Google’s looking to help businesses make the most of their Google listings for the holidays, with new, streamlined claiming options for your Google My Business profile, and additional insight on how Google search is driving people to your business.
First off, Google’s looking to make it easier for businesses to claim and customize their Google listings, with a new option to update and verify your brand profile direct from Search and Maps.
As explained by Google:
“Starting this week, you can easily claim and verify your Business Profile directly on Google Search or the Google Maps app. Search for your business by name and you’ll see an option to claim and verify the associated Business Profile. Once your business is verified, you can edit your business’ information, including the address, store hours, photos and more.”
Which you absolutely should do – your Google My Business profile is key digital real estate that you should claim, providing various options to influence how your brand appears in Google Search results, and even where it appears to some degree.
That doesn’t mean that by filling in your details you’ll automatically hit the top spot on related searches, but more contextual info in your Google display listings can play a significant role in driving more traffic for your business.
Though this is interesting:
“Moving forward, we recommend small businesses manage their profiles directly on Search or Maps. To keep things simple, “Google My Business” is being renamed “Google Business Profile.” And in 2022, we’ll retire the Google My Business app so more merchants can take advantage of the upgraded experience on Search and Maps. The existing Google My Business web experience will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations, and will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.” We’ll share more details on these changes in the months ahead.”
You should still claim and update your profile now, but it’s interesting to note that Google will be switching the focus of its business tools next year, with a view to better highlighting exactly what this element is, and how it can be used, while also maximizing take-up by removing the need for a separate app.
Expect, also, that Google will put even more emphasis on this as it broadens access, with additional features and tools that will likely replicate many Facebook business features. Watch this space.
Google’s also adding additional options to message customers from Search, while it’s also providing new metrics on inbound customer calls that came from their Business Profile on Google.
That could be an additional, valuable indicator, highlighting the benefits of your Google listings. Referral traffic data won’t reflect these interactions, and while it may only make up a minority of queries, it could be significant, and could alter the way that you look at your future promotions.
Google also recommends that brands sign up for its Pointy POS data linkage tool, which is free and available from your Google Business Profile on Search. That will ensure that your product listings are connected through to Google’s display options, while Google’s also updated its Performance Planner tool in Google Ads to provide more insight for your strategy.
While social platforms continue to get the most focus from many marketing teams, Google remains the key driver of referral traffic in most cases, and as such, it’s worth taking the time to understand the available tools and options to optimize your Google display listings.
SEO may not be as sexy as creative promotions, but its effectiveness is likely far more relevant, and these new options provide more ways to maximize your Search performance.