Google My Business listings are vital to many small businesses and large chains throughout America. Listings improve your chances of being found on map results and on mobile devices. Beyond just having a listing, having a listing that is updated and optimized is the best way to increase indirect and direct query traffic. It is also vital that companies stay up to date on new changes to Google My Business and understand how those changes might affect their traffic and conversions. Recently Google changed how you list your service area and how you view and respond to reviews. For companies that provide their services in a service area, these newer changes are extremely important.
Google My Business Service Area Changes
Recently Google My Business has been removing terms in the service area section of their listings. For instance, if a company provides in-unit cleaning, they can no longer write “in a 25mile radius” in the service area box. The following location formats have been removed from Google My Business:
- State Names
- County Names
- Distance relative to an area (e.g. “within 20 miles”).
The first thing every business should do is check their listing. Google has automatically updated listings, which means that businesses will need to accept or update their information. Zipcodes and town names are still permissible. If your listing already utilized town and city names or zipcodes, your listing will not need much editing. However, if your listing had “Massachusetts” as a service area, it is recommended that you replace it with specific towns. If you do not, your listing will no longer appear in search as frequently.
Google My Business Review Changes
Google now allows business owners to view reviews in bulk instead of one at a time. This means that companies that have multiple listings or locations can see reviews for their entire company in one place instead of needing to go from listing to listing. This change affects any business with 2-500 listings. Aside from the benefit of getting to see all the reviews in one place, businesses can also respond to reviews easier. Reviews can now be replied to directly from Google Maps instead of having to log in to Google My Business (although you will need to be logged in to the same Google profile you use to manage listings).
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