If your business serves clients locally, you need to use Google My Business (GMB).
The Google My Business tool connects local businesses with relevant customers, which raises the chances of more people accessing your business online. Having a GMB profile that gives appropriate information is far more valuable to everyone than just an advertisement.
Pairing the leverage of this free tool by Google with good SEO and paid ads can help businesses drive sales. When the GMB features are used in the way they must be, startups can achieve higher visibility other than organic search results.
Google keeps on updating its tools for its consumers to get a better, smarter experience than ever before. Here are 10 GMB updates you must know about if you have just started your business.
1. Menu Editor
In the initial stages, only local restaurant businesses could use the menu option on their GMB listing. However for other industries, an initial discussion seemed negotiable as the term menu is not inclusive of items generally; it can also refer to services other than food and beverage items.
Afterwards, Google concluded the concern by expanding the menu option to include non F&B items as well.
2. Book an Appointment
This is exactly what it sounds like. It allows clients to contact the business to make a direct appointment from the GMB listings. The book an appointment feature is vital as it eases the procedures for customers by ruling out extra steps. Business owners can benefit from increasing customer engagement by adding their appointment URL that redirects their customers to a landing page. Make sure your landing page contains everything your customers might need to set up an appointment without any difficulties.
This feature saves you time on long waiting time associated with scheduling appoints on phone.
Google Posts let you boost your GMB listing, providing a way to stand out in search results. With this feature, you can write posts with text, titles, images, and call-to-action buttons, giving businesses a chance to share their promotions, daily specials, events, product details, and connect with clients directly. It increases your optimization strength on mobile as customers can buy directly using their handheld device (smartphones, tablets, etc.).
It is more like prominent content marketing where posts are extra visually appealing as compared to traditional listings, offering higher interaction.
4. Question & Answers
With this feature, customers can ask questions to a business owner. Moreover, business owners can upvote good and interesting questions with their answers so they can appear first. Giving the right information about your business through informative answers and upvoting good questions is a great way to leverage Q&A feature.
5. Website Builder
Probably one of the best tools for small businesses and startups, as many of them struggle keeping their website up-to-date.
It allows you to develop a website quickly, without any hassle, and you can use a custom domain as well. This GMB update features mobile-friendly websites that update automatically. Managing and updating information on these websites is a lot easier. The Google website builder introduces an easy and direct way to build, manage, and update a website without involving a large span of time.
A 750-character description gives the owner an excellent opportunity to promote and strengthen their business. This short description will give your customers a piece of brief information about your products and services that can aid in generation more customer engagement and interest. The description must speak out your brand and how customers can find it helpful. Including call-to-action is a cherry on the top.
In the world of digital marketing, nothing attracts a prospect better than a video. GMB videos don’t need to be complicated or professional; a simple smartphone camera will do the job, and they cannot be longer than 30 seconds. Usually, the video feature is present under photos, but as you have more videos on your GMB, a video tab will be featured on your listing. Even if a video is saved for later, posting one is still worth the effort.
8. Direct Messaging
Messaging under GMB encourages communication among your customers. So, when they have any concerns, they can send you a message from their smartphone that will transfer to you through Google Allo or your land’s messaging channel.
You also have the leverage to set up auto-replies and connect it to your mobile number to make things easier.
Instant messaging is way more comfortable than talking on a phone call, that’s why it is a great feature to use for your business.
9. Small Thanks with Google
This GMB feature collects positive reviews about your business from the listing and displays them within. With Small Thanks with Google, business owners can select the reviews they want to show on their website and customize their display. Your ratings will also appear on your website, which can work as a stimulating point for your customers.
10. Google Maps
When a person is using Google Maps to get to somewhere near you, your business will show up on the map, too. It draws people’s attention in the area as they may not be looking something like this, but may get interested in paying a visit to see what you have to offer. This is especially good for small businesses to get the World Wide Web to target the local market.
Above all, it is crucial to maintain your Google My Business listing, or else it won’t be optimized. It is not a wind-it-up and watch-it-go thing. Maintenance is key if you want to reap its benefits.