Getting your business to show up on Google can do wonders for your visibility and traffic. Today, 46 percent of all Google searches have a local intent, which tells us that consumers are increasingly using the search engine to discover and learn more about businesses in their neighborhoods. That’s why it’s essential to secure your online listing and put your business on the map — Google’s map, that is. And this is where Reserve with Google comes in.
You see, getting your business on Google is just the first step. This is particularly true if you’re a service-based business that relies on appointment bookings. Establishing your listing is great, but wouldn’t it be even better if you can secure bookings right from Google?
Enter Google’s booking tool. The feature, which is called “Reserve with Google” not only streamlines the appointment process for your customers, it can also put your business in front of a wider audience.
Read on to learn more about enabling Google booking in your business, and discover how you can use it to grow your in-store traffic and sales.
What is Reserve with Google?
Reserve with Google is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a service that lets consumers book appointments directly from Google.
The program was first piloted in 2016 in LA, New York, and San Francisco. Back then, Google limited the service to fitness classes. But the program has since been expanded nationwide and new verticals were added.
Today, consumers can use Google’s booking capabilities to discover and set appointments with salons, spas, barbers, gyms, yoga studios, and more.
How does Google’s booking tool work?
From the consumer side, booking appointments through Search and Maps is pretty straightforward. When someone searches for a service in their area — e.g., “Massage San Francisco,” the search giant will serve up the local search results, and Google’s booking partners (i.e., businesses that are participating in the program) will have a SCHEDULE link on their listing.
From there, customers can select a service category, time slot, and staff member directly from the page, making the booking process much more seamless.
And if you’re using the Google booking system, customers can schedule an appointment if they specifically search for your business name. For instance, entering “Arthur Sebastian Hair Salon” will bring up its listing and a button that lets users check available time slots.
Another way that people can find you is through the Reserve with Google website. Here, Google lists its booking partners in the user’s neighborhood so they can discover and set up appointments with businesses in the area.
How to set up Reserve with Google for your business
To get your business on the Reserve with Google platform, you need to register with one of Google’s scheduling partners. Genbook is a proud Google booking partner, so if you’re looking to take advantage of the service, the first step is to create an account.
Once you’ve set up your Genbook account, you can add your business to the platform by following this process:
1. Claim your listing & update your business info on “Google My Business”. This will validate your business listings in Google Search and in Google Maps, and help match them to Genbook.
(Note: If you haven’t claimed your business yet, part of the process may include verifying your location via a postcard that Google will send you, or another method they choose to use and make you aware of for validation purposes).
2. Make sure your business info (business name, address, phone number) is an EXACT MATCH between Genbook and Google. To edit your business info in Genbook, go to Settings and click “Contact Details” under “Business Profile”. (We strongly recommend you begin typing your address, then choose from the list of suggested options, which are pre-matched to Google listings.)
3. Remove any non-bookable information from your Genbook Service Categories and Service Names (under Settings > Services). Examples of non-bookable information include business and cancellation policies, notes and messages to customers, phone numbers and any other information that isn’t strictly a bookable service or service category. (Note: Including non-bookable information will prevent your business from being integrated with the service.)
Why you should consider participating in Reserve with Google
If you’ve made it this far and are still having doubts about Reserve with Google, allow us to put your mind at ease. Here are the top reasons to look into Google’s booking platform:
More traffic and appointments – Getting your business on the Reserve with Google platform puts you in front of potential customers. Since Google includes participating businesses on the Reserve with Google website, you’re given the opportunity to get discovered by local consumers looking for your services.
What’s more, having a “Schedule” button on your listing when someone conducts a local search increases the likelihood of that customer booking a service.
And that brings us to our next point…
A better booking experience – Google offers an easier booking experience for your customers. When someone lands on your listing, they no longer have to leave the site to schedule an appointment. Everything can be done from one page, so the process can be completed faster.
This frictionless experience increases your booking rate because consumers don’t have to jump through too many hoops to schedule a service.
The post-booking experience is also more streamlined. As Google notes on its website, customers who schedule through the service “benefit from built-in integration with widely used Google products, like Calendar, and automatic reminders so they don’t miss their booking.”
You can measure your results – Google provides insights into bookings scheduled through Reserve with Google, so you can easily see how your listing is performing compared with your other booking channels.
Reserve with Google tips to help your business shine
Already sold on Reserve with Google? Great! Here are some additional tips
Start with the right appointment system – Not all appointment scheduling software are created equal. As mentioned earlier, Google bookings only work with a select group of solution providers.
If you’re thinking of signing up, check with with your software provider first to verify that they’re a Google partner. Otherwise, you won’t be able to take advantage of the service.
Keep your Google listing in top shape – While having a “Book” button on your Google listing gives you an advantage, it’s not the only factor that clients consider when choosing where to book.
You should make sure that your Google business profile looks as attractive and credible as possible to compel people to choose your business over others. Doing that starts with optimizing your Google My Business profile. Fill out your entire Google profile and share as many details as possible, so potential clients can get to know your business better.
And don’t forget to upload photos! Snap pictures of the outside of your shop as well as your interiors, to give people a better feel of your venue’s environment.
Encourage customers to submit Google reviews – Another way to beef up your Google listing? Collect lots of positive reviews. You can do this by encouraging satisfied clients to share their feedback online.
When potential clients see the raving reviews of your existing customers, they’ll be more likely to book.
If you implement Reserve with Google in tandem with these tips above, you’ll create a compelling Google profile that stands out and attracts more bookings.
Get started with Reserve with Google today
Ready to unlock more traffic and appointments? Getting up and running with the program is easy. Just sign up for a Genbook account and start exploring the platform!