1. Google My Business Descriptions
Google now allows companies with a Google My Business listing to include a description of their business with a maximum of 750 characters (about 125 words). Descriptions will show up when someone uses Google Maps on a mobile device and clicks on a business’s name.
2. Google My Business Q&A
Google’s Q&A feature lets customers ask questions directly from the Google My Business listing and receive answers from other users or the business owner. Questions and answers can even show up in Google search results, so businesses should monitor questions and answer promptly to prevent someone not affiliated with the business from replying with inaccurate information.
3. Products & Services in Google My Business Listings
Google My Business is now allowing some users to add categorized listings of services or products to their listings, which is a great way to give more detailed information on what users will find when they visit the business.
4. Appointment Booking in Google My Business
Local businesses in the fields of fitness or beauty can now let customers book appointments directly from their Google My Business pages. To use the feature, businesses must have an existing relationship with a Google reservations partner.
5. Videos in Google My Business Listings and Google Posts
In addition to letting businesses add photos to Google My Business listings, Google now allows businesses to upload videos up to 30 seconds in length to both the main Google My Business listing and individual Google Posts.
6. Direct Messaging in Google My Business and Google Maps
Google My Business now lets mobile users send businesses text messages directly through their Google My Business listing. Google My Business owners can create a custom message that users will receive as an automated reply to a text, and can choose to use a personal cell phone number or Google’s Allo app to see and respond to messages. Customers and businesses can also exchange messages through the Google Maps app.
7. Google Posts for Products and Offers
Google Posts, short articles that let businesses post company news and upcoming events, have been available since early this year, and in June Google added two new post types—offer posts, which can include information on sales or promotions offered by the business; and product posts, which can be used to spotlight a specific product the company sells.
8. Following Businesses in Google Maps for Android
If an internet user finds a business by searching in Google Maps, they can now choose to follow the business, just as they would follow a Facebook page. Followers of a business will receive the latest news about the business, including events, offers and other updates in the “For You” tab. The follow feature is currently only available in Google Maps for Android.