Having a Google My Business account is like lifeblood for local businesses. Google My Business helps local businesses become more visible online by users who search in their area. For example, if a person is searching for a “Candle Shop” in the Geneva, IL area, Scentcerely Yours may come up due to their location and fully optimized Google My Business Profile.
In mid-2021, there were a few important Google My Business updates that we’re going to discuss further in this article. It’s important for local businesses to always keep up-to-date on Google My Business changes to ensure they always have the correct information on their profiles and are taking full advantage of all of the new features available.
The Latest Google My Business Updates
With COVID-19, there have been many changes on Google My Business to help local businesses everywhere adapt and continue to drive in customers.
You can now let customers know if your business is temporarily closed or still open. Be sure to update your hours if they have changed since the pandemic began. If your hours are incorrect, this can be frustrating for customers who look for accurate information online.
Additionally, there are language updates for healthcare professionals. You can now let customers know if you offer support for non-English speaking families.
New on Google
If you are a new local business, Google My Business has a new feature for you! A “New on Google” label will appear next to your business listing, which can be beneficial for local businesses and local customers alike.
Phone Numbers in Posts
Google My Business recommends you stop including phone numbers in your Google My Business posts, as to not “phone stuff.” Similar to keyword stuffing, Google doesn’t want to show your phone number so many times that it appears spammy.
Google My Business Reviews
In the digital age, it’s become common knowledge that a lot of misinformation lives online. That includes reviews! Many local businesses have reported fake reviews in the past and it was a seemingly difficult process to remove them.
Now, not only does Google have a better review filtering process, but the reporting and review removal process has been updated as well. It has become easier to remove fake reviews from your Google My Business profile and you can now track the removal process from start to finish.
Additionally, new reviews you receive will show up with a “New” label next to the review. Customers will have an easier time distinguishing between new and old reviews.
Google My Business Video Size
Google My Business has reduced its video sizing. Previously, local businesses could upload a 100MB video or less. Now, the reduced size is 75MB. Keep this in mind when creating any video assets you’d like posted on your listing.
New Google My Business analytics have also been made more readily available. Local businesses can now view how many website visits you’ve had and how many phone calls you’ve had from your Google My Business listing.
What Do These Google My Business Changes Mean For Local Businesses?
Well, of course with change comes adaptation. You’ll need to make updates on your Google My Business account based on these new changes to ensure you have an up-to-date, optimized profile. However, Google is always trying to come up with new ways to help local businesses become more visible online.
Some of these changes, such as the Google My Business reviews updates, can help reduce the spread of misinformation and fake reviews online. So, while Google My Business changes can be overwhelming and somewhat stressful for local businesses, they can help move your local business in the right direction long-term.