7 New Google My Business Updates You May Have Missed
Google has introduced various new features in Google My Business since this pandemic started.
Chances are, just like many other people, you, too, might have missed out on these new updates amid the chaos caused by this crisis.
But if you are running a local business, you must know about these recently added features and characteristics to make the most out of this incredible platform and boost your local search presence.
In this post, we will go through the seven new changes made to Google My Business during this pandemic that all local business owners need to check out. Let’s dive in!
- Health and Safety Features
Last year, back in 2020, Google My Business added new features to allow searchers to make better-informed decisions regarding the health standards at local physical stores they might visit.
These new health and safety features include:
- Mask required
- Appointment required
- Reservation required
- Temperature check required
- Staff get temperature checks
- Staff wear masks
Bear in mind that if you stick to stricter health and safety-related standards than your competitors and also promote those guidelines on your GMB listing, you could surely gain some extra business from health-conscious customers.
2. Covid-Related Features for Restaurants
Google made an early start on introducing pandemic-related features for restaurants and other businesses in the foodservice or catering industry.
These newly-added covid-related features are as follows:
- No contact delivery
- Curbside pickup
These characteristics started showing up in GMB soon after businesses began reopening.
3. Online Services Features
When the pandemic was at its peak, many people decided to “go virtual,” and rightly so.
That’s how online meetings and conferences became part of people’s daily routine, and the Zoom app turned into a household name.
Last year, in June, Google noticed a window of opportunity to cater to the online-only patrons and did so by rolling out numerous additional features in GMB.
Here are some features businesses can utilize to show the consumers that they have virtual offerings:
- Online appointment
- Online classes
- Online care
- Online estimates
Consider the ways in which you can utilize these features to advertise your business to folks who would literally be willing to go above and beyond just to prevent exposing themselves to coronavirus.
4. Call Logging
Though this one is still in its testing phase, it is undoubtedly worth keeping an eye on.
At the moment, Google My Business is building a new attribute that will let businesses see the recent calls from customers that took place through search.
For this new call logging feature, Google said that businesses could utilize call history to monitor phone calls from their customers on Google Maps and Search. All the calls will be in a single place, helping businesses respond to missed calls and engage with their customers actively.
In addition to this, Google said that these calls might make it easier for companies to identify and do business with prospects who discovered them online. All calls that you receive from your GMB profile will begin with a short message informing you that it is from Google.
Let’s see how this new call logging feature works. When a searcher clicks on the Call icon on your GMB profile, Google will log that call.
Both answered and missed calls will be logged by Google. You can visit the Calls tab to see these logged calls.
However, it is available for the app only, not for the browser.
If you choose to use this call logging feature, the app will use a forwarding number, thus, hiding your real number.
5. Additional GMB Insights Data
Apart from all these new updates, Google has also improved the GMB performance reports recently.
To begin with, GMB will now enable businesses to find out how many users have reached out to them after visiting their GMB profile.
Moreover, the platform has also begun providing additional reports regarding searches.
In fact, when fully completed, they will also allow you to know the total number of times your GMB profile surfaced in the SERPs.
You will also get data on Google Maps searches. Such insights will be accessible for up to 6 months.
Recently, Google launched GMB messaging on its desktop user interface.
Previously, it had been available through the mobile app.
When you sign in to your Google My Business profile, you may now see a Messages icon on the left sidebar. You will go to the Messages interface upon clicking it.
It sticks to the standard “chat screen” model, and users can see the back-and-forth between them and their specific correspondents.
However, users will need to first opt-in to the service.
All you have to do is simply click on the same Messages icon and then go to Settings. After that, click on the option to turn on messaging.
Caution: Be sure to reply to the messages within 24 hours of receiving them, or else Google might cancel your messaging rights.
Curious why all this strictness? The same old thing: it is all about delivering exceptional customer service.
Although in case you lose your access, you won’t be permanently forbidden but will have to go over that whole opt-in process again.
You also get the option to set up auto-response messages, though they don’t count as an actual reply within that 24-hour window.
Nevertheless, if you get fake messages, you can mark them as spam so that Google can take appropriate measures to correct them.
Google also provides you the option to block users who are sending abusive or harmful messages.
7. Maximum Video Upload Size
Along with the other changes, GMB also decreased its maximum video upload size recently. While previously this limit was 100MB, now it has been reduced to 75MB.
So, if you like creating lengthy videos for your brand or product/service, you’ll have to reconsider that and start making a bit shorter videos.
WRAPPING IT UP
When it comes down to advertising your local business online, your Google My Business listing could be beyond a doubt more crucial than your website itself. And that’s the reason you must optimize your GMB profile for local search. Staying current with all the latest changes will help you to come up with new different ways to get the most out of this platform. Now that you know all about these updates, you can start thinking about ways to use them to improve your visibility in the local search results.
Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for Tireless IT Services. Tireless IT Services is a Digital Marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC and Web Development company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing, Web Designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.
SOURCE : Google My Business Updates