Google My Business: New Features and Updates

Creating a listing on Google My Business is essential for the online visibility and customer experience. However, building citation is only the first step. The online world is constantly changing, and you need to pay close attention to the new updates that are coming each year. Unfortunately, the year 2020 has brought many changes for businesses. Changes in opening and closing times, the way they provide services, etc. All of these resulted in customers paying more attention to the GMB listings of their favorite businesses. For that reason, we want to inform you about the new features and updates related to Google My Business, so you can be sure you’re doing your best to present your company online.

Why you should keep your GMB profile updated?

Apart from the new updates that Google provides, it is essential to always keep an eye on your business’ GMB profile. Up-to-date information is very important for the customer experience. Therefore, if you’re changing the working hours or any other important info, make sure you update your listing, too. Furthermore, adding all the useful features and tags will make your online presence more informative, and also more attractive for new customers. For that reason, let’s see what are the new updates and features you can use to make your profile as efficient as possible.

a person using google maps on a mobile phone
Updates keep your customers informed and your online work easier.

Specifying the type of services

Due to the global pandemic, more businesses shifted their focus to remote services or other pandemic-friendly options. restaurants have improved their delivery services as most people order their food online. GMB recognized these changes and offered more ways for cafes and restaurants to specify their services. Now you can tag your place as Takeawsy, Dine-in, and Delivery. There are also specifics such as curbside pickup or contactless delivery, used by most of the delivery services. Furthermore, as people avoid enclosed spaces, be sure to check outdoor seating if your place offers such a facility.

Tags concerning health and safety

One of the main new features and updates includes adding tags that are related to health and protection against the virus spread. Now, there are several pandemic-related tags you can add to your business GMB listing :

  • mask required 
  • staff wearing masks
  • temperature check 
  • appointment required

These have proven to be incredibly effective, as people check these things more often now before visiting a business. This way, they can prepare and stay protected during the pandemic.

covid-19 new updates
Some new features and updates are related to the global pandemic.

Google Guaranteed Badge

Another new feature coming from Google is Guaranteed certification, which is a sort of an upgrade to GMB Profile. Your business will get a green badge next to its name if it is eligible to have it, which will show that your business is recommended by Google. Even though Google has not shared a lot of specifics about this new feature, we can say for know that the eligible businesses will be those that advertise on Google’s Local Services. However, the selected business will have to prove the quality of its services and ensure the best possible experience for the customers.

Grow My Store

A great new tool that is focused on e-commerce businesses. It analyzes the customer experience of your brand and compares it to similar brands in the same niche. This way, you can get some valuable tips on how to improve the digital experience of your customers and therefore make more profit.

Gift Cards/ Vouchers

Purchasing gift cards, vouchers, and making direct donations is now available on Google My Business. Businesses can now add links that lead to these options, which makes it easier for customers to spend money and make someone happy. They don’t need to come to the store but can do this kind of purchase online, which is very beneficial for the business. Rather than giving cash to someone, customers ‘make’ their loved ones spend the money at a specific location and therefore directly help the local business. It’s good to know that Google is not charging this feature additionally – so feel free to use it!

google on a mobile screen
Businesses can now become approved and recommended by Google, according to the new features and updates.

Accessibility new features and updates

Recently, Google has improved the way you can access your profile settings and make changes. You can now do that by logging in to Google Maps, or by Google Search. Click the profile picture, select ‘Your Business Profile’, and go to the editing section. When you’re in Google Search select the ‘My Business’ button that’s located on the right side, and easily access all the necessary settings. However, to be able to use this feature, your default GMB language needs to be English.

X years in business

Even though it was first presented as a test feature, now you can select for how many years you’ve been in business. You need to select the opening date, so Google will show ‘X years in business’ tag under the name of your company. This is a fine new update, as business longevity is quite important for customers. They tend to trust ‘older’ businesses more, as these had to prove their quality over the years. So, if you’re running a longstanding business and want only the highest-quality listings, be sure to set this new feature up.

Return of the phone support

For some time, the feature of phone support has been missing from GMB, leaving businesses with social and email support. Luckily, one of the latest updates brought it back, and business owners are happy about it. Phone call solves problems much faster, which has proven to be quite important during the pandemic.

Preview Call History

Taking a look at your call log can be quite useful, especially for local businesses. This feature is focused on improving the user experience, interactions between businesses and customers, etc. Business owners can keep track of phone calls from the customers, and help them respond to missed calls. This makes it easier to stay in touch with the customers, using the ID call history from the call button on Google.

To conclude

All of the Google My Business new features and updates should be welcomed by business owners, as they give a more detailed approach to the GMB profiles. These features make it easier to communicate with the customers and make their experience much better.

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