Aug 11 2020

How does Participating in Google's "See What's In-Store" Program Affect Your Store's Online Visibility?

We look at multiple case studies to find out.

By Our Partners at DBAPlatform

❝Google’s new See-What’s-In-Store (SWIS) program turns live inventory into keywords for local search. It uses a popular shopping keywords to boost a store's position on high-traffic Google destinations. We explore how this can affect a store's appearance and rankings.❞

What Is Google SWIS?

Google SWIS (aka: See What’s In-Store) is a new program that allows businesses to upload inventory from their brick-and-mortar locations directly to their Google My Business (GMB) profile. Google takes this product feed and disperses it across all of its platforms: Search, Maps, Shopping, Images, and more, granting primo exposure to the millions of consumers on Google AND turning each product SKU into a keyword for local search. With Google SWIS, even obscure inventory can get a business to show up in results, increasing a store's visibility exponentially.

Add your inventory to Google with Locally today. Head here for more information and to get started

Google SWIS and Maps Ranking

If loading all your inventory into your GMB profile is local SEO power, your next question should be: “Will that affect my locations’ Maps ranking?”

Here is a search for “Yeti Salisbury” which emulates a shopper looking for Yeti coolers in Salisbury, NC. If you are an outdoor gear store, your goal is to appear in the top three map ranking results.

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We had a hunch that SWIS inventory upload might dramatically affect the 3-pack ranking, so we experimented to find out how fast and how well SWIS could catapult visibility. A simple “before and after” SWIS study illustrates some astounding early results. Using Local Falcon rank tracker, we reviewed locations in the outdoor gear industry, capturing the pre- and post-activation SWIS statistics. These are the first results, but they are so promising that we couldn’t believe our eyes.

Methodology:

  • Gather keywords for the top products suggested by the client
  • Use keyword rank scans (Local Falcon) to determine a location’s Google Maps ranking before SWIS
  • After SWIS is activated, perform another set of rank scan on the same keywords
  • Compare any movement in ranking

The Local Falcon rank tool illustrates a location’s Google Map rank at various points inside a location’s rankable geography. It emulates people doing mobile searches with keyword phrases at intervals throughout the location’s service area.

CASE 1: Backcountry & Beyond

Backcountry & Beyond is an outdoor gear and apparel store located in Salisbury, North Carolina. They sell high-quality outdoor products for camping, hunting, biking, and more. For this location, a keyword rank scan was performed for the brand “Yeti.”

7/30/2020 Before SWIS: Keyword: Yeti
Grid Size: 7x7
Scan Radius: 2 miles from center
Coverage: 16 miles squared
Average Rank Position:14.8

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Pre-SWIS, this location did not rank in the 3-pack even at the map center (their address) and appeared well outside the top 10 across the field (save for a few scan points).

8/3/2020 After SWIS: Keyword: Yeti
Grid Size: 7x7
Scan Radius: 2 miles from center
Coverage: 16 miles squared
Average Rank Position: 1
Rank Increase: +13.8

image

Within 24 hours of loading their entire inventory online, Backcountry & Beyond ranked 1st at every scan point in a 2-mile radius from their business. That is an astonishing +13 increase in average rank position across their service area, and it happened in less than a day.

CASE 2: Gear for Adventure

Gear for Adventure located in Hamburg, New York focuses on providing affordable and reliable camping, hiking, backpacking, and canoeing equipment. This search uses a more targeted keyword “Quest Prime GTX,” which is specific to the product.

7/31/2020 Before SWIS:
Keyword: Quest Prime GTX
Grid Size: 7x7
Scan Radius: 2 miles from center
Coverage: 16 miles squared

image

Ranking outside the top 20 results on Google Maps is akin to not being ranked at all, so it's no surprise that they have an Average Rank Position of zero.

8/4/2020 After SWIS:
Keyword: Quest Prime GTX
Grid Size: 7x7
Scan Radius: 2 miles from center
Coverage: 16 miles squared
Average Rank Position: 1.93
Rank Increase: +18 or more

image

Within 24 hours of activating SWIS Gear for Adventure went from unknown to dominating the 3-pack. There’s still room for improvement in a few areas, but this is a remarkable jump in rank in such a short amount of time.

CASE 3: Pine Needle Mountaineering

Pine Needle Mountaineering has served the community of Durango, Colorado since 1976. They specialize in skiing, hiking, mountaineering, backpacking, and more. We got even more specific for this location and used the keyword “Men’s Nano Puff Vest,” which is a specific product name, plus the gender descriptor.

7/31/2020 Before SWIS:
Keyword: Men’s Nano Puff Vest
Grid Size: 7x7
Scan Radius: 2 miles from center
Coverage: 16 miles squared

Average Rank Position: 20+

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Similar to the last test, this location did not rank at all for the keyword before activating SWIS.

8/4/2020 After SWIS:
Keyword: Men’s Nano Puff Vest
Grid Size: 7x7
Scan Radius: 2 miles from center
Coverage: 16 miles squared
Average Rank Position: 1.98
Rank Increase: +20 or more

image

This location soared from the bottom of the rankings all the way to the top. Anyone performing a search for “Men’s Nano Puff Vest” in this small ski town in Colorado is sure to see Pine Needle Mountaineering in the rankings.

Summary

The Google SWIS program is new, and the algorithm is always changing; however, these early results clearly reveal the benefit of using Google SWIS. The correlation between SWIS inventory and map ranking is obvious. Every single product SKU in the massive inventory upload creates a dramatic keyword boost. Combined with the free exposure Google offers to SWIS participants, retailers should consider this their highest priority for marketing.

Want to Know More About SWIS?

Any retailer on Locally can add their inventory to Google with Locally and dba's integration. Head here for more information and to get started

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