On Wednesday, Google rolled out a number of updates to the Google My Business app, with the aim of helping small business owners more easily connect to customers through Google Search.
The Google My Business app was first introduced in 2014, as a free service allowing businesses to manage their online information as it appears in Google Search and Maps. The move also put Google in more direct competition with Facebook business pages.
The revamped app helps businesses more easily update their Business Profile on the site, according to a blog post announcing the updates. A new Post button in the app allows SMBs to upload photos or create offers or events and add them directly to their Business Profile on Google. SMBs can also manage business information on Google from the Profile tab, and edits will appear in real time across Search and Maps.
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When customers find your business on Google, they can choose to connect via messaging, following, booking services, or leaving a review, all directly from the Business Profile. Now, business owners will be able to see all their customers on Google in the app's new Customers tab. This tab also allows businesses to respond to customer reviews, post offers to followers, and, soon, respond to messages directly in the app, the post noted. Businesses will also receive notifications of new customer connections.
In the app, businesses can also see how many people are finding and connecting with them from their Business Profile on Google. Profile results are located on the home screen for easy access, the post noted.
Google connects customers to businesses more than 9 billion times each month, according to the post.
"We're proud to have built an easy-to-use, free tool that helps small business owners reach more people online and connect with their customers through Google, so they can grow their business and spend more of their time doing what they do best—running it," Curtis Galloway, engineering manager of Google My Business, wrote in the post.
In October, Google also announced an update to Google Maps for Android, allowing users to follow businesses directly within the app.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Google announced an update to the free Google My Business app to help small businesses better connect with customers online.
- The updated app helps businesses more easily update their Business Profile on the site.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.