Google My Business (GMB) is a robust platform by Google that helps your business appear in local search results. It also manages what information should display on search results. Listing your business on GMB is an efficient way of keeping your local customers aware of your products and services. Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, there are many Google My Business features which highlight various business details for your customers.
If you are running a local business, it is vital to understand all the essential attributes and updates to get better results from the platform. In this blog, we will discuss some of the recent Google My Business changes that will help you take your business to the next level.
What are these Google My Business features?
Health and Safety Measures
One of the recent features introduced in 2020 was about the health and safety measures against the Coronavirus pandemic. The platform now allows businesses to make announcements about businesses for COVID specified scenarios. You can provide information about your working hours or if the company will be close temporarily.
The objective of the health and safety feature is for the people online who search for services nearby them. It is intended to help them learn about the health standards of businesses. The searchers are provided with information about the safety measures taken by various companies to decide whether they may visit their local business dealer and how safe it would be to do so.
Google My Business features for health and safety:
- Appointment requirement before visiting a local business/shop.
- Customers wear a mask before visiting.
- Staff requires to wear the mask.
- Regular temperature checks of the staff
- Temperature check of each customer
- Maintain social distancing at shops.
- Wearing PPE kit if necessary
If you are into the food or restaurant industry, let your customers know about:
- Whether dine-in is allowed or not
- Online delivery availability
- No contact delivery
- Pick up availability
Always remember to follow strict health and safety guidelines and take the pandemic seriously. Focus on advertising your sincerity towards the pandemic and show your customers how you provide a safer environment to them.
Service Details on Google My Business
With Google, now it is easy to inform customers about your products and services. The GMB listings allow your potential customers to inquire about your services. The new Google My Business services feature will enable you to add a category and highlight the benefits you will provide under that category.
This section allows you to describe your service details in a brief of up to 300 words. You can focus on your unique selling points and services in the description. You can also add relevant keywords about the services you provide to ensure your service page appears on the top of the local results. Use local search engine optimization and local SEO strategy for better results. Applying this feature will help deal with the local search ranking factors, allow potential customers to find your services, and help your business get new leads. This feature lets your existing customers know about your services and provides a brief to the new potential customers.
Online Services, Appointments, and Quotes
During the pandemic, many people decided to choose virtual options for many services. Earlier, people were not much concerned about buying the daily need products, but after the strike of COVID-19, they opted for virtual shopping for everyday need products. Google My Business provides an excellent opportunity to cater to online customers’ needs as it has added several other features.
Business can use the following attributes to inform the customers about their online services:
- People can seek appointments online.
- Online care; online doctor consultations are available for patients.
- To inform people about online class availability.
- People can seek online estimates/brochures for different services.
This feature allows you to add an appointment link for your business. This link will help your existing and new customers and redirect them to your website to book appointments. Instead of navigating to your website first, customers can directly land on the booking page and fix appointments.
Customers can also request a quote or brochure for the services your business provides.
This attribute also enables business owners to respond to their customers through messaging quickly. Businesses that do not have a dedicated contact form can use these features, allowing existing and new customers to contact your business.
Google My Business Data Insights
Data insight is necessary to track your business progress and to know about your potential customers. With Google My Business, you can identify who your customers are, as it provides reports based on location, age group, and gender-wise. However, Google has recently enhanced its performance reports for its platform.
Now, this platform will provide you with insights into your business reach. It will let you know how many people have reached to tour business and services after visiting your profile on google search results. The platform will also provide other critical additional details about search reports. Data on Google maps searches will also be visible for the business owners to get a proper insight into their business. Google makes the insights available on the platform for up to 6 months for better tracking.
Google is working to make the platform better and helping more local businesses. The Local SEO strategy of Google My Business has helped many companies in the past, and with more features lined up, the reach will be much higher.
Earlier, the Google My Business application was only available via mobile applications, but now the messaging feature is also available for desktop users. Google has enhanced its UI with a standard chat screen for messaging. However, it is compulsory to respond within 24-hours, or it will revoke your messaging rights. You also have the right to block abusive messages and mark any fraudulent messages as spam for google to take action.
The existing feature for video uploading has a new update as well. The maximum video upload size is recently reduced from 100MB to 75MB. Business owners might want to focus on creating small-sized interactive videos for advertising their business.
Call Logging Feature
This newest feature is in test mode currently, and if successful, it will allow you to see recent calls from customers arriving via search results on google. Whenever a customer clicks on the call button, google will note the log missed or answered calls, and it will mask your actual number. This is currently available on the Google My Business mobile application.
All these existing and new features are worth trying. If you plan to register your business with Google, then there is a higher chance of seeing some growth in reaching new leads and attracting more new customers to your business and services.
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I am a UI Developer & Digital Marketer, working towards personal and my own startup brand building. I love & have a great passion for teaching and coaching & hence ready to take up every task of knowledge spreading. Moreover, I am a foodie and a decent cook myself. Always experimenting with food items.