6 New & Updated Google My Business Features for Local SEO

6 New & Updated Google My Business Features For Local Seo
Post Menu and Details.

Words: 961

Reading time: ~4 minutes


Google My Business has been around for quite some time now. While Google keeps tweaking the features and functionality every once in a while, the core of this tool remains the same – helping local businesses find a listing in the local search results.

6 New & Updated Google My Business Features For Local Seo

This tool has equipped the local businesses with an advantage to compete with the big brands that almost always occupy the top SERP positions. In this regard, Google My Business has become an indispensable tool for digital marketing strategies for small businesses – all the good local SEO services would vouch for that statement.

In fact, because of the pandemic, having a listing on Google My Business has become even more critical because between January and July 2020, businesses experienced a 61% increase in calls routed through Google My Business. On the same note, Google has recently come up with certain new features in this tool that are pandemic relevant – they will be discussed later in the blog.

Why Does a Business Need GMB?

The digitalization of business has created a new space for consumers to explore and find services and products. Having a Google Business Profile is a way for a company to be seen by these users. Through your business profile, you can display the details of your brand to these online consumers – your contact information, website URL, location of offices on a map, etc.

6 New & Updated Google My Business Features For Local Seo

To have control over the online profile of your business, you need the tool called Google My Business. This tool is absolutely free and lets you manage your business profile to perform better in search listings.

Primarily, the GMB tool helps you interact with your consumers online. While a business profile is a static entity, a GMB attributes a certain dynamic level to it. You can respond to customer reviews that have been posted for your business on the profile, for one. Another key functionality that GMB adds to a business profile is displaying additional information. A profile is just a banner – GMB turns it into a brief brochure by providing operational hours, holidays, website URL, contact, etc.

Utilizing these properties to fetch better listings for a business makes GMB a must-have tool for every digital marketer.

Latest GMB Features to Utilize in Your Business Listing

Regular updates and improvements to GMB ensure that users are served with the most relevant search results – global or local. With the latest BERT update to Google’s SERP algorithm, it has become necessary to keep the digital space updated with crisp, relevant information. Recently, Google has made certain pandemic-relevant features available to GMB users so that the business profile holders can improve their relevance to get better search listings. Here are the top six:

Health and Safety Info Feature

The pandemic has left the world shaken, and the businesses that remain operational are required by law to observe safety norms. Google has equipped certain attributes to the GMB console for the businesses to project themselves as compliant. With this feature, the users now have the option to display the following tags on their business profiles:

  • Masks mandatory for staff.
  • Entry by appointment only.
  • Temperature checks are mandatory.
  • Facility sanitized regularly.

Attaching these tags to a business profile works to assure the consumers that a business follows all the health and safety regulations.

Specific Safety Norms Feature for Restaurants

The feature, added specifically for the businesses in the foodservice industry, contains tags that tell the consumers whether or not a restaurant is observing safety guidelines defined for COVID-19:

  • Pick-up orders only
  • No-touch exchanges
  • Home delivery only
  • Staff wear masks and gloves
  • Facility sanitized frequently
  • Reservations only
  • Operational at 50% capacity

Virtual Assistance Feature

Many businesses have been operational purely online ever since the pandemic struck. So it only made sense for Google to include certain tags that helped such companies get the information out to the consumers:

  • Online care
  • Virtual clinic
  • Online appointments
  • Virtual classroom
  •  Online quotations

These attributes help the consumers understand how brands are prepared to cater to them in the light of the pandemic.

Additional Insights Feature

Google has enhanced how My Business treats the data it collects from the searches that concern your business. For example, you can now see how many times your business profile showed up in search results. It will also now list the map search data for your business profile.

6 New & Updated Google My Business Features For Local Seo

Not only does this help you optimize your SEO strategy, but also your position in the search results.

Opt-in Messaging Feature

That is perhaps the most crucial feature with high utility that Google has added to the GMB console. Through a “messages” button, the GMB dashboard lets you see all the individual messages that your business has received through its Google profile. Through using the messaging feature, you can now respond to these messages straight from the GMB interface.

That has helped businesses greatly reduce the turnaround time for customer queries. Being able to respond to customers promptly creates a good value for a brand.

Video Upload Limit

While earlier the businesses had an option to upload a video up to 100 MB in size, the latest update caps this limit at 75 MB – actually reducing the size of the video a business can now upload. Of course, that goes hand-in-hand with other SEO optimizations that Google has made to its algorithms to show users more relevant and precise content. So whatever a business had been telling its users about itself earlier will now have to be wrapped up within 75 MB.

The Takeaway

Google My Business is a powerful tool to compete for a tete-a-tete with the big brands, at least in catering to the locale your business serves. If utilized optimally, GMB generates a good number of leads – for free! Don’t just stop at creating a website. Give your business a dynamic face with a Google profile and a GMB dashboard, equipped with the newest features.

Thank you for reading!