Google is rolling out two updates to Google Maps and Google My Business for both consumers and business owners. Messaging is being expanded so consumers can message with businesses in more ways. Business owners will be able to see more local maps insights and analytics to understand how customers are finding them on Google.
Messaging expanded. Customers using Google Maps can now message with businesses via their business profiles on Google Maps within the updates section and via Google Posts.
“We’re rolling out the ability for verified businesses to message with customers directly from the Google Maps app. Once a business turns messaging on from their Business Profile, they can start replying to customers on Google Maps from the business messages section in the ‘Updates” tab,’” said Google.
Business owners will be able to see these messages in the Google My Business app, Google Maps app and in Google Search via the Customers menu on the Business Profile. Previously, messaging was done via the Google My Business app and before that via texting as well.
In addition, if searchers try calling the business and the business doesn’t answer, they will be prompted to send a message to the business.
Here is a look at the new messaging features in action:
New local metrics for businesses. Google is also releasing improved performance metrics for businesses in GMB. It rolled out some of these updates a few months ago, but now Google said it is going to soon be “rolling out more metrics to give businesses a deeper understanding of how customers discover their Business Profile.” Specifically, businesses will see more details on the search queries used to find the business on Google Maps and Google Search.
Plus, Google will soon show whether customers found the business on Google Maps or Search and if they saw the business from a computer or mobile device.
These performance insights will be available for “up to six months” Google said. Previously, you were able to see a three-month view of your data, now you can see between one month up to six months of data at a time.
Why we care. Google continues to invest in upgrades in Google Maps and local search capabilities. For local businesses, being able to communicate with customers is key and these upgrades to messaging will help businesses do just that. Plus, businesses will be able to see more data for longer periods of time around how customers are finding their businesses.