Ahead of its International Small Business Week, Google has expanded editing capabilities for Google My Business (GMB) profiles in Search and Maps, the company announced Thursday. It also offers a free trial of Pointy, a platform that enables local businesses to get their inventory discoverable online to eligible business owners.
More editing capabilities from within Search and Maps. Business owners can now add their local service offerings (e.g., eyelash extensions, leak repairs, ground wire installations, etc.) to their GMB profiles directly from Search. And, beginning next week, local businesses will be able to schedule Google Posts from now within Search.
Note that the ability to edit your GMB profile from Google Search and Maps is not new; it was first introduced for Search in 2017 and expanded to Maps last year.
To update your GMB profile from Search or Maps, you must be logged into a Google account associated with your business. To update your profile from Search, type in your business name or “my business.” To edit it from Maps, tap on your profile picture followed by “Your Business Profile.”
For restaurants. Restaurant owners can now add menu items to their GMB profile from Search and Maps. Google is also rolling out the ability to add and update ordering options (i.e., pickup or delivery) from Search — that feature will be arriving in the coming weeks.
In addition, restaurant and service business owners can now enable online bookings through their GMB profiles from Search. To take advantage of this feature, business owners must sign up with a Reserve with Google partner.
Free Pointy trial. Google is offering Pointy for free to eligible retailers through September 30.
Google acquired Pointy in January 2020. The platform uses a hardware device (shown above) that attaches to a point-of-sale barcode scanner to pull its title, image, and description to add it to Surfaces across Google.
Local Opportunity Finder. In a separate blog post, Google also launched a new tool called Local Opportunity Finder. The tool is designed to provide local business owners with tailored recommendations to improve their visibility on Search and Maps. Business owners can simply enter the name of their business into the tool and Google will provide a list of resources, such as how to respond to reviews or tips for uploading photos. This resource will be rolling out in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain later this month, with a rollout to more European markets, the Middle East and Africa in the coming months.
Why we care. Being able to update a GMB profile from Search or Maps may make it easier for some business owners to do so, which can help them keep their audiences up-to-date about how their business is operating and what they’re currently offering.
Pointy may be a useful solution for SMBs that want to get their inventory online, which is especially important as consumers may be expecting the option to “buy online, pickup in-store.” The free trial may help local businesses come to a decision about whether it’s worthwhile to invest in such a platform.