It has become increasingly important that both businesses and consumers keep their Google My Business account accurate and up to date since it was launched in 2014. Keeping your business actively updated with as much information as possible can go a long way into boosting your SEO rankings within Google itself, not to mention, allowing your business to be easily found on Google Maps.
Google announced on 19th June 2019 Google My Business has seen a massive 3 trillion bookings made monthly through Google and three billion direct connections between businesses and consumers per month. There is now 95 million people globally participating in the local guides program making Google My Business a leading success.
In their announcement they then went on to tell us that there are new and exciting branding and promotional tools coming to Google My Business accounts. These features are brought to encourage more businesses to claim their GMB profiles as now they will have more personalisation features to help promote their business.
New GMB features include:
Adding a logo – Businesses will now be able to display their logo on the upper right side of their profile
Cover photo – Businesses will be able to choose a desired cover photo that Google will use when users view their profile
Dynamic photo module – There will now be a new carousel/slideshow module with the ability to add captions
Welcome offers – For users who follow your business customers can be send welcome offers
Promotional assets – Google will be launching a new site which will allow you to easily create and order stickers, posters and any other promotional materials for your business.
As well as these great features, there are two that could be much more significant to your business. Google are introducing Local Favourite badges and short names/URLS which can be searchable in Google Maps.
Google will be awarding the top 5% of local businesses in a category with a local Favourite badge. This will generally awarded to businesses that regularly keep their profiles updated and are responsive to their customers. By having a Local Favourite badge on your profile could mean you can gain a one up on your competitors so keep your eyes peeled and make sure you update your GMB account!
Short names are seen everywhere now including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It has been said by Google that businesses will be able to register for their @shortnames “over the next couple of days”, and only a verified GMB account will be able to obtain one. Short names have been put in place as a continuation of branding for your business, allowing you to have a consistent @shortname across various platforms. Short names will allow consumers to your GMB profile directly and allow them to easily search for your business in Google Maps.
It is likely that Google will announce more direct communication tools and additional commerce capabilities in the future but the challenge for Google at the moment is to create features that are useful without creating added confusion for local businesses.