Google ramps up competition with Facebook Pages with new tools for local businesses.

Google has been steadily updating its tools for businesses trying to succeed in more customers across Google’s platforms, as well as Search and Google Maps. Last year, the corporate took on Facebook Pages with a feature that allow users “follow” and message businesses directly, as well as be updated concerning promotions, sales and different events.

Today, Google is rolling out a host of other tools for Google My Business, centered on attracting customers and inspiring follows.
The suite of tools called Google My Business was initial introduced 5 years ago as the simplest way for businesses with a Google presence to have a one-stop shop for updating their business data online, adding photos, reading reviews and — at the time — using Google+. Whereas the latter has since stop working, Google remains competing with Facebook in its own means.

But now, rather than building out a colossal social network of its own, it’s centered on helping businesses reach customers through Google’s most-used platforms.

Already, customers could “follow” a business to trace its updates in the new “For You” tab on Google Maps. It’s considerably Google’s version of liking a Facebook Page, then obtaining updates in a feed. Meanwhile, businesses could use the new Customers tab to read reviews and reply to inquiries. They can also post to their business profile on Google.

Today’s update includes a couple of other tools for making those profiles additional appealing.

For example, businesses can currently add a logo to their profile, upload photographs that are then displayed in a new dynamic module on their profile (and soon with captions) and set a profile cover photo. Again, more options to rival Facebook Pages.
Businesses can currently additionally claim a brief name and URL for their business in order that they can more simply direct people right to their profile page.

In a few more months, customers will be able to search Google Maps by these short names, as well.
Also new today are welcome offers. This permits a business to reward a brand new client for following them by offering a discount or some kind of deal.

In addition to the new options, Google is today launching a marketing Kit website where businesses can order free stickers and posters to put at their retail location, and download assets for social posts, among different things.

As a part of this launch, Google is highlighting the highest 5-hitter of businesses in a given category, with a “Local Favorite” designation. These businesses will later this summer be able to order digital and physical badges of honor, if they create the cut.

Google says there are currently over 150 million businesses using the Google My Business platform, since its 2014 launch.
“We hope that these more descriptive profiles not solely facilitate consumers quickly find the business that most accurately fits their desires, however additionally facilitate businesses stand out and express what distinctive about them,” explains Google Business Senior Product Manager Amir Fish in today’s announcement.

“We’re committed to helping businesses succeed on Google and are excited to keep improving the experience for all individuals on Maps and Search,” it says.