How Google’s Gboard app can bring you closer to your customers
Calling all Aussie businesses – Google has released yet another app that will bring you closer to your prospective customers.
Once upon a time iPhone users needed to use their browser to search for businesses and their contact details. Now, with the introduction of Gboard, results can appear right in their text message windows.
Google announced the introduction of the Gboard app on its official company blog earlier this month. It’s available for immediate download from the App Store.
The app installs the ‘Gboard’ on your phone so that it appears alongside your keyboard, identified by the Google symbol. Traditionally, when looking for the address of a business or a link to a website, users would need to leave their text message window to perform a search in Google, copy the information they wanted and return to the message window to paste the information. Now the two functions are combined.
“Anything you’d search on Google, you can search with Gboard,” Google said. “Results appear as cards with the key information front and center, such as the phone number, ratings and hours. With one tap, you can send it to your friend and you keep the conversation going.”
Effectively, Gboard has reduced a majority of the time and effort involved in sharing information and now allows for these searches to occur in the same window by using the app. Simply tap on Gboard, type in your query, select from a range of ‘cards’ displaying the results and the information will automatically send to your message recipient.
The app works in any texting, mail or chat application, such as the standard text messenger, Facebook messenger and Gmail.
What does this mean for businesses?
Essentially, Google has removed one step from the distance between your brand and a prospective customer. Now, there is even more opportunity for getting in front of your audience, and achieving a high ranking in Google is the way to do it.
The format of the ‘cards’ on Gboard means that only a few will be visible on-screen at a time, which poses a risk of users not scrolling very far before they make their selection. This places even greater value on being among the top search results for relevant keywords, especially on mobile devices. Mobile first has been a common theme with all of Google’s recent updates and changes.
Continuing to publish great content and improving your website’s landing pages for mobile viewing will better increase the chances of Gboard working in your favour.
Other interesting Google updates to note
While the Gboard web search function is the most appealing development for brands, the other searches that can be performed by the app are also worth knowing about.
As well as searching the web, Gboard also searches for emojis and GIFs, making messaging with friends quicker and more fun. Another addition is Glide Typing, which is similar to the ‘Swype’ function that has been available to Android users for a number of years.
Another recent update is the ‘symptom search’. According to Google’s blog, one per cent of all searches are seeking answers about medical issues and illnesses. To assist with these searches, Google has collated information from web results in conjunction with advice from doctors and created a section at the top of SERPs to address them directly.
“We worked with a team of medical doctors to carefully review the individual symptom information, and experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic evaluated related conditions for a representative sample of searches to help improve the lists we show,” Google said.
The results will now appear as cards at the top of the search results to provide fast and succinct information for the symptom searched for.
The update has just been rolled out in the US in English only, but Google aims to expand the symptom search to other countries and languages over time.