Google My Business is evolving at a rapid clip to keep pace with the needs and wants of constantly connected consumers. Every few weeks, it seems, an exciting new capability or updated functionality comes out. Each update extends your local reach and visibility–if you know how to optimize for it.

Recently, we’ve seen GMB give restaurants the ability to add structured menus to their listings. Businesses are now able to add videos to their location profiles, and the Q&A feature has added another way for you to engage searchers. Now, Google My Business has brought back Business Description and added some other great features, just in time for spring. As you engage in local search engine optimization for your location profiles for Q2, keep these new capabilities in mind.

Business Description is Back

GMB has reintroduced the Business Description, which displays in the knowledge panel in addition to Google’s editorial description of your business:

local listingsYour Business Description can be up to 750 characters. Initially, 250 characters are displayed on the listing, with a “read more” option. You’ll want to front-load your messaging to ensure that the most salient points appear in the short version. Within this section, you can include an email address, but no live links. This is a great place to use a more conversational writing style, since it appears right below consumer reviews.

Multi-location brands, fear not: you can add a unique description for each location, allowing you to make it locally relevant.

Optimizing this section of your GMB location business listings adds engaging, conversion-signaling content. You can read more about the specific guidelines here, and get in touch with your Rio SEO account representative with any questions.

Share Your New Stores

GMB is now letting companies add an Opening Date for recently opened locations, sometimes accompanied by a small ‘ribbon cutting’ symbol:

We’d love to be able to use this feature to actually promote Grand Openings, but currently it’s not available for future dates. We’ll keep an eye on this functionality and let you know if this changes in another GMB update.

For now, clients can send us a spreadsheet with Location IDs and open dates. We’ll upload and populate this field across all of your locations.

local listings

A New Type of Google Post: Offers

This new feature is still rolling out to account, but here’s what it looks like:

listings management

Image Source: Colan Nielsen

Google Posts are a super engaging content format that displays within your knowledge panel listing. There’s no bulk or API posting option available yet, so this is a feature best controlled at the local level.

We’ve seen excellent results for those who make good use of Google Posts. Check out our 2018 Google Posts Playbook: A guide to outpacing your competitors with Google Posts to see this specific content type in action.

If you’re interested in testing Google Posts with Offers for any or all of your locations, get in touch with your Rio SEO account representative to get started.

Looking for information about the recent ‘Mall Directory’ update? Get Rio’s POV: Google Maps’ New Mall Directory Tab: What It Means for Enterprise Brands here.

Author Bio:

Krystal Taing is a Google My Business Gold Product Expert with extensive knowledge and expertise in local marketing and local search.