Digital Marketing / March 22, 2022
Google is now giving you more features to promote your business and opportunities to connect with customers. In late 2021, the search engine giant announced some changes to Google My Business (GMB). All the changes are intended to benefit business owners who want to reach more users online. The first change is a simple name change. “Google My Business” is now known as “Google Business Profile.” The second change is to provide Google Business Profile users with direct access to their business profiles.
Every business owner and marketer should pro-actively utilize the following features on their Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) listing.
In the future, Google will also provide additional tools to your business via your Google Business Profile. But only if you access it via Google Search or Maps. These tools will help you understand how your business is performing and how to enhance your online presence.
Why did Google make the changes? To give you, as a business owner or marketer, significant opportunities to optimize your digital marketing. Want customers to find you quickly? Add the following to your Google listing.
Include your services on the Google Business Profile of your business. There are standard categories available. But if your business does not fit into conventional categories, you can now add one. And you can add the service/s you provide within that category. A description of up to three hundred words is allowed.
Use all the opportunities offered on your Google Business Profile and choose the best keywords for optimum digital marketing. It increases the chance of your listing appearing on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and customers finding you fast.
Google wants you to update your listing easily by using Google Search or Google Maps. Under Google My Business (GMB), you had to use the website or app to access the business profile. Google will retire the Google My Business app in 2022 and repurpose the website.
There are now three more direct ways to access your Google Business Profile, and you must be signed in to your Google account to access them.
Covid-19 has been a reality for the last few years and impacts businesses differently. Google embraced this reality by adding a “COVID-19 update” post tab to Google Business Profile.
Other posts can still be published, but the Covid tab stays pinned at the top of the business profile in local search. Announcements under this tab include notifications about:
COVID-19 posts are active for the same period as regular posts. It is an excellent opportunity to show your customers how committed your business is to your community’s health and safety.
An easy way to get customers to connect with you is by including an appointment URL in your listings. It makes it easy for customers to take action directly from Google Search or Maps. Without having to navigate through your business website.
Add appointment URLs for actions including,
Sometimes an appointment URL appears automatically in a business listing. It means either your business has a partnership with a third-party provider or Google has such a partnership. Changes to the third-party provider link must be done on their platforms.
Certify your business for a Google Guarantee badge. The purpose of the badge is to assure customers that a company listed on Google is legitimate and provides quality service. They even go as far as committing to reimburse customers dissatisfied with the service received from a listed business with this badge.
Your business must pass a Google screening and verification process through Local Services Ads or its partners to receive a Google Guarantee badge. The Google Guarantee badge will show on your listing in the search results.