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Google My Business: Updates That Can Affect Your Local SEO

Google My Business is always the first consideration for businesses to attract local customers. It allows you to add their business name, address, phone number, and business hours so that people using Google search or Google Maps can find your business listing.

 

For example, if your company is based in Liverpool, your Google My Business listing can make your business details visible to the local target market. It will also help you boost your SEO in Liverpool to drive quality local traffic to your website. Google My Business makes it easy for your potential customers to locate your business premises.

 

Unless you have just started your business, you would already have an existing GMB profile. But are you aware of the most recent updates and features launched by Google My Business that could affect local searches? We will talk about some of these updates so that you can take advantage to boost your local SEO presence.

Health and Safety

Google My Business launched a set of new features at the end of 2020 to address the concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. These attributes inform the user about the health standards at a local business they might want to visit. Some of these features are:

 

  • Whether an appointment or reservation is necessary before a visit or not?
  • Is it mandatory to wear masks at the premises?
  • Are all the surfaces in the business premises disinfected between customer visits?
  • Do the staff members wear masks all the time and have regular temperature checks?

 

So if you are following stringent health and safety guidelines at your business premises, you can highlight those on your GMB profile. It will help you to attract potential customers who are conscious about health and safety standards.

Highlight Your Industry Experience

This feature was reported to be in the testing phase in September, where a company could include the number of years in business on a GMB label. It seems that the feature has already started rolling out in the local packs.

 

When you set an opening date for your company in your Google My Business profile, there is a chance of ‘X years in business’ showing up in your Google local pack just below your company rating.

 

The feature can be crucial in gaining the trust of your target customers as well as highlight your reputation. A potential customer might decide to visit your website after looking at the combination of your reviews and years of experience.

Google Maps Community Feed

In an attempt to take on Facebook, Google made a big announcement in November 2020 to launch a feature called ‘Community Feed .‘ It is probably Google’s next step to optimize the local social experience for businesses as well as users. You can access the new feature through your Google Maps app.

 

It will contain reviews and updates from any individuals or companies that you follow. The feed will also highlight the reviews from ‘local guides’ and some selective local news.

 

The feature is primarily focused on food and beverage businesses at the moment, but you can expect the list to expand to other industries as well in the future. Therefore you should start engaging in Google Posts more to attract and update local followers.

Google Messaging

Right after the Community Feed launch, Google has also revealed a new feature where you can respond to messages from customers. The attribute was only available on the GMB app previously.

 

But now, your existing and potential customers can also message you through Google Maps as long as you have switched on the messaging functionality on your GMB profile. It has been noticed that most people prefer texting or typing over calling these days. So, activate the messaging feature on your GMB profile to connect with your local target audience.

Virtual Services

A lot of businesses had to go virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, online meetings became an everyday routine for almost every company. That is why Google has also added several features in the GMB so that businesses can cater to their customers virtually.

 

You can take advantage of these features to offer online appointments, classes, or even services to your existing and potential customers. Optimizing these attributes can also help to boost your SEO for the local market.

Call Logging Features

Even though the call logging feature is in testing mode, it is going to be quite useful when Google launches it. Currently, your Google listing features your phone number, which allows your potential customers to call you for information.

 

However, there is no way to track how many calls you might have received through your Google listing. The new feature will enable you to check your call history to monitor the number of customers that used Google search or maps to call your number. You will also have access to the missed call numbers so that you can call them back and maintain your engagement.

 

Any call that you get from Google search or maps will begin with a short message, so you realize it is via Google. You will be able to access the missed call data for 45 days since the call date.

 

Google My Business is probably the most essential aspect when it comes to optimizing your business for local customers. That is why it is crucial to keep track of any GMB updates that can improve your chances of attracting more visitors to your website. If you have noticed any new features on your GMB profile, please let us know so we can include them in the list.

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