What Are The Latest Google My Business Features For Local SEO?

Google My Business

Brick and mortar businesses like bars, restaurants, law offices, doctor’s practices, and grocery stores rely on foot traffic and need to focus on local SEO get more business.

Local SEO refers to a set of SEO techniques that optimize your website for the audience near your business and in your locality. It plays a huge role in digital marketing as it helps make your business visible to local customers in relevant queries. If you want to reach out to local markets to sell your product or services, providers of local SEO services in NYC can help. We will ensure that your website is local search optimized. This will make your website stand out from the competition and help your potential customers find your business easily.

To provide the best results for the users Google constantly updates their algorithm and gathers details about businesses. So if you want your target local audience to reach you, make sure to keep your Google My Business profile updated with accurate and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information. Google will use this data to trigger your listing to display in “near me” results.

Google’s New Features To Combat COVID-19 And Help Local Businesses

With the outbreak of COVID-19, many businesses have undergone major changes like change of operating hours, business description, temporarily closed business, change in phone numbers, etc. To keep your customers informed about the changes in business operations during the pandemic, Google has rolled out new features and attributes in Google My Business:

  • Health and Safety Attributes: In the second half of 2020, Google My Business rolled out new attributes so that online searchers can make better decisions about the health standard of business that they want to visit. The latest GMB attributes are as follows:

    • Appointments required
    • Wearing masks is mandatory
    • Masks should be worn by the staffs
    • Check staff’s temperature
    • Temperature check is must

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    It is important to follow these health related guidelines strictly and advertise them on your GMB profile. This will help customers, especially health conscious individuals to visit your business without any worries.

  • Attributes To Make Your GMB Profile Stand Out In Search: The demand for online services increased during the pandemic. In June 2020, Google saw an opportunity to cater to the online-only crowd and offered several more attributes in GMB:

    • Online Care
    • Online Appointment
    • Online Estimates
    • Online Classes

    Include these and other existing attributes to your GMB profile and Google could show them in search results for relevant queries.

  • Attributes For The Food Service Industry: Google rolled out COIVD 19 related attributes for restaurants and bars. The attributes are as follows:

    • Curbside pickup
    • No-contact delivery
    • Dine-in

    When food businesses reopen, Google My Business will start showing these attributes.

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  • Additional GMB Insights Data: Google recently improved GMB performance reports. In the initial stage, GMB will let you know the number of people who have reached out to your profile page. This platform also offers additional report regarding searches. Once this feature is fully set, Google will know how many times your business profile surfaced in search results and it will list down all the data on Google Map searches.

    Google My Business Listing
  • Call Logging: This new feature is still in test mode but GMB is introducing it to see recent customer calls that arrived through search. Google uses call history to keep track of phone calls from your customers on Google Search and Maps. With these calls it easier to find and do business with customers who found your business through Google.

When a user clicks on Call button on GMB profile, be it missed call or answered call, Google will log the call. Logged calls can be viewed in the Calls tab and are available only on the app. If you choose the call logging feature, the application will mask your real phone number as it uses a forwarding number.

  • Video Upload Size: GMB recently decreased its maximum video upload size from 100MB. The new limit is 75MB. So if you like to brag about your business your video, you might have to brag a little bit less on a per-video basis.

    black owned business

  • Black-Owned Business: Google introduced a new feature on the Google shopping tab to provide better results and make it easier to find Black-owned businesses. This GMB attribute was introduced as a response to user interest. Searches with terms like “black-owned bookstores,” “black-owned restaurants,” and “black-owned beauty supply” had increased when the racial inequality was highlighted throughout 2020.
  • GMB Messaging: When GMB launched Messaging, it was only available on mobile. Now GMB Messaging is also available on desktops. When you log into GMB, you will see a Message button on the left-hand sidebar and clicking it will take you to the Messages interface. It follows the standard “chat screen” pattern and you will see the engagement between you and your individual customers. Make sure you respond to messages within a 24-hour window or Google may revoke your messaging rights.

    messaging

As you can see, Local SEO focuses on the audience near your business and in your community and updating and optimizing your GMB profile helps to improve the visibility of your business locally. It is important to include local business listings updates to your digital marketing plan during the pandemic so that it is easier for you and your new and returning customers to stay connected.

If you want your GMB profile optimized with latest attributes and updated information, reach out to ourreliable local SEO service in NYC. We can help you devise an effective local SEO strategy that will help your business stay ahead of the competition and gain more traffic.