2020 is here, and you need to ask yourself, "Is my Google My Business listing fully optimized?"
If the answer is "no" or "I'm not sure," then it's time to start using these Google My Business updates to improve your search engine ranking.
Since its launch in 2014, Google has helped millions of businesses connect with customers who need products and services.
According to Google:
Today, when people search for businesses, they’re on the hunt for something more specific--like “late night restaurants near Washington Square Park” or “rooftop happy hour with great cocktails.” And they’re looking to get more things done--whether that’s booking a reservation, or asking what products a store offers.
Did you notice how Google repeated the word "MORE" in that statement?
Online customers want to know more about your business, and Google made it even more possible with the updates they rolled out last year.
What updates am I talking about? Let's jump to it!
Google My Business Updates
Here are eight exciting Google My Business updates that you should keep an eye on this year!
Do you want your business to stand out even more? Use GMB attributes.
GMB owners can now list attributes of their business to highlight features, services, and more.
Attributes provide helpful information about your business, like payment methods, Wi-Fi, or restroom accessibility, which usually are things that customers rave about.
Here's what GMB attributes look like in the flesh:
Why are GMB attributes essential? They're an effective way to optimize your online presence for local search.
Having a comprehensive GMB listing is a great way to improve local search rankings and visibility because it lets owners highlight specific keywords that customers are looking for when they search for businesses.
Check out this list of GMB attributes you can choose from.
To add or edit attributes on your computer:
- Step 1: Sign in to Google My Business on your computer.
Note: If you have several locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
- Step 2: Click "Info" from the menu.
- Step 3: Find “Add Attributes” and click Edit.
Note: You can search for the attribute you want to add or scroll through all the available options for your business.
- Step 4: Click "Apply" when you’re finished updating your attributes.
Always BE HONEST AND ACCURATE in highlighting attributes of your business. You don’t want to annoy your customers by adding misleading or false business attributes.
One of the best Google My Business updates that happened last year was a feature called a short name.
The short name feature replaces messy, long URLs. Creating one makes it easier for you to share your GMB listing. It also makes it easier for users to find and follow your business on Google Maps and Search.
To add a short name:
- Step 1: Log in to Google My Business.
- Step 2: Click Info on the sidebar.
- Step 3: Click Add Short Name.
- Step 4: Enter your short name. You can enter up to 32 characters.
- Step 5: Click Apply.
Do you want to list your products right on your GMB profile? Optimize your listing using the products feature.
GMB features products now, as well as product collections complete with images, details, pricing, and related products.
This feature is an awesome way to keep customers engaged without leaving your GMB profile. It lets users view more information about your products and services.
With the Products tab, users can now:
- Tap a featured product card to view the product specifications.
- Click a product category to view a summary.
- Tap a product within a product category to view the product details.
- Contact you to find out more about your product.
- Provide online feedback.
To add a product:
- Step 1: Sign in to Google My Business.
- Step 2: Go to the “Products” tab and then click Add Products.
- Step 3: Give the product category a name.
- Step 4: Add at least one product to your product category. For each product, you need to upload a photo, name the product, set a price (optional), and create a description (optional).
- Step 5: Click the Add Product Category to save the product category.
It's that simple!
GMB now lets you link to your social media via social icons, including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Myspace, Pinterest, Soundcloud, and Tumblr.
Users can find these social icons at the very bottom of the knowledge panel.
Marketing Kits are a Google My Business update that you will surely love!
The Google Marketing Kit lets you display customer reviews on other platforms. You can also create custom window stickers for your business, personalized marketing kit, and ready‑to‑share social posts, and other business details.
To use this feature:
- Step 1: Go to Google Marketing Kit.
- Step 2: Enter your business name.
- Step 3: From this page, you can choose any of the following:
Download window stickers.
Download a free marketing kit.
Share your best reviews, business hours, and more.
Also, don’t forget to check out your business highlights video and share it on your social media accounts.
Photos And Videos
Photos and videos now appear in google maps and search results, so you have more control over how to use them.
There are four different types of photos that you can upload in your GMB listing:
- Cover Photo
Your GMB cover picture works the same as the ones you use on social media platforms like Facebook. When uploading one, use a high-quality photo of your business logo so users can quickly recognize your brand in Google and online directories.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Load your company logo here.
- General Pictures
General photos are the ones uploaded by either you or your customers. Use it to showcase the different features of your company and help people make well-informed decisions.
You can also upload videos to your GMB listing. Videos are powerful pieces of content that could give people a closer and personal look at your brand.
Photos and videos help give meaning to a GMB listing by allowing users to see what it is a business does or has to offer.
Without photos and videos, it would be a challenge for users to connect the dots and visualize whether or not a business is the right fit for their needs, no matter how great a business description might be.
Who do you think customers will choose - A GMB listing with high-quality photos and videos which show everything about a business or the one with nothing to show at all?
With that said, here are some best practices in using GMB photos and videos:
- Use either a JPG or PNG format and between 10KB to 5MB for photos.
- Use 720px x 720px photo resolution.
- Avoid using filters in your photos to represent your brand realistically.
- Use videos that are 30 seconds long and a file size no larger than 100MB.
- Use 720px video resolution.
- Never use photos from stock photo sites.
- Use photos that show smiling people to convey friendliness.
Welcome Offers, Online Reservations, And Appointment URLs
Here are three new Google My Business updates you should be using now!
Welcome Offers are a new GMB feature available exclusively to business owners who utilize the GMB app.
With this feature, you can create Welcome Offers to incentivise search users to become followers of your business by offering a special promotion.
To set up a welcome offer:
- Step 1: Open the Google My Business app on your mobile device.
- Step 2: Tap Profile Edit at the bottom of your screen.
- Step 3: Select Create Welcome Offer on your profile page under Turn Followers Into Customers.
- Step 4: Enter the following information:
The title (e.g. 100% off office supplies)
Coupon code (optional)
Terms and conditions (optional)
A website link (optional)
- Step 5: Tap Preview to preview your offer.
- Step 6: Select Publish.
- Step 7: Click View in the notification to see your published welcome offer.
Online Reservations and Appointment URLs
Online users can now reserve online using the online reservation and appointment URLs feature. This feature allows users to book without ever moving away from your GMB listing!
To set up online reservations:
- Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account.
- Step 2: Click the Info tab.
- Step 3: Click the URLs Section.
- Step 4: Click on the Reservations URL.
- Step 5: Enter your reservation link into the Reservations URL field.
- Step 6: Click Apply.
Request A Quote Buttons
GMB now has a Request A Quote button that allows search users to contact businesses directly. It is located beneath the call, message, directions, and website buttons.
To turn on this feature:
- Step 1: Open Google My Business app.
- Step 2: Select Customers.
- Step 3: Tap Messages.
- Step 4: Click Turn On.
And that’s a wrap!
Those are the Google My Business updates that you need to know in 2020. Use these updates to increase brand awareness and visibility. Remember that these updates could help boost your site’s ranking.
I put together below a list of online resources to give you more information about your GMB listing.
Recommended Google My Business Resources
The Required Steps to Easily Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
The Google My Business Bible: Everything You Need to Know
The New Google My Business Features Giving Power Back to Local Businesses
So what do you think about this list? What GMB feature are you going to use this year?
Drop a comment below and let's discuss.
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Header image courtesy of Stockunlimited.