Since its initial release last December, we have covered and supported the exciting updates to the Google My Business (GMB) API roll out. The latest update in May enabled reading and responding to reviews, providing place identification, attribute support, photos and new location states to its list of capabilities. Now, Google has released more features for multi-location brands to distribute location information and gain visibility.
Here are three major opportunities that we see with this round of updates:
1. Seamlessly Drive Customers Offline
Search Engine Land has noted an array of new features to bridge online to offline including:
Notifications – Users can subscribe to push notifications for updates about changes to local listings and alerts regarding new reviews that go up for a specific location.
Maps URLs – Google Maps URLs will now be included in location responses in order to connect local queries to actionable directions to connect online to offline attribution.
Location States – Offer deeper insight into the actions required for a specific location, whether the listings has been published, disabled, is pending verification, etc.
Attributes – The attributes feature will now extend beyond Boolean (true/false) values with the ability to help users gain multi-faceted answers regarding their location queries.
Category Endpoint – Users will be able to get a list of supported categories by country and language which will replace the current CSV files.
As Google My Business Insights pages were recently restructured, we can expect that these will take precedence in the upcoming API rollout.
2. Respond to Reviews in Real-Time
There are times when customers write reviews in the moment they are experiencing an issue, giving brands with push notifications enabled the chance to make things right before the customer has left the store. For others, the immediacy of a response will show customers that your brand enough to actively resolve issues in a timely manner.
With push notifications to alert users when new reviews have been posted for a specific location, brands will have soon also have the opportunity to respond to reviews in real-time. This could potentially make a difference between permanently losing a customer and gaining a loyal fan for life. Mike Blumenthal mentioned that the ability to actively moderate reviews will eliminate the need for brands to query the API for information that was previously unavailable and create a better system for managing a brand’s own data without the need for outside assistance.
3. Develop a Holistic Local Strategy with GMB V3.1
Holistic local marketing combines online and offline tactics to help users find a business online and make a conversion in the store location, and the Google My Business API update allows brands to do just that. With GMB V3.1, brick-and-mortar brands can connect the online to offline experience in a few different ways.
First, brands can take advantage of the ability to respond to customers in real time, direct them to stores by integrating directions in Maps URLs and consistently cleanse and syndicate location data so that customers can seamlessly find their way to your store.
Next, the increased attention on artificial intelligence and voice search makes attributes even more critical, as these technologies depend on attributes to allow users to make voice queries in a more conversational approach without being limited to yes/no or true/false questions and similar search results.
Furthermore, with the holiday season just around the corner, managing attributes and maintaining, clean, consistent location data can help your brand get found by users who are making very specific queries that include attributes of a business besides location.
Brandify has been supporting the updates of the GMB roll out since its initial release last year, and continues to integrate these ongoing feature releases into our platform. If you aren’t already, it’s time own and distribute more location data to power players like Google My Business.
Start now by assessing your brand presence with our new 25 location Quick Scan.