As we are all so starkly aware, the past year has seen dramatic change the world over. In true Google fashion, they have adapted to the pandemic, rolling out several new features and attributes in Google My Business, to ensure the ultimate user experience and as always supporting businesses and aiding them in maintaining business as best they can in such uncertain times.
Staying up to date and utilising all updates work in your favour, getting the most out of the platform and putting your best foot forward.
Six recent changes to Google My Business that you need to check out:
1.Health & Safety
Health and safety in businesses is always important, but 2020 saw health and safety looked at through a magnifying glass. So GMB rolled out new attributes, allowing searchers peace of mind in their decision to visit a business. Some of which are listed here:
- Appointment required
- Staff wear masks
- Staff get temperature checks
- Mask required
People are ever conscious about health and updating your business is always a good idea to ensure you appeal to the entirety of your potential customer base.
2. Pandemic for restaurants
The nation knows how hard hit the hospitality sector got hit throughout the pandemic. Google tried to come to the rescue early, rolling out Covid-related attributes for restaurants and other food service industry businesses. These attributes were welcomed and now a norm to see on all takeaway services (as all dine-in remain closed):
- Curbside pickup
- Contactless delivery
Keep your eyes peeled on this space when things start to open back up, there are sure to be more added to the list as we roadmap our way back into normality.
3. Attributes for online services
Zoom, the staple of the first lockdown in the UK, everyone was online, more so than usual, for work and for the social side of their lives. Google took this opportunity to cater for this online shift and upped their offering of attributes to include:
- Online care
- Online estimates
- Online appointments
- Online classes
The message is to stay at home, and these virtual offerings are appealing to people as more and more businesses shift online.
In the backburner is this handy call logging feature, so look out for it rolling out on GMB. There has been a surge in calls to businesses instead of just calling in and for any business owner, this is sure to have been slightly overwhelming and difficult to ensure the return of all calls.
You can use call history to keep track of phone calls from your customers on Google Search and Maps. Your calls are all in one place to help you respond to missed calls and stay engaged with your customers.
5. Additional GMB Insights data
Knowing how many people visited your business profile and then reached out to you is a feature that takes things to the next level. Not only do you get to see how many times you have been viewed by customers, but you get to know exactly who it was that vied and took action, demographic, socio-economic, the information obtained here is something to use to your benefit.
Previously available on just mobile devices, the messaging service is now available on desktop. Accessed by going to messages and then settings, Google will give you the option to opt into the service.
As always, Google is very invested in the customer experience and when you Opt-in, you are essentially agreeing that you will always reply within a 24 hour period, or you will be taken off the platform, not permanently, but taken off nonetheless.
Auto-generated replies don’t count for this feature. A great feature to use while on the desktop managing day-to-day business tasks.
Google My Business is an indispensable tool for your business in the online arena. Optimising your profile for search is so important to keep up to date and relevant in terms of the things that consumers are looking for, especially health and safety-wise in the current climate. Keep up to date with the latest offering from GMB and utilise them in promoting your brand online alongside your SEO efforts.