Google My Business: New Features For Local Businesses
Your Google My Business (GMB) page is one of the most important things for your local SEO. it lets your customers know the basic information about your business like its address, phone number, operating hours as well as special offers. For businesses that cater to a local customer base, it goes a long way in establishing your business’ identity. Any SEO agency will suggest creating a GMB page as the first step in local SEO. For years businesses have been reaping the benefits of GMB profile. Recently, Google has announced some new features in the GMB profile. In this article, we will discuss what these features are and how they can be helpful.
New Google My Business Features
Booking New Appointments
GMB now allows your customers to book an appointment with your business directly from your GMB profile. Google now allows you to add an appointment URL to your profile. This URL can be of any webpage through which your customers can fill out a form to book an appointment. Most businesses are using their contact page URL here, however, you can also use your homepage here as well.
This feature will be the most useful for restaurants and doctors clinics as well as any other business that works around appointments or scheduled bookings. This feature gives the customers the power to schedule appointments as per their convenience while helping businesses keep better track of their bookings.
GMB profiles now give the option for your customers to directly ask you questions about your products or services on the GMB page itself. This is a great way for your customers to connect with your brand and get answers to some common questions that other customers could also have. You can answer these questions asked by the customers and both the questions and answers will be visible to everyone who visits your GMB profile.
You and your customers can give thumbs up or down to questions and answers to ensure the quality of your answers. This feature saves a lot of time for you if you are getting a lot of the same questions again and again. New visitors will be able to get these answers from the previous answers itself.
GMB profile now gives customers the power to directly message businesses through their profile. This creates a clear line of communication between you and your customers. You can set up alerts when you get new messages and give a prompt reply. This also helps your ranking in search as Google always gives preference to more responsive businesses.
You can link a mobile number with your GMB profile and receive customers’ messages on that and reply to them through the phone as well. These days, customers do not live staying on long customer service calls so giving a direct messaging option to your customers will improve customer experience and conversions.
Expanded Product/Service/Menu Editor
When the menu editor was originally launched by Google, it was only for the restaurant business. Google now has expanded this editor to add products and services as well so that it can be used by a wide variety of local businesses to promote their business. This will help small-medium businesses reap the benefits of GMB profile more.
This feature was introduced to keeping local businesses in mind. Businesses can go into their GMB profile and add a catalog of their products and services. On the desktop, these products will be visible on your Google My Business page, and on mobile devices, they will be shown in the search results. Better product descriptions can also give your SEO performance a boost as well.
Google My Business page posts have been around for years. However, they have recently added a new feature that allows you to add multiple images to a single post. This is great for businesses that want to showcase more images of their products for customers to choose from. This will make your posts more attractive to customers and get more eyeballs on them on your GMB profile.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, the GMB posts have added an additional option for businesses to share Covid-19 updates with their customers to let them know how the business is coping and how it is pivoting its operations in these times.
The purpose of Google My Business profile is to give local businesses the opportunity to reach as many customers online as possible and build a reputation for themselves both online as well as in the community. Make sure you update your GMB profile using all the above features so that your customers can get the most relevant results and information about a business on Google.
If you have more questions about how to improve your local SEO or want to get a free consultation, contact us today.