Local business orders & appointments such as food delivery, dinner reservations, and booking service appointments can now all be made via a business’ Google My Business page.
For a while, Google has hinted at this change to their Google My Business platform. Now it is clear that this feature will allow users to link to third-party booking and ordering services, such as OpenTable and Seamless, where they will then be able to complete their order or reservation.
How can I set this up for my local business?
Unfortunately this feature is not yet available by business owner request. Links to booking options are appearing automatically for businesses that Google deems eligible for the service. Here are three tips to help speed up the process:
- Make sure that your business category is properly filled out on your Google My Business page. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to be eligible.
- If your business is currently connected to an online booking or delivering service, make sure that your Google My Business page is somehow linked to that website. For example: if you own a restaurant and accept deliveries through seamless.com, make sure to add your seamless.com menu to your Google My Business Page.
- Alert the website that manages your online service scheduler. Google's advice for those who own online service schedulers: “If you operate an online service that allows local businesses to directly accept online orders, appointments, reservations or other similar services and would like to let Google know, you are welcome to fill out this form.”
Reviews: For local businesses, business reviews are now more important than ever. We often talk about the importance of reviews on Google My Business, both as an SEO ranking factor and as a reputation management tool. Now that Google is making it even easier for consumers to schedule a service or delivery directly with businesses, it’s even more important that your reviews help paint the picture of your business that you would like to portray to prospects.
Expansion: Once expanded, this update could have a huge impact on a variety of service-based businesses; everyone from plumbers to HVAC technicians to hair stylists could have a leg up on competitors if they can increase leads through a strong Google My Business presence.
Other players: Google My Business is not the first digital player in the local services scheduling game. After the success of sites such as Angie’s List, many traditional retailers have started to connect with local businesses and now offer local service subscriptions, such as Amazon’s Local Service.
Want to learn more about visibility and online reputation management for your local business? Contact us today.