“Near me” local searches continue to grow and Google, as the leader in this industry, has adapted to this user behaviour. An example of this strategy is the evolution of Google’s own business directory, Google My Business. Now the search engine has opened its API for this service, making it possible for companies to update their business profiles in real-time.
Anyone looking for a store, a service or other local business on Google sees the three most relevant results in the “Snack Pack.” Clicking on the selected company leads the consumer to the local listing on Google My Business, which includes the location on Google Maps, address details, opening times, reviews, photos and descriptions. The entry will also show up in Google Maps and Google +.
This information is often the first that potential customers will find about a company online. That’s why the business details need to be well managed: the more complete the information is, the higher the chances that customers will find what they are looking for. Adding images, for example, increases the likelihood that people click on the “Directions” button on the company profile by 42% and that they visit the website by 35%.
In order to avoid data manipulation, companies can take over the ownership of their Google My Business profile and verify the information. A verified profile promises data accuracy and instills confidence in the consumer.
Image via google.com
API: interface to new opportunities
But what happens when things change last minute? A business could, for instance, decide to spontaneously open on a Sunday or take part in a local shopping event. These changes would not be visible to customers relying on Google My Business listings. The reason: up until now, updates on Google My Business were not possible in real-time. Likewise, a sickness-related closure could greatly damage the business as a customer trusting the information on Google would be left standing outside locked doors.
Although Google has an app which enables updates on the go, businesses with several locations face an enormous amount of work, especially for last minute changes. That’s why Google now provides access to their Google My Business API. This API, short for Application Programming Interface, allows developers to create applications that can directly access Google My Business. Thus, location data or locally targeted Adwords campaigns, for example, can be changed or managed in real-time. Access to this interface, however, is only given to successful applicants. Uberall, is one of the first companies worldwide to be given access to this API.
Image via google.com
Google has always had priority
At Uberall, we provide multi-location businesses with a comprehensive, software-based solution to easily optimize their online presence. This includes centralized management of all location data and synchronization of this information across all relevant search engines, online directories, social media platforms and navigation systems.
All our customers can immediately benefit from the Google My Business API, as any changes to their company profiles are visible online right away.
The only restriction on Google’s side is that changes made via the API will only be published on verified profiles, and the verification itself is not possible through the API.
With the right IT partner, there are significant benefits to the Google My Business API access. Thanks to this access to the business directory of the world’s most important search engine, Uberall offers a valuable real-time communication tool for local businesses.
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Title Image via google.com