Google My Business Announces New Features Including Welcome Offers
If you’ve ever Google’d services in your area, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered Google My Business (GMB). These listings provide users with basic information about a location, providing hours of operation, photos, and more. While some of these listings simply pull data from available sources, Google also allows businesses to claim their listings and expand their profile. Now owners will have even more features to experiment with in a bid to reach new customers.
One of the new features Google My Business is adding is the ability to create welcome offers for customers and incentivize them for following businesses on Google. Speaking of which, GMB will also be rolling out short names and URLs that will make it easier for customers to get updates from their favorite businesses. As Search Engine Land notes, these short names will take the form of @shortname or g.page/shortname. Businesses will be able to start claiming their short names in the next few days and the company says they will start making these short names searchable in Google Maps “in the coming month.”
Continuing the customization theme, businesses will also be able to select their preferred cover photo for the listing. Google says listings will now make business logos more prominent as well. Also on the way are photo captions that will accompany photos uploaded by businesses.
Last but not least, Google My Business plans to highlight certain establishments by designating them as “Local Favorites.” The company says that 5% of businesses in a given category will earn the honor. In a blog post, they explain, “To help people easily find and engage with these businesses, we’re also creating digital and physical badges of honors. Stay tuned for more details on these recognition categories coming later this summer.”
Notably absent from Google’s announcement was any mention of a subscription fee. Previously a survey sent to some Google My Business customers hinted that the company was considering charging for premium features. Of course, while that hasn’t come to fruition yet, it’s too early to rule out such a scenario entirely.
The latest slate of Google My Business features are a welcome addition for entrepreneurs who want to reach potential customers with accurate information and make a good first impression. As for Google, they clearly have big plans in mind for their GMB platform — which may or may not include paid services. Overall these new additions give business owners one more reason to claim their Google My Business listings and customize their profiles as soon as possible.