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The latest updates on Google My Business.

This post is part of a continuing series of monthly updates on the #1 search tool used by ready-to-buy customers. For all the updates, or to see additional information, read Attract More Customers with Google My Business.

Google is Considering Paid Premium Services

This news is going to wake up a lot of business owners! And likely wake them up on the wrong side of the bed.

Announced on Twitter on April 28th, the first user received a request to complete the Google My Business survey regarding premium services. The 20-min long survey asked for details including service preferences, willingness to pay and payment thresholds.

The survey was only sent to a select group of industries and this screenshot lists most of the industries invited to participate (Is yours listed?). Google often rolls out new services and features to select locations and industries and it appears this roll out will be similar. If you’d like to complete the survey and let Google know you are not OK with Paid Premium Services, click here. (All links open in a new window.)

GMB Industries SurveyedGoogle wants you to toot your horn this month!

Google introduced “suggested” Reviews to post to your Google My Business Listing. Google will automatically suggest 4 or 5 star Reviews added within the last month or so, to be shared as a Post. These Reviews will display on Google Maps as well and in search results. Talk about a BIG push in the right direction to get business owners asking for Reviews.

As always, Google will roll out the feature in stages, so if you are not prompted when you sign in to business.google.com, don’t fret, when the feature is available and you have eligible Reviews, you will get a prompt. No muss, no fuss. Google lets you know when your business is eligible.

Here’s the show stopper… Google will allow you to edit the Review before you share it. Maybe the business name is not quite right, or a price is listed. You can edit the content prior to sharing. You can also add up to 10 images to provide context to the Review and a Call to Action (CTA) to encourage new customers to inquire.

Prefer not to wait until Google offers you the service? Want to share a Review now? Try these simple tips:

  1. Log into business.google.com
  2. Select Reviews from the left menu
  3. Choose the Review you’d like to share
  4. Click the three dots on the right-hand side to “Copy Link”
  5. Paste this link along with text to social media or on your website (if you have the functionality).

share a google listing review above the fold scott francis advanced leadership

Small Thanks with Google

Don’t see “suggestions” yet? Here is another free tool (opens in a new window) to generate social media posts, videos and printable materials based on your Google Listing. You can create window clings, social media shareables based on Reviews and even business hours, or create a super fun custom view. Check it out below.

What’s Google’s Motivation Behind Promoting Reviews?

Google is taking on TripAdvisor for Reviews. You might remember a few months ago, Google added the ability to book hotel rooms directly from a Listings. Google recognizes the value of keeping traffic on their site, thus adding the most frequently used options directly to a business listing reduces the need for traffic to leave the Google search platform.

Shortnames and Vanity URLs

Have you ever tried to ask a customer for a Review and had to send them a great big long link? Not sure how to find that link? You can check it out here.

With the addition of short names and vanity URLs you can add g.page/[yourawesomebusiness]. So instead of g.page/abovethefoldonlinemarketingservicesinc, we become g.page/abovethefold. Whew!

Keep in mind you need between 5 & 32 characters in your short name and can use the short vanity URL to request reviews, send directions or business hours or display products on your Listing.

When the feature is available to your business, you will find it in the Info menu, then click ‘Add profile short name.’

Product & Service Menu

The Product & Service menu (in the Info tab) is finally visible from mobile!

Depending on your industry, some businesses report seeing their menu items displayed (restaurants) on both mobile and desktop while others state that services can only be seen on mobile. Here is a sample service menu.

GMB Service Menu Above the FoldGoogle’s AI Duplex Roll Out

Available on all Android phones across the US, Duplex, Google’s AI system for bookings and reservations continues to gain momentum. Try it out by saying, ‘Hey Google. Make me a restaurant reservation.”

Guaranteed by Google

Guaranteed by Google is available across the US and in select regions in Canada. The Google Guarantee Program provides a “star” or approved label in Listings and Ads to businesses who undergo a complete inspection and review by Google. These businesses are “guaranteed” by Google to provide excellent service and value to customers. Some of the industries currently included in the program are plumbers, locksmiths and HVAC services.

It is expected more markets and industries will be included shortly.

#GoogleGirl

Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google. Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers. If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.

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