Since our last in-depth how-to article on Google My Business there have been more than a few updates because, as we know, Google never lets anything rest for too long. In order to keep you in the know about this local SEO gem I’m going to do a brief overview of the Google My Business changes, what they mean, and what, if anything, you need to do about them.
Let’s hop to it!
11 Google My Business Updates to Know
July – December of 2018 brought a LOT of changes to the Local SEO landscape and we won’t cover them all here because that’s literally a full-time job and you’re here for Google My Business info.
Here are the top 11 Google My Business updates that you should know about:
- Sports watchers welcomed! You can now let users know if they can watch sports in your business with a “good for watching sports” option. There are also more “sports” related attributes you can find in your Google My Business dashboard.
- Privacy updates. Perhaps as a reaction to GDPR laws in the EU, the guidelines for GMB now unequivocally state that sharing confidential info is prohibited.
- Metrics now available. From your Google My Business dashboard, you can now see metrics like views, searches, and actions (directions, calls, etc.) that users have taken with your GMB profile.
- Search query reporting. You can now see what people are searching for that lead them to your Google My Business entry. This is pretty critical information because you can use those keywords to help bolster your on-site content and blog content for more searchability and relevance.
- Increased security. In July, Google upgraded Google My Business sites to HTTPS to increase security.
- Your staff is visible. There is an option that allows you to list the emails of your owners and managers on a GMB profile to make it easier for people to reach out to them. We do not recommend this unless you REALLY want to open the floodgate.
- Upgraded mobile search. We know Google has adopted a mobile-first attitude because, well, they said it and everything since that announcement made way back in 2017 has shown that they were serious. You can now see “menus” and “posts” on Google My Business entries on mobile.
- Easier review replies. You can now add and edit your replies to user reviews directly from the knowledge panel.
- Located In feature added. Before you had to contact Google My Business to show that your business is located in a certain area or building, now you can add the designation yourself.
- A new metric! You can now see your branded search metrics–something you could already take a peek at through tools like SEM Rush are now available in the Google My Business dashboard insights.
- The app got an update. The Google My Business mobile app now has customer insights and information as well as an updated look.
Google My Business: Now What?
While this is not the total, comprehensive list, these are important changes to keep track of so you can ensure your Google My Business profile is up to date. With the big core algorithm change last year (omg, don’t even get me started or DO and I’d be more than happy to talk your ears off about it) there are murmurs, groans, curses, and rumors that Google will be placing more and more import on a Google My Business profile than on your website and that, as a result, organic traffic to your website may start to decline.
Customers can now get a lot of information they need about your business from your Google My Business profile which will impact your organic traffic if it hasn’t already. But don’t worry, your Google My Business traffic should (right, Google?!?!) reflect quality back to your business if it is optimized, active, and up to date.
If you do NOT have a Google My Business profile–stop what you’re doing right this second and go through our How-To guide to get it set up. If you have one and you haven’t looked at it in a while–now is the time to make a resolution to start checking it monthly, if not weekly.
Have any more questions? I’m here to help! Just reach out and we’ll see how we can help!