A study by 99Firms finds that 46% of all Google searches are local. Therefore, optimizing local search presence is a crucial element in today’s marketing strategies.
To further improve local SEO efforts, Google My Business has released various new features and updates. Many of these are closely connected to the pandemic. You can engage local SEO services to leverage these features for your business.
Today, let’s explore these one by one.
New Google My Business Features You can Use
1. Features for Restaurants
Google rolled out COVID related attributes for businesses operating in the food industry. Here are the attributes:
- No-contact delivery
- Curbside pickup
Depending on your restaurant’s opening schedule, you may use these.
2. Call Logging
Google allows you to track phone calls from customers on Google Search and Maps. You can also respond to the missed calls later. You can understand how many customers found your business through Google.
Here’s how it works: as soon as a user clicks the call button on the GMB profile, Google logs the all. It will log both the answered and missed call.
3. Health and Safety Related Features
Here are some new attributes to help the searchers get some added bits of information from businesses:
- Appointment required
- Staff wear masks
- Staff get temperature checks
- Mask required
- Temperature check required
Sharing such information will help you to get more attention from health-conscious people and keep you ahead of the competitors who have not yet adhered to these guidelines.
4. Features for Virtual Services
From teaching to healthcare – everything is widely accessed on the virtual realm these days. Here are some GMB features businesses can flaunt:
- Online classes
- Online appointment
- Online care
These attributes will help you to keep your service consistent and allow your audience to avail of your service from the comfort of their homes.
5. Black-Owned Business
Google My Business has made it easier for people to find out black-owned businesses. These are also known as African-American businesses. Throughout 2020, queries like black-owned restaurants, bookstores, beauty supplies etc. witnessed a high demand in the market.
“Historically, Black-owned businesses have served as gathering spots for Black communities throughout the country and provided a strong sense of ownership and belonging for those who were denied equal rights. And today, as more Black businesses come online, they’re creating new pathways for economic opportunity and generational wealth in the Black community.
As we kick off the first day of Black History Month, we want to shine a light on Black-owned businesses, big and small, and honour their resilience and ingenuity.”
The feature is now available to the US-based Google Merchant Centre retailers. Also, if you seek to set the Black-owned features, it may need some time to see the change in effect.
6. Video Size
Google My Business has imposed a bar on the maximum video upload size. Earlier, the limit was 100 MB. Now, it has been reduced to 75 MB.
Keep it in mind while uploading a video to your GMB profile and share only the essential information through the video.
Google has also launched GMB messaging on its desktop version. On logging into GMB, you may see a Message button on the left-hand sidebar. Once you click on it, you will lead to the Messages interface.
The feature exhibits a standard chat screen pattern. You can turn on the messaging option from settings.
Make sure to respond to a message within 24 hours. Otherwise, Google may revoke the messaging option. This is a deliberate attempt to ensure a top-notch user experience. You can always opt for the messaging service by turning it on again from settings.
Another thing, autoresponse messages don’t count as the real response within the 24-hour window. If you find the users’ messages to be spam, you can mark them as the same and Google will take adequate action. You can also block any abusive message.
8. GMB Performance Reports
Other than introducing new attributes, Google has also released an enhanced GMB insights data. For instance, GMB allows you to know how many people have reached out to your business after visiting the profile page. You can also get an insight into how many times your business profile has surfaced in the search results.
Additionally, you can find data on Google Maps searches. These insights are available for up to six months.
The experts of digital marketing services hold Google My Business in great esteem when it comes to optimizing your local search presence. With the above-mentioned features, you can add more to that effort.
Hope you found the article insightful. Implement these right away!