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Google releases new and updated Google My Business features for local SEO

By ZED²

Since the Initial impact of Covid-19 Google My Business (GMB) has adapted quickly to provide companies with vital updates allowing them to enhance communication with their customers and provide them with up to date accurate information regarding their business and the daily operations of them.

With so many local businesses feeling the pressure it is has never been more important to connect in the right ways with consumers and maintaining your Goole My Business platform is a great starting point. By regularly checking for any updates you can ensure that your business is communicating in the right way. It might just be the difference between customers choosing you over a competitor.

Continuous changes such as lockdowns, restrictions on trade and meeting the health and safety requirements of a nervous population mean communicating clearly and regularly with consumers has never been more important. Providing reassurance and guidance as to how you are running safely is a vital aspect of drawing in local customers during these unsettled times.

So what are the new updates from Google My Business?

Well, one of the main changes is a health and safety feature allowing you to clearly state if appointments are required, whether your staff are wearing masks and if your customers also require a face-covering during their visit. It also includes the options to add in information, such as whether regular temperature checks are being completed for staff and whether consumers will require one. Ensuring your business lists up to date health and safety information could make a big difference to a customer’s decision on whether to use your services.

Restaurant and food catering services have been hit hard by the pandemic and if your business is feeling the effects ensure to make use of the new features relevant for this specific industry area. Take away only services, curbside pickup, no contact deliveries, drive-through only or even restrictions on dine-in options when changes allow are all good points to communicate on your GMB page as they provide quick snippets of information for consumers that is easily accessible.

Whether you are a business that runs a high street store or a company that runs solely online, GMB has updated its support in all areas. Online only trade can benefit from updates, such as online appointment bookings, estimates and online classes. These links of communication are vital to anyone shielding or living a very careful life due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.

Never missing a customer call isn’t always easy but knowing when they have tried to make contact and following up missed calls is key to building relationships and meeting consumer needs. Google My Business is currently testing a feature that will allow you to see what calls arrived via search. Available via the App this is well worth keeping an eye on to ensure you stay connected in the right ways. All your call data in one place makes managing those vital callbacks much easier.

Communication is the key when it comes to building those valued relationships between consumer and brand so taking full advantage of the Messaging Service offered by Google is a good starting point. Opting in to this will enable you to communicate via a desktop as well as the App, but remember to reply to customers within the 24 hour period otherwise Google may eliminate your messaging rights. This is to maintain high customer experiences and if you do lose your right you can opt back into the service by following the initial start-up steps. Additional features, such as blocking abusive messages and reporting bogus communication, ensures services are run professionally.

Racial inequality highlighted throughout 2020 led to GMB featuring an updated version of shopping results allowing people to find black-owned businesses. This attribute was launched in response to user interest and is currently only available in the US-based Google Merchant retailers.

If you are one of the many businesses that like to use video content to communicate with consumers then you need to be aware that Google My Business is reducing their maximum video upload from 100MB to 75MB. This may mean you just have to be creative in a slightly smaller way.

Google My Business is also enhancing its insights data to include more detailed performance reports. Once completed you will be able to see how many times your business surfaced in search results and it will also include map searches. Information will be available to businesses for up to 6 months meaning you can use results to evaluate any changes required or plan future progressions.

However your brand, business or company is running at present due to the impacts of Covid-19, maintaining your Google My Business pages is a key way to reach customers and continue communication for the present and the future. Implement updates and use all aspects of GMB to really enhance your businesses reach.

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