Business owners, and especially businesses that have a brick and mortar presence where customers can visit and purchase your products and services, should take note: Google has revamped its business recommendation tool and repackaged it as Google HotPot.
So what is Google HotPot? It’s an extension of Google Places, a Google Product where you can promote your business and business location. We’ve talked about it at length in the past, and you can read up on it here.
Now, you may be saying, “Not another tool we need to spend a ton of time on!” If you are, don’t worry. Google HotPot could be very instrumental in directing traffic to your business, but if you have been keeping up with recent online trends this shouldn’t add much more, if any, work to your plate.
An extension of Google Places? Well what does that mean? Google HotPot is the revamp section of Places where local business ratings and recommendations are entered and displayed. Google has rebranded it and updated it in the hopes that by making it easier to access more and more Internet users will come to HotPot to not only write reviews, but to also go to find reviews and recommendations to make a purchasing decision.
From a customer perspective, HotPot is truly easy to use. If you have a Google account you can update and access HotPot through a number of entryways:
- Google Maps for Android
- On Google Places Listings
- Google HotPot itself
And when you access HotPot, you can search for what you are looking for (like where to each lunch, buy a gift or stay for the night). For each business listing you get an aggregate rating and a list of all the reviews. And if a user has used a business, they can rate and review the business as well. After using HotPot for a bit, it will offer up recommendations based on your friends and your own reviews and ratings.
So…why do businesses need to know about this? If even more people will be using Places and HotPot to find a business, you need to make sure that you have claimed your Places listing, and filled it out as best you can. As you see with the below search results page, not having an image will really dull down results in HotPot, while having the image can make it stand out.
Also, you definitely want to ask customers to head to HotPot to rate their experience and write a review. Every once in a while peek in on the ratings and recommendations for your business to make sure they are true, or need responding to.
And right now Google is offering Portland, Oregon businesses a free promotional kit to help get clients to review your business on HotPot. If they expand this offer you can be sure we will let you know.
See, HotSpot isn’t causing you too much more work, but you do see how it could have a big roll in bringing in new business, right? Have you used HotSpot or have had a customer say they found you there? Let us know.