Google has announced a number of changes and new features for Google My Business listings that will enable greater interaction between businesses and their customers. To access many of the features, you must first log into your Google My Business account.

Google Posts

You can now post about events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps.

Examples of content include:

  • Events such as a jazz brunch or an in-store session
  • Offers/specials such as sales and discounts
  • Product updates such as new merchandise
  • Announcements such as “Open late this Saturday” or “Special guests this week!”

Google advises that your post be “brief, useful, and inspire action.” “Buy,” “Book online,” “Learn more,” “Call,” or “Visit” or all examples of actions you give in your post.  Also, be sure to add a good photo to your post. The ideal length for a post is between 150-300 characters.

Since posts are more related to timely information, such as special offers or events, the posts are removed from the default view after 7 days, but can still be found listed under the “Posts” tab on mobile.

Learn more: https://support.google.com/business/answer/7390603?hl=en&ref_topic=7343035

Include Additional Links to Book Online

Google is allowing certain business categories to add links to book online directly from their Google My Business listing. Because this is limited to certain business categories (and Google won’t say which ones) this feature might not be available to appliance repair service providers – for now. Roll out of this feature may be expanded to other business categories at a later date.

For more information, visit https://support.google.com/business/answer/6262887?hl=en

Questions and Answers

The Google Maps App on Android launched Questions & Answers direct into a business’s Google Maps Listing. The questions and answers appear in the knowledge panel and ONLY for businesses with a physical address. That means many appliance repair business that only perform work in the home or business, will not see this function.  This feature allows customers to ask the business questions and the business owner to provide an answer. Businesses and users can thumb up questions and answers from other people.

Currently, it’s only accessible in Google Maps on Android and not through the actual business listings dashboard. You can only receive push notifications from Google Maps on Android if a question is asked or answered by a user. However, Google says other options will be rolling out later in the year.

According to Google, “Users have many place-specific questions that are going unanswered right now. By allowing them to ask the business owner and each other, we can help them make decisions more quickly.”

For more information

http://onlineownership.com/questions-answers-in-google-business-listings/

http://blumenthals.com/blog/2017/08/11/google-rolling-out-places-questions-answers/

The above features are the ones I feel most-relevant to appliance repair businesses. Other features have also been rolled out by Google. To view those, visit https://support.google.com/business/answer/6262887?hl=en&ref_topic=4539639.