Big Changes in Google Local – Is Your Business Ready?

By September 11, 2017Advice, Local SEO
google my business updates
Google is making some huge plays to encourage business owners to utilize their Google My Business listings on Google Local.  And with good reason.
More and more people are searching their from mobile devices and directly in maps. Having a top GMB listing will get you more traffic, leads, and calls to your business. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
If you are unsure what a Google My Business page is or how to optimize it, see this great post from Hailey first: 5 Tips to Optimize Your Google My Business Page

 

OK, now that you’ve got the basics, let’s take it a step further and can start utilizing some of Google’s new features they are rolling out.

 

POSTS


Posts were introduced earlier this summer and allow businesses to showcase blog posts, business updates, or events right in the knowledge card in a search.
From Google, posts allow business to:
  • Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
  • Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
  • Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
  • Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.
This is what posts look like from a desktop search:

Posts are visible in both web and maps views.

Posts expire after 7 days, with the exception of events which won’t expire until after the event is over. Posts are great for new product showcases or industry updates or company events. Again, because they do have to be refreshed every 7 days, you do have to publish often to keep the posts live. At this time there is no way to schedule these to publish automatically.

FAQ’s

google local faq pannel

Questions and Answers are now available on mobile devices.

On mobile devices, users can now ask businesses questions right from the knowledge card.
Get ahead of the curve by adding your own frequently asked questions and answer them from your business account. As this is a new feature, many people won’t know to use it, so you have a great opportunity to answer some questions right on the search page.
Also to note, once a user has left your business a review, they will also be able to answer any asked questions.

SMS – TEXT MESSAGING

The SMS feature is not available for every device yet, but it is live on most Android devices. If your business does not allow you to be readily available to respond to SMS messages, it would be best to not activate this feature at this time.  Eventually Google will be adding response times, so speed will matter in the future.

VIDEO ALLOWED FROM LOCAL GUIDES

Again, this is only available on Android at this time, but anyone who is registered as a Google Local Guide can now upload videos as well as images to your location.
Use this to your advantage by asking your customers to take short videos at your business!

Tell us below, how is your business going to make use of these new features? 

Danielle

Author Danielle

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