It’s no secret that the world of digital marketing, and SEO in particular, is always changing. Keeping up with all the updates and enhancements can be a daunting task, especially when Google tends to keep things under wraps and is notorious for not disclosing updates and upgrades to its user base. And if you’re a small business owner, then you probably have enough on your plate as it is.
Fear not! We’re here to keep you in the loop on some of the cool new features inside the Google My Business platform that you should be using to improve the visibility of your local listing.
1. Google My Business Services Menu Feature
Fellow Local SEO expert, Mike Blumenthal, first noticed this feature about a year ago but at the time, apparently he was the only one. In early April 2018, more users finally reported seeing this feature integrated in their GMB Dashboard and Google officially announced the launch on April 9th. There is a chance it may not have rolled out to you yet, but if you do see it, use it.
Here is what it looks like:
While Google’s list of categories continues to expand, it’s not perfect. What I love about this feature is that it allows you to properly represent the complete list of services that your business provides and target keyword for any missing categories.
Adding your services to your listing should enhance your overall relevance for those search terms which should lead to increased visibility for those queries.
Just be sure to follow Google’s guidelines so you don’t get yourself into trouble.
2. The Return of the Google My Business Description
Google giveth, and Google taketh away. For us SEO’s, Google is finally giving us something we’ve so desperately wanted back… the business description. They made the official announcement via Twitter on March 28th, 2018.
Before diving in and writing a new business description, be sure to check out the guidelines to save yourself some editing time. The guidelines give you great insight into what you can and cannot include in your description. Be sure to stick to these guidelines because Google DOES review your description and will flag it pretty quickly if you don’t abide by their rules. It might be worth your time to write a few different variations of your business description just in case it does get rejected.
We recommend focusing in on a few different keywords when writing your description. Be sure to include them early on in the paragraph and then key in on what makes your business stand out and why users should choose you.
3. Google Posts
Another one of the more recent changes to the Google My Business listing was the integration of “Posts.”What I love about Google Posts is the fact that it shows up front-and-center in the Knowledge Panel when a customer searches for a particular business. It is the perfect opportunity to showcase things like awards, reviews, specials, news, etc. Anything to increase the chance of a click-through.
A GMB Post can include an image, copy, a Call To Action (CTA) and a URL that you can use to link to your website or a specific landing page. The Posts have a limit of 300 words, but only the first 100 characters or so of the Post appear in the business’ Knowledge Panel. If a user clicks the post, it expands into an ad-like experience where they can view more information. As an agency, using Google Posts has lead to a significant increase in impressions and clicks for our client base, so hurry up and get on board if you’re not using Posts already.
Take Advantage of All Things Google
Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is one of the most powerful Local SEO strategies your business can use to improve your visibility in the local SERPs. And at the end of the day, Google loves Google. Using their native features will almost always give you a leg up in the SEO game compared to those not using them. Be sure to login to your Google My Business dashboard frequently to check for updates or come back and visit our blog!
Have any of these new GMB features been working for you? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!