Google My Business rolls out feature for new businesses, updates local service area settings
Here are two changes that happened in local search over the weekend.
Over the weekend, Google My Business added the ability to announce the date your new business is opening directly in Google Maps and changed how it manages businesses that are within specific service areas.
New business open dates
Intitial test. Google tested this feature back in September, in which it shows a business listing in Google Maps before it opens. The listing communicates to the searcher when the business will be opening in the future.
Rolling out to all. Google officially confirmed this feature is now rolling out. Allyson Wright from Google posted in the company forums over the weekend that “Google My Business now supports businesses that haven’t yet opened to the public.”
Why it matters. The features helps new businesses build awareness and prepare for opening day by communicating to customers when they will open, what their business hours will be and what customers can expect. Wright said this “helps [new businesses] build their online presence and be ready for business on Day 1. Businesses can set a future opening date, engage with customers, and announce when and where they’ll be open for business.”
Learn more about how this works and how to set future open dates over here.
Local service business area changes
Set your service area. Google has made changes to how it handles “service-area businesses” who visit or deliver to local customers. There are now separate fields in Google My Business for you to edit your business address and your service area. When you update your business information, you’ll have the option to enter your address, service area, or both.
Two options. Now in Google My Business, service-area businesses have two options:
- If you don’t serve customers at your business address, leave the address field blank and only enter your service area.
- If you serve customers at your business address but also have a service area, enter both your address and service area.
Why it matters. You can no longer set your service area as a radius around your business in Google My Business. If you previously entered a distance around your business, you won’t be able to edit it. Instead, you’ll need to specify your service area by region, city, or ZIP code.