Top 5 GMB Platform Updates and How They Can Help Your Business Beat the Competition

 

As multi-location marketers, we should all be aware of Google My Business (GMB). Not only can your multi-location business utilize GMB for your local business listings, but it can also be used as a social platform. Google My Business is one of the best ways to connect with local consumers, boost your SEO efforts, and increase your brand visibility. If your multi-location business isn’t optimizing your local GMB profiles to the fullest, you’re missing out.

 

Within this blog, we’ll explore some of the most critical GMB updates that have occurred within the past year and explain how your multi-location business can leverage them as an industry leader. It’s essential to stay on top of the latest marketing trends and platform updates, and this blog can help you do so!

 

1. Update Your GMB Profiles From Search and Maps

 

Google My Business has a relatively new feature that allows multi-location businesses to update their local listings from Google Search and Google Maps. This new update is an excellent tool for multi-location marketers because it makes it easier to update local listings without logging into your GMB accounts.

 

Your multi-location business can also reply to reviews within Google Maps and Search and create posts and add photos through this feature. If you’re looking to boost your multi-location business’s local SEO with Google, pictures and Google Posts help. We’ll get more into Google Posts next, but this ability to create them within Search and Maps provides added convenience for multi-location marketers.

 

To edit listings or complete any of the previously mentioned tasks, open the Google Maps app for your local business location, tap on your profile picture, and select “Your Business Profile” to get started. On Google Search, all you have to do is search for your business to begin making changes. With this GMB update, multi-location marketers have no excuses not to keep local business information updated and relevant.

 

2. Older Google Posts Now Appear In Your GMB Profile 

 

In the past, Google Posts on your multi-location business’s GMB profile would expire after one week unless you were running a promotion or highlighting an event. In that case, your posts would be shared until the promotion ended or the event took place. Older Google Posts now remain active in your GMB profile until you remove them. Your multi-location business no longer has to worry about Google Posts having a shelf life and disappearing after a short time.

 

This spike will likely increase the number of views your Google Posts get and will also allow consumers to see the information your business shared for more than just a week. Multi-location marketers need to be aware of this new update on Google Posts to keep an eye on the metrics and the type of content you’re posting on Google. Because the information won’t disappear as quickly, there’s no need for you to repost similar content week after week. Similarly, timely posts won’t disappear entirely and will still be visible on your GMB profile. For more information on developing successful Google Posts, check out our blog on the topic.

 

3. GMB Health and Safety Attributes Remain Prevalent 

 

One of the most significant changes GMB made in the past year was to launch health and safety attributes. This addition occurred in the pandemic, and it allows businesses to highlight how they are keeping their customers and employees safe amid COVID-19. For instance, your multi-location business can indicate how often you sanitize stores and if you require masks and social distancing. Expect this option to be around for a while. Google seems to be continuously adding more attributes. If your multi-location business isn’t informing consumers through your health and safety attributes, it’s time to start.

 

For instance, if a consumer is looking for a nearby grocery store and sees one store with health and safety attributes in place and another nearby without, which one do you think the customer will choose?  Providing reassurance through the information you provide upfront takes out the guesswork for customers and will help your multi-location business beat the competition. Even as pandemic-related restrictions ease, health and safety attributes will remain important. Consumers care how clean your business is and the safety precautions you take for employees, and this feature gives you a way to highlight this information.

 

4. Google Changes Options For Flagging Reviews and Profiles

 

Online ratings and reviews are the number one factors consumers consider when making a purchase decision. As a multi-location marketer, you probably already know how much an inaccurate review can hurt your online reputation. Google helps multi-location businesses avoid this by providing an opportunity to flag reviews. This feature has been around for a while, but there are new components that multi-location marketers should understand.

 

In the past, Google gave you a list of reasons to flag a review but didn’t provide any description. A business now can provide added context when they flag a review. For instance, one category included “hateful, violent, or inappropriate” content and is now broken into three separate categories. The new categories that you can select when flagging a Google review include:

  • Off-topic
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Spam
  • Profanity
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Discrimination or Hate Speech
  • Personal Information

Your multi-location business needs to stay on top of your local reviews and flag any that fall under the previously mentioned categories. As a multi-location business, we understand that it can be challenging to keep track of ratings and reviews across 100s or 1,000s of locations, but SOCi has a tool that can help. SOCi’s streamlined reputation management software allows your local, regional, and corporate teams to manage reviews across all business locations within a single platform. You’ll be able to identify which reviews have been responded to and which reviews still require attention. Through this feature, you’ll be able to see every review, preventing your multi-location business from missing any that should be flagged.

 

 

5. New Performance Metrics Are Added to GMB Profiles 

 

To be a successful multi-location marketer, you must track your localized marketing efforts, including your GMB profiles’ performance. Over the past year, Google has added new performance metrics to GMB profiles, making that job much more manageable.  In August 2020, GMB added a new analytical dashboard for GMB data. Through this dashboard, your multi-location business can monitor how your business is performing through Google. The dashboard allows your business to pull a report that tracks:

  • how many people interacted with your profile
  • website clicks
  • searches: queries used to find your business
  • number of calls your business location received
  • messages received at the local level

 

It’s essential to keep track of these metrics to see how your GMB profiles perform and note where there’s room for improvement. For instance, if one business location is receiving 20+ calls a day, and another area only receives five, what is that location lacking. In all aspects of localized marketing, keeping track of your performance is essential. If you’re not already using these GMB performance metrics, it’s time to do so. Get a full breakdown of how to download GMB’s report from the analytics dashboard here.

As you can see, GMB is consistently adding new updates to its platform that your multi-location business can leverage. It’s essential to stay on top of the latest updates while also keeping your local GMB profiles updated and accurate. Like managing your reviews, we understand that it can be challenging to keep track of your local listings across all of your locations. That’s where SOCi Listings comes in.

 

 

 

SOCi empowers you to manage your business listings at scale and effectively optimize your online presence and local search rankings. SOCi Listings covers every step of the process to launch your listings to the top of search results, from syncing, updating, and managing your local listings to custom audits and profile recommendations. For more information on how SOCi can help you level-up your local listings while also boosting other aspects of your localized marketing efforts, request a demo today!