Google My Business Updates

How To Use Google My Business Descriptions, Services, Attributes, and More

Google My Business (GMB) is an extremely important part of SEO and the digital marketing strategy for any local business wishing to get found online. In this weeks episode, we’ll review some recent changes and updates to GMB, plus some important areas you’ll want to take advantage of. Find out how to continually optimize your listing, increase exposure, and stay up-to-date on any new GMB updates in the future!

Don’t miss an episode – listen on iTunes, Google Podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, Android Apps, or RSS!

YOU’LL LEARN

  • New features that are available to use in your Google My Business listing
  • What you should do with the Google My Business description area
  • How using the Google My Business description can benefit your SEO and exposure
  • Overview of the new Services feature within your GMB listing
  • How to match up your website structure with your GMB Services
  • Best practices for Section names, Service titles, and Item Descriptions
  • When you should or should not show your pricing in the GMB Services area
  • Google has removed all anonymous reviews from GMB listings
  • The importance of, and tactics to get more reviews on your website
  • How to add users to your GMB listing so you can delegate tasks and updates
  • What are Attributes within the Google My Business listing
  • How to stay up to date with GMB news and updates directly from Google

Thanks for Listening!

Here is the transcription from Episode 24 Google My Business Updates – GMB Descriptions, Services Section, Attributes, and Users;

Jesse: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, Jesse Dolan with Bob Brennan.

Bob: Howdy.

Jesse: This week, we’re going to talk to you about Google My Business, one of our
favorite topics. We’ve done a few different episodes now about GMB. This is
going to be kind of a hodgepodge. We’re going to go through a few different
topics that are relevant to GMB. Some of the more recent updates that have
happened and some things you just need to be aware of. So without further
delay, we’re just going to dig right in. First thing that everybody should be taking
advantage of. We mentioned this a little bit in a previous episode. But the
Google My Business descriptions are back.

What that means for you is you now have a spot within your GMB listing to
write essentially a couple paragraphs about your business. As far as SEO goes,
this is great. This gives you a chance to expand on what you do for a business
beyond just your GMB title and your categories as far as the information you
can put out there. You can type text for what it is you actually do. You don’t
want to get crazy, you know, doing keyword stuffing on there and just what you
do — comma, comma, comma. You know, keyword, comma, keyword, comma,
like that or write a read an actual paragraph almost like an About Us intro.

Bob: I was going to ask you, should it line up with your About Us page? Because, I
mean, if you’re this on About Us, and then you’re this on the description, does
that cause conflict?

Jesse: Yeah, actually, great question. I wouldn’t say that it causes conflict at all. That’s
probably great. One big thing with Google My Business and your website is
having synergy between the two. You know, letting Google know, “This is my
website. This is my GMB. This is what we’re doing,” and sending that same
signal. If you want to just straight-up copy verbatim, copy-paste it in there, I
think you’re completely fine because you get 750 characters in your description.
So I guess depending on how big your About Us section is. But yeah, absolutely.
If you get a well-written About Us, and you think that that really communicates
what it is that you do, don’t be afraid to just copy that in there.

This is the one spot, again, outside of those other fields and name descriptors
that you get to communicate that. So make sure you’re putting in there. Choose
it wisely. List the services and the products you do, the area, geographic area
that you represent and what you service. You might have to kind of wordsmith
that a little bit. But this is great for SEOs. It’s just, again, one more way for you
to send those signals to Google and all the public out there for what it is that
you do, and hopefully, it’ll have a better rank on your GMBs. So check that out.
It’s right in your … Log in your Google My Business and go to your info on the
left-hand side.

Click on the tab that says info where you can edit your business name, hours, all
that kind of stuff. If you haven’t done it before, you’re going to see a little tab in
there now, a little field I should say that says description. Click on that and start
typing away. Take advantage of that absolutely for sure. Another area you want
to take advantage of … This one’s actually new. So the descriptions, that was
something that was in there before, just to be clear.

Bob: Right.

Jesse: It had been there for a long time, and then Google took it away. Now, they’re
putting it back out. If you log into your GMB and you don’t see it, don’t dismay.
Maybe check back every couple weeks or whatever. You should see that again.
They’re rolling that back out. Sometimes, they put an update to the GMB and
it’s just, boom, everybody. Sometimes, it gets rolled out or phased in, so if you
don’t see it, check back again. You’re going to see it eventually. In that same
vein of how they roll it out, there’s another good one called Services.

This is super cool. This is brand new. It’s pretty exciting. Yeah, it’s really exciting,
and this is something you might not see yourself yet either. So the same kind of
logic there. If you’re logging in, you’re like, “This is cool. Let me take advantage.”
If you don’t see it, again, check back. It’s going to pop up. This started rolling out
about, right around the beginning of May is really when it started hitting. So, I’m
sorry. I said May. March. Nope. Scratch all that. April. This all started rolling out
at about April. So it’s still pretty new. Some people may not have it yet.

But if you do get in there, we’re going to give you a real quick walkthrough on
what it is because it’s not, like the descriptions where it’s just one field and you
put in information. This is something you can build what your services are. So,
I’m not going to throw it up on the screen. I’m just going to walk through it. We
will load in some screenshots if you check the show notes page. Give you a real
quick tutorial with some screenshots for what this is. But we’re just going to
walk through it here. So, the same thing. You’re going to go to the info area
within your GMB. Scroll down. You’re going to see it right under where it says
your website and your phone number.

There’ll be a button that says Services, add or edit items. If you click on that,
first thing you’re going to be able to do is add a section. So if you think about
the services that you can offer, we’ve talked before about maybe how to
structure your homepage, like your main menu links up top. If you’re, again, an
auto repair shop, it’s you do brakes, you do oil changes, transmissions, kind of
things like that. Those are all auto repair, right? So you don’t have to have
multiple sections necessarily, but just think about how you’re going to organize
these because you get two levels to input this. First is sections and then the
actual item.

So create your section. For each section name, you get 140 characters, so just
think about what that’s going to be. I would treat that almost like an H1 tag or a
headline. This is the name of a section that should carry some weight within
Google. This is all brand new. So there’s not a lot of definitive answers out there
for where does this show up? How does this show up? What does this even
mean? At the time of this podcast recording, we don’t have all those answers.
But here’s what we do know.

Bob: We’re speculating with a lot of this, right?

Jesse: Absolutely speculating. Here’s what I do know. This is new from Google, in your
Google My Business listing. So, take advantage of it, like we always say.

Bob: But one would assume that this is tied in, again, with the structure of your site.
So this, the service listings, that’s an opportunity again to list your rates or your
specials or whatever it is that you do. So if it’s a transmission flush for $9.99 or
whatever the deal is, but it has to somehow, again, tie in with your site, with the
structure of the site, is the purpose, right?

Jesse: Yeah, just like we talked in a previous episode when you choose your categories.
Those should be tied in your website using those as keywords. Really, we’re
thinking the same logic here exactly like you’re saying. These sections and then
the services that you’re going to list within each section should match up with
what you’re putting on your website and just continuing to send Google those
signals and sinking your GMB with your website. Until something proves
otherwise, we have no reason to believe this would be any different than that.
It’s put out by Google. In your GMB for the purpose of understanding more
what you do.

Link that up with your website. Have it be that same content and same
structure. So, again, 140 characters for your section name. Put it in the section.
Then you can add an item. These items, just like, Bob, you were just saying, you
can actually list the prices right in here too. Now, you don’t have to. It’s
optional. Maybe if you want people to call you so you can sell them on that
price or-

Bob: Sure.

Jesse: … talk them up or upsell them, whatever. So if you want to hide the price, you
just leave it blank. You don’t have to input a price, but you can put the name of
the item. You get 140 characters for that as well. I would say on these too, just a
little, kind of how you type it out, typography here. Structure your section
names and your service titles using … Capitalize the first letter of each word.
Don’t write it like a sentence where you’re capitalizing the very first letter and
then go and lowercase all the way through. Capitalize the first letter of each
word. Just in case they start showing these, let’s say it’s in the map pack.
Everybody has their items listed in here. You want yours to pop out. That’s kind
of true of really writing any headline or title anywhere in your website or in
Google My Business. Follow that same structure here. Just kind of a best
practice of what we think.

Bob: Some of the examples we’ve seen out there when were researching this earlier
… I mean, some people would put 10% off oil change or whatever the case is,
and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some people were putting
actual prices. So they’d say $39 oil change or whatever the case is. So, if you put
prices, I think that’s okay. We don’t want to be accused of spamming or
whatever the deal is. So you can’t just say, “Oil change.” You probably should
throw a price to it, or I mean, what are your thoughts on that? And again, this is
just all speculations.

Jesse: Yeah, if you have a reason to not show the price, there should be a good reason.
But if you have no reason to not show a price … I mean, if you display the prices
in your window or if you display the prices on your website, or when you post
on Facebook, you put a price out there. Definitely don’t hide this because think
about it from the consumer standpoint. Let’s just make the assumption that
these are going to show up in the GMB. If you search for oil change near me or
whatever, three people are going to pop in the map pack. If two of them show a
price of $29.99 and yours has no priceBob: You’d be the last one to call.

Jesse: Yeah. They’re just going to go like, “29 bucks? Okay, sure.” You know what I
mean?

Bob: Right.

Jesse: They’d get that instant connection of the price and the value. You’re not going
to have a chance to sell them on the value of your deal. Maybe yours was
$19.99. Maybe yours was $39.99. Who knows? You’re not going to get that
chance. So if you’re scared to put a price just for the reason of, “Gosh. I don’t
know. Should I put that out there?” Yeah, make the assumption everybody else
is, you’re kind of competing in that same market. You need to see what that
price is. I can’t think of a reason offhand and why you wouldn’t want to, quite
frankly, if that kind of stuff was already out there in your business.

So again, item name, 140 characters. Put your price. This is, we should note,
when you’re talking about, like 10% off or whatever. You can put that verbiage
in the item name. That price field is just for the actual price. So you can’t put
10% off as a “price.” You can just use the actual US dollars in that price field. If
you’re going to leave it blank, again, that’s your call. Leave it blank. Then this is
the other really cool part. You have a chance to type out the item description.
For this, you get a thousand characters. I mean, that’s a ton, like we talked just a
little bit about the description for your business, you get 750. But for this item,
you can put a thousand characters.

So you really have a chance to elaborate on what this product or service is, and
we think it’s just a great chance for SEO. Even if this takes a long time to actually
get shown within the results on Google, this is all information you’re still
plugging into that Google database. You know what I mean?

Bob: Yeah.

Jesse: Again, we’re purely speculating here. But if you’re going to load in your products
and services, a thousand characters for the descriptions and things like that,
you’re feeding a lot of information to Google for what it is that you do, what it is
that you’re selling and servicing, and that’s going to have some SEO impact for
what you’re showing up. Again, like we always say, all things being equal, if Bob
and I for example have the exact same business, and I’m doing this and he’s not,
I’m betting that I’m going to show up ahead of Bob because Google just knows
that much more about me.

I’m that much more of a legitimate business compared to him. They just have
more signals to trust me and to show me to the end users as a viable option. So
definitely take advantage of this.

Bob: Yeah, so they want to see Google and see you’re engaged, right?

Jesse: Right.

Bob: So if you’re going to play, play the game. You get in there and play it. The more
engaged you are, I think in theory, the better you’re going to do on a lot of
levels. I mean, map pack, along with I assume SEO. That’s going to impact the
SEO to some degree.

Jesse: So, load this up. Throw as much of your stuff in there as you can. Right now, in
our limited testing that we’ve done, we’re not seeing this result pop up at least
on desktop searches for various products and services. Seen it a few times on
mobile, which is kind of weird. So at the time of this recording, this is just barely
a month old, as far as a thing that’s out there for us to use. So, Google’s initially
rolling it out to business owners. The second phase is really how they’re going to
show this information to the public. By the time this actually hits, it’s on the air.
Maybe there’s going to be a lot more visibility out there.

But definitely check it out. Do some searching on your desktop and in your
phone for various products and services around town, things that you
represent, maybe things that you don’t, and just play with how this shows up
and see what it looks like out there in the wild. That might help you understand
how you want to type these things up and what you’re going to want to say.
These things have to have a strong call to action, just like any other offer or
headline you can put out there. So yeah, that’s super cool. The GMB new
services area.

Definitely take advantage of that. Yeah, let’s move on here to the next item.
Something else, as it relates the GMB, is there’s been a change to the Google
reviews. They took down suddenly and drastically all the anonymous reviews
online. What that means is, if you go back a few years, there was this thing at
one time called Google Plus. I don’t know if anybody ever remembers that. I was
kind of forced, but a lot of people use that and that would be your Google
profile when you’re leaving reviews. A lot of people had that be anonymous or
maybe didn’t fill it out.

So, some people woke up the next morning here recently. Maybe they had 120
reviews on their website. Boom, I got 89 or 79 or whatever. Just completely
gone. You know, the star rating aggregation and the number of reviews as a
quantity were just gone. Google’s doing that just because, number one, to fight
review spam for fake reviews. Obviously, if you’re somebody who is trying to
game the system, it’s a lot easier to leave an anonymous review than it is a
review with a name just for trackability and things like that. But then, also, they
want it to be more transparent. We talked before in a previous episode about
how there’s the new feature where Google will alert the person that left a
review when you reply to that review.

So they want this business-to-person, real-world, real-people interaction. At
least that’s a lot of speculation on why they removed it. So, just be aware of
that. Obviously for us, we recommend ReviewLead. It’s a product that we have
for a solution to get more reviews. So if this has happened to you or even
obviously, if you just want to bump your reviews’ numbers in general, check out
a product like that. If you don’t use our product, which you can find it,
intrycks.com/review150. If you don’t use our product, check out something else
because reviews are such an important thing in today’s business.

You got to get as many reviews as you can. You got to knock customers’ socks
off, and you got to ask them for reviews as well. I’ll put a link in the show notes
for the two previous episodes we’ve talked about getting reviews. One with a
product, like ReviewLead or some kind of automated software. Then the other
episode we talked about how to get them in person and how to get your team
engaged to get more reviews. Extremely important and also important to know,
again, that Google has stricken all anonymous reviews from the record. They
just don’t exist anymore.

If you’re unaware, if this has happened to you, go out there, check your profile.
Google yourself or go to Google Maps and search for yourself. Or obviously, log
into your GMB and check out your reviews and just take a peek. It’s important
to know what your score is and how many reviews you’ve had in business
nowadays, because people make those decisions not only on what your ranking
is for the number of stars, how many reviews you’ve had, and then also how
recent they are. I think we’ve all been there. Or if not, we’re familiar with the
situation where you see three businesses show up in the map pack. Maybe
they’re all pretty dang equal.

But one of them, it says, “Last review was three months ago,” versus somebody
who had one last week. You’re going to gravitate to one that had one more
recently. So, if you’re not getting reviews currently, definitely jump on board
with that. Not to get too far off topic here, but it’s something we’re pretty
passionate about, something that really helps our business, our customers’
businesses, and anybody listening to this.

Bob: We had a site we built, and for a customer, and we did a lot of SEO to it, and it
got to the top. Not only the top of natural SEO, but to the top of the Google
map packs and no reviews. Their competitors had multiple reviews, nothing
crazy. 3.8 maybe and around four, with maybe one or two reviews.

Jesse: Yeah, nothing too crazy.

Bob: So we encouraged them. This was before ReviewLead, but we encourage them
to get leads. He got two five-star leads. Reviews, I’m sorry.

Jesse: Yep, yep, yep.

Bob: Five-star reviews.

Jesse: That turn into leads.

Bob: That turn into leads. But yeah, his lead count, you know, because this is all
measured-

Jesse: Yep.

Bob: … so we put a phone number on it to make sure that the performance there
tripled. I mean, that’s how important it is.

Jesse: We’re talking about the course of a week here. We’re talking to where it’s
noticeable.

Bob: Right. It’s just tough. I think the older you are, the more you just roll your eyes
at this stuff. But it’s that critical. It’s absolutely critical that … and not because
we’re trying to sell a product. You’ve listened to our other previous podcasts. I
can’t implore you enough. You got to get these reviews on there.

Jesse: Well we’re not just hawking a product for ReviewLead. That’s the solution that
we ended up providing because we had a hole in our offerings. We said … I
mean, people got to get reviews. We’ve been championing that. Then we came
across this, as far as an easier way to do it. Just to give everybody the clear
context, we don’t care if you use our product or not. But you definitely should
be doing something to actively get reviews, and you should be using some kind
of technology to make it easier for your customer. Not just handing a piece of
paper, not just using the Mr. Rogers’ approach, which we outlined in a previous
episode. You need some technology to make this easier and to remind them to
leave your review.

Bob: Yeah, and again, not everybody has a moxie to say, “Hey, leave a review, and by
the way, leave a good review,” right?

Jesse: That’s the deal.

Bob: This product essentially does that for you. So you can focus on whatever it is
you want to focus on.

Jesse: Right. So that’s that. Not to get too far off tangent, but obviously, you guys
know if you’ve been listening for a while, this is a very important topic, and we
feel pretty strong about it. We got two more things related to Google My
Business. I’m sorry. Actually, three. One of them is something we haven’t
touched on before. This isn’t new but it’s something we’ve had a few questions
on, and we want to make sure everybody’s aware of it. You can add multiple
users to your GMB account.

So whether if you’re a business owner out there and you want to engage with
an agency like us to maybe help you optimize your GMB or maybe take over
some of the day-to-day operations of it, or if you’re a business owner and
maybe you have an assistant or somebody else you want to delegate that to
within your office, you don’t have to give them your Google login. You can
actually invite them as a user. There’s different permissions and privileges you
can give them, so they can’t just own it or take it away or do some drastic
damage.

But they can maybe do some of the post-updates or some of the stuff we’re
talking about today for the descriptions or services. So, it’s on the left-hand side,
down towards the bottom, button that says Users. You can click on that and you
can invite anybody via email. They do have to have a Google account, which
should be expected if they’re going to log in and manage this. So that’s pretty
cool. If you’re not doing that and you want to delegate some of that, that’s the
way to do that. Another one is the Google My Business attributes.

You can find this in your info section for managing your profile, and the
attributes is kind of an unique area where you can’t just type in anything you
want. Google offers these attributes to you. Something that isn’t right now, at
least as of March 2018. They launched this in honor of … before I butcher the
technical … They launched this in honor of International Women’s Day. You can
take yourself with the attribute of a women-owned business. So if you are a
women-owned business or a women-run business, take advantage of it. Like we
always say, if Google’s going to give you a signal or a criteria or a feature to
utilize, take advantage of it.

If you happen to be women-owned, women-run, check it out in your attributes
and make sure you tag that for yourself. You’re going to get credit for it. If that
matters to somebody when they’re searching, you’re going to get that exposure,
and it’ll help you out. Then the last thing is really everybody in business should
be having a Google My Business page. If you have a Google My Business page,
you should stay up to date on what Google does to update or change the GMB.
They actually have a link where they post these updates. So we’re going to put a
link to it in the show notes. It’s kind of a long link, you know, not a very good
one to say.

So check out the show notes. We’ll put a link to that in there. You’re going to
want to check that out and just put that on your list or something to check out
once a month to see what new features are out there in the GMB space. You
always want to be taking advantage of that.

Bob: Yeah, you really want to go to the source. I mean, we try to bring you the best
information we can, but we can’t bring you everything.

Jesse: Right.

Bob: And that’s going to be 100% accurate.

Jesse: You should know too, like the services thing we’re talking about, you’re actually
not going to see that on that GMB, the website. That’s kind of an undercover
thing. They’re just releasing it, which is why we’re-

Bob: Oh really?

Jesse: Yeah, why we’re speculating. So things like the International Women’s Day,
attribute and things like that they’ll put on there. But some of these things are
testing in certain markets or certain industry areas. You’re not going to find it on
there. That’s where they officially, officially release things and communicate
that. So you’re still going to want to pay attention to their shows like ours or
other SEO-related industry deals to get some of these nuggets. But if you want
the actual official Google stuff, which you still do, I don’t mean to minimize that
by any means. Check that out. So we’ll put a link to that in the show notes for
everybody.

So that’s about it for this week. Hope you guys are enjoying the show. If you are,
we’d love for you to leave us a review. We try to read a review each week here.
So we’re going to do that here in a second. If you’re liking what we do, if you’re
getting some value in the show, we absolutely would love to hear it, and we’d
love you to just share what it is that you’re getting out of it. Go to
Intrycks.com/itunes. It’s going to show you some quick instructions on how to
leave a review and then going to take you over to iTunes to actually leave that
review.

We should mention, too, some people have been asking us, maybe you don’t
want to actually put your name out there and put your text out there for how
you feel about it, but you want to help us out. You can leave a rating too. We
haven’t really talked about that. There’s two ways you can give us some credit in
iTunes. You can leave us a star rating, which hopefully it’s a five-star rating, and
just leave it at that. Then you can also take it to the next step and actually leave
a review. So, if you do that, we’ll read it on the show here and say, “Thanks.”
We’re going to do that here.

This week, we had a great review from Dustin Staats, and that’s D-U-S-T-I-N, S-TA-A-T-S.

He says, “Super helpful. Even from the first episode, this podcast is
super helpful. I just started a Google My Business account using their insights
from the first episode. A must-listen for business owners.” Yeah, like we say
each week. This is the impact we’re hoping to have. If you didn’t know about
GMB before and you got one now, you’ve already got new business from it. I
can almost guarantee that, as long as you set it up the right way and paid
attention to what we were telling you there.

It should have made an impact in your business, and that’s what we’re here to
do is help you guys learn some things you might not have known about and turn
you on to some little tips and tactics that aren’t necessarily too complicated.
Things you can execute yourself and make an impact in your business. So again,
if you’re liking this, let us know, Intrycks.com/itunes, and we’d love to hear from
you.

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