Google Announces New Features for Local Businesses

Google has announced the release of several features which will help small and local businesses improve their online presence. With limitations to how businesses can operate their brick and mortar stores, we have no doubt these updates will be a welcome addition to the already vast number of tools available to SMEs.

Google My Business is also adding new ways to customize profiles to make them more engaging. New options for cover photos were added, and certain companies will have their logo displayed more prominently. If you want to have your logo displayed on the top right-hand side of your profile, you need to have completed adding your core information to your profile. This update will encourage business owners to complete their Google My Business profile, so they have the best-looking profile.

The new features added to Google My Business, and those on the way, will make the platform more useful to retailers and consumers. Businesses should make an effort to update their profiles and think of ways to use the newest options to promote their brand.

Google announced that it was adding even more new elements to help businesses stand out and “capture their identity,” through unique personalization.

According to Google, the updates come at a time when searches are becoming increasingly more specific, and consumers know exactly what they are looking to accomplish from the get-go, whether it’s booking a reservation, finding a restaurant with live music or asking a specific question. The new descriptive elements will help businesses better match with these types of queries.

The additions include:

Welcome offers — Everyone loves a good deal. This new addition allows businesses to offer rewards and discounts to those who follow their business on Google.

Short names & URLS — Owners can claim a short name URL for their business.

Cover Photos — Businesses can select their preferred photo for visitors to see when they land on their page.

Logos — An option to add a business logo in the top right side of the profile.

Photo Displays — A photo module will show selected images in a carousel format. Soon, businesses will be able to add captions to these photos.

Offline Materials — Google will be launching a website for businesses to download and purchase promotional assets like custom stickers, posters and more.

The company also announced that it will begin highlighting the top 5% of businesses by designated them a “local favorite” within listings. They will also create digital and physical badges of honor for those awarded with this title.

Google ended their announcement by saying, “Finally, we want to recognize those businesses that consistently deliver a great experience for people. We’ll be highlighting the top five percent of businesses in a particular category with the “Local Favorite” designation. To help people easily find and engage with these businesses, we’re also creating digital and physical badges of honor.”

Google My Business’s new features may not all have fully rolled out yet, with more functionality to come over the next few weeks.

But with new GMB features being added all the time, it’s more important than ever to maintain and test out the capabilities of Google My Business listings.