Google’s Latest Test: Book Appointments Right From Your Search Results
Tired of clicking through multiple sites and screens to book an online appointment from a web search? If so, we have some good news to share. Google is currently testing a new feature that allows you to book an appointment right from the Knowledge Panel.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Google’s Knowledge Panel, it’s displayed at the top of the search engine results page for branded searches, giving companies the opportunity to showcase their business on prime search engine real estate. The Knowledge Panel currently displays photos, location, business information, reviews, recent Google+ posts, and more. Google pulls most of this information from your business’s Google+ page, so keep it up to date. In particular, make sure your Google+ page has:
- A quality profile photo (it should be square and at least 250 x 250 pixels)
- Your correct business information (address, phone number, hours, etc.)
- Plenty of positive reviews (at least 5-15)
Now back to the Knowledge Panel’s cool new feature…
Google is continuously building out new features in the Local Knowledge Panel to improve branded searches. Their latest addition, the Place Actions Forms, allows scheduling via Intuit’s Demandforce with appointment-based businesses. This lets customers book appointments without having to visit the website, eliminating extra steps for a smoother experience – from discovery to booking. Once the form is submitted, the information is securely passed into Demandforce, listing Google as the referral.
The Place Actions Forms feature is still in the testing stage and is currently only eligible to Demandforce customers. So if you have Online Booking enabled on Intuit Local, this is a great opportunity to drive more appointments!
The Future of Google’s Knowledge Panel
Google’s Knowledge Panel is continuing to evolve and Google is testing many additional 3rd party-powered features to improve the user experience on its search pages. For instance, Google has made Google Maps more interactive with built in OpenTable reservations and Uber pickup and price estimates.
With these additions and many more to come, Google’s Knowledge Panel will only continue to grow in importance. So keep a close eye on it – because your competitors surely will.
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