Category Archives: Google My Business

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GOOGLE HAS MADE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO PROMOTE POSITIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS WITH GOOGLE’S SUGGESTED POSTS FEATURE

You can now highlight positive customer reviews for your business with ease. Google has rolled out a new feature that allows you to highlight the reviews from your happy customers. It’s called Suggested Posts: Customer Testimonials.

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Why is it so important to promote your businesses positive Google reviews with Google’s Suggested Posts feature?

Beyond being a possible ranking factor. As much as 91% of customers read reviews while shopping online and that is why reviews are one of the most important factors you should pay attention to when evaluating your online marketing campaign. Reviews not only help you generate trust among your prospects but also help you stand out from the crowd as a trusted business.

Customers prefer a business that has a healthy number of reviews & it increases the click-through rate (CTR) up to 25%. The more reviews a business has, the more customers they will get as good reviews tend to correlate closely with CTR. More eyeballs to your site mean more possibilities to convert those eyeballs into customers. 

Read our blog, “Reviews & Ratings Are The Most Prominent Local Search Ranking Factor” to learn more about the importance of positive online reviews.

Here’s an excerpt from Google’s announcement:

We’re happy to announce a new feature that lets you post automatically suggested reviews as customer testimonials.

In some countries, Google My Business will provide suggested posts to help you showcase positive reviews left for your business. You may get suggestions for new testimonials to post when you sign in to Google My Business, or via email notifications.

These posts are automatically suggested based on 4 or 5-star reviews recently left for your business. You’ll be able to review and edit the post before publishing it.

Below is an example of how automatically Suggested Posts: Customer Testimonials looks:

google-my-business-suggested-posts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Suggested Posts Takeaway

Positive reviews are exceptionally beneficial to your business and your bottom line. If you have a verified Google My Business listing, you can use Google posts to highlight positive reviews from your happy customers. This can help your business in so many ways.

Do not forget to constantly use Google posts to promote your events, products & offers. In case you are new to Google posts or thinking about how much value it will bring to your business, we highly suggest you give this article a read.

What Can You Do Now?

Allow our specialists to help! Our proprietary reporting, marketing & SEO dashboard is full of capabilities and it is FREE to all of our clients.

A few of our marketing dashboard capabilities include:

We hope this article helps you understand the importance of reviews and how you can better track, react, and promote your businesses online reviews.

Contact us today!

Email us @ info@seosolutions.us 

gmb-mobile-service

Google My Business Adds Service Area Features For Mobile Business

If you or any of your clients has a mobile business, like plumbing service, landscapers or any business that is always on the move – we have good news for you.

Google wants to help those who service multiple areas by showing their service area & business information on Google Search and Maps. You can enter the area you are generally in by submitting the list of zip codes on GMB.

It simply starts with “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?” while creating your GMB account. It will then show you options that are tailored to fit the needs of a mobile business. But in case you already have an account on GMB, you can edit it from the dashboard.

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The best part about this feature is – it allows the business owners to separately edit the storefront and service area. So, in case you have a physical location and also provide mobile services, you can highlight both on the SERP and Map.

Just in case your address isn’t applicable to your business, you can simply clear it. But will there be any downside to it? These points might be able to answer your question.

1. Clearing your address will turn your listing into a service area business which will remove the directions icon, remove the maps pin, remove the listing from the Google Maps API and hide your address from the public.

2. If you’re a service area business and your address was automatically cleared by Google, don’t try to add it back. If you attempt to do so, you’ll be required to reverify it.

3. In spite of your “missing” address, Google still knows where you are but they hide your address from the public.

4. The old service area radius is replaced with a list of zip codes or cities.

5. Rankings are still based on your address (whether you like it or not).

6. If you move, you should add your new address back, reverify it, then clear it. Otherwise, your ranking will be based on the old address.

Our takeaway
If you or your client’s business can benefit from the service area feature, make sure you read Google’s announcement & then head to this article for further explanation.

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How To Optimize and Take Advantage of Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business itself is not a public-facing, searchable directory (such as Yelp), BUT your listing on Google My Business is what many other public-facing, searchable directories pull from.

This includes Google Maps, which has become its own hybrid form of a review site/business directory/navigation service.

Your Google My Business listing can also impact your rankings in search results on both Google Maps and regular Google searches.

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some compelling stats that highlight its importance.

Businesses with a Complete and Accurate GMB Listing:

  • Are 2.7x more likely to be considered reputable
  • Get 7x more clicks

Complete and Accurate GMB Listings:

  • Are 70% more likely to attract location visits
  • Are 50% more likely to lead to a purchase

Here’s how you can optimize and take full advantage of your GMB listing

BASIC LEVEL

1. Set up your Google Business listing

The first step is to set up (or claim) your Google My Business Listing. Go to Google My Business page and click “Start Now” in the upper left corner.

Did you know that anyone can list your business on Google? That’s a little scary, but fear not—you as the owner can claim your listing which grants you the access to edit and update your information, to post timely information, and to manage reviews. The claiming process requires a few steps, but it is a must.

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2. Complete your listing

Fill in every relevant field that Google offers. You want to make sure the profile is as complete as possible and that every piece of information is accurate.

The impact of inaccurate or inconsistent listings is not one you can afford. A complete Google My Business listing includes:

Business name: The legal / official name of your business.

Address: Full address of your business.

Phone number: A number with a local area code is recommended. That’s one extra signal to Google that you are actually local. Make sure the number you use for your Google My Business listing is also displayed on your website.

Category: Choose a relevant category. This will help Google decide which searches your local listing belongs in.

Website: Your website URL.

Hours of Operation: The hours your business is open. For days when you have unusual hours, like holidays or special events, you can set special hours.

Description: What you offer, what sets you apart, your history, or anything else that’s helpful for customers to know. Allowable limit is 750 characters. Keep in mind that only the first 250 characters show up in the Knowledge Panel, so prioritize your information. Finally, no links or HTML.

Photos: Showcase your products and services to people who are looking for what you offer. Consider hiring a Google approved photographer to create a 360-view virtual tour of your business for customers. According to Google, listings that have a virtual tour and photos generate twice as much interest as those without.

Depending on your industry, there may be additional fields such as menus for restaurants.

A complete listing makes it as easy as possible for potential customers to find and contact your business. In addition, the more complete your listing is, the more favor you will receive from Google when ranking you in results.

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3. Make sure your information matches everywhere else

One thing Google’s algorithm looks at to verify the legitimacy of a listing is a consistency in how it’s listed across different websites. While that seems simple enough – your address is the same each time you enter it somewhere – it’s easy for little differences to slip in. Maybe you wrote out the Road part of the street name one time, and shortened it to Rd another time, for instance.

Pick a standard way to write out your address, a consistent phone number to use, and make sure all your listings match both each other and the information you provide on your website. And work on getting your website listed in as many relevant directories as possible.

4. Avoid penalty-inducing offenses

Any work you do to optimize your website or local listing will be for naught if you incur a penalty. Google suspends business listings for a range of offenses. Getting suspended is stressful, confusing, and bad for business, so it’s best to avoid doing anything that puts you at risk of it.

Read through Google’s guidelines for Google My Business listings so you have a full understanding of what not to do. Some of the main things to avoid are:

  • Using a URL that redirects to your website’s URL, rather than the actual URL itself.
  • Trying to awkwardly add keywords into your business name field.
  • Having multiple local listings for the same business location.
  • Using any address for your business that isn’t a physical storefront or office space where you meet with customers.

Use common sense and don’t try to play the system or get extra listings and you’ll probably stay on the right side of Google.

5. Encourage reviews

You’ll notice that the local businesses listed in the map snippet of a local search usually have star ratings next to their name. Google wants to provide the most useful information to its users, and users want to find the nearby business that seems the best. In both cases, it benefits your business to have a high star rating.

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Ask your happy customers to take a few minutes to give you a review on Google. Include an encouragement on promotional materials you hand out or put up in your store. A gentle nudge or a reminder of how much it means for your business can make your loyal customers that much more likely to take the time to say a few kind words about you.

Utilize our proprietary Dashboard Review Widget as well as our Survey Module to get positive reviews for your business listing on Google and Yelp.

6. Make sure your website and content is optimized for search

All the usual SEO advice that helps strengthen the authority of your website in the eyes of Google matters here too. So don’t focus on optimizing just your local listing. Optimize your website as well.

Make sure that you:

  • Incorporate relevant keywords into the meta tags and copy on each page, where you can do so naturally.
  • Add schema markup to your website.
  • Create content with a local focus i.e. locally relevant landing pages.
  • Look for local linking opportunities.

A strong website that’s optimized for both your customers and search engines will be that much more likely to make it into the list of the top three in a local Google search.

ADVANCED LEVEL

7. Post to Google My Business

Just like with other social media platforms, you can now post directly to Google My Business. Your posts show up on the “Posts” tab of your listing, but might also become visible on your Google Maps or Google Search result, depending on relevance.

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Through Google posts you can make announcements, create events, highlight products, and run promotions. The information in these posts is that which customers need in order to stay engaged with you, which is ultimately what leads them to choose you over competitors. In addition, each post type has a call to action button, making the experience from discovery to engagement seamless.

If you’re not already convinced the impact Google Posts can have on your audience, check out this quote from Google:

“Seventy percent of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice. With Posts, you can share timely, relevant updates right on Google Search and Maps to help your business stand out to potential customers. And by including custom calls-to-actions directly on your business listing, you can choose how to connect with your customers.”

8. Utilize Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers is a great feature for Google local search. It’s very cool! Just like it sounds, Q&A allows people to ask questions about your business and you can answer those questions.


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The Google My Business Q&A feature is the perfect opportunity to hear directly from “the people” and you can respond to them. Win-win.

One thing you should do is be proactive and create a Frequently Asked Questions list to preempt people’s GMB Q&As. Check with your sales reps and your customer service staff to identify the questions people most often ask, then put those Q&A questions on your GMB listing.

TIP: Google has said that upvoting questions can make them more visible. If someone has a particularly important question, go ahead and upvote it.

9. Google My Maps Syndication with Driving Directions

Google My Maps Syndication is an advanced level strategy to gain local With Google My Maps Syndications, you can get:

  • Map mentions from top ranking GEO locations
  • Locally optimized Tier 2 links and embeds
  • Driving directions to your location from serviceable areas
  • Improved local search rankings

Here’s how an optimized Google My Map with driving directions (embedded on the website) looks like:


driving_gmb

10. Respond to Customer Reviews. Even Negative Ones

The reviews on your GMB page can be a deciding factor in whether or not a buyer engages with your brand. Just check out some of these statistics about Local Consumer Reviews:

  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
  • 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked
  • 30% of consumers say they’ve judged a business based on its responses to reviewsWhen making a purchase decision, people look to others for their opinions. We all do it. And we do it often. We want to learn from the experiences of those who have purchased before us. Always respond to your reviews. Positive reviews give a good impression of your business and should be easy to respond to.

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But what do you do about the inevitable 1-star rating and the scathing negative review?

Many businesses shy away from them, hoping they’ll go unnoticed. But you need to respond to those reviews. The people leaving them deserve it, and the people reading them need it.

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Conclusion

There are many ways customers can find your business, but there is no denying that Google My Business is an incredibly powerful gateway to your website.

It positions your important business information in front of the eyes of potential customers who are looking for your product, service, or experience.

It helps with your local SEO, offers a chance to engage with your customers via reviews or posts, and provides useful insights on your customers’ purchasing paths.

For more SEO tips and the latest updates in digital marketing, contact us to learn more!

voice-search-seo

Now Is The Best Time To Embrace Search

Voice Search is undeniably growing at a rapid pace, and for good reason — it’s fast, convenient, allows you to search on the go, and it’s becoming part of the devices that consumers are using. It has taken a good percentage of total searches across the world. This is thanks in part due to AI assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.

With mobile impacting desktop in terms of search queries, and home automation devices becoming mainstream, voice search will power many future local search queries. Optimizing for voice search conversational terms will be a key differentiator.

The good news is that we already have services in place according to Google’s priorities such as surveys and widgets to boost customer reviews in Google / Yelp / Facebook. We were one of the first agencies to adopt Voice Search optimization, wherein the content we create is more conversational and matches user’s natural language pattern.

Here’s a list of things were currently doing for Voice Search optimization:

  • Verified and Accurate Google My Business Listing – Most voice search queries will ask for directions to your business address. For this, we will make sure that your business is listed accurately on Google Maps. Without verification, it would be really difficult to rank for voice search queries.
  • NAP (Name, Address, Phone) Consistency across Local Sites – Accurate map listing, in terms of name, address and contact number, across multiple map databases will also help search engines to be more confident about your location, and it will form part of ranking algorithm. We will ensure that your business information (NAP details) is consistent across other top tier and second tier local search engines, directories and review websites.
  • Generating Positive Reviews – Customer Reviews are a critical part of ranking algorithm for voice search. We can help you get positive reviews on Google and Yelp for your business via our proprietary Plug and Play Review Widget and Survey Review Booster.
  • Mobile Friendly Website – Since most voice searches are done on mobile devices, you MUST have a mobile-friendly site. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, we can help you setup a mobile friendly version with the help of our experienced team.
  • Conversational Content – Mobile voice searches will use natural language, which means long-tail keyword phrases are more important than ever. A way to add natural language to your website is by using words and phrases that people actually speak (versus words they type into a search box). The content used will be more conversational in tone, and the keyword phrases will probably resonate more with a person performing a voice search. We have already started implementing this for website content which will help the site rank for voice based queries.
  • Microdata & Advanced Schema Markup – Google will start using schema markup both as a site quality and richness indicator (i.e. affecting rankings), and for creating carousel-like results for certain searches, with Knowledge Graph-like summary data on each result in the list. We will help you setup structured data on your site.
  • Rank Tracking – We have already started tracking rankings in mobile search results for voice based terms like “near me”, “close to me”, “around me”, etc. around physical location across all verticals and reporting these rankings on our dashboard.

For more SEO tips and the latest updates in digital marketing, contact us to learn more!

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Where Are The Old Reports In The New Google Search Console

Google is slowly moving features and data from the old Search Console to the new one. However, not all are happy with the way data is presented within the new search console because many reports are missing from it. Although Google has promised that all the data will be available in the new version as well.

Google announced via a tweet that reporting features for AMP, Index Status, Links, Manual actions, Mobile Mobile Usability, Rich Cards, and Search Analytics have been successfully moved to the new Search Console.

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Here’s a table that shows which reports have been moved where and what are they called.

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Takeaway: Google search console is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. It provides you with invaluable data, so if you are not using it, then we highly recommend reading this guide on how to get your website on search console and start utilizing this powerful tool to the fullest.

And if you are already using the new Search Console, the above table will help you locate old reports. Maybe it will be bit difficult to get used to the new Search Console, after using the old one for years, but as we all know, the only thing constant in digital world is change. So get used to the new interface and use it to your advantage.

For more SEO tips and the latest updates in digital marketing, contact us to learn more!

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2018 SEO Survey & Changes You Should Make in 2019

Moz has released the 2018 local search ranking factors last month & it reveals a lot about the upcoming big changes in the SEO world. If you are looking for accurate predictions, or just want to stay updated about the current trends, we recommend reading the full report.

2018 was a good year for Local SEO since we witnessed a major boost in the rankings of the local players instead of the corporates. This just solidifies the facts that no matter your size, if your site has what it takes, then there’s no denying that you can even beat the mega corporations.

Keep in mind that this survey was conducted among the SEO professionals. They were asked to rank the main ranking factors. Here are some of the key findings.

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Local SEO has changed drastically over the past 3 years and if you are sticking to old SEO practices, it will do more harm than good. Also, if you want your site to rank high, you will have to prefer quality-overquantity. Be it content, backlinks, reviews or citations.

It has been observed by many SEO professionals that you can manipulate the content on the knowledge graph. It mostly works for hijacking brand queries or getting clicks that you will not get normally.

Also if your site is not receiving the kind of traffic that you were expecting that maybe you have to send signals to Google. What it means is that if Google gets the “hey this business is alive signal”, it might boost your rank a little. You can then use this to show a detailed report of your SEO efforts. But you will have to figure out which thing to prioritize. Because there’s a lot of things going on and there’s a good chance that your client will not understand the technical things. So you may have to break it down in simpler terms.

Factors to pay attention to in 2019

An easy way to check for what Google thinks is important with internal links is to do a site search on Google, type in one of your keywords & see what comes up first. This will help you determine what Google thinks is most relevant for your keyword. And if the result is not what you expected, fix it and do a search with the same keyword again.

If your business is new, you have to ensure that you have covered all these basics.

1. Order Citations

2. Website is up and running.

3. Page loads quickly.

4. High quality and relevant content

5. Add schema to the site

6. You are using Google My Business posts

7. You’re responding to Questions asked via knowledge graph listing

If your business is around for a while, it is going to take a lot more efforts. You can start by checking the source of the traffic, if you are paying for it, then is it converting? Are your blogs up to date. Are you regularly uploading high quality content? These are only a few of the questions that you should ask yourself about your website.

Be informed that GMB categories are a major ranking factor. Therefore it is often manipulated BUT GMB related spam can be reported on Google Maps or escalated to Google via their various support channels. So if you see anyone misusing it, you should report it.

The conclusion of the survey is hard to sum up but if you will pay attention to the details, you will be able to crack the secret ingredient to a successful local SEO strategy. Although, you will have to do a lot of research to revise your current plans without hurting the existing campaigns.

For more SEO tips and the latest updates in digital marketing, contact us to learn more!

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Are Older Local Reviews Still Relevant?

It’s more than an obvious fact that consumers are most likely going to rely on newer reviews than the older ones. Also, in comparison with older people, younger individuals greatly depend on reviews for a number of things.

What’s so surprising in this, you would ask? A new study has not only proved these facts but has also come up with some insightful metrics indicating the year after year changes.

A Local Consumer Review Survey published by BrightLocal last month, revealed that reviews are critical to the decision making process of consumers choosing goods and services from local businesses.

The below screenshot indicates a strong correlation between the trends and the age of the consumer.consumer-survey

It’s nothing of a surprise that consumers aged 18-34 grew up in the online era. While those older than them grew up taking recommendations from friends and neighbors.

However, it all comes to the same point, people still consider reviews. The only difference over the years is that they are now digitized and available online for everyone to see other than just your friends or neighbors.

Key Findings of The Study

  • 91% of 18-34 year old people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks – up from 18% last year
  • More consumers require multiple reviews to trust reviews
  • 80% of 18-34 year old people have written online reviews – compared to just 41% of consumers over 55
  • Older consumers are more likely to be skeptical about online reviews

In case you are looking for stats and in depth details, read the Full Report and for takeaway points, follow our Actionable Strategy based on the findings of the report.

  • Keep your reviews fresh if you are planning to target younger customers.
  • Reviews that are older than 90 days become less valid, those that are less than 2 weeks old are best and those within a couple of days are ideal.
  • Bad reviews create a negative impact on customers, you must put in all your marketing strategies to action to turn them into good reviews.
  • The more the reviews, more will customers believe in their authenticity. Make sure your product/service has LOTS of reviews or at least more than 10 reviews.
  • Having No reviews is almost as bad as having bad reviews.

So be open to reviews and deliver what your customers are looking for! If you’re looking for genuine reviews, we highly recommend you to check out our proprietary “Review Widget” which helps you get positive reviews on Google and Yelp. Not only that, it automatically filters out negative reviews being displayed on your website thus enabling better customer experience.

 

For more SEO tips and the latest updates in digital marketing, contact us to learn more!

2018-seo-changes

Notable Changes in 2018 in The SEO World

We have witnessed some big changes in the SEO world in 2018. From big algorithm updates to mobile first indexing & changes in Google search console, there is a lot to catch up on.

Search ranking and algorithm updates

Speed update. Google pre-announced that they will be launching the Speed update anytime soon in January but launched it five months later in June. At first, many website owners and SEO professionals were flipping out, thinking that it will adversely affect their site ranking, but Google confirmed that this update will only affect the slowest sites. Google said it “only affect a small percentage of queries.”

Medic update. Clearly the biggest search ranking algorithm update in 2018. Google launched the Medic update around August 1 & confirmed it after the SEO community took notice and approached them to get more information. At first Google shrug it off saying that it just another “broad core algorithm update” that they do multiple times a year, but this update was different as it specifically impacted health and YMYL categories.

Other algorithm updates. Along with the Medic update, Google also launched March core Update and April core update.

Mobile-first indexing

Google started hinting that they will be going mobile first very soon….in 2016. Yeah, they were planning to go mobile first since 2016 and fully shifted to mobile first indexing in 2018. 1 NOTABLE CHANGES IN SEO WORLD IN 2018.

For those who are unaware of it, Google finally decided to index the internet from the view of a smartphone instead of desktop. They started sending notifications via Google Search Console to inform the site owners about this shift. Today, Google claims that almost 50% of the websites have been shifted to mobile first indexing. Here’s a Google guide on how you can prepare for mobile first indexing.

SEO changes

Structured data. Google is putting a lot of emphasis on structured data & schema. From speakable markup for voice search related queries, a brand new indexing API for job posting schema to image search changes, various updates to recipe markup, new job posting guidelines, Q&A schema, live stream support, datasets schema, how to, QA, FAQs schema and so much more.

Other changes. Google not only introduced new schemas & API but also dropped support for the old ones like news meta tag, the standout tag and editors pick in Google news. This move was seen as an attempt to appear unbiased because all of the internet giants are facing allegation of partial treatment from a lot of publishers & users.

Google’s effort around the dynamic rendering & lazy loading content and photos is an effort you’ve seen a lot around with JavaScript SEO in 2018 & will continue through 2019.

Personalization. As we mentioned earlier, the two internet giants Facebook and Google were accused of misusing personal data in 2018. However, Google said that they do not use personalization that much and it is limited to showing relevant local results. “BUT” the duck duck go founder says otherwise. He explained in a long Quora post that how Google misuses your personal data and how privacy becomes a myth when you use any of the Google products or services.

Google Search Console and other tools

Google launched a brand new search console in 2018. Just like most of their updates, they first launched the beta version of it and then removed the beta tag and fully launched it for everyone. They also provided a way to import your old search console reports and data to the new one.

Google also started showing Search Console snapshots directly in the search results for site owners. They also changed the limits and quotas on crawling and indexing within search console, removed the ability to use the public URL submission tool & provided convenience to the site owners by automatically verifying them with their Google Analytics account.

Google also tested new form of domain properties for cross site reporting, added a number of reports for event listing, AMP, links, mobile usability and more. They also launched several tools in 2018, and one of the best from the lot was URL inspection tool.

This wonderful tool gives a snap shot of how Google sees your page. Pretty awesome, isn’t it? They also heard the demand of the SEO community and finally allowed us to view 16 months of historical data. Not only that but they also expanded the API to provide us with 25,000 rows of data.

Google local

Google Posts. Google spent a lot of time polishing Google Posts. They tested many UI around Google Posts on both desktop and mobile searches and also updated the My Business Console to enable Google Posts on the web or through the mobile app.

However, all these efforts from Google didn’t yield the type of results they were expecting since many local SEO experts said that the Google posts traffic and engagement level is on the decline.

Google My Business. Google not only updated the GMB API several times in the past year but also updated the GMB mobile app to allow business owners to manage their listing on the go. They added more insights data, analytics, branded searches, more query data and also launched an agency dashboard as well.

Mobile search and voice assistants

The increasing popularity of voice assistants has made many SEOs take keen interest in voice SEO. Although Google Home is considered the smartest one out there, but the competition is neck & neck since all the tech giants like Apple, Microsoft & Amazon have their own home assistants. But we can give credit to Google home for being the first home assistant that comes equipped with a display.

Google UI changes

Google rolled out a new design for desktop searches, discover feed & more results button for mobile and did many changes to UI.

They also increased and then decreased their snippet length, expanded the autocomplete predictions and started showing cameos of famous people in search results.

AMP. Coming to AMP, Google released a developer preview of showing the publisher URLs in search and not the Google AMP cache URL. They also launched AMP stories in search & a bunch of other AMP features.

Other big Google news

In other news, Google is finally closing down Google Plus after 7 years due to many security incidents.

Continuing from the last year, our client’s rankings haven’t had any major impact after rollout of these algorithm updates and continue to rise as we shift to 2019.

Local Booking Service

Here’s Why You Should Opt For Google’s Local Booking Service

Google unveiled the option to book appointments with local businesses directly from the search results in August 2017 and since then they have been pushing it to local business owners in a very discreet manner. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to appear like a pushy salesman. However, this feature didn’t receive the kind of warm welcome they were expecting. It might be because people were not sure whether they are just testing it or planning to fully launch it before putting efforts, money and time into it.

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If you want to test this out (recommended), first you have to go to your GMB dashboard and check whether your business is eligible for the booking feature or not.local-bookings-gmb

And if your business is eligible, you will have to choose a third party provider from all the listed options. Yes, you read that right. Google has partnered with third-party booking services for this feature and you have to shell out anywhere between $20-$80 a month. But it “might” be worthwhile for you since bookings can increase given how convenient it is to book appointments directly from the search.

Need more information on Google’s Local Booking Service? Connect with us to learn more!

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The New Google My Business Agency Dashboard

Google rolled out Google My Business agency dashboard in June. It was launched to help agencies manage a large number of listings. But many agencies faced issues while migrating to the new agency dashboard. To help them out, Google has launched a new tool to streamline the entire process.

First, you have to decide whether you want to shift completely to the GMB agency dashboard or not. So far the migration of the location has been the biggest hurdle. In case you decide to shift to the new GMB, Google is offering you two ways to do so.

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Assisted Migration: In order to encourage hesitating agencies to shift to the new GMB agency dashboard, Google is ready to offer them personal assistance in migrating the locations and accounts. It’s good for agencies who have a lot of locations to move. You just have to request for the assisted move and for that, you will need to log into your GMB agency account, then go the Overview tab, click the Got existing locations to transfer? and follow the instructions from there. It will take around 48 hours to complete the entire process and then you can see all of the locations in the manage location tab of your agency account.

Self Migration: You can opt for this option if you are managing only a few locations. In order to transfer the locations into your new agency account, you will have to request access to each location or location group manually from your agency account and then accept the request from your personal account. The steps can differ based on the number of locations, so make sure you read Google’s support page.

We would like to inform you that it’s far easier to manage multiple locations and accounts on the agency dashboard than the private account. Google has also fixed the bugs from the initial launch, so we highly recommend you to use the agency account.

 

 

For more information on Google’s new agency dashboard and other strategies, Connect with us!