Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Menu Attributes – Why Your Services Page Just Got More Important
It’s time for every business to take a second look at their services page and be sure that it is a great page that converts your local customers.
Last week Google added Attributes to the Google My Business Dashboard. Earlier this week they added the ability to add menus via the Google My Business API. They simultaneously updated the Google Guidelines to provide guidance on what is an acceptable menu and made clear that a menu of services (in addition to a restaurant menu) are welcome.
Unfortunately many businesses that offer menus do not have access to the API.
But a solution appears to be nearly at hand. Today I am seeing an option in the Google My Business to allow single locations to add a menu directly via the Card Interface for single locations via the Attribute fields:
Unfortunately as of this AM it is still throwing off an error message and doesn’t provide a field for entering the site’s menu link. Regardless it would appear that the feature is soon coming.
Giving this feature directly to the small business owner will solve one of the persistent and annoying problems that crops up in the GMB forums IF owners are given enough control over their menus AND 3rd party order options that Google auto loads. Few businesses want an outdated SingPlatform page as a default, uncontrollable link in their Knowledge Panel.
With the release of the API feature to add menus, Google updated the Google My Business Guidelines to delineate the two types of menus that can be added; food and services.
From a tactical point of view it means that the services page of any business that is offering a range of services has just become significantly more important and might become a frequented entry point to your site. Google will be linking to the “menu” page from the Local Finder and the Knowledge Panel.
Whether you are a spa, a jeweler or any business offering a range of repair or personal services you should take some time to be sure that your services page is clear, enticing and offers clear calls to action. While any page can now function as the home page due to the nature of search, some pages are more important than others. By linking to your page from local results, Google might just have elevated your services page from obscurity.
What we don’t know at this point is whether Google will limit the availability of the attribute to certain businesses or certain businesses types. As of now, while the Menu URL is visible in restaurant listings it is NOT visible among some of the service business listings that I have access to. Regardless it appears that it is likely on its way and you should take the time to enhance your services page.
Here are the guidelines vis a vis menus for restaurant and service businesses.
There are two kinds of menus:
A menu for an eating and drinking establishment (like restaurants or cocktail bars) that lists the complete set of food and drink items that are available at the business.
A menu for a service business like a barber, spa, or car repair shop that lists the complete set of services that are available at the business.
Both kinds of menu must follow the following guidelines:
The menu should be representative of the items and services that are available for customers at the business. Full menus can be meal-specific (like breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and have links to other menu pages. For example, you may choose to link to your business’s dinner menu, which in turn may include links to the breakfast and lunch menus.
Sample menus that only list “popular items” (or similar excerpts) should not be submitted.
Menu URLs can’t be direct links to third-party ordering or delivery services.
Third parties that manage listings on behalf of clients must notify and have the consent of the business owner to submit a menu URL for a business.
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