A new local SEO opportunity?
If you’re on a mobile device, chances are you utilize Google Maps to help you get around if you need any assistance but now, it will provide customers with direct access to a business. On 11/14, Google announced a pretty significant addition to its extremely popular Google Maps platform that will allow users to message businesses directly in app.
With local map traffic at an all time high and users increasingly encouraged to take action within the platform, is this your local SEO secret weapon?
The Google My Business Hub
Unlike many of Google’s other features, you have to opt-in to this feature using Google’s “My Business” verification system and the associated app to send and receive messages. This is a significant development for businesses and we’re going to explore them together.
First, this further solidifies Google’s commitment to the My Business platform that they’ve been pushing for a while now. To catch you up to speed, Google has been adding new features to the platform to make it more useful for businesses and, likewise, it has become an increasing important factor in SEO and ranking in the local map pack.
Second, this seems like a genuinely useful feature for many users. There have been many times I’ve wanted to ask a business a particular question that may not be on their website without calling them. Sure, you could do this with Facebook, but with that platform becoming less trustworthy in the minds of the general public it’s becoming a less viable option. Plus, if I don’t follow or want to engage with that business on social, being able to reach out within the Maps platform while I’m looking for directions or travel time is a huge bonus.
All you have to do is opt-in through the Google My Business app and, really, you should have it anyway. It’s a small step to have a potentially huge benefit for your business, and who doesn’t want that?