A package arrived today from Google, imagine our excitement. Opening the box, we were presented with something that resembled a paperweight – why have we been sent this?
Confused we dug out the rest of the contents of the box and quickly discovered that we were sent one of Google’s latest beacons.
Beacons are small transmitters that connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices like smartphones. They’re commonly used in marketing to send messages to an app based on proximity to the beacon, but they’re also used in asset tracking, indoor navigation, and other use cases (Kontakt.io)
Google is piloting a program where they are sending selected businesses with physical locations their beacons (Google).
The beacon provides a one-way code that is unique to your venue. If a visitor’s smartphone has location services turned on their phone can use the beacon’s signal to understand that they are visiting your dental practice.
Now this only may not sound exciting, and in all honesty it does sound pretty boring, but it’s the additional features that this device provides which we are excited about.
The beacon itself does not collect or store any information, it acts to identify that a user is at your location.
Once a user has been identified as a visitor of your practice, the beacon can help you gather photos, reviews and other user-generated content for your Google My Business listing – pretty cool huh.
Also, when enough visitors’ phones have detected visits to your store, Google can turn on additional features such as popular times for your business (Google).
We are still trialling the features ourselves to get a better understanding of how it all works.
Project Beacon is currently free. However, only stores with active location extensions are eligible to receive a beacon. In other words, if you currently have a Google Ad campaign live, and you are using location extensions, you should be able to apply for a beacon.
Project Beacon Application – click here.
One of the claimed benefits of the beacon is that it helps your business gain Google reviews, which we know is incredibly tough to do. However, if this device helps to increase the amount of user-generated content, especially reviews for your business listing, it would have indirectly helped to improve your SEO, which is even more reason to join the project.
If you are looking for help with your online marketing, please feel free to contact one of the team at Dental Design and we will gladly help.