Searchable and Branding Tools – The Latest Additions to Google My Business
Launched in 2014, Google My Business has fast become the need of the hour for both consumers and merchants. It is quickly evolving into a platform that facilitates engagement and transaction between customers and businesses. Quite recently, Google shared data that revealed how it facilitates more than three billion direct connections between users and merchants every month. With over 95 million people participating globally in various local guide programs, Google My Business is soaring high to bridge the gap between merchants and consumers.
Promotional and branding tools
Google’s announcement comes as good news for GMB users. It pushes more local businesses to claim their GMB profiles so that they can leverage the promotional and branding tools. Some of the new features that Google My Business now offer are:
• Adding a logo – you can now add your business logo on your GMB profile picture.
• Adding a cover photo – businesses can choose pictures for users to see when they visit the profile.
• Dynamic photo module – you can add a slideshow of photos with an option to add captions for each.
• Welcome offers – customers who follow different businesses will stand a chance to earn welcome offers.
• Promotional assets – Google will soon launch a website that creates and orders posters, stickers, and various other promotional assets.
Short URLs and local favourites
Although the new features will benefit GMB users and consumers, two additional announcements are believed to be of more significance: one that involves short names and URLs which consumers can search on Maps and on Google; second, the Local Favorites badge. This will enable more businesses to come into the limelight. Google promised that as much as 5% of the top local businesses would get the Local Favorites badge. However, they did not mention the criteria that will determine how and why the businesses will be ranked as the Local Favorites. They only disclosed that businesses that have updated profiles and be responsive to their customers would have an advantage over the competition.
GMB verification for short names
There will be two types of short names: @shortname and g.page. Businesses can choose either of the two. Since they will already have a verified GMB profile, they will not need to obtain domain squatting. This will make it easier for a consumer to search for a local business. When they look for a company using their website URL or the name of the business, it will lead them directly to the GMB profile of the merchant.
Google believes this approach will enable a global namespace that allows similarly named businesses to compete against each other. The reason behind activating short names was to simplify the business promotion techniques. Although Google did not mention anything about digital advertising, it certainly has the potential, now that GMB is operating so much in favour of businesses and customers.
Google My Business is now a local engagement platform, and this allows agency partners and small business customers to come into the forefront using the powerful search engine facilities from Google.