Marketing 3 min read

Google Rolls out new Features for Local Businesses

BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

Google has announced several features and services to help small businesses and services re-emerge as local economies enter the reopening phase.

In the last couple of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted local businesses significantly. For example, more organizations have had to rely more on technology to stay connected with their customers.

Expectedly, Google plays a significant role in this process. The search and advertising giant has consistently released new features and updates to help businesses and non-profits through the crisis.

Some examples include the Rising Retail Categories tools for marketers, testing curbside-pickup, as well as COVID-19 announcements.

However, as local economies are starting to reopen in different parts of the world, the needs of businesses have evolved. So, Google is releasing new features and updates to help them recover.

In a blog post announcement, Vice President and General Manager at Google Ads, Jerry Dischler said:

“Helping businesses and organizations recover is the first topic we’ll explore. Today we’re sharing updates for small businesses ahead of a Google-wide initiative, International Small Business Week, taking place June 22-27.”

Here’s a breakdown of the updates.

New Features to Help Local Businesses with Reopening Phase

Local Business Information in Shopping Tab

Now, businesses can add local store details to their Google My Business listings. The update includes product availability, locations, as well as options such as curbside pickup or delivery.

Back in April, Google added free listings to Google Shopping. So, the new local inventory information will be available for both ads and free listings in the Google Shopping Tab.

In-Ad Booking from Local Services Ads

Before now, potential customers could only call or send messaging leads to providers. Now, it’s possible to book service appointments with some providers from the mobile Local Service ads.

Businesses have to work with one of Google’s booking partners — Housecall Pro or Service Titan — to enable booking for ads. The service provider must also be backed by the Google Guarantee consumer protection to be eligible.

Local Service Consumer Sites

Later this month, Google is launching a mobile site to find, compare, and book appointments with local service providers. However, this feature is limited to users in the United States and Canada for now.

Free Promoted Map Pins for Smart Campaigns

From now until the end of September, Google will start showing promoted pins for advertisers using Smart Campaigns. What’s more, the search and advertising giant is not charging for clicks on those pins.

Also, small businesses can now use the Google Ads app to set up Smart Campaigns quickly.

New Tools for Local Businesses

Google is also introducing two new tools for businesses — Grow My Store and Local Opportunity Finder.

Small businesses can benchmark their online store against others in the same industry using the Grow My Store Tools. That way, they can get tips on ways to improve their online presence.

Local Opportunity Finder, on the other hand, provides a way for businesses to improve their GMB profiles. Enter the name of your business, and Google will provide personalized suggestions on how to improve your GMB profile.

Read More: Google Updates Advertising Policies, Bans Certain Categories

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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