Technology grows exponentially, and every year many changes happen in the field of search engine optimization. In today’s heavily technology-fueled world, it’s important to always be updated in order to produce optimal results for your business. Almost every business owner knows the importance of SEO nowadays, and everybody wants their SEO efforts to produce the best results in order to promote their web traffic and be able to reach their potential clients and customers about the products and services that they offer. This is why it’s so important to be up on your game about SEO opportunities in order to most effectively promote your products and services and grow your brand. Google is the giant that drives all of your SEO efforts, and is what most SEO companies focus on in order to achieve maximal growth. Now that we are well into 2019, there are a few Google My Business optimization updates that business owners should be aware of so that they can stay competitive in this online-driven market. Read on to learn more about how you can update your Google efforts and the ways that Google My Business has changed recently. MyCity Social is a top SEO company who is here to help your business grow. Call MyCity Social today for SEO services Tampa business owners rely on!
Google My Business New Features
Let’s give a quick overview of how important Google My Business can be in the optimization efforts of your business. More than 80 percent of online searches are using mobile devices seeking information about local companies, and a lot of these searchers are also utilizing voice search. GMB is able to help you as a business reach and attract new potential clients and customers and expand your business. The potential customers and clients who may not necessarily have a particular company in mind will look on the internet for all types of products or services, and these potential customers will look for the providers who pop up at the top of the list. Through optimizing your small business for this type of local search, customers will be able to see what you have to offer first, before they get to your competitors. This will give your business a definitive edge, since only 44% of local businesses have claimed their listing on Google My Business. As Google offers a totally free business listing, claiming your Google My Business listing will help you greatly in increasing your Google search results before somebody else does. Having a GMB account that is up to date and at the top of its game is a crucial portion of your local search strategy, and recently Google has put out some new feature to help benefit your opportunity for local SEO rankings.
Firstly, Google My Business is launching in 2019 a new feature aimed to help business owners highlight their positive reviews. Google My Business will automatically suggest positive reviews that are able to be shared as customer testimonials through the usage of Google Posts. When signing in to Google My Business, suggestions will appear, and it is possible to even send these suggestions to the owners of businesses through an email notification. The strength of this new feature is that only recent reviews which are 4 stars or above will be in the suggestions, and business owners will also have the choice to be able to edit the review prior to publishing it. This features is rolling out in “some countries,” according to Google’s latest review, and Google has not specified exactly which countries are going to be able to have access to this feature. This feature also helps to illustrate the usefulness of Google Posts as a way to share positive reviews. Not only will these reviews pop up on a business’s GMB page, they will also be able to show up on Maps and in search results.
There are a couple of things regarding this new feature that business owners should inform themselves on in order to best utilize this new Google My Business update. Note that posts are live on Search for 7 days following their publishing by default. These posts are able to be visible for up to 14 days if you set them to be this way. This means that it might be a good idea to check at least once or twice a week to find some new reviews you can share. These posts can include CTAs, which can be used strategically when sharing reviews. If a customer leaves a rave review about a particular service, then you can add a CTA with a link to that service page, for example. Up to 10 images and videos can be included in posts, something that can be useful for adding more context to a review review when the situation calls for it. This feature is not yet widely available in all countries and is something that has just launched, so it’s good to remember that the actual results of this feature may take some time to appear since many business owners have yet to implement it.
Google My Business Optimization
Another feature that Google My Business has recently come out with and that business owners should be informed about is that users are now able to create customized short URLs for Google My Business listings. These custom URLs are dubbed “short names” by Google, and at the moment it seems like only certain businesses have access to this feature. However, it is clear that this feature is far more than a simple test run since a help center article is already in place for its operation. After creating a short name, a GMB profile is able to be accessed directly through navigating to “g.page/[yourcustomname]”. It is also possible to solicit reviews on Google My Business through appending ‘/review/’ at the end of the URL, which would look like “g.page/[yourcustomname]/review/”. This functionality makes it extremely simple to promote the “short name” URL, and thus much easier for customers to type into a browser’s address bar. This feature also can look better in marketing pieces, as it is simpler to share. The help center article for this feature by Google notes that short names are only available to verified businesses, and at the moment even most verified businesses do not have access to this feature yet.
If and when your business is able to receive access to the “short name” URL feature, you can make a short URL through the following steps:
- Sign in to your Google My Business account
- Open the location for which you want to create a short name
- From this menu, click on Info > Add profile short name
- Put in the short name for this location, which can be up to 32 characters.
- Click Apply, and your short name will pop up as pending. When the short name is ready, it will come up on your Business Profile.
MyCity Social, who provides SEO services Tampa business owners love, notes that if you are not satisfied with the short name that you have created, then you are able to change it, but to remember that this short name is only able to be changed about three times per year. This means that you should be prudent with your choices. This feature is a helpful addition that Google is offering, especially since Google has shut down its own ‘Goo.gl’ URL shortener last year.
An Appointment URLs Function has also been added to Google My Business. This means that there are now more options for adding appointment URLs. Through clicking an appointment URL, customers are able to directly select an open time from their mobile device for convenience. This feature will allow you to integrate your calendar and highlight your open availability. It will also save businesses time on the phone scheduling appointments, and you are able to set up appointment URLs for different functions. These functions include: Booking an appointment, placing an order, reserving a table,searching for items, and viewing a menu. An example of how useful this function can be is seen in being able to display restaurant menus. An online restaurant menu will assist your patrons in planning their visit ahead of time, and thus they can enjoy the meal itself rather than spending a lot of time dealing with dietary restrictions or figuring out what they want to eat. After potential restaurant customers reserve a table, all they would need to do is arrive on time at the time that they booked. You as a business will then improve their business in a way that will keep them coming back.
Product Catalogs Will Now Show Up In Searches
One more Google My Business update that we will discuss here (though this list is by no means comprehensive) is that in an update to Google My Business profiles, product catalogs are now going to pop up in search results for both desktop computers and mobile phones. Prior to this Google My Business update, product catalogs would only show up in mobile search results. The update ensure that product catalogs will appear in both mobile and desktop search features alike. Product catalogs represent a fairly recent addition to Google My Business pages, as the first time that they were seen to be in use was just last year in October 2018. Products can be added to a catalog by businesses through uploading a form in the ‘Products’ tab. The name of this tool that you can add products to is the “product editor.” All of the items that are added using the product editor are able to appear in the product catalogs of Google My Business pages. Following the upload of a product collection, people who are viewing the GMB listing will be able to browse through the items in the new ‘Products’ tab.
One of the top draws of this feature and makes it so fantastic for retailers is that it is totally free for them to utilize. Businesses that are small-to-medium sized are able to upload product catalogs no matter if they are advertisers or not. This means that pretty much any business is able to utilize product catalogs to make their listing more attractive and engaging. Now that product catalogs are able to pop up on desktop searches as well, they will be able to reach even more searchers than before. However, product catalogs still do not appear in Google Maps search results, as they did not prior to this update.
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In order to keep a competitive edge, it is important for businesses to stay up to date on Google My Business Optimization. MyCity Social is a top SEO company who provides premium SEO services Tampa business owners rely on. Call MyCity Social today to grow your brand and business!