring the photo to life a bit like this one at On-Demand Group. There are plenty of other edits that make your photos pop, and auto is just one of the more popular ones.

ODG Rooftop

On Demand Group Rooftop in Minneapolis

We hope this helps your local business or organization. Happy Maps Photography to you all. Skål!


Localmn Interactive provides Maps Photography services including Google Trusted Street View Photography, Google Trusted Verifier and Local Search in general Contact us to learn more!

We’re Now Google Trusted Verified!

In addition and to compliment our Google Street View Trusted Photography status, we’re also now a Google Trusted Verifier.

Google My Business (GMB)

This makes your time more valuable by having someone come out to immediately verify your business to GMB, take photos and 360° virtual tours, consult you with Google Posts, GMB Insights. So often, people will set up their GMB correctly and adequately, although don’t take full advantage of this free tool for you DIYers. For agencies, we’re looking to add this to your mix for local search services.

When we come out to visit your Twin Cities location, we come with these ready-to-use icons, literally right on the Google Pixel 2:

Google Maps Icons

We forté in being flexible. If you just need GMB verification, we do this. If you need verification plus setup, photos, 360° Virtual Tours, Google Posts insights, and overall GMB consulting, we also do this, and we do it well.

4-hour consultations for you and your business (at your location) are available for this and is definitely time well spent. From there, you can decide to hire us on a more permanent level or go your own way with the confidence to DIY.

Side note: This is proudly available for physical businesses and organizations in Minnesota. Transportation expenses outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area TBD. We are Minnesota. 

Contact us Minnesota, and lets get verified! Skål!

Single Lane on Nicollet

Businesses and Community Along Nicollet Open Streets Minneapolis

One thing I look forward to when going to Open Streets events is to look at local businesses and community involvement along the routes. Open Streets Minneapolis – Nicollet is amongst my favorite. On a single lane street that’s usually too dangerous for drivers to view anything other than the road, these local businesses are often overlooked. It’s encouraging to see them all on foot, especially if they have an event presence in front of their storefront.

Businesses

I’ve been to the St. Paul Selby Revival a few times but not the one in Minneapolis. It’s right on the Open Streets Nicollet route and they engaged with the community by having different bands play throughout the day. I believe that the Minneapolis Revival chicken and waffles are available everyday and not just Sunday, but maybe someone could confirm or deny in the comments. Transit is a good way to get here, too. The 11 and 18 Metro Transit buses take you right here along with the Nicollet and Blaisdell Ave bike lanes that cover the jaunt.

Band setting up outside the Minneapolis Revival

Band setting up outside the Minneapolis Revival

Curran’s Family Restaurant has been a comfort food staple for decades and is right on the route. Like Revival, the 11 Metro Transit bus and Nicollet and Blaisdell bike lanes take you right there. There’s a parking lot as well for drivers. They have what’s known as the tastiest Monte Cristo. They could’ve displayed for free in their own parking lot, but paid for the honor to be on the street in front of their own restaurant. I’m not a fan of this charge.

However, they were selling cookies and beer on the street and were kind enough to let me take a quick photo of them. They even offered to let my phone juice up with one of their chargers, but I digress.

Curran's Crew

Curran’s Crew outside of Curran’s Family Restaurant

Nicollet Hardware on Nicollet is a welcoming community store and community presence for the Nicollet Open Streets. Also, the most Minnesotan Google review and response you may find this week.

Nicollet Hardware

The most Minnesotan response to a review you’ll see this week

Here’s a visual example of using their space as part of the Open Streets Community.

Nicollet Hardware

Nicollet Hardware presence at Open Streets Mpls – Nicollet

The patio at Pat’s Tap is welcoming for events like Open Streets, general people watching, of course their food, and the day of the event, Lagunitas specials. Like other Nicollet Ave businesses, it’s really easy to get to by transit, foot, or bike lanes.

Pat's Tap

Pat’s Tap and Lagunitas food and drink specials

Protip: For you businesses and orgs on the Open Streets University of Minnesota + Motley route, consider a Google Post to help cross-brand your business along with the event.

Awareness

I’m always interested in learning how a few things tick, especially when it comes to bringing neighborhoods together in all four seasons. The Samatar Crossing post comes to mind as I’ve now used it a few times for either walking transportation or to see a soccer match at Currie Field.

The Art in Public Places group were kind enough to show me the plan for the Green Crescent project and greenspace between Lake Street and the Midtown Greenway, just off the new-to-be Lake Street Transit Center. Just like the Samatar Crossing, they would be looking for public artists to help make it engaging through the greenspace. Open Streets is one way they’re getting the word out.

Art in Public Places

Green Crescent calling for public artists between Lake St. and the Midtown Greenway

Little did I know, most benches in the city are from US Bench. For revenue, they sell advertisements highly visible on the bench itself for transit users. I guess this isn’t new, but didn’t know that one company provided most of these. According to one esteemed councilperson, they the Clear Channel billboards of benches and can possibly be used this winter to help build awareness for the Our Streets Winter Sidewalk Maintenance study and initiative.

 

US Bench

US Bench – Clear Channel billboards of benches

Pets

There’s always something special about taking a day to dedicate a city street to those to walk, bike, roll, stroll, eat, drink, and play. It’s all about the community, especially those with 4 legs. Often, the popular question, “can I bring my dog (or pet)” to Open Streets?”. Of course you can, they don’t worry about traffic, road diets, or infrastructure, and they’re cute, dangit.

Least Dangerous Staredown

Least Dangerous Staredown

Doggie hanging out in the sun

Doggie hanging out in the sun

Music

Music bonds people together. It makes sense that multiple musicians are always lined up. Pick your genre and you’ll mostly find it right on a street corner or a makeshift stage. Hot Pink Hangover played a a few acoustical sets on the NW corner of Nicollet and 35th.

Hot Pink Hangover playing an acoustic set

Hot Pink Hangover playing an acoustic set

Sgt. Danny was cool enough to show me his cajon box drum along with his foot tambourine.

Cajon Box Drum

Cajon Box Drum

These guys played right by the Driftwood Char Bar on the 44th block of Nicollet. They put on a great show including the accordion player/singer swinging his accordion like a flying-V guitar at times.

Band playing by the Driftwood

Band playing by the Driftwood

Roadrunner Records always has some kind of outside presence. The last time I was here, they were selling vintage albums. This band outside was really catchy. I didn’t catch their name, but if you know please let us know in the comments!

Band outside or Roadrunner Records

Band outside or Roadrunner Records

Community Engagement (fun!)

Where else can you close off a main street and play life-sized Jenga on the side?

Life sized Jenga at Open Streets

Life sized Jenga at Open Streets

And there’s bike polo right on Nicollet. Better than car traffic.

Bike Polo on Nicollet

Bike Polo on Nicollet

Our friends Beth and Tim helping people out at the Streets.mn booth.

Beth and Tim keeping the Streets.mn fort down

Beth and Tim keeping the Streets.mn fort down

Of course, there were plenty of runners enjoying the event’s Run for Beer 5K-ish.

5k-ish Run for Beers participants

5k-ish Run for Beers participants

If you’re interested in sponsoring, getting a spot or volunteering for the upcoming Open Streets University of Minnesota + Motley Open Streets, you certainly can. I look forward to attending the event as I’ve never been to one at this location.

More photos were originally taken for this post. If you like, there’s a shared Google Photos album for you to see as you please!

Article originally posted on Streets.mn


LocalMN Interactive provides content marketing marketing and local search services to the Twin Cities area communities.

Local Search Profile

What Permissions Your Local Search Company Should Have and Should Not Have

Just like you should absolutely own your own website, you should also own all of your properties that have anything to do with Local Search. There are many properties different companies use in web builders, Google Accounts and social media platforms. We’ll stick with 3. WordPress, Google My Business and Google Analytics.

It’s kind of hard to believe, but there are companies with deceptive sales tactics that allow you to have your site back once the relationship ends, but in chunks leaving it up to you to piece it back together. You’ll want to make sure that if you ever leave a company or agency, you have your site back full and intact. With WordPress, sites are pretty much built that way by default.

WordPress StatusFirst, just make sure you have a signed NDA to ensure you own all your web properties once the business relationship ends for  whatever reason.

In WordPress, your web company can have different permissions. When the site is built for you, the company would need administrative permissions (status). Admissions status is also recommended for monthly and quarterly stats so your web company can continue with customized reports and actions. If you’re set with everything when it’s initially set up, you may want to think of giving them Editor status.

Notice there are other permissions. You may want to inquire with your company what others are suitable.

Google Properties make it really easy to add you to accounts. Although not needed, it’s even easier if you have your own Google Account which includes a custom gmail address determined by you.

GMB StatusGoogle My Business (GMB) is your local search hub. You most likely have a profile whether you created one or not and you can find out by simply Googling your name. If you haven’t claimed your profile, you can start right here. Once the profile is completed you can add your hours of operation, write Google Posts, add photos and even an up-to-30 second video, and many of these 8 things you may not have known you can do.

Once your GMB is set up, your web or local search company should eventually have Manager status. You’re the owner and should have Owner status. Manager status still lets your local search company perform functions and reports you need.

Google Analytics AccessIn Google Analytics, it’s important that your local search company produces anywhere from overview to highly-detailed reports for you including recommendations. It’s also important for you to have access to at least the Read & Analyze level so you can access almost any data set you choose. Talk to your company to help determine which access you should have and this is all under User Management category in the Property settings. When you’re done working with the company for whatever reason, any reputable company will switch your access to administrative so you own complete control of it.

There are many other sites that local search professionals use, although these 3 are flagship-type portals that you need to know your status, and the status of your web company. Let us know in the comments of sites or tools you use or local search company uses which gives you full control.


LocalMN Interactive is a full, local web company including local search, responsive web design, UX, search marketing and Google Certified Street View Photography. Contact us with any questions about our customized services.