Google has announced some new, streamlined options to help improve your Google Business profile, including new services listings, booking options, and a simplified process for scanning in your product catalog to help maximize discovery within Google's Shopping tools.
First off, Google's added a new process for services-based businesses to add in new services direct from their Search and Maps listing.
As explained by Google:
"If your business offers local services - such as construction, auto repair or hair styling - you can now use the ‘Edit profile’ menu on Search to easily update the services you offer and, if applicable, the local areas you service. For beauty and personal care businesses, show off your specialties like eyelash extensions, box braids, curly hair, balayage, dreadlocks or beard trims."
Businesses can now also enable online bookings direct from Google Search, via Google's reserve partners. Once you sign-up for a profile from one of the many supported platforms (listed here), you'll be able to take bookings from your search listing, further streamlining connection.
Restaurants can now also add menu items to their Business Profile on Search and Maps.
"Simply add and edit your entire menu or featured dishes via the ‘Edit profile’ menu on Search. These new entry points help food businesses update their info and interact with customers right from the apps they already use."
Google says that, in the coming weeks, businesses will also be able to add and update online ordering options directly from Google Search.
Which is important, because food ordering on Google has increased more than 230% since last year.
I mean, that makes perfect sense, given the pandemic, but still, more people are now looking for ordering options, and that will likely remain the case even once things are able to return to normal.
Google's also giving businesses more options for creating posts, again direct from Search and Maps listings.
That's another way to add more context to your Google Business listings, and provide relevant updates on your latest sales and events.
And lastly, Google's also making it easier to upload your product catalog via an integration with Pointy, which extracts inventory data direct from your in-store barcode scanners.
Eligible retailers in the US will now be able to sign up for Pointy from Google, which will make it easier to log your real-time product info through direct integration.
"Pointy removes the work of manually entering product details, which can be especially hard if you sell a lot of products. As you scan items being sold in your store, the products are automatically added to your Business Profile so that potential customers can see what’s currently in stock. Eligible retailers can now get Pointy for free through September 30."
This is a key sticking points for many eCommerce stores, with the manual work required to upload your entire product catalog, and keep it updated, sometimes seeming like an overwhelming task. Pinterest has also added improved catalog feed ingestion options to streamline this process, and through Pointy, Google is also looking to make it as easy as possible to merge your online and in-store listings.
Google also notes that searches for “who has” + “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year-over-year, underlining the potential of this integration.
With the rise of eCommerce, Google has rolled out a range of improvements to its shop listings, including free product listings in search and integrations with Shopify and WooCommerce to streamline the process. These new tools provide more connection options, which will help to keep users coming to Google for their product searches, and maintain its position as a key destination for all types of discovery.
You can utilize these new updates on your Google Business Profile by logging into the Google account associated with your business then typing the name of your business, or ‘my business’, into Google Search. You can also tap your profile picture, then ‘Your Business Profile’ on Google Maps.