Google is the largest search engine and accounts for 90% of all online searches, including local businesses. It receives 3.5 billion searches per day, with nearly half specifically for local services. If your business is not listed on Google, now is the time to get started. In a previous article we discussed the free and easy to use tool, Google My Business, and how it promotes and can be beneficial as it places your business in the forefront of your local customers.
We discussed the options Google My Business offers to help your business with an online presence, and how to set up your listing. With the new updates for GMB, it will further ensure your business stays ahead of your competitors and advances you to the next level of success. Along with the additional features to benefit your business, GMB has included features to help your business react to the ongoing pandemic and help keep your customers up-to-date with your information.
Having your business listed on GMB is as essential as having a website, or any online presence. It’s an efficient way of keeping your local area aware of your services, especially with the new information you’re now able to provide your customers. We’ve put together a list of what’s new for Google My Business, along with 2021 feature predictions that will take your business to the next level of success!
Update Your Business with Ease
Instead of having to sign in and updating your business through the GMB dashboard, you can now update your business directly through Google Search or Maps. As long as you’re already signed in to your Google account through your phone, it allows you to make any changes while you’re on the go. If you’re searching for the location of your next jobsite, you can update any information about your business at the same time. This includes creating posts, replying to reviews, and adding photos. This update will save you time, and make it easier for you to keep your customers up-to-date with your business.
As you may have seen already for other businesses, you now have the option to make any announcements about your business regarding COVID. For example, if it’s impacted your hours of operation, you can add an additional set of hours or announce your business will temporarily be closed. An important one for your business, is an update to the local service ads attribute which allows you to inform your customers you will be wearing protective gear and maintaining distance when visiting their homes for estimates, follow-ups, etc. During these challenging times, it’s important to remind your customers you respect their health and safety.
Include Your Services
Google my business has made it easier for your next potential customers to see what services you provide with your listing. A new service feature allows you to add a category, and the service you provide within that category. It also allows you to include a description of up to 300 words. Be sure to include related keywords about the service in order to ensure the probability of appearing on local search results. This allows your customers to find your services as soon as you appear on the listings, leading to potential new leads.
Appointments and Quotes
Another beneficial and helpful feature for your business is being able to include an appointment link under your listing. You can include a link that will direct your current or next potential customer to your website to make an appointment with your business. This is an efficient method for your customers to quickly book with your services instead of having to navigate through your website first. Also, customers will now be able to directly request a quote for your services, or ask questions on the search results page. With the Google My Business app, it enables you to respond quickly through messaging. If your website currently doesn’t have a contact form, these are definitely efficient alternatives for your customers to contact your business directly.
One of the most exciting and new features being rolled out by Google is the Google Guarantee badge certification. This new subscription will help your business maintain legitimacy and help your customers feel confident in purchasing your services. After passing a qualification and screening process, a Google Guarantee badge will be displayed on your listing in the search results. When your customers come across your certified business, it will ensure they can trust your services and be more willing to work with your business over a competitor that doesn’t have the certification. Google Guarantee will increase your leads and place you ahead of your competitors for the upcoming year.
2021 Google My Business Feature Predictions
Google My Business will keep evolving and adding more options that will benefit your business, take a look at the list of predictions that we’ve put together for potential future feature releases:
- Improved Google My Business attributes that will help refine your business and make search results more accurate for your customers when looking for your services. These attributes consists of factual attributes, and subjective attributes. You’re in control of factual attributes which are categories your business fit into, such as irrigation services or lawn services. Subjective attributes are defined by your customers, such as popular with locals or the price range of your services. Adding more specific attributes will help keep businesses in an organized fashion, and help your customers find your specific services with ease.
- Greater use of video conferencing as Google My Business has given the go-ahead for video tools such as Google Meet, Webex, Skype, and Zoom to integrate with your listing. It’s expected Google will apply this to bookings, onsite services, estimates and appointments as well, so stay ahead of your competitors and be ready to get connected.
- Image and Intelligence will be improved as images you upload with text will both be read and understood by Google. For example, if you upload an image with text announcing a mosquito control promotion, Google will read the text as well and will appear on your customers search results if they’re searching for that service. Be sure to upload images with text in the coming year.
Rely on Central to help, whether you need support with marketing consultation, or business strategy recommendations, Central is the right partner for your business. We’re here to help provide you with the right solutions for your business, and to help you grow!