February 24

Google My Business Updates You Should Know About

Online marketing

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Although we live in a global village, brought together by internet, we work and plan our lives locally. And most consumers are interested in businesses close to them, to buy anything from everyday goods to entertainment and healthcare services. This is why Google is more and more concerned with offering relevant and local results to searches. In this context, the Alphabet company started making several changes to its own business directory. In this article we will discuss the most recent Google My Business updates and what they mean for you.

Google My Business – Your Number One Business Directory Listing

Let us state this, our firm advice: if you want to list your business online, choose Google My Business ahead of any other directory. It is where Google looks first to find matches for searches, in terms of:

  • Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Reputation.

These are the cornerstones of the Google algorithm for local search results. And, just like with any digital property it owns, the Alphabet company keeps refining and updating Google My Business. The first two months of 2021 already brought three significant changes for users.

Here Are the Latest Google My Business Updates!

We will rank these changes not necessarily in chronological order, but in the order of importance for you and your business.

1. Messaging for Desktop

With so many people working from home in the context of the global pandemic, Google realised that business owners spend now more time on their laptops than mobile phones. Therefore, one of the most significant Google My Business updates is Messaging for the desktop platform.

At the moment, the feature is rolling out, but by March 2021 all GMB users will have it available. However, you will have to opt in to access it, as it is not turned on by default. To do so, log in to your Google My Business account, go to Messages -. Settings and click on “Turn on messages”. If you are just setting up your GMB account, you should turn on the feature during the account setup process.

What Happens Next?

Once your Messaging feature is active, users can write to you directly to your GMB account. For example, someone is searching for your products. Your business name is listed in the local search pack and the user clicks on Message and asks a question.

You will see the message in your GMB account and answer it, thus starting a conversation with a potential lead and client.

Why Does It Matter?

We believe this is the most important of all Google My Business updates because it broadens your opportunities for lead generation. You can pre-set automated replies in your brand voice, providing useful information and encouraging users to visit your website and discover your products.

2. Years in Business Appear in the Local Pack

Second on our list of Google My Business updates is the change to the details appearing under your business name in the Local Pack. Now users will also see how long your company has been in business.

You can make this information available to Google by logging into your GMB account, selecting your location, clicking on the “Info” menu option and then selecting “Add opening date”.

What Happens Next?

So far, the option is still rolling out and you may not see your years in business as soon as you enter your business opening date. However, Google representative say that it will become a standard feature for the Local Pack very soon.

Why Does It Matter?

Being in business for a number of years adds more reputation and trustworthiness to your brand. Being faced with a choice between a company that just opened and one that has been in business for more than 5 years, most consumers would choose the latter.

3. New Performance Reporting Options

The last of the most recent Google My Business updates is an analytics feature. When you go to the insights section of your GMB profile, you will see the number of calls and messages your business got from the GMB listing for the last 6 months.

You will also see the keywords the users typed in when they found your business and decided to contact it.

What Happens Next?

You should use this new metric as a prompt to make sure that your business phone number is accurately listed and updated in your GMB profile at all times. Also, you should realise the importance of giving prompt answers to GMB messages, as well. You cannot be available 24/7, but you can set up automatic answers for incoming messages.

Why Does It Matter?

The new metric does not only show you how frequently users choose to initiate contact with you directly from a Google search result. It also shows you the keywords they used to find your business. This is a huge opportunity to update your relevant keywords and to add more long tail keywords to your current list.

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