GMB is constantly improving itself to match the growing needs of many businesses. As the demand for contact-free ways to get information on our favourite services increases, and more business owners flock to GMB to establish an online presence, Google has set in place a few changes in response.
GMB’s Upcoming Call Logging Feature – A Game-Changer!
The pandemic has introduced businesses all over the world to a new playing field, highlighting many once-neglected areas to improve upon, as customers flock to the internet and other contact-less methods of finding information – including conversations over the phone.
Google My Business users were informed last year of an upcoming game-changer in local SEO – the ability to log calls triggered by search results. Businesses will now be able to log all incoming calls within the calls tab of the GMB app, giving business owners and third-party managers a history of both missed and answered calls.
Source: Search Engine Land
This change affects local SEO and provides businesses with another avenue through which they can reach customers. If you own a small business and want to make the most out of your online presence, call logging is something you need to take advantage of.
Still in its early stages…
However, despite this exciting news, this feature is still in its early stages and call logging has only been rolled out to select businesses in the US through an opt-in system. This new feature is also limited to the GMB app only, and cannot be accessed through the website.
Its most notable setback, however, is its use of call forwarding instead of directly dialing the number on your listing. This may not be an issue for some businesses, but if you prefer to be contacted directly through the number indicated on your GMB listing, this feature may not be for you.
Why Do We Care?
According to Small Business Trends report, 60% of customers prefer to call businesses for a quick answer to their inquiries, and about 62% of those calls businesses received are missed, moreover, 85% of those whose calls have been unanswered never call back. That’s a whopping huge chunk of potential sales and transactions lost. This important and convenient new feature gives online businesses a chance to dramatically turn those numbers around and maximise the potential ROI you are supposed to be getting from local search results. Talk about the endless opportunities from this feature every business should take advantage of.GMB Trips Up
Businesses in Co-working Spaces with New Guidelines
On another note, Google has added a line specifically for businesses that use a co-working space as their business address on GMB listings. This guideline was announced last February 03, 2021, for businesses to stay compliant and verified with GMB if you are using a co-working space for a GMB address.
“Businesses can’t list an office at a co-working space unless that office maintains clear signage, receives customers at the location during business hours, and is staffed during business hours by your business staff.”
According to the new Google Guidelines
If your business utilises a co-working space, it can still be used for your listing as long as you meet the updated guidelines for GMB. Here are 3 rules for businesses to be eligible:
- Signage that is clear and visible of the business name.
- The business needs to be able to accept customers at that location during business hours.
- The business must be staffed during business hours.
However, using a shared space is not advised, as you are more likely to face issues and suspensions of your listing. Google has been cracking down on GMBs created to dominate the local search by creating bogus multiple GMB listings to gain an upper hand on dominating the competition with shady tactics. This goes to show that Google is deadly serious in bringing quality to its customers.
Why Do We Care?
We have gone fully remote to adapt to the shifting landscape of work amidst this pandemic. Being in the know of GMB updates that can potentially overthrow all those years of hard work put in on your GMB profile is critical. Your trusty CleverClickers has got your back and will keep you well updated along with an action plan below.
- Reach out and make arrangements on items 1 and 2 below with your co-working space or virtual office space provider as early as – now.
In the event of your GMB being suspended, you can:
- Submit a document showing your lease and office number with the co-working space.
- Take and send a picture showing your office with a name, logo, or branding that represents your space within the co-working office
These might be difficult to abide by. And to be frank, no one is sure how Google even plans to monitor or review some of these guidelines as well. But knowing that you have done as much in terms of being ready in the event of – gives you and your business peace of mind and confidence.Tags: 1 thing, Google My Business, Local SEO
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