Google My Business is an invaluable digital asset for your business; however, in order to best leverage its prime position in search, it’s crucial to keep up with its many features and fields available to you. Services and Products are two such elements of Google My Business that help with optimization and customer engagement. That’s why knowing what they are, when they are available, and when to use them is so important.
What’s the Difference Between Products and Services?
Google My Business Products
First, let’s get the big disclaimer out of the way: The Products feature in Google My Business is not currently available on all listings.
This feature was in beta for quite some time, but that label has since been removed. Just speculating here, but if Google had intended to make this feature widespread, undoubtedly the chaos of COVID-19 put those plans on the backburner. So as of right now, some listings have it and some don’t. From our experience, it appears that newly created listings have the feature from the get-to, it’s the existing GMB listing that are waiting for the “upgrade.”
To see if your listing has the products feature, simply log into the Google My Business dashboard, select your listing (if you have more than one), and scan the menu on the left hand sidebar. If it’s available, you’ll see the word Products accompanied by a basket icon. If you don’t, then you don’t.
If it’s there, great! Google My Business Products are designed with small to medium businesses in mind and allow you to showcase your products on page-one of Google, for free, within your Google My Business Knowledge Panel.
When adding a product to the Product feature, the following fields are available: name, photo, price (fixed or range), and description. A call-to-action button (Order Online, Buy, Learn More, Get Offer) with a link is also optional. Products can also be organized into custom categories, which we recommend doing, and they do not expire.
There is also a Google Post type for Products, which once again is only available to GMB listings with the Products feature. I caution against using the two interchangeably though. While products added via a Google Post will appear within the Product listings, have all the same fields, and can be organized into your pre-created custom categories, they will also be posted as a Google Post.
That’s handy if you’d like to give a little extra boost to a specific product at the time you’re adding the product itself, but less so if you have something else you’d rather be highlighting or promoting with the Google Posts feature at the same time. For instance, if you’re running a Google Post for a sales event but then add a couple products via the Google Posts feature instead of the Products feature, you’ve effectively buried the sales event post. Also, Product type Google Posts only last 7 days so with the rare exception, I recommend keeping your Post and Product efforts separate.
Google My Business Services
Unlike the Products feature, Google My Business Services are fully rolled out and functional. However, their availability is dependent on the categories selected for your Google My Business listing.
This feature can be accessed two different ways in the GMB backend. If you’re on the main Info screen, scroll down past the field for links and you should spot the section labeled Services. Click on the pencil icon to edit. This will take you to the dedicated Services area. Alternatively you can go directly there by clicking on the Services menu option on the left hand sidebar.
Once there, click the “+ Add another service” link under any of the categories to start adding relevant services. Some categories are preloaded with options to choose from, some are not, but all have the option to add custom services to create your own. Take the time to select and / or add any and all that apply to your business for each category.
For example, under the category Tire Shop, “tires” and “wheel alignment” were pre-loaded options, so we selected those but we also added “tire rotation” and “tire repair.”
As of very recently, the Services feature now also offers a description field and a price field with the following options: No Price, Free, Fixed, or From. Once you’ve selected or added custom services to a category, you can circle back to add this information like so:
While Services are far less in-your-face than the Products feature on the live listings, they are still helpful in your overall Google My Business optimization efforts. You see, the categories selected for your business listing are one of the known local ranking factors Google uses to decide when to display your listing in search and on maps.
Given that the Services are intertwined with the categories, it’s fair to assume that the Services are another way Google learns what your business does. I’m not saying that they too are a ranking factor, because we don’t know that for sure, but if Google presents you with an opportunity to provide more custom details about your business, we recommend taking it.
With all of that said, Google My Business is ever-changing, so take advantage of Services and Products using what you learned here today, but always keep an eye out for new features and further advancements.
If you need assistance with creating products or services for your Google My Business listing or have any additional questions, feel free to contact PCG Digital!