For most people, Google is the first stop when searching for a specific business. And in some cases -- like searches for gyms and beauty salons -- people are using Google to help them contact the business about an appointment. Now, the search giant has made that possible right from its results pages.
How to edit your business’s Google listing
When someone types your business’s name and location into Google.com, a “Knowledge Panel” is displayed on the righthand side of the search results with information about your office. If your business doesn’t have a Knowledge Panel, you can change that by opening a free Google My Business (GMB) account.
The GMB platform lets you link to your website, update office information (address, hours, phone number, etc.) and choose which photos Google associates with your company. GMB also gives you data about how many people:
- Saw your business’s Knowledge Panel in search results
- Visited your website by clicking somewhere in the Knowledge Panel
- Asked for directions via the Knowledge Panel
What’s new with GMB?
In the summer of 2017, Google announced that business owners could customize “Posts” in their Knowledge Panel. Posts are made up of a 100-300 word caption, an image and a call-to-action button, such as Learn More, Sign Up, Buy, etc. Posts automatically expire after seven days, which makes them perfect for sales, events and content marketing.
More recently, Google added another exciting feature: the ability to schedule appointments from inside the Knowledge Panel. If your website uses one of the 22 accepted plugins, you can connect it with GMB to make it easier for searchers to book a reservation at your location. Google is in the process of rolling out this feature to gyms, beauty salons and restaurants, but a wider release is on the way.
How do I enable Bookings?
Adding this feature to your GMB page is an easy four-step process:
- Log in to Google My Business
- Click on the Sign Up For Bookings icon below your business’s profile
- Choose your booking provider from the list of approved vendors and sign up on its site
- Check back in a few days and start tracking your appointments with GMB!
If your business accepts reservations, this feature will be an indispensable tool for improving your customers’ experiences. For more information on low-cost technology solutions that add value to your business -- give us a call today.