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What are micro-moments and how do they generate traffic through Google My Business?

05/10/17 12:04

In digital marketing, micro-moments are defined by the likes of Google as short specific periods of time which consumers spend on their mobile phones or tablets during the day.

Basically, they are micro-conversions carried out by consumers on their purchasing path to the point of sale. The main micro-moments used in Google My Business are as follows:

  • Requesting directions.
  • Option of calling a point of sale.
  • Option of visiting the point of sale's website.

How are micro-moments useful?

Micro-moments should be understood as steps on the consumer’s purchasing path. For each micro-moment, there is a micro-conversion. This means that when a consumer makes a request for directions (micro-moment), they are inching closer to your point of sale (micro-conversion). From their point of view, this brings them closer to a purchasing location.

For a retailer, these micro-moments and micro-conversions are used to identify the relevance of web-to-store activation via Google My Business. In fact, they correspond to Web metrics, which retailers can track and analyse over time. By using the proper conversion algorithms, the monitoring of micro-conversions will help identify the traffic that Google My Business will help them attract in store.

Their place in the consumer journey

This is not something new, but nowadays we want everything and we want it now. Consumers make lightning decisions, whether out of impatience or due to being faced with an urgent situation; therefore, they expect to obtain satisfaction almost instantaneously.

But how can this behavioural evolution affect local digital marketing specialists?

In the last 2 years, the number of searches made on Google with the criterion “open now” has tripled.

Source: Google Trends Jan 2004 - June 2017. United States

When we analyse the "open now" request in more detail, two main explanations appear:

  • The Internet user/mobile user has some free time.
  • They are in an urgent situation.

At such moments, the priority for the consumer is to satisfy an immediate need. They are not looking to be loyal to a point of sale or retailer: instead, immediacy takes over. So what will they do next? They will head for a point of sale which:

  • Is near enough
  • Is open.
  • Has the best popularity rating (recommendation)
  • Makes life easier by offering different ways to interact:
    • Calling the point of sale.
    • Requesting directions.
    • Option of checking stock/reserving a product.

How to transpose these micro-conversions to your other Web-to-Store activities?

The principle of micro-moments and micro-conversions can easily be adopted on retailer and point of sale websites. In fact, their Store Locator and the point of sale pages linked to it should ideally offer the same type of approach as Google My Business, i.e.:

  • Making it easy to call the point of sale.
  • Simplifying the request for directions.
  • Giving information on business hours.

This will enable them to use the same Web metrics for micro-conversions as those offered by Google and amounts to the first step in building their Web-to-Store dashboard.