Communicating on GMB Poses Some Challenges, but the Local Ecosystem Has Answers

Google has been hard at work on local in 2018 and 2019, taking strides toward making its Google My Business app the one-stop-shop for local businesses hoping to connect with customers through digital means. Nevertheless, local is a tricky, 24-7 business, and when it comes to connecting brick-and-mortars with customers nearby, Alphabet’s core business has some room for improvement.

Australian local SEO Margaret Ornsby was on that beat recently, detailing a range of struggles she’s encountered with GMB messaging. The problems seem to center on notifications, which are essential to a product that exists to keep owners and operators on the same page as existing and potential patrons. 

“My maths say the product is well over a year old and in my testing, the product is still behaving like it’s in beta,” Ornsby wrote. To this, Brandify VP of Product Strategy Damian Rollison adds in a memo sent to Street Fight that Messaging is currently only available in the GMB app, posing potential complications for multi-location brands. 

In brighter news, SMB-focused local marketing solution provider ThriveHive announced last week a free tool that will allow users to communicate more effectively with customers trying to reach them through the Knowledge Panel’s question-and-answer feature.

In a post describing the tool, ThriveHive VP of Product Strategy David Mihm explains that alerts for businesses about questions sitting unanswered on the Web are currently limited to the Maps app for Android. ThriveHive’s solution aims to put an end to that knowledge gap in the Knowledge Panel, streamlining the process by which businesses can monitor customer questions and provide up-to-date information.

That’s a win for businesses, which can also stay on top of Knowledge Panel questions by adding FAQs and highlighting top responses

Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s managing editor.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.
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