Google has been talking a lot about local product kiosks recently, but why? What is it about them that interests them, and why should some of our clients consider them? Here are our SEO consultants Manchester guide to fill you in on all the relevant information:
What is a product kiosk?
Kiosks, also known as automats, were invented in Germany in the late 19th century, but have really grown in popularity in the United States since then. However, the last automat in America, belonging to Horn & Hardart closed in 1991. Horn & Hardart really captured the American market as they offered customers a variety of fast food at their convenience, including coffee and macaroni! However, it is the fast-food that is blamed for the decline in popularity of the automat with some fast food stores even opening on sites that used to home automats.
Why are they becoming popular again?
The Applestone Meat Company decided to try using a kiosk as a way of distinguishing themselves from their competition. They have a drive-up service window which is open from 11 am to 6 pm, but if customers can’t get there during those hours, they can visit one of their two vending machines in New York.
This approach has not only gone down really well with their customers, but they have also been lauded in the press as well. In fact, it has been such a success for them that they are planning on installing another ten vending machines.
They aren’t the only company wise to the benefit of using a vending machine though. Farmer’s Fridge has installed over 200 units in the Mid-West offering customers a choice of items including beverages, granola, wraps and so on. They also donate any leftovers to local food pantries at the end of the day.
Although Americans are obviously partial to a vending machine meal, they have nothing on the Japanese who have one vending machine per 23 citizens, with the industry raking in around 60 billion dollars a year.
What might the future hold for product kiosks?
At the moment, product kiosks are focused on food items but this may not be the case in the future, they could be used for any item that a person may want when the stores are closed, such as:
Baby care supplies
First Aid supplies
OK, so what do product kiosks have to do with SEO?
Ok, so Manchester SEO has proved that product kiosks can be a great idea and they can generate great ROI for businesses but what do they have to do with SEO?
Well, if you look at Google My Business guidelines for eligible businesses they state: “ATMs, video rental kiosks, and express mailboxes are permitted. If you add these locations, you must include contact information for customers to get help.”
Google is, in fact, already showing the Farmer’s Fridge kiosks in Google Maps – which offers that company a great opportunity to hyperlocalise their business location to fit Google’s focus on the nearest location to the customers search.
So, how do you maximise the benefits of your product kiosk?
#1 Make sure you include a contact number
As we stated above, Google’s guidelines themselves state that a kiosk must have a phone number attached to its listing. Make sure you have this number clearly stated on the kiosk itself and also written as part of the listing.
#2 Create a local landing page for each of your kiosks
You can also improve the chances of your listings ranking if you create a really helpful landing page for each of your kiosks, including information such as how to use the machine, how to get to the machine, and maybe even highlight new products that you have added.
#3 Shout about your kiosks on social media
Social media is a great way to let customers who are local to your kiosks know about them – and also interacting with your audience to see how they are interacting with the kiosk. You may think the idea of a product kiosk is one step too far for your business at the moment, but we have plenty more ideas on how to improve your rankings. So, if you are looking for SEO agencies Manchester, get in touch with us today.