As part of Google's ongoing efforts help businesses manage their online presence amid COVID-19, it's now adding some new options within Search and Maps which will enable business owners to manage their Google My Business presence direct from these more commonly used tools.
As you can see in these images, you'll now have options to edit your business information, view messages, check reviews, etc., all from your business's Google search listing.
As explained by Google:
"To start, make sure you are signed in with the Google account used to verify your business. On Google Maps, simply tap your profile picture on the top right corner of the mobile app and select “Your Business Profile” to access these tools. On Google Search, you can look up your business by name or search for “my business” to update your profile. The “my business” functionality is currently available in English and will expand to other languages over the coming months."
Up till now, you needed to log into the separate Google My Business platform to access these tools, but Google's making it easier for business owners to manage their presence in more ways.
As noted, Google's been looking to add more responsive, accessible business tools in recent months as it seeks to help businesses impacted by COVID-19. Which is pretty much every business.
Back in May, Google added support link options to help businesses call for support from their customers, while it's also added new 'curbside pick-up' display options to help drive more response. In a related move, Google also made its Google Shopping listings available for free to help provide more promotional options.
Google My Business offers a range of ways to control how your business appears in search results, which can also help to boost click-through and engagement rates. Last November, Google added more tools to help businesses showcase their offerings within its display surfaces, most of which will now be available via these new, more accessible options.
Google also says that it's looking to add some new analytics tools to help business owners understand how their business is performing, and how they can enhance their online presence.
It's a helpful initiative - if you haven't updated your Google Business listings, it's worth logging on and taking a look at what's on offer, and how it can help to showcase your brand.