In late June 2020, Google announced their expanding a Business Messaging service in Google Maps and Google Search to support all kinds of businesses. This update is an expansion on the original messaging service launched in Google My Business in 2017, only it is improved and expanded to all businesses rather than just US-based GMB users.
New Business Messaging Features
In addition to the expansion of business messages, Google also recently introduced a variety of other special features in Google My Business including:
- Smart Replies
- Visual Product Carousels
- Unique Welcome Messages
- Customer Service Agent
What This Means for Businesses
This update gives businesses a comprehensive messaging solution for communicating with their customers across both Android and iOS devices. Businesses that use the Business Messages tool on Google My Business will also be able to use it on their mobile website for customers to quickly message the business directly from their site. To cut back on wait time, businesses can provide on Google My Business the expected service wait times and answers to frequently asked questions.
What This Means for Customers
For customers, Google has updated it’s popular Google My Business platform to increase advanced usability. Customers can search for products, check business and service availability, get COVID-19-related updates, and a variety of other useful business solutions. To activate Google s Business Messaging option, simply click on the messaging icon when viewing businesses on Google search.
Want more details on recent Google updates? Read more here.
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Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Google has rolled out a number of features within Google My Business to help local businesses. In March they added the temporarily closed option, which allows businesses to let customers know that they were just temporarily closed and may be offering pickup or delivery. They have also encouraged businesses to provide updates through the posts option in Google My Business. Now, they have integrated support links that enable customers to make donations to businesses and order gift cards through partners without a commission going to Google.
Now that businesses have these new options, which ones are the most important to their Google My Business page?
Hours of Operation
Letting customers know if you are open or not, and what your hours are, is the most important thing that needs to be constantly updated. Once you make the update in your Google My Business dashboard it will show up in organic search and on Google Maps.
Right now, posts are the best way to inform users in a detailed way about things your business is doing. Since there are many questions about how businesses are making adjustments, this is the perfect place to share your changes.
By adding photos of your business to your profile and within posts, you can give customers an inside look at your business without having them step outside of their home. This will add a level of comfort for those who want to see how your business is operating.
Want to enhance your Google My Business profile for your customers? Contact Brad to learn about our
Local Search Engine Optimization service!
Are you a merchant who regularly sells products on the Google Shopping tab? Has the fallout of COVID-19 left your sales diminished and your company struggling? The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has caused challenges to the commerce industry. Physical stores have closed and digital commerce in all industries has become a lifeline for many retailers.
Today Google announced that before the end of April they will be making it free for merchants to sell on Google in the United States. Google plans on expanding this opportunity globally before the end of the year. This change will help merchants better connect with their consumers and provide them with better opportunities to buy from the merchant’s inventory.
What This Means for Advertisers
For advertisers, this update means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. If you’re an existing user of Google’s Merchant Center and Shopping Ads, you will already be taking advantage of the free listings. For new users of Merchant Center, Google will continue to streamline the onboarding process and address challenges over the coming weeks and months.
Now is an important time for advertisers and retailers to make new customers and keep the current customers coming back to them. The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has left many advertisers and digital marketers questioning how to maintain healthy sales and budgets. Read up on the recent webinar “COVID-19 Response Checklist for Digital Marketers,” where Intertwine’s Jake Renter and Wes MacLaggan of Marin Software answer questions related to the effect COVID-19 has had on the digital marketing industry.
What This Means for Retailers
For retailers, the change to Google’s Shopping tab means free exposure to millions of people who visit Google every day. To make your products more discoverable, you must opt your existing product feeds into the surfaces across Google program, which does not require Google Ads to use. The “surfaces across Google program” is an available program that allows shoppers to see product results from retail stores on various Google surfaces including Google Images, Google Lens, Google Search, and Google Shopping. Google is also kicking off a partnership with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts, which will speed up the onboarding process and help provide shoppers with the highest quality results.
What This Means for Shoppers
For shoppers, this update increases the number of products you can buy from more stores, all discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For companies that in the past have depended on physical store locations as their main business channel, Google’s update will present them better opportunities to offer their products to shoppers for free.
Read Google’s original update article here.