The winter months are the golden quarter for most businesses. But with your focus firmly on holiday sales and advertising, it’s easy to neglect your local listings—even though Google hasn’t stopped (or even slowed down!) its local search updates at this busy time of year.
So don’t be too distracted as you put the finishing touches to your festive window display: here are November’s new features and developments we think could be incredibly important to your business’s Local Listings Management (LPM) this season.
Google asks SMBs if they’ll accept calls from Google Assistant
Google is starting to ask Google My Business profile owners if they’re willing to accept Google Assistant calls. The search giant explains that this means two things:
- Enabling customers to use Google Assistant to book reservations and appointments
- Allowing Google Assistant to confirm factual information about the business
If you’re a business owner or a customer planning to have Google Duplex take care of bookings on your behalf, now is the time to prepare as Google begins to integrate Duplex into daily life.
Google My Business removes addresses from Service Area Businesses
Google has cleared a few things up for Service Area Businesses. When you update your business information, you can now enter an address, a service area, or both. Business owners no longer set their service area as a radius around their business. Instead, you specify your service area by region, city, or postal code.
We like this because it makes more sense for businesses that may have a geographical boundary—such as a ravine—or a whole different city on one side of their business. Google has finally recognised that a circular radius around a business didn’t always make total sense when there are natural, municipal, and even political borders to account for.
Changes to the types of users for GMB business profiles
Google is going to be changing the three different types of users for GMB business profiles. Communication Managers are going to be switching over to “Site Managers” and will have new abilities. This and other user title and ability updates are summarised below:
Capability Owner Manager Site Manager Add and remove users ✓ Remove listings ✓ Can accept all Google updates ✓ ✓ Edit all business info ✓ ✓ Edit some business info (e.g. hours, address, phone number) ✓ ✓ ✓ Create and publish posts ✓ ✓ ✓ Respond to reviews ✓ ✓ ✓ Download insights ✓ ✓ ✓
How to stay ahead in local search
Certain aspects of local search remain the same year to year, but others are continually changing. Be sure to check out our LPM Holiday Checklist to ensure all your online listings are up to snuff this season—and get in touch with DAC if you want to make sure you’re positioned for local search success in 2019 and beyond.