Google is constantly testing and adding new features to help local searchers find the best answer to their questions or need. And, while you don’t need to stay on top of every single update, some can directly impact your business and should be on your radar.
New and updated Google Business Profile (GBP) identity attributes are one of those important features to stay current on. These attributes are displayed prominently on your business listing in Search and Maps, helping local customers quickly see whether your location is best suited to meet their needs.
Attributes can tell searchers whether their method of payment is available, if the property has accessibility features if online ordering or curbside pickup is possible, what social values the brand and customer share are, and so much more.
The types of attributes available to your locations vary and are determined by the Primary Business Category you’ve selected for your GBP. Here are a few recent updates you may be able to add to relevant business listings.
Business “Led” By Women or Veterans Attribute Changed to “Owned”
The “women-led” and “veteran-led” attributes have been updated to “women-owned” and “veteran-owned.”
It’s a slight change in terminology, but it seems that searchers are more interested in who actually owns the business than who “leads” it. This also makes the language used for this attribute consistent with the “Black-owned” and “Latino-owned” attributes.
In Google’s How to add or edit Business Profile attributes resource, it explains that “Attribute names may change over time to better match the ways that people search for businesses.”
Google announced this change ahead of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on November 19, 2021.
Happy Women’s Entrepreneurship Day!
This Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, add “women-led” to your Google search to find and support the women-owned businesses near you.#SupportWomenBusinesses pic.twitter.com/0mfYIukafK
— Google in Africa (@googleafrica) November 19, 2021
And as Barry Schwartz pointed out at SERoundtable, the “family-led” attribute has been removed.
New Attributes for LGBTQ+ Friendly & Transgender Safespace
Although Google announced the launch of LGTBQ+ Friendly and Transgender Safespace attributes in 2018, local marketing experts found they became far more noticeable recently.
BrightLocal’s Claire Carlisle mentioned she had never seen the attribute before it was mentioned by Andrew Bullimore in October 2021:
— Andrew Bullimore (@bullimore_bully) October 20, 2021
Now, these attributes appear in a field called “Crowd” in the Google Business Profile dashboard.
Using attributes to make your brand values clear is incredibly important in this age where 72% of consumers say they want brands to reflect their values. This goes beyond a simple preference and translates directly to an impact on your bottom line. Research from 2020 found that 71% of consumers actually prefer to buy from brands that share their values.
If the choice comes down to two businesses in close proximity to one another, these are the details that make the difference between converting the searcher to a customer or having them pass you by.
Google Tests New Label for Women-Led Businesses
Schwartz also noticed in October that a new purple heart label to indicate that a business is women-led seemed to be in testing.
“I wonder if this is all some type of weird bug?” he asked.
It doesn’t seem to be a bug, as Google does have an initiative dedicated to helping women grow their businesses. On its Grow With Google page for women-led businesses, Google says, “Identify your business as owned, led, or founded by women by adding a ‘Women-Led’ attribute to your Business Profile on Google, which shows up when people look for your business on Google Search and Maps.”
It makes sense that they’re trying out new ways to make that attribute more prominent and easily recognizable. One Twitter user noticed that they could see the purple heart in the Map Pack, but clicking through to the business listing reverted the symbol to the existing label (the female sign). Another was unable to replicate the test in Spain and questioned whether it was only happening in the U.S. (as is often the case). See more of the conversation here.
Whether Google sticks with the purple heart or not, it’s clear that ownership attributes matter to searchers and therefore, Google will continue finding ways to highlight this important information. Watch for new labels and icons for ownership attributes in the future.
Google Business Profile attributes are an important differentiator in competitive local search results. They can help your locations appear in relevant searches, stand out against the competition, and convert searchers to business-generating customers. The new Google Business Profile identity attributes are another tool to convey to searchers unique identifiers related to how your business operates and help you build a more personal connection.
Explore the different attributes available to your business and watch for new ways to make an impression with attributes as they roll out.