As a digital agency and a Google Partner, we requested Google beacon for some of our clients while Google was piloting the project.
Now that many of our clients have started receiving the beacon, we have been asked so many questions about how to use it and how it actually helps their businesses.
This post is an attempt to answer some of the frequently asked questions about the Google beacon.
It’s important that you understand how Google beacon can help your business before using the product. Collecting data or spending time without figuring out how it integrates with your digital strategy can be of very little to no value at all.
What is Google Beacon?
Google beacon or the Beacon project from Google is a pilot program from Google that is testing Bluetooth low energy (BLE) Beacons for several location-based features.
Beacons help businesses with a physical presence to become more visible for mobile customers. The project is focused on building solutions that can improve the proximity-based user experiences of your customers.
Beacons are small devices that transmit one-way signals, mainly the location information to the customer’s phones. The information then can be used for several services on the phone.
The project has been on pilot for past few years and Google is now allowing more businesses to participate by sending free Google beacons and make it easier to set up. Expect for more integration with Google business tools in the future.
How do Google Beacons help businesses?
Google beacons primarily help businesses with a wide range of location features such as the popular times feature on Google SERPs and with getting more visitor reviews.
However, the program is still in pilot and there will be several features integrated with Google products and services (especially the Google My Business and Google Maps) in the future.
How to get Google Beacon for your business?
If you think Beacons are cool and your digital agency hasn’t ordered them for you yet, you can directly request it from Google. Fill out the form on this page to request Google beacons for free for your business.
The project is only open for businesses in the US and UK and you can register your interest in receiving a Google beacon using this form.
Based on our experience, businesses that have a Google My Business listing (local presence) and use Google Ads to promote their location are likely to be accepted for the program.
How to activate Google Beacon?
If you have received your Google beacon in the mail already, you might be wondering how to activate it.
Your Google beacon comes with a handy guide and an activation number that you will need to use to activate the device.
The Bluetooth device is switched on automatically once it is out of the box and all you have to do is activate it using the code.
Step 1: Go to this Google Form activation page.
Select “Yes” if you’ve received the activation code and click Next.
Step 2: Enter the activation code on the top of your box.
“The activation code for your Beacon is printed on the front of the box, near your business address. It’s six digits long.”
And with that, your Google beacon should be activated and automatically linked with your business listed on the Google My Business platform.
All you have to do now is place the Google beacon in an appropriate place within your business premises. Let’s look into a few recommendations for best practice of using Google Beacons.
Where should I place Google Beacon?
Google recommends placing the Google beacon somewhere high such as on a ceiling or near the top of a pillar. If you are a physical store, you can also place the beacon somewhere near your point of sale.
Generally, it is recommended to place it around the middle of your business location so that it has the best coverage for your customers in the location.
The beacon device has an adhesive strip on the side which can stick on most surfaces with a bit of a pressure.
Using Google Beacon for your Business?
Now that you understand few technical details of using Google beacon, it’s time for you to look for use cases specific to your business and how it can be integrated with your overall digital strategy.
Are you using Google beacon for your business? How does it help your business? Let us know in the comments below.