New & Updated Google My Business Features for Local SEO

07 May 2021 . minute read

Google has rolled out several new features and attributes in Google My Business (GMB) since the Coronavirus began.

Google has rolled out several new features and attributes in Google My Business (GMB) since the Coronavirus began.

If you’re running a local business, you need to know about those updates so you can get the most out of the platform.

In this article, we’ll check out 10 recent changes to Google My Business that you need to check out.

1. Health & Safety Attributes

Food, retail, and service businesses can add attributes to let customers know about the safety measures in place at their business.

Safety measure attributes include:

  • Masks required for customers or staff
  • Temperature checks required for customers or staff
  • Appointments or reservations required

2. YouTube playlist of Google My Business tips

We found some great videos from Google My Business users who discuss some of the most common questions we get. You can explore a new YouTube playlist of some of these videos from the Google My Business community.

3. Small Business Advisors

Businesses located in the US can consult with Small Business Advisors about Google products. Small businesses can schedule a one-on-one, 50-minute video call with a specially-trained Google Advisor who can:

  • Provide guidance directly from Google
  • Tailor recommendations based on the business’s specific business needs
  • Help the business master Google products like My Business, Ads, Analytics, and more

Appointments for Small Business Advisors aren’t available for large businesses or marketing/SEO agencies.

4. Years in business

Add an opening date to your Business Profile to tell customers when your business first opened, or will open, at its address.

While the “Opening date” feature is available to all businesses, eligible services businesses may find the “Years in Business” label in Search.

5. Call Logging

This one is in test mode, but it’s worth keeping your eye on.

GMB is currently developing a new feature that will allow you to see recent customer calls that arrived via search.

Here’s how it works: when a user clicks the Call button on a GMB profile, Google will log the call.

GMB will log both missed and answered calls.

Then, you can view the logged calls in the Calls tab.

It’s only available on the app, though, not the browser version.

If you opt to use the call logging feature, the application will mask your real phone number as it uses a forwarding number.

6. Additional GMB Insights Data

Google also recently enhanced GMB performance reports.

For starters, GMB will now let you know how many people have reached out to you after a visit to your profile page.

Additionally, the platform started offering additional reports about searches.

When fully completed, they’ll let you know how many times your business profile surfaced in search results.

You’ll also see data on Google Maps searches.

Those kinds of insights will be available for up to six months.

7. Messaging

Google recently rolled out GMB messaging on its desktop UI.

It had been available via the mobile app before.

Now, when you log into GMB, you might see a Messages button on the left-hand sidebar. If you click on it, you’ll go to the Messages interface.

It follows the standard “chat screen” pattern. You’ll see the back-and-forth between you and your individual correspondents.

You will have to opt in to the service, though.

Just click on that same Messages button and select Settings.

Then, select the option to turn on messaging.

8. Black-Owned Business

Google updated shopping search results to make it easier for people to find Black-owned businesses.

Again, this GMB attribute was launched in response to user interest.

Searches with terms like “black-owned bookstores,” “black-owned restaurants,” and “black-owned beauty supply” have soared due to racial inequality being highlighted throughout 2020.

Google My Business could very well be more important than your website when it comes to promoting your local business online.

That’s why you need to optimize your profile for search.

You should also keep up with the latest changes to GMB and think about how you can use them to better promote your brand online.

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