5 Recent Updates to Google My Business

Reputation Management, SEO

Google My Business is rolling out new features all the time, which means there are always new opportunities to get an edge for your company. Over 150 million businesses have created profiles since Google launched their listing service in 2014, so it’s nice to take any advantage you can to get noticed. Some features are only accessible for the app, and Google seems to give a slight preference to Android users. Still, there are lots of ways anyone can make their business stand out just a little bit more. Without getting into too much detail, here are five features you can use to get the upper hand on Google My Business.

stats about Google My Business
People have searched Google for businesses billions of times– will they find yours?

1 – Messaging Insights

If you’ve turned on messaging in the Google My Business app, you can see some analytics about how your audience uses the feature. Most notably, Google will show you your average response time to messages. At least for now, these insights are private, so no one will be able to see your average response time on Google My Business like they can with other sites. That said, the search giant is obviously keeping an eye on your responsiveness, so it may behoove you to pay extra attention. If you’re excellent at responding to customers, it may signal to Google that you’re a good resource, which is helps SEO.

man in suit literally raising time by lifting dumbbell with clocks on it
Raise your response time to raise your position in the search results.

2 – Short Names / @ Handles

Just like other social media sites, Google is allowing businesses to give themselves short names with the at sign. This is just another way for customers to find you on Google My Business. Create a custom name, and Google will even create a custom URL for you. For example, if you type, “g.page/buddygardnerads,” into your browser, it will take you straight to the Buddy Gardner listing on Google Maps. With 150 million businesses already on Google My Business, you may want to claim your short name sooner rather than later.

Google My Business info editor for the listing owner
Check your Google My Business manager dashboard often to see which new pieces of information you can add.

3 – Follow Businesses

In early 2019, Google announced that their users could now follow their favorite businesses on Google Maps. If someone follows your company, they’ll be presented with your updates. It can’t hurt to connect with your audience in yet another place, especially when you want to stay top of mind. One has to assume that Google is keeping track of where your followers come from, too. In other words, getting a lot of GMB followers in your geographical area may help you rank higher in local search results. So how do you convince someone to follow your business?

Google My Business welcome offer for Buddy Gardner advertising, which is free content marketing research
A welcome offer gives people more incentive to follow your business on Google.

4 – Welcome Offers

As of August 2019, you need the Google My Business mobile app to take advantage of this one. It’s worth it, though, because this is an awesome way to get more followers on your listing. The user will see that they can receive a coupon, discount, freebie, or other offer just for following you on Google. It doesn’t have to be anything too crazy, just enough to make it worth someone’s while. For following Buddy Gardner, you can get a short content marketing research report for free.

Customized Google My Business profile with logo, welcome offer, and short name
Customize your Google listing by adding your logo, a welcome offer, short name, and more.

5 – Customize Your Profile

Google is always improving. It’s evident in everything they do, including Google My Business listings, where they’re always providing more customization offers. Check your profile recently to see which new features they’ve added, and continuously optimize your profile to get higher in search results. Google Maps is a key search engine for people who are towards the bottom of the marketing funnel and ready to make a decision. Master it, and you can expect to see a steady stream of new leads.

If you have any questions, comments, or tips about Google My Business listings, please send them along. Otherwise, join the mailing list below to get more digital marketing tips like this delivered to your inbox.

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