Inspired by a recent podcast we did, we figured there would be some good information to provide about key new features in Google My Business. The tips and features we will discuss are important for any size or type of business out there.

Most of these features will deal with more chances of enhanced visibility, and in turn, more opportunities to come up on searches. For those who don’t know, Google My Business is a free tool for businesses that allows them to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. If you’d like to learn more about that first before proceeding with this information, please refer to this awesome blog post.

Making the Most of your Google My Business Listing

Do you have a Google My Business? Is it fully optimized? Feel free to refer to this blog post to learn more about that.

Let’s start with the basics to lead up to the new features: you need to create your Google My Business page. Just like it sounds, you enter the information on your business in this online directory.

Once you have set up your Google My Business, you will need to get your business verified. As of the date of this article, the verification process still requires that a physical postcard be mailed to your place of business. This postcard will contain a verification code that needs to be entered online in order to activate the listing.

We have heard of many cases where people do not get their postcard in the mail. Businesses with multiple locations are especially prone to experience this.

Tips for Getting Set Up in Google My Business

Tip – If you don’t receive the postcard the first time you request it, request it again. If you don’t receive it after the 2nd request, contact the Google My Business help center over the phone. Yes, you will have to go through a bit of a process to get on the phone – but after several attempts to receive the postcard in the mail, you will get verified over the phone.

Speculation – It has been my experience with multi-store businesses that it is more difficult to get all stores verified. We attribute this to Google getting more sophisticated in their review process, and in conjunction with their Maps and verification algorithms, multi-store businesses are having to go through some additional steps to get verified.

Tip – Set your business hours as open 24 hours and implement 24-hour call centers. Have clear holiday hours. Basically, when you have 9-5 hours, on mobile, it will show in red as “Closed” and basically you are telling people don’t call.”

Myth – The more categories you use for your business listing the more it takes away from your main category – right now, you can claim up to 9 categories.

New Features in Google My Business

Messaging App – Pros and cons – There is no API for it. In order to enable this function, you have to download the app on your phone. You can only turn the feature off on a desktop.

Google Posts – While they only show up on branded searches, and can only be posted manually, they do have the potential of showing up in SERPS, and there are terms that don’t have enough listings and a small snippet of your business will show up as part of those searches.

Click to call – If you are running special offers or have any event-specific offers, this feature allows you to link your specials or event and incentivize customers to click on the post and call in order to get that discount/special.

Ready to Use Google My Business to your Advantage?

If you’re ready to make a serious impression in your local market, there’s no better way to do so than through a well-made GMB page. Looking to set one up or fill out missing information on an existing Google My Business page? Trust us to get you rolling with a digital marketing consultation. All you need to do to get started is fill out our contact form.