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Google My Business Releases New Features to Help Business Owners

The folks at Google have been hard at work, and now they’re releasing new GMB features that are going to make it easier than ever for people to find your local business. These new tools are a great resource for service-based businesses or those with brick-and-mortar locations. Just think about it. If someone living in Dallas, TX wants to find an upscale salon, they won’t want to hire a company in Sacramento, CA. Likewise, if someone needs an emergency roof repair, they’re going to look for a roofing contractor down the road. Not one a few states over. 

These people would rely on Google’s local search results to help them find the best service nearby. That’s why it’s imperative that you completely optimize your GMB profile. GMB helps people not only find local results but helps them easily visit the company’s website, see reviews, look at photos, plan their commute, and familiarize themselves with your business. Now, Google My Business is implementing even more tools to help you make a good first impression on local clientele. These things all work together to help you acquire new customers. 

Review Takedown Request Tool

This user-friendly tool lets us easily monitor business reviews and manage takedowns. In the past, the review removal process was complicated and unorganized. Now, not only can we see recent reviews, but we can check the status of all reported reviews in one place. This helps us get rid of spammy or falsified reviews quickly and efficiently. 

If you choose to report a review, you will be able to choose the offending post from a convenient dropdown list. The list will provide a snippet of the review’s text, the rating, and the post date so it’s simple to find again. If you decide to review a pending takedown, the format will look pretty similar. However, you’ll also see the status. Once a decision has been made, you can review it to see a summary and submit an appeal if you believe Google made the wrong decision.  

2-Pack Search Results on Mobile Devices

For now, Google just seems to be testing out the 2-pack for local searches. Unfortunately for some companies, this change would bury their website unless a searcher selects “More places”. However, this update will benefit people who have fully optimized their GMB profile and invested in SEO. Companies in the 1 and 2 spots will simply be highlighted even more.

2-pack mobile search results pages have been spotted on iPhone and Android devices across the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. While this might seem like a blight for start-ups and those just beginning their digital marketing journey, this may not be entirely true. Many SEO experts have been theorizing that this change will allow for more paid ads– giving newcomers the opportunity to introduce themselves to the market with paid ad campaigns. Otherwise, they might spend a year or more trying to outrank their competitors and have their shot at paying customers. 

“New” Labels for Recent Listings

GMB now adds a “New on Google” icon to local businesses listed in the last 30-60 days. They also offer a “Recently Opened” label for companies that have just started as well. They obviously service different purposes, but both help you stand out from the rest of the local pack. These labels are likely to spark curiosity and send a preliminary surge of traffic to your website. 

Benefits for Businesses That Use GMB Posts

When you post on GMB, they place a red dot over the “updates” category. This is likely to snag the attention of the person reviewing your listing. These posts also give you a chance to show off your knowledge and capture a new client. You can use this as an opportunity to share blog posts, company updates, or industry news to establish credibility. Once you do this, it’ll be easier to make a sale since your potential customer will already trust you. 

No Phone Numbers in Posts

Google is going to start penalizing listings that incorporate phone numbers in their posts. You might originally think this isn’t a big deal because you can always just link back to your contact page. This is true to a certain extent. However, this year, GMB started recycling old posts. This means you may have published a post months ago that included your phone number. It didn’t matter back then, but now it does. If Google shares an old post with a phone number, your website will receive a demerit. This is a small oversight you should be careful to avoid. 

Booking Data Available in GMB Insights

Google My Business Releases New Features to Help Business Owners

This feature hasn’t fully rolled out yet, but according to Google, it will soon. All you have to do to review bookings is visit the GMB insights section. This tracking service is great for trade and hospitality businesses. We like it too because it helps us schedule digital marketing consultations with our clients. A booking button offers an additional layer of convenience for your customers. When this translates to an uptick in sales, you’ll be able to easily keep track of your appointments.  

GMB Call History Shows Live Data

This long-awaited feature has finally left beta testing. Now, businesses will be able to see a complete history of who has called their business and when. You can even give them a call back. This call tracking feature is a great KPI and helps measure the success of your SEO and PPC campaigns. 

Dallas GMB Experts

The Rise Local team are experts on Google My Business and stay current on all of the latest updates. If you need help optimizing your local search profile we have an entire team ready to help! We can optimize your website for local search, complete your GMB listing, and make sure your information on various navigation applications is also complete. Local listings are the key to helping local, qualified leads discover your business. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

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