Technology giant Google is giving owners of local business enterprises improved control over their presence on Google Maps and search results pages through various new features which were announced today.
From now onward, the owners of local businesses will be able to offer perks and incentives to the Google Maps users for following their businesses and purchasing goods from them. The new features introduced by Google will enable the businesses to customize their deals in accordance with their marketing goals. This will allow Google Maps users to get amazing discounts in a single click.
Due to these newly-installed features, businesses are now able to update their statuses directly to their listings. Furthermore, they can select their Google Maps listing cover picture conveniently. The status updates can be viewed by a user in the “For You” section of the Google Maps app.
The pictures uploaded by the business entity will be shown prominently on the new dynamic modules of the business profile. Additionally, an upcoming photo captions feature will allow the businesses to tell the stories behind the pictures.
These new features were announced in a blog written by Amir Fish, Group Product Manager at Google My Business.
Since the launch of Google My Business in 2013, it has connected more than 150 million business enterprises with the people who are searching for them on Google or Google Maps.
“Since launching Google My Business five years ago, we’ve helped more than 150 million local businesses connect with people who are looking for them online,” the group product manager wrote.
The capacity to follow a local business entity was introduced in Google Maps in the year 2018. Since January 2018, a 50% increase in “near me” searches on Google Maps has been recorded. According to a company spokesman, it has also seen 500% increase in monthly bookings last year.
Business entities can now adopt short names and URLs so that their clients can easily approach them online. The followers of a business enterprise will not have to enter the big and complicated name of the business, rather a small name comprising of just a few letters would do the job. According to the company spokesman, Google My Business can be used to claim short names by the businesses on a first come, first serve basis.
Google My Business is also offering storefront decals to the businesses to promote their names and to get reviewed by their customers. The enterprises which will rank in the top 5% reviews in a specific business category would be given local favorite designated stickers. Google is also introducing the digital and physical badges of honor to help users approach and engage with reliable and quality service providers.
The businesses which will furnish their information such as their names, working hours and phone numbers, would have their logos displayed at the top right corner of their profiles.
“Businesses have an additional branding opportunity with the logo feature. Those that have completed their core information (phone number, hours, etc) will have their logo displayed at the top right-hand side of their profile,” the blog by Group Product Manager read.
Updates For Google Maps
Google introduced a series of updates for Google Maps in the last year like augmented reality navigation, the ability to order from local enterprises without leaving the app, inclusion of For You and commute tabs in the Maps app to mention the local events, trending local listings and the latest business openings.
Furthermore, Google is going to launch a new website where business entities can create custom assets for their business places which will help them to promote the bookings and to improve review addition and customer following.
“We’re also launching a website where businesses can easily download and order custom assets for their place – like stickers – to help promote bookings on the profile, adding reviews and customer following,” Amir Fish stated in his blog.
Last year, the local businesses have played an important role in formulating Google’s larger voice strategy. Calljoy is an excellent example of this strategy which uses conversational AI to receive the inbound calls for a local business enterprise.
Although, the inclusion of short names in Home Speaker or Google Assistant was not announced today, it is expected to be completely in line with Google’s voice strategy that has brought Google Search, Google Maps and Google Assistant closer together.