Google My Business recently came out with a slew of new and exciting updates. We have always been fascinated with Google My Business as it allows companies to hyper focus to their local market and compete with the bigger companies.
Like many businesses, if you have a Gmail account it is most likely tied to a Google My Business Account already. You’ll know this by the emails that you receive from Google regarding these updates. If your business has a Google location on Maps but is not receiving these email updates, click here and an Online Expert from Striventa will be happy to assist you. Among the top updates so far for GMB are the ability to message consumers directly, post directly to your GMB page and even set up your own GMB website. We have broken down each of these exciting features below and how you can start to leverage Google My Business.
Feature 1: You Can Now Message Customers Directly From Your Google My Business Page
An exciting feature that has come out with Google my Business pages is the ability for customers to message you directly via your Google My Business page. This is a new feature that allows for a direct conversation to start with your consumers. In order to set this feature up, go to your Google My Business account and click the messaging tab. In this tab is a form that you will fill out in order to have customers message you directly. Pro tip: Google tracks the time it takes you to respond to a message so be sure to respond quickly to build up credibility.
Feature 2: Post and Index Content Directly from your Google My Business Page
Google started rolling out Google posts early 2017 but most recently we have noticed an incredible leverage point in how all businesses use this new feature to promote their business. While many of us are used to posting on Google+ pages, Google My Business is now incorporating a posts feature that will be indexed in Google Search and Google Maps. This update sparks an interesting shift in how companies can continue to diversify their content promotion platform.
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The most interesting features from the rollout of this are that customers can now take direct actions on posts, such as signing up for a newsletter, buying a product or making a reservation!
To start posting, follow these three steps below:
Step 1: Click the Posts feature on the left navigation bar.
Step 2: Create the Post
By following the pop up window you will be able to add a photo, add your post and then add a button call to action for that post. See the example below.
Step 3: Click Publish and you are all Set!
Feature 3: You Can Leverage your Free Google My Business Website
One of the most interesting updates that we’ve seen in 2017 so far is the addition of Google My Business Websites, free of charge to business owners. Now, let me preface by stating that this is not a fully fleshed out website Google is offering, but rather a one page website with business essentials, photos and a call to action. Nevertheless, this update is sparking interest because of where this could potentially lead to. A special thanks to one of our partners, Century 21 Northwest Realty, for allowing us to walk you through setting up your GMB website.
Step 1: Login to your Google My Business Account
Once you are logged in you will notice on the left hand side a navigation bar. Scroll down and click the Website tab option.
Step 2: Get Started
The Google My Business website builder is extremely user friendly and we are confident anyone can set it up. To start, click the Get Started Button.
Step 3: Pick a Theme
Google has come out with a predefined set of themes that have different colors and fonts. Pick the theme that you think would represent your business the best. For Century 21 Northwest, even though their brand colors are Gold and Black, the text in a different theme represented their brand the best. Plus the green call to action button is a nice accent and will catch the eye of users.
Step 4: Insert your Headlines and Company Description
Under the edit option you will notice a place to insert your company’s headline and description, along with a company summary as well. Always remember to keep your messaging short, sweet and directed at your target audience.
Step 5: Add Photos
Google pulls great photos from your existing Google My Business Page, but if you want to add more photos, now’s the time. In the photo section is where you can add custom photos to your GMB website for customers to view. The website editor allows you to drag and drop photos right into your website which makes it very user friendly.
Step 6: Finalize Your Settings
Under your settings options you will have the ability to enter a domain name that you would like to use from Google or buy a custom one.
Step 7: Launch your Website
Congratulations, you did it! You set up your very own Google My Business website for your company!
Even though these websites may seem a bit basic, anything Google releases we recommend you jump on immediately for your company. Google always takes calculated steps and this is their first step in establishing a connection between a Google Website and your Google My Business Page.
What This Means to You
Google’s trend of creating and optimizing apps for everything you can do on the internet continues, and these new Google My Business updates solidify their intent of keeping everything internet, in house. Their new website builder will eventually seek to compete with and potentially eat up Wix and Squarespace’s small business website marketshare. While severely lacking the capabilities and functionality of a WordPress site per say, no doubt these Google My Business sites will receive search engine priority. However, Google has a history of introducing new features and ideas like this only to see them pitter out to lackluster reception or Google themselves losing interest. Regardless, Google My Business as a service won’t be going away anytime soon and these new features are exciting additions to business owners looking to increase exposure on a local level.
For more on how Striventa can help optimize your Google My Business, click here!