Google My Business has been a boon for local businesses which are trying to make it big in the business world. If you are one such business catering to local customers, this blog aims to share everything you need to know about Google My Business in 2020 and the latest trends and features that you should keep in mind.
With Google being one of the go-to search engines, millions and millions of searches are conducted by users every day. Therefore, listing your business in Google My Business – GMB can increase brand awareness and helps the customer find maximum information about you.
For digital marketing and SEO companies in Mumbai who break their backs to help brands prosper online, GMB helps Search Engine optimization and rankings, online visibility, audience engagement and ultimately conversions.
So, what is Google My Business and how does it help? What are the latest trends you should know that can transform your business? Let’s jump into the details below:-
History of Google My Business
Google My Business was launched in June, 2014. The platform or interface allows the business to list themselves in Google. Unlike the regular listing websites ( sponsored ones and directories) where you add a brand name, location, contact number, GMB offers much more than just that.
As with every product and service offering from Google, Google My Business is also aimed to help the user to gain maximum from their local search queries like – ‘restaurants near me’, ‘salon near me’, or ‘swimming classes near me’. And at the same time, it paves the way for local business to cater to their customers with the best.
How GMB helps business?
The major highlight of Google My Business is that it is free to use tool. Businesses can list themselves in Google search and maps at no cost. It features business name, location, hours, driving directions and services which should be at the forefront when customer searches for something.
Once your brand is listed, search your brand name on Google and you will find all the information on the right side of Google search results. Just like in the image shown below:-
What are the other defining features of GMB that have made it so popular among businesses? Read on to find out:-
More Google My Business Features
GMB posts – Just like in social media platforms, you can post on your Google my Business page. It can be images, special offers or discounts, and website links. If there are any special events, you can inform the user about the same.
Google Reviews – It is one of the best features that help brands to get customer feedback and helps you engage them. This mechanism also helps you to improve your business and make changes as and when needed. Good reviews can build a positive brand image online as well.
Questions and Answer section – It is available within the listing. ‘Ask a question’ button is also given in the interface as shown in the image below.
Similar to Google reviews, the Q & A section helps you provide much-needed information to the user. Beware of spammers and competitors who can misuse it to cause damage tour brand name. You can always use Google’s redressal system to address such challenges.
Business description – You can also show a business description on GMB page. Google advises giving relevant information about your business that will help customers. This feature was included in 2018.
Service Menu – This is another newly added feature. It helps you to add items. You can now tell the customer about all the products and services you are offering on the GMB page. It is helpful for restaurants, cafes and hotels and others who have a wide range of offerings.
Website builder – It is one of the best features for those who do not own a website. This allows you to create a single page free website where you can upload images and write descriptions as well.
New and exciting designs are now available which can boost your online presence and engage customers as well.
Booking button -This new feature is also helpful for restaurants, hotels, tours & travel companies who expect their customer to avail their services and book a seat. This makes it easy for customers to directly reach the bookings page and avail services at ease.
Insights – It gives valuable insights into the number of views, searches, and actions taken on your Google My Business page. This can help you further optimize GMB page for better results.
Optimizing Google My Business Page
Here are some ways you can optimize your GMB page and see better results for your business:–
- Business description – Make sure you have a business description which is less than 750 words. This looks good as per the given space on the page.
- It is highly advised that you supply as much information as possible. There are lots of options available on the GMB page like service categories, timing, location, etc.
- Photo guidelines – You can upload a cover photo, profile photo, and other images on GMB page. The specifications include:-
Profile photo – Max: 5200 x 5300
Cover photo – 2120 x 1192
- Adding videos other than photos would greatly benefit in the future. As per the latest reports, the user is consuming video more than ever. It is the next big thing in marketing. Therefore, optimize GMB page with more videos.
Latest on Google My Business
In November 2019, the toll-free phone support for Google My Business has been discontinued. It was one of the best ways to convey your grievances and solve critical issues with Google support team and get help very easily.
Now, you can instead fill a form and request a call back for support.
Will it matter in 2020?
It has always benefited a lot with local search, local business and local audience. If experts are to be believed, it will continue to help businesses in a major way in the future.
With growing competition, utilizing Google My Business and optimizing it effectively will eventually help you to beat the competition and reap profits.