Google’s business listings have undergone several significant changes over the last few months. Google My Business (GMB) pages now allow for posts to be added to the pages, as well as a new Q&A feature.
GMB pages now have a feature that allow you to post about upcoming events, important information about your business, or your recent blog posts. These posts stay active for 7 days and then are archived. These posts are meant to do 2 things. One, give people searching for your business important information; and two, show users that your page is actively managed and therefore they can trust the information on it.
The posts allow you to upload up to 300 characters, and image, and a call to action button (CTA) that links back to your website. Therefore if your post is about a blog article you can link back to your article. If it is about buying tickets for an event you can link directly to where they can buy tickets.
Here is an example of how the post looks on the GMB page.
If you click on the post it will expand to display the full post and CTA button in blue.
Google also introduced Question and Answers for GMB pages recently. This feature allows searchers to ask questions about the business, and the community (or page owner) can answer. This Q&A format was initially only available on mobile devices, however, in recent weeks we have seen it showing up on desktop devices as well. I would expect Q&A to roll out across all devices in the coming months.
Here is an example of how the Q&A displays on Desktop.
If you click on the Question you can see other questions asked on the page as well as the top answers for each question.
Below are a few others features worth noting about GMB pages.
Is this page claimed?
This is a question we hear lots of clients asking. Is our Google My Business page claimed? Well there is a very simple way to tell. Google will now display a “Own this business?” prompt on the page. If this is present, the page has not been claimed. If there is no “Own this business?” tag this means the page has been claimed. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell exactly which email address was used to claim the page. Google does offer ways to recover lost business pages, however, they can be quite complicated. Contact Us for more information.
If you see the “Own this business?” tag on your GMB page it means it has not been claimed. It is important to claim this page to make sure that the information is kept up to date and relevant. It will also allow you to answer any questions quickly, and post updates to keep your customers up to date.
Printing specific reviews for store fronts.
Google also recently started a program that will allow users to print specific user reviews for display on store fronts. You can select your review and Google’s software will stylize it as you wish, add branding, and allow you to export a large high-quality image file perfect for printing.
This program is called Small Thanks With Google.
Unfortunately, as of right now this is only available in the US but is expected to come to Canada in 2018, so keep your eye out!