Google My Business (GMB) listings is the first step local marketers and small businesses take to garner a local business presence in Google search and map results. Similar to Yelp and Yellow Pages, GMB is a great way to showcase your brand, physical location(s), products and services as well as customer satisfaction. (The big difference of course is that GMB is a Google product and therefore should be at the top of your list of local marketing activities).
- 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2019, with 12% looking for a local business online daily (Bright Local)
28.88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. (Nectafy)
By 2021, mobile devices alone will influence $1.4 trillion in local sales. (Forrester)
Google added some great new features to GMB in the last 6 months that you’ll want to use:
One of my favorite features is Google Posts which allows you to promote sales and offers. You can upload an image, ad copy and it even includes a classy little CTA button. There is also an option to create an event. These mini ads should be refreshed often but don’t worry, GMB sends admins handy reminder emails as well as stats on your recent posts performance.
Google is now allowing GMB admins to message customers directly from their listing when they find your business through search.
While online booking software has been around for more than a decade it’s been difficult to get small businesses to adopt (with the exception of restaurants) this technology. Reserve With Google allows service based businesses to book appointments within GMB by integrating with one of the following online scheduling providers. With this in place Google will automatically add a booking button into your Google listing. These bookings are then reported in GMBs analytics.
Google Questions and Answers
Customers now have the opportunity to ask questions directly over their Android devices and on desktop within GMB. This feature is still underutilized by local business owners and users. Moz shares an interesting case study.
GMB rolled out Selection attributes which allows you to specify predefined choices. The example Google gave was around kosher foods, saying you can choose from predefined business descriptions like “No Kosher food,” “Some Kosher food,” or “Strictly Kosher food.”
To see the list of all possible attributes and their types:
- Click the create icon in the bottom right corner of your dashboard.
- Click Import locations from a file , then click Download attributes reference spreadsheet .
GMB is rolling out new features almost monthly. To really keep up to date on the latest and greatest, join The Official Google My Business Community.