97% of buyers search for the local business and nearby me than anything else—the reason why most businesses are focusing on Local SEO. Today, Local SEO is one of the factors that can provide sustainable growth to a business.
Those who have already Google My Business account and have listed their business ultimately win the race, but, today I have good news.
Yes! You heard it right; there is good news; now they can optimize their business profile more effectively to engage more customers. But what the news, what Google My Business has now? You must be excited to know, right?
Don’t worry; I will not let your excitement fail; I will take you through some new updated features and attributes of Google My Business. Let’s dive into the new features and see how they can enhance local search presence.
Google Introduces New Features In Google My Business: How It Can Affect Local SEO?
After the outbreak of COVID-19, Google has introduced several new features in GMB(Google My Business) to provide more benefits to the local businesses. So, if you are running a local business, you should look at it to broaden your customer base. These upgrades in features have various benefits in nurturing success in the business. Let’s see what those one-by-one are:
1. Health & Safety Attributes
On 11 September 2020, Google launched a new health and safety attribute that will allow the customer to know what safety measures businesses are taking in their place.
Whether you own a retail, food, or any other service-based business, you can add this attribute to convey a message to your customer that you are taking safety measures to provide a healthy environment.
Safety measure attributes hold:
- Wearing a mask is a must for customers or staff
- Checking body temperature for both customers or staff is a must.
- Appointments required.
This way, whoever is visiting your site can know what safety standard you are maintaining in this critical COVID-19 situation.
2. Attributes for Local Restaurants
In response to the pandemic, Google was continuously taking the step to deal with the situation. For the restaurant, they have added new attributes in the GMB that includes:
- No-contact delivery
- Curbside pickup
The step was taken in between May month, especially after the forced lockdown. This attribute was helpful for the customer to know which restaurants are re-opening their services to what extent.
Whether their favorite restaurant is open or close, whether they provide self-pickup or not, the customer’s guessing is finished.
3. Attributes for Online Services
The outbreak has changed the way of living; folks are opting for online shopping, virtual meetings, work-from-home than ever before. We more frequently use app like Google Meet, Zoom, Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket.
To provide better services to the online crowd, Google introduces some new features in GMB. Adding these attributes was to let the customer know that businesses are available to serve their customer virtually.
The attributes were: Online Classes, Appointment, Care, and Estimates.
As we know, social distancing is a key to keep yourself safe from this deadly virus Covid-19, so using such attributes can be a winning key to have a successful business. With this practice, you are just broadening your business landscape rather than representing it as invisible. Take a while, think about which of these attributes is appropriate for your business and implement it as early as possible to gain maximum benefits.
4. Call Logging
For now, call logging is in test mode, which is available for a selective business group in the US only. But what is it and how it can help you in the future is the primary concern. So keep your eyes on to grab full information.
The new feature, i.e., Call Logging in GMB, will show the calling details like:
- Who are recent callers?
- Have they arrived via search?
This is one of the most influential customers engaging features in GMB accounts. Here you will have a proper call history of the potential customers in your hand.
- It will be easy to keep track of customers who called you and reached you via Google Search or Google Map.
- All the calls will be in one place, whether you have responded or missed it.
- Google will alert you with a short message, ‘’Call from Google’’ whenever you get a GMB Profile call.
How does it work?
Key point: You can check call history only on your Google My Business app. Here you will get the Call tab; click on it to have the complete call history.
Whenever a customer clicks the ‘’Call’’ button on your Business Profile, the result is automatically reflected in the app’s Calls tab. Using this tab, you can check recent calls and missed calls.
Further, when call history is on, rather than connecting through the number provided on the profile, the customer will reach you through the forwarding number. However, you will get the message before starting such a conversation.
5. Additional GMB Insights Data
Another important feature of GMB is enhanced reporting; it will let you know who has reached you after visiting your Business Profile page. Besides this, it will also provide you with other data about the searches.
You will have the report of how many times your profile comes up in the search result. Not only that, but you will also have a complete report of the Google Map searches for your business.
Key Point: You can acquire such a data insight report for only up to 6 months.
Earlier, we were using the messaging feature on the mobile app, but now it is available for the desktop. Yes, you heard it right; you can engage customers through desktop messaging UI. But to use this feature, you need to opt-in.
How can I message using the GBM account on the desktop?
- Log in to your Google My Business account using credentials.
- Go to the left-hand sidebar, here you can see the Messages button.
- Hit the Messages button,
- The message interface will get open.
- Go to setting>>turn on messaging.
After this, you will get a warning message that says you need to respond to the message within 24 hrs. If you don’t do so, your messaging right might get revoked by Google. However, it is not permanent, you can acquire that access again, but you need to follow the entire opting messaging feature on the desktop.
Further, you will get the same vibe that you get with other chatbots, and some additional benefit of using such a feature is that you can mark an abusive message as spam.
7. Black-Owned Business
The Google search for “Black-owned businesses” has raised 600% more in the past 12 months. At the same time, 41% of Black-owned businesses have gone off-site due to COVID-19. Google partnered with Opportunity Finance Network to seek over 30 million $ loans to support these businesses.
Google has revamped shopping search results for the people who are searching for Black-owned businesses.
Presently, Black-owned attributes are accessible to the U.S.-based Google Merchant Center retailers. However, this attribute will take time to get launched for the other countries. The purpose of launching this GMB attribute was to fulfill user interest and make it easy for better search results.
US-based businesses can effortlessly add this attribute within their GMB listing to let people know their business is Black-owned. Firstly, it came into view on June 29, 2020, within the GMB API.
Look what Google has to say about this attribute:
8. Max Video Upload Size
Another update is that you can upload up to 75MB video instead of 100MB video. Though the size is reduced, that doe not mean you cannot provide more prominent information to your crowd. If you have a long video to exceed the limit, just break it into chunks.
In the coming time, Google My Business will rule over the website. It will become more important to list your business on GBM for better traffic, lead, and sales. You need to focus more on the local business promotion. If you haven’t created your GBM profile, I suggest you make it as early as possible.
These days implementing Local SEO is a must for all businesses. It not only helps in building a strong online presence but also helps in having better customer engagement. Besides the benefits you are getting from Local SEO, you need to keep yourself upgraded with the latest technology; otherwise, all your effort will go in vain.
That’s all about the new updates for Google My Business; I hope you find this helpful. Yet, if I have missed some point, I will appreciate and urge you to comment it down.
Q1: How to use Google My Business more effectively?
A1: You can implement some of the things to use Google My Business more effectively:
- Claim your Business Profile.
- Complete every section of your Google My Business account.
- Be meticulous with contact information.
- Select primary and secondary categories.
- Mark off applicable attributes.
- Write a complete “from the business” description.
- Publish Google posts weekly
- Upload new photos weekly
- Answer questions
- Collect and respond to reviews
- Add your products or services.
- Set up messaging
- Maintain your Business Profile
Q2: Is Google my business good for SEO?
A2: Yes, it does! There are some other benefits too such as:
- Google My Business is Cost-Effective.
- Visibility on Google Search & Maps.
- Claiming and Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile.
- Messaging Through Google My Business.
- Post-Video About The Business.
- Menus now available for Restaurants
- GMB Heat Map Insights
Q3: How do I register my business with Google?
A3: Follow these simple steps to claim Your Business on Google My Business:
- Go to Google My Business. Click “Get on Google”
- Enter Your Business Name and Address in the Search Box.
- Select or Add Your Business.
- Click on your business listing if it appears among the suggested matches.
- Verify Your Business.
- Confirm your Business