Google has updated its business onboarding process for Google My Business again. The new step for businesses looking to “be found on Google for free” is a goal-setting stage. The goal setting stage will provide automated advice to business owners. Current Google My Business accounts may be asked to update their original setup to include goals.
The New Feature
The goals feature is now the second step of Google My Business’ onboarding program following the initial setup. Account managers select any or all of the following six goals:
- Help customers discover my business
- Have accurate information on Google
- Share updates with customers
- Respond to customers
- Learn how people find my business on Google
- Promote my business
Interestingly, Google does not have a limit on how many of these goals are selected. Some business owners will most likely select all of them to get “the most” out of the program. However, it is important to note that selecting these options has no effect on realizing these goals. The new Google My Business goal choices purely provide next steps a business owner or SEO account manager can take to realize their vision. Many of these “next steps” are already used by seasoned account managers.
How Does This Automation Affect SEO
If you work for an SEO agency and manage client’s Google My Business accounts, you may be concerned about this new automation. This goal setting feature offers business owners a “personalized plan”. Traditionally SEO agencies are paid to create and execute these plans. The important news is that this new tool does not execute any plans on its own. If you co-manage your Google My Business accounts with your clients, they may see their new “personalized plan” and want to follow it. Communicating with your clients here will be key, and in most cases, Google will not recommend anything more than what account managers already do.
Whether you are an account manager, SEO specialist, or a small business owner having a working knowledge of this new feature will be advantageous. Like many things with Google, you are going to need to adopt this new tool whether you asked for it or not. So far, many account representatives reported that Google is asking them to update their Google My Business profile with the new goals. Because this is a recent update, it is more than likely that Google will continue rolling out this new change. Of course, account managers could pick a random goal and then ignore the advice. (At least it isn’t a talking paperclip this time). But, in all honesty, this tool could actually be quite helpful.
Getting The Most Out Of Google
Google’s hands-on advice may seem like helicopter parenting and even a little condescending to experienced users who have been optimizing for a while. But as Google My Business continues changing, having direct advice could be a great thing. An automized and personalized checklist isn’t just beneficial to new users, it ensures that SEO representatives and account managers don’t miss an opportunity to improve their client’s listing.