During the pandemic, your company was probably Googled to get a phone number and call you – or to see if you were open. People wanted to know if you were open on specific days and hours during the week, and what services you could provide if you were.

Most companies now have a Google My Business (GMB) profile that may be viewed either as a desktop website or a mobile app. It offers a number of really helpful features that are beneficial to your digital presence, both in terms of social network presence and Local SEO.

Let’s get you up to speed on these functions.

Google My Business 2020-2021 Updates

Google My Business has had these crucial features in place since March 2020 to assist businesses affected by the pandemic. Here’s a quick rundown.

1. Operating Hours and Services Provided

Owners of a GMB profile could modify their hours of operation, advertise whether they were “Temporarily Closed,” and warn about delays in business services starting around a year ago.

Restaurants can now specify if they accept delivery, take-out, or drive-through orders, as well as their reduced hours. Retailers can also specify whether they provide pickup or delivery.

2. Using Text And Multimedia To Post On Google

Verified firms might also start publishing on Google – posts that used to go live for seven days and then disappeared, but now stay up eternally.

Google allows you to post prepared text and multimedia (images, video, and GIFs). These posts appear in the Google My Business knowledge panel, which is located beneath your official profile.

GMB also provided modest analytics when this feature was debuted, such as a summary of posts made every week, total views, and a ranking of your three top articles.

3. Attributes of Health and Safety

You may also modify business properties such as accessibility, payment options, and what kind of health and safety procedures are in place at your locations using Google My Business.

These include mask regulations (for both visitors and workers), temperature checks, and whether store visits are by appointment only or require a reservation.

4. Changing Your Google Maps And Search Profile

Including business information, responding to reviews, and adding posts and photographs, you can now edit or enhance your GMB page while in Google Maps or immediately within Google Search. GMB now includes extra data about consumer opinions and interactions with your company.

5. Characteristics of Online Services

Businesses who provide online/virtual appointments, classes, care, or estimations can list this information in Google My Business’s “Add Attributes” area. On Google Search and Google Maps results, these characteristics are visible in your knowledge panel.

6. Recording and Messaging of Phone Calls

From the mobile app, Google My Business messaging has been available for some time. It can now be accessed via the desktop website as well.

If you don’t respond to queries within 24 hours, GMB may disable the functionality on your profile. Because this is an opt-in service, if the service is disabled, you will have to re-opt in. This, we believe, is a quality indicator that encourages businesses to monitor their customers.

Call logging is another new feature that is still being tested. You’ll be able to get a log report from client calls on Google Maps and Search via the mobile app.

7. Offers, Products, and Events

You may now include information about special promotional deals, brand and in-store events, as well as product photographs and descriptions, thanks to the current round of improvements.

What Is The Importance Of Google My Business For SEO And Social Media?

As businesses return to some kind of normalcy, it’s important to focus on keeping your offline business information clean and up to date on Google My Business.

A GMB profile, as a first-page search result, can help you collect local search inquiries and promote your brand, especially if you operate multiple stores or branches.

You’re also lot closer to providing customer support and assisting customers in making a purchase now that you can publish images, pictures, and information about products and promotions.

Google My Business features a series of helpful video tutorials on YouTube that are all under 5 minutes long to make this much easier for all users. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on their updates for new and beneficial features.