In December 2016, Google introduced Attributes as a replacement for the business description on Google My Business listings. These complement and are supported by questions Google asks people who have visited your business. Think of these as features of the business. You might see questions which relate to the attributes in a “know this business?” panel that displays on mobile devices.
Many (if not most) of these attributes don’t display in the Knowledge Panel, or anywhere you can see readily online. So why bother with them?
In a word, searchability.
For example, people might search for a coffee shop with wi-fi. The “wi-fi” is an attribute, as are things like outdoor seating, gift wrapping, teeth whitening, and so on.
Google pre-populates attributes based on business type, and in some instances turns them on by default.
As the business owner it is wise to periodically review and adjust the settings as appropriate for your business. Your own settings should override user edits and Google edits.
Restaurants, coffee shops, and other dining establishments also have a feature Google is calling an attribute, but it doesn’t show in the attributes section. This is a URL for an online menu. If you have your menu on your website or an online ordering system, you can put a link in there.
Service based businesses may also display this menu URL option. You can use this to take people straight to a page on your site which highlights your services.
“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.”
Some attributes are easily turned on and off within a single click in a location. Many however are still easier done by using the spreadsheet and bulk upload option.
To use this – go to your dashboard and click “download locations”. Where we go next is counter-intuitive, so follow along.
Click the red or blue plus circle as though you were going to add another location. A couple of icons will appear above the circle, select the option to import locations. Once clicked, the screen will change to allow you to download an attributes reference spreadsheet.
In that spreadsheet you’ll see attributes for all sorts of features of a business – amenities, crowd, dining options, highlights, payment options and more. Add each relevant attributes to your spreadsheet and then import the location/s back into your dashboard.
They come largely from online travel agency sites (although Google officially state only “a variety of sources”). Unfortunately these cannot be edited, but if there are incorrect ones showing on your listing, you must contact Google staff.