Claiming and actively managing your Google listing is still one of the first things you should do for getting found in local search results. It’s free and easy (but be aware Google doesn’t call you about your listing!).
If it’s been awhile since you logged onto your Google My Business listing, there are a lot of new features which increase your visibility in search results. These new features appear in the knowledge graph for your business in search results.
If you haven’t claimed your listing yet, first follow the instructions for claiming your listing in Google My Business.
One of the most exciting new features is Google Posts. Google gives you the opportunity to share photos and information about your business, post offers, or advertise events. These posts show up right in search results and on the Google map for your business. Google Posts give searchers a quick snapshot of what your business has to offer.
Posts automatically expire after one week, unless it is an event in which case it will display until the event date.
Your listing can now include links to menus, reservations, appointment booking or online ordering. These links make it easier for customers to take action directly from Google Search or Maps. Your listing includes a section to add an action link appropriate for your business type.
Popular Times and Special Hours
Many local searches end up with an in-person visit, so it is important to let searchers know any special hours you have and times your business is the most popular. Keep your potential customers informed of any special holiday hours or closures. Google likes to make things simple, so popular times are automatically updated for you.
Google My Business allows you to chat directly with customers who find your business listing on Google Search. Responding to customers can help you answer their questions, tell your business’s story, and attract more people to your location. Enter the phone number you want to receive messages on, but that number will not be displayed to customers.
You no longer have the option to edit a description for your business in Google My Business, but Google is moving towards a standard set of attributes that comprise a number of characteristics of the business. Not all businesses see these yet and more are being added. Current attributes include things like wheelchair accessibility, dining options like delivery or catering, and payment options. Below is how the attributes appear when you edit your listing in Google My Business.
If you hit the pencil icon, you can add additional attributes to your post.
Questions and Answers
Google added a new question and answer feature to Google My Business that also appears on Google Maps. The question and answer feature allows businesses to provide answers to commonly asked questions about their business. Businesses can receive push notifications when a person asks a question through Google Maps on mobile and can thumb up questions and answers from other people.
If you don’t have a website (and you really should!), You can now create a single page website from the Google My Business dashboard. Information to populate the site will be pulled from your Google My Business listing.
In addition to logo, profile and cover photos you can now upload other photos to your listing. The types available to you depend on the type of business you have.
|Description||Minimum Number to Add||Tips|
|Exterior Photos||Helps customers recognize your business as they approach from different directions.||At least three to recognize your business.||1. Get different angles.
2. Take photos during different times of the day.
|Interior Photos||Gives customers a feel for the ambiance and décor.||At least three to give your customers a feel for the business.||1. Provide genuine photos that really capture your business.|
|Product Photos||Representative photos of products you provide.||At least three.||1. Showcase popular products with well-lit photos.|
|Photos at Work||Help customers understand quickly what type of work you do.||At least three.||1. Show team members participating in services you provide.
2. Showcase any special services you provide.
|Food and Drink Photos||Food and drink photos add color and help customers decide where to eat.||At least three.||1. Provide photos of the most popular foods you service.
2. Choose well, even-lit photos.
|Common Areas||Photos of common areas help attract customers.||At least one of each common area.||Examples of common areas include: gym, spa, and breakfast room.|
|Room Photos||Guest room photos help customers decide which establishment to stay at.||At least three photos of the most popular guest rooms.||1. Provide photos of the different rooms you offer.
2. Choose well lit photos that genuinely capture what the rooms look like.
|Team Photos||Provide a more personal snap shot of your business.||At least three photos showing management and team staff.||1. Show something less formal.
2. Show anything that highlights personalities.
Editing from Search Results
If you need to make quick updates to your Google My Business account, you can now make edits directly from Google Search. This allows you to keep your most current information updated in Google.
The following features are also still part of Google My Business and have some enhanced features.
Although review management is not a new feature, it is worth reminding you to encourage your customers to leave reviews on Google and for you to respond to them. We have a video showing you how to get a customized review link to make it easy for customers to get to your review page.
Insights let you see how many views and actions are taken on your business. They are not new, but now allow you to also see insights on all your photos as well.
Shows information from your Google Analytics account. Google Analytics tracks and reports traffic to your website. If you are new to Google analytics, you can familiarize yourself at the Google Analytics Solutions Center.
The YouTube Channel option shows you activity reports like new subscribers, number of views, and minutes watched.
One great way to stay on top of your listing is to download the Google My Business app for your phone. It is available for Android and iOS devices.