Google has finally come to the party with brand new updates of their Google My Business (GMB) platform, and there’s 6 new features that you probably didn’t know even existed that are already being used or coming soon! We’re excited because the ramifications on your local business search results and SEO could be potentially huge. There’s a whole new way to grow your business. So let’s take a look at the new updates to GMB and how they can help your business.
1. GMB prioritises new health and safety protocols
To help Google users make informed decisions about their health and safety, Google has enabled businesses to highlight COVID protocols, so prior to leaving customers leaving the safety home or car or business, they have easy access to the COVID restrictions in place. Businesses will have the ability to inform customers whether they are required to wear a mask and if the staff members are adhering to social distancing and also wearing masks. In addition to mask-wearing, businesses can also advise visitors whether all staff members and onsite visitors will have to be temperature checked before gaining access to the premises. To learn how to apply these to your business, click the link or contact Boost Social and find out how to sign up with their special Google My Business package.
If you update your COVID strategies on GMB, those who exercise strict hygiene and germaphobes could potentially choose your business over a competitor who doesn’t appear to have any COVID procedures in place.
2. GMB makes dining out a safer experience
Restaurants across the globe now have the ability to communicate to their customers prior to dining that every precaution is being taken to ensure their patrons that health and safety comes first. If you are in the hospitality industry, you can use GMB to let people know whether visitors to their cafe, bistro, restaurant or takeaway outlet can eat in, takeaway only, or offer no-contact delivery or curbside pickup.
3. GMB has adapted their platform so business can promote virtual experiences
The way we conduct business is evolving. Once upon a time in 2019, it would have been ludicrous to think a doctor’s appointment could be carried out via Zoom, or that instead of attending your local university in the flesh, you could sit in virtual classes. GMB allows you to promote online services. No matter what your business, GMB can advise customers whether they can book consultations online from the comfort of their own home.By providing virtual options your customers may choose you over a competitor who requires them to show up at their business premises in person.
4. Google allows you to track phone calls that come from Google Search and Google Maps (Coming soon!)
If you’ve ever seen the backend of Google My Business, you will know you have access to insights that tell you how many people have used Google to place a call, but the technical geniuses are developing features that will keep a history of all customer calls that come through the search engine platform. You will be able to learn if you miss any calls and conduct business with any users who located your business through GMB. Google reports any calls initiated through the GMB platform will be preceded by a short message
These calls may make it easier for you to find and do business with customers who found your business through Google. Any calls you get from your Business Profile will start with a short message that lets you know it’s from Google. GMB will log all calls, those you answer and those you don’t. Then you will need to access the calls tab from GMB app, not via your Internet browser to view the call log. This feature is still in development stages, but it’s certainly one that’s going to be extremely advantageous.
5. Google is refining their GMB analytics
How is your business performing on Google? Enhance GMB analytics will give you access to in-depth insights that will include a feature letting business owners know how many customers visited the GMB profile prior to visiting their business. These are the changes you can expect to see in the coming months. On their website Google have made an announcement of some of the changes you will see coming to their insights
|Website clicks||CTR to your website from your Business Profile to the ‘Interactions’ section of the Performance page.
Website clicks in Performance reporting on Search won’t include clicks on the website from Google My Business websites. The number of clicks shown in the ‘Interactions’ section might differ from the numbers on the Insights page or Performance reporting.
|Direction requests||Direction requests to the business will be relocated to the ‘Interactions’ section of the Performance page. This removes Direction requests from the ‘Customer actions’ chart on the Insights page.|
Queries used to find your business
|Searches will be updated monthly instead of quarterly and the data available for 6 months.|
|Number of people who viewed your Business Profile||Performance reporting metric that represents the number of people who have viewed your Business Profile. It provides a breakdown by device, like computer and mobile, or by platform, like Search or Maps.|
6. Google now allows video uploads to the platform
GMB allows users to upload video footage as well as still photography. However there are limitations on how long or large the file can be. It is recommended the video file is a maximum of 75mb.