15 December 2009
We're a Google Favorite Place
The buzz about Google sending out Favorite Places packets with window decals to 100,000 of the “most sought out and researched businesses on Google and Google Maps” began last Monday with an announcement on the Official Google Blog.
Actually, I first read about the Google Favorite Places campaign on Mike Blumenthal’s blog, which covers the ins, outs, ups and downs of Local Search. (If you are a small business owner who cares about what’s happening on the topic – and you should - add him to your feed reader today.)
I kept crossing my fingers, hoping we’d get one. I mean… how cool to be called out as a Google Favorite Place among the millions of small businesses in the US.
At Avante Gardens Florist, we’ve worked hard to distinguish our Orange County CA company from the myriad ‘online florists’ (out-of-state call centers) and franchise type flower shops who have a look of sameness. We focus on Local, since that’s where we can best control the quality, uniqueness and service our customers expect… so being found by people searching for a local florist in Anaheim and the surrounding areas is extremely important. We want to actually provide the flowers, not just shuffle orders off to someone else after we take a big commission and fees cut.
Christmas 2008 was especially tough because this time last year, we weren’t even showing in the Google Local business listings. Our flower shop’s identity, a listing claimed a couple years earlier, had been mistakenly merged with the listing of my husband’s school of floral design, which is located next door to our shop. (They teach, we don’t. We deliver, they don’t.) It took months for us to get the two companies separated and for our shop’s LBC listing to reappear.
Fast forward to Monday… a stack of mail looking like advertisements… and there it was, “Congratulations! You’re a Favorite Place on Google” right on the front of the envelope. (Yes, I did stroll through the shop singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”)
Miriam of the SEO Igloo blog thoughtfully queried the potential reasons why a visitor might scan one of the Google’s Favorite Places posters (which was placed on our front door about 5 minutes after the envelope was opened) and all I can say is an echo of Blumenthal's comment to her post:
“They are giving a nice recognition to those folks that have been both active in the LBC and have benefited from…ie their supporters. They are more likely to sing its praises than most.”
So I’m singing. (BTW, also add Miriam’s blog to your feed reader. She’s a fabulous writer covering Local Search.)
Gotta say though, I was hoping for a bigger poster,
but we’re tickled with the one we got.
I know of one other florist in Orange County receiving the designation, Everyday Flowers in Tustin, whose owners Eric & Linh Shaw also hold the same philosophy we do: focus on being a uniquely Local florist.
Via FlowerChat, an online community for professional florists, the following local flower shops have also been name Favorite Places:
Central Square Florist, Cambridge MA
Powdersville Wren Florist, Piedmont SC
Maine Bride, Portland ME
Bloom'in Bee, Aurora CO
Coleman Florist, De Witt and Syracuse NY
Chez Bloom, St. Louis Park MN
Affairs to Remember, Melrose MA
Avenue Gardens Florist, Wilson NC
Flowers From The Rainflorist, Sunrise FL
Bloomers Floral Design, Wilmington NC
Harkins the Florist, New Orleans LA
Smith's Flowers, Midland MI
Ferrari Florist and Gifts, Santa Cruz CA
Design Perfected, Denver CO
Flowers By Karen, Monroe WA
Herndon Florist, Herndon VA
Debbie's Bloomers, El Paso, TX
Millinocket Floral Shop, Millinocket ME
Sprout Flowers, Worcester MA
Mioux Florist & Greenhouse, Carlysle IL
Blooms on the Squaer and C's Florist, Carrollton TX
The Garden Gate Flower & Gift Shoppe, Cedar Rapids IA
Sherry's Flower Shoppe, Orland Park, IL
Chappell's Florist, Burlington VT
Thornapple Floral, Middlevale MI
To read more about how local businesses might make the Favorite Places list
, be sure to check out Matt McGee’s Small Business SEM blog
add his blog to your feed reader, too.)
I haven’t been able to scan the window decals bar code yet and am offering a free dozen long stem roses arrangement to the first visitor who can read it with an Android or iPhone, so come on down! We’re also offer a free gift to anyone who scans the decal between now and January 31.
And a big thanks! to Google and the users who put us on the Favorite Places list.
(florist list updated 1/13)
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