Our Google Business Profile is the first thing that people see, so having those reviews is really handy.
Hartford Prints! has gone through a few iterations in its 14 years of life: What began as an educational space to teach high school students letterpress printing morphed into a custom stationery business and, finally, a gift shop. Run by Rory Gale, the shop still offers stationery, but they’ve added home goods, accessories, and apparel, much of it Hartford-themed. “It’s about giving people from Connecticut a way to show pride for their state,” Rory says. “So much of what we do is about showing love for this place that raised us.” Local customers returned that love by helping Hartford Prints! emerge from the uncertainty of the 2020 economy stronger than ever. They’ve seen 30 percent month-over-month growth since reopening, which allowed them to launch a second location in 2022 at Bradley International Airport.
Digital tools have played a part since day one, particularly Google Business Profile, which has directed over 2,500 people to the Hartford Prints! website in the last six months. Google Ads helps Rory reach the right audience, and Google Analytics helps her understand her customer base to tweak marketing and increase conversions. “We were having a little bit of brand confusion as a gift store from people calling about printing services,” she explains. “I put new keywords in my Google Ads, and it’s really helped us find our customers. Now that I have all those keywords in place, we're coming up in Google Search.” Rory now looks forward to sharing her success with new neighboring businesses in what was once a struggling downtown. “We've been an island all by ourselves, and now all these other artists and small businesses are going to be able to open,” she says. “It takes small businesses and the community to support them to bring a downtown back to life, and that's what we're seeing here in Hartford. It's magical to be on the other side of it.”