Premium features may be on the horizon for Google Business Profile listings. If these paid changes are implemented, this will drastically customize the way your business listing shows up for searchers, which will directly impact SEO strategies for car dealership marketing, law firm digital marketing, healthcare marketing, and any other types of local business.
Where did this idea for paid premium features start? Google recently sent out a survey to assess people’s interest in paying for access to premium Google My Business features. After asking some qualifying questions, the survey introduced some exciting possible features as part of the premium offer packages. Some of these premier features Google listed in the survey were:
Access to a dedicated Google support team that helps you troubleshoot issues and get the most out of your efforts.
Targeted ads from other businesses will not appear on your Google My Business profile.
Similar to other booking tools, this will allow you to sync with an existing calendar if available!
Google verified customer reviews to confirm they have actually used your product and service, building trust with prospects knowing that the positive reviews are coming from real customers.
Option to add video to your business profile page.
Add answers to frequently asked questions that Google will auto-send customers using the messaging tool.
Add pre-loaded responses for customers who leave a review on your Google My Business profile to show you’re actively engaged.
Promote new business offers on the listing.
Google will show your business to a customer after they have messaged a similar business, so the customer can message you to. This will help you get more leads from Google.
While this survey doesn’t mean Google is going to flip the switch on us overnight, it does show that Google is actively seeking business owner feedback regarding Google Business Profile. If these changes are implemented, this will drastically change the free version we are accustomed to using. Google’s survey was intended to gauge not only what capabilities people are willing to pay for, but also what they value the most.
Paying for a Google My Business subscription certainly comes with increased expectations for support. While there is technically support available for Google My Business now, it is not comprehensive. Google My Business support is not often successful in resolving issues many businesses face. The lack of support is a direct correlation to GBP being an under-monetized product.
If actual large-scale support teams were built, this could present an incredibly valuable experience for business owners seeking quick and effective answers. Gaining access to a dedicated customer support staff that helps troubleshoot issues and get the maximum out of your Google My Business efforts would be insurmountably helpful for all businesses wishing to get the most out of their business listing.
However, if businesses do not sense enhanced performance or a return on investment from the proposed premium version, Google could receive significant backlash. Like all Google products, Google will likely do more extensive testing prior to roll-out to ensure a winning solution for Google searchers and business owners alike.
While nothing is set in stone yet, Google will likely maintain a free version of GMB but offer a “pro” version with enhanced features at some point down the line. This Google My Business survey reflects some significant changes in Google’s thinking about the way people and businesses use Google My Business. It may also mean Google re-positions existing features based off of feedback collected in the survey.
Want to learn more? Contact our Google certified team for answers.