Since Google launched Google My Business (GMB) in 2014, its importance to local business has skyrocketed. For local businesses that want to show up at the top of Google search results, a robust GMB profile is essential. Google My Business is an excellent tool to give your business more control over what appears in search results. Despite its importance, according to a report by BrandMuscle, 39% of businesses still have not claimed and verified their GMB profile. So, if you haven’t done that yet, do it today!
Now, let’s review some of the new Google My Business features and how they can help your business grow:
- Welcome offers. Customers have always been able to follow businesses (note the “+ Follow” button shown in the image) to stay updated with them. Now companies have the ability to reward that loyalty. They can provide special offers to followers who follow them for the first time, for example, 25% off your first visit. Offering rewards to your customers will encourage them to follow and support you. This is a great opportunity to give your potential customers a lasting first impression before they even visit your business!
- New customization options. Businesses can now add logos to the upper-right hand corner of their profile. They’ll need to have their core information completed beforehand. You can also add new cover photos to control what your customers see when they search for you. Doing so will make your business more recognizable.
- Short names. You can now claim a shortened name for your business. It requires your GMB profile to be verified first, but that shouldn’t be a problem – we can help you with that. You can register a shortname URL such as g.page/smartlinksolutions to create a convenient link to your GMB profile. Adding “/review” at the end of the URL (ex: g.page/smartlinksolutions/review) brings your customers directly to the review module to give your business a rating/review! These shortnames will certainly make it easier to ask for reviews and share your business across your social media accounts.
- Local favorites. Google stated that it wants to “recognize those businesses that consistently deliver a great experience for people”. Google is doing this with the new “Local Favorite” badge. This badge will be awarded to the top 5% of all local businesses in each business category. If you keep your profile updated and interact with your customers, you might be rewarded with a badge. Wearing a badge would set you apart from your local competitors! Do your best to earn one! We have not seen this yet live yet, but it’s sure to be out there soon.
- Free “Marketing Kit”. Google launched a new site to create and order marketing collateral like stickers, posters and other promotional assets. This marketing material can be used to encourage customers to leave Google Reviews, make a booking through Google, and more. It’s free of charge!
Of course, we encourage you to take full advantage of these new features to help your business stand out from the crowd.
For more information about showcasing your business online, contact us today!