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.
Auto-Replies for Reviews
If you read our blog often, you already know best practice for responding to reviews is to respond within 24 hours. That can be tough, especially for businesses who receive reviews on a regular basis! Google is testing an AI (artificial intelligence) tool to help business owners respond more quickly. While the responses are not “automatic,” they are populated with recommended content that business owners can use to complete their responses.
The feature is only available to select businesses at this time. If you notice the feature on your listing, let us know!
Google’s Free Website Tool
If you didn’t already know, your Google Listing has a free website. Google weighed in this month on when a business needs to create a website.
“If your business only has a physical storefront, then Google recommends starting with Google My Business. This still allows a business to get found in search results without investing the same amount of time and effort as it takes to build a website.
If your business sells products online, then Google actually recommends investing your time in social media before building a custom website. Google suggests building a strong social media presence while maintaining a basic e-commerce storefront.
When a business grows, then Google recommends investing in a custom website built from scratch. Alternatively, you could also use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress.”
Google also stressed the importance of keeping your website up to date. Whether hours and location or fresh content, Google closely watches for site updates.
Q & A Features
If customers regularly post questions on your listing, you will want to keep an eye out for feature bugs. Some businesses even report their Q&A features are completely gone.
In the last two months, the number of reminders from Google to post to our listing or congratulating us for successfully posting has tripled! Google wants to ensure we do not forget about our listing and even encourages us to post “sales” information.
SMS Messaging Ends
SMS Messaging (Text Messaging) from listings is gone. It is replaced with “Messages” within your Google My Business app. If you have not installed the app, and you are a business owner or listing manager, you need to have this app at your fingertips. Customers expect near instant responses and you’d hate to lose the customer to a competitor.
Being able to have multiple people managing a business listing and able to respond to customers is much more convenient than a single person and a single text messaging device. Kudos to Google for recognizing that.
Animated GIFs from Mobile
When is the last time you uploaded new photos to your listing? Move over photos, videos and gifs (from mobile) are an option! **But we aware that customers can also upload GIFs!**