Google Tests Concept of GMB Subscription Bundles and Pricing
April 29, 2019 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
Over the weekend Google sent an undetermined number of Google My Business customers a survey about features and services. Some of these are existing features and some are hypothetical. It’s interesting as a roadmap preview, on the one hand. But more interesting is the fact that it presents bundles of services/features and potential pricing.
The survey was posted on Twitter by Sean Bucher. Here are some of the GMB profile options Google presented in the survey:
- Request quote
- Automated response for reviews
- Automated message responses
- “Book” button on your Business Profile
- Remove ads from your Business Profile
- Verified bookings
- Google search results placement
- Promote your “Book” button
- Featured review
- Google Guarantee
- Verified reviews
There were also multiple screens with different bundles and different monthly pricing options, depending on survey responses and preferences. Here are a couple of examples:
As you can see, Google asks how likely respondents are to purchase their preferred bundle at the price they’ve chosen. This could also be lead-gen for the company, which could yield an extensive list of qualified SMBs depending on how widely the survey was distributed and how many completed it (roughly 20 minutes). If you’re an online only business, you exit the survey before these screens.
Google has not disclosed how many SMBs have verified GMB listings but it’s in the many millions. Imagine two million SMBs paying Google $30 – $50 per month for a bundle. That’s $720 million to $1.2 billion in annual, recurring revenue. And 10 million SMBs paying $30 per month for a bundle would mean $3.6 billion.
This survey suggests a number of things to me:
- Google has been frustrated by historical ads churn among SMBs and resellers. Perhaps it has seen ads growth among SMBs plateau. This is a new growth option
- This is a simple SaaS product that would be mostly self service and generate recurring revenue for the company with minimal involvement by the SMB (pick your bundle and go)
- Google would likely maintain a free version of GMB but offer a or “pro” version with enhanced features
- GMB subscribers might also do a better job of qualifying Google Ads prospects
- An enhanced GMB offering could be tied into Smart Campaigns and Local Service Ads very directly and make acquisition and campaign management more efficient. Turn it off and on as desired; the rest is automated
This is just a survey and doesn’t mean any of this will come to pass but it’s very interesting and reflective of some signifiant changes in Google’s thinking about the SMB market. What are your observations and theories?