Google My Business Changing – What Does This Mean for You
Google My Business (GMB) is a Google tool that lets you manage as well as improve your business profile on Google. It even utilizes the widespread adoption of Google Maps by people when deciding to use a local product or service.
In a bid to position Google My Business as the ideal tool for local businesses wanting to reach more customers online, Google has added multiple new features to it. The move will help simplify the way people access their business listing on the search engine. Another significant notable change was the renaming of Google My Business—it is now called “Google Business Profile.”
Given how subtle Google is about the changes to its platform, it’s likely that you, as a business owner, may still be unaware of the latest features of Google Business Profile. Keeping track of the updates of this free tool is essential to growing your business manifold. In this post, we’ll discuss what has changed in 2022 when it comes to this powerful tool so that you can continue reaching more customers and set your business up for success. Let’s begin:
What Is the Purpose of Google My Business?
Today, countless people rely on Google to find products and services. A GMB profile provides most companies with the opportunity to list detailed and specific business information on Google to get increased visibility on it.
Here’s a closer look at the other important benefits of Google My Business:
- Boosts Credibility: When a business appears on a search engine, people perceive it as a credible brand.
- Business Growth: As more people notice you online, your customers increase, and you, in turn, generate more business.
- Know Your Audience Better: With the help of Google Business Profile, you are able to profoundly understand your target audience.
The Changes to Look Out For
Let’s discuss the latest Google My Business updates and changes you need to know to stay ahead in the game. Let’s begin:
1. Google My Business Now Has a New Name
We have already discussed the name change – Google My Business is known as “Google Business Profile” now. It was less of a surprise to many people, as GMB help documents started using “profile” instead of “listing” a while ago.
2. The GMB App Will Retire
In order to encourage business managers to access their profiles through an upgraded experience on “Google Maps” or “Google Search,” Google has decided to retire the GMB app this year. All you would need to do now is simply type in a search for your business name and click on the profile that shows up.
Note: You need to follow a separate process in case you are already logged in. In this case, you just need to type the phrase “my business” and then click on the profile that appears.
3. You Can Claim and Verify Your Listing Directly on Maps and Search
Google announced this update because it wanted small businesses to manage their listings directly through Map or Search results. Owing to this update, you can directly verify your listing or sort other issues on your profile in Google search, along with editing your information.
Google has also communicated that a person claiming or creating a listing on Google can finish their setup directly on Maps and Search. They will also be able to see if their profile is publicly visible.
Apart from this, Google has even made certain metrics associated with your listing available for easy access in Search results, which include:
- Analytics and insights
- Business information update options
- Post options
- Latest reviews and star ratings
4. Update Regarding GMB Web Portal
Another change you need to know is that the GMB web portal will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations. Google will offer more detail on this in the coming months, so we all would just have to wait it out.
5. Access to Enhanced Messaging Options
You may already know that business owners can chat with customers through Google Maps. But now, Google Search has this feature as well. Yes, you read it right! Business owners can view and reply to messages directly from their listing.
How to Optimize Your Business Profile Through Google My Business?
Here’s a complete Google My Business optimization checklist that you can follow:
A. Fill Out Every Section: Ensure you include all vital information about your business like the company name, website, address, working hours, and phone numbers.
B. Add Your Business Description: Summarize your business in 2 lines. Write what your business is about so that a potential customer understands what your business stands for.
C. Set Your Business Category: Remember, categories describe your business and not what it sells or does. Select a primary category that describes your business in the best possible way.
D. Add Relevant, High-Quality Images: Include photos that will appeal to your potential customers.
E. Answer Questions: Sometimes, people may not get answers from your listing. Therefore, they would want to ask you questions. Google provides a feature where the searcher can ask questions related to businesses. Staying proactive in answering these questions is highly important. After all, you would want only accurate information about your business to be present on Google, wouldn’t you? And responding to the searcher’s question will also leave a positive impression.
Keeping Your Listing Up-To-Date in 2023
Here’s what you need to keep in mind to fully leverage Google Business Profile for your business:
1. Google Business Profile Categories
To help businesses represent their offerings and business in their listings, Google provides a plethora of categories for them to choose from. Although you have the option to select a number of categories for your business, the primary category you select should be a precise and clear reflection of your business. Selecting the correct primary category is also critical because it dictates which other listing options you get. For instance, if you choose “restaurants”, you will also get the listing option “menu options.”
We suggest that you stay abreast with the latest categories that Google adds every now and then to keep your listing up-to-date.
2. Google Business Profile Attributes
Another element we recommend you monitor for any updates is Google Business Profile attributes. Attributes have gained prominence in recent months to provide users a quick idea of what they can expect from a business, regardless of the kind of services or products they offer. You can also think of it as a convenient way to share your business offering and what makes you stand out. The attributes available to you are based on your primary business category.
To better understand attributes, let’s consider the relatively new attribute category — Google’s Health & Safety attributes for instance. It provides an idea about the measures being taken for the health of customers by a business in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All said and done, it’s easy to see how tracking any update to this element can prove to be immensely helpful. The at-a-glance information it provides about a business can make or break a deal.
DashClicks’ Reputation App
DashClicks’ Reputation app helps you manage your reviews across multiple sources from a single dashboard.
The good news is, you can integrate your Google My Business reviews into the Reputation app.
Here are the steps to do the same:
1. Sign up for the DashClicks platform.
2. Open the app drawer on the top right corner in your DashClicks Dashboard and click on the Reputation App.
3. Once the app opens, select the + icon next to the “Source” filter. Or, you can choose the same icon present in the top-right corner of the app.
4. From the list of sources, choose Google My Business. Select Continue.
5. A login modal will show up in a secondary tab (make sure your AdBlocker is disabled). Log into the account that controls the GMB page and allow permission to continue.
6. Next, choose “Location.” And you are all done!
DashClicks’ White Label Listing Services
If you are a digital marketing agency, you should sign up to DashClicks’ white label local listing management services to create local awareness for your clients.
With these services, you are able to syndicate your clients’ business location to over 70+ local directory listings. You can also integrate Google My Business listing into the DashClicks’ platform.
Note: DashClicks’ Listings Manager is completely self-serviceable. There is no onboarding required!
The Bottom Line
Keeping listings active and up-to-date is important to dominate your target local search results and draw in new customers. Needless to say, Google My Business plays a critical part in increasing local ranking of any business. But another thing that is just as important is – tracking every feature and update that’s related to Google My Business. It will help you fully utilize the potential of this effective digital marketing tool and pave your way towards successful business growth.