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Google My Business Listings Can Link to Gift Card & Donation Pages

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Google is letting businesses add links to their GMB listing that customers can click on to purchase gift cards or make donations.

Businesses can link directly to a gift card purchase page on their website.

If a business does not have a dedicated page of gift card offerings, they can sign up with one of Google’s partners which includes Square, Toast, Clover, and Vagaro.

In order to allow businesses to accept donations via their GMB listing, Google has partnered with PayPal and GoFundMe.

Support links will be visible to consumers later in search results later this month.

Google is not charging any additional fees for this service, though there may be fees charged by Google’s third-party partners.

This feature is first rolling out to a “subset of businesses” in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Google aims to prevent misuse of this feature with a slow rollout. It will be expanded, in a “responsible” way, to more countries, merchants, and partners over the coming weeks.

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Related: Google My Business Launches New Post Type for COVID-19 Related Announcements

How to Set Up a Gift Card or Donation Campaign

Businesses must create their own gift card or donation page before utilizing this feature.

Gift card links can go to a supported provider or a page on their own website. Donation links can only go to a supported provider.

Eligible businesses can create both gift card and donation pages and link to both of them at the same time.

To set up a gift card or donation campaign:

  • On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
    • If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
  • From the menu, click Posts and choose “COVID-19 support.”
    • Alternatively, click “Get support from customers” directly on the Google My Business home page.
  • Enter a message to customers and at least one link.
  • To save your changes, click Post.

Google’s Tips for a Successful Campaign

When setting up gift card and/or donation links, businesses can add a personal message to inform customers what their financial support will be going towards.

Google offers the following suggestions when crafting a personal message:

  • Be personal and positive: Connect with customers and wish them well.
    • For example: Hello, friends. We can’t wait to serve you again when we reopen.
  • Be focused and specific: Clearly communicate what kind of support you want clearly: a gift card purchase, a donation, or both.
    • Example: Please buy a gift card to put toward future dog walks.
    • Example: We’d appreciate a donation to help us continue to pay our staff.
  • Be brief: The ideal length of a message is between 250–300 characters. The maximum character count is 500.

Who is Eligible to Display Gift Card & Donation Links?

As mentioned, Google is putting measures in place to prevent this new feature from being misused.

Some of those measures involve imposing strict eligibility criteria.

Business eligibility criteria currently includes:

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  • Businesses must be verified before March 1, 2020.
  • Businesses must have a physical storefront.
  • Owners and site managers of the Business Profile can use the posts feature to add gift card and donation links.
  • Businesses must be located in select countries.

New listings are not eligible

Businesses cannot claim a GMB profile today, for example, and begin accepting donations.

This feature is only available for businesses that verified their GMB listing before the month of March.

While that may shut some businesses out who truly need the support right now, it also prevents bad actors from abusing these new features.

It appears that’s a trade-off Google is willing to make right now, though it’s always possible that policies could change in the future.

Source: Google

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GOOGLE

Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: What’s the best office suite for business?

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Google G Suite vs. Microsoft Office

Once upon a time, Microsoft Office ruled the business world. By the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Microsoft’s office suite had brushed aside rivals such as WordPerfect Office and Lotus SmartSuite, and there was no competition on the horizon.

Then in 2006 Google came along with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, a collaborative online word processing and spreadsheet duo that was combined with other business services to form the Google Apps suite, later rebranded as G Suite, and now as Google Workspace. Although Google’s productivity suite didn’t immediately take the business world by storm, over time it has gained both in features and in popularity, boasting 6 million paying customers, according to Google’s most recent public stats in March 2020.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has shifted its emphasis away from its traditional licensed Office software to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), a subscription-based version that’s treated more like a service, with frequent updates and new features. Microsoft 365 is what we’ve focused on in this story.

Nowadays, choosing an office suite isn’t as simple as it once was. We’re here to help.

Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365

Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have much in common. Both are subscription-based, charging businesses per-person fees every month, in varying tiers, depending on the capabilities their customers are looking for. Although Google Workspace is web-based, it has the capability to work offline as well. And while Microsoft 365 is based on installed desktop software, it also provides (less powerful) web-based versions of its applications.

Both suites work well with a range of devices. Because it’s web-based, Google Workspace works in most browsers on any operating system, and Google also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. Microsoft provides Office client apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and its web-based apps work across browsers.

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