Goodbye Google My Business and Hello Google Business Profile
Once again, Google has changed the name of its local business management product. How many times has Google changed the name of the platform? This is probably the fifth name change, or possibly more. Google My Business announced in early November that its name is being changed from Google My Business to Google Business Profile, and the Google My Business mobile app will sunset in 2022.
There will be some changes to the listing tool with this rebrand. So, what does all of this mean for the millions of businesses that utilize this platform?
What Will Change in Google Business Profile?
Changes To Business Profile Management
Not only will there be a name change to Google My Business, but Google will also be moving its business profile management to Google Search and Google Maps. Google recommends that small businesses with single listings manage their business profiles directly through Google Search or Maps, either on the web platform or mobile apps.
Business With Single Locations
Small business owners can now claim their business and verify it by searching for the business's name in Google search. This feature is being slowly rolled out and the entire old Google My Business platform will be retired completely by 2022. Moving forward, users will be able to pretty much manage their business using Google Search or Google Maps. There will no longer be a need to use a separate application or website to manage your small business listing.
It's worth stating that this feature is not new. Listings managers have been able to control their assets in this way for quite some time. However, Google is making it known that single listings should now be managed in this way, as opposed to the Google My Business model that is on the verge of being outdated.
Google plans to say goodbye to the Google My Business model as it attempts to encourage business owners to utilize the enhanced Google Search and Maps features. It will be important for businesses with one profile or one location to become familiar with the best way to utilize this feature.
Business With Multiple Locations
The current Google My Business website will also transition to supporting large businesses with more than one location and will operate under the name Business Profile Manager. Large businesses will also be able to manage individual business profiles through Google Search or Google Maps. The existing Google My Business web experience will soon begin to primarily support large businesses with multiple locations.
What Are the Key Features of Google Business Profile?
In addition to changes in the name and structure, new features have been designed to further help businesses. Some of the need features that Google has added include:
You will now be able to see a history of customer phone calls from Search. This should make it much easier to track the inbound customer calls that started from your Google Business Profile.
You can now message directly from Google Search. If you haven't enabled the Messaging feature yet, you can do so from your Business Profile in Search. You will be able to manage message read receipts in Google Search and Maps. The ability to easily access messaging in Google Search creates an easy process for businesses to share a form that will allow customers or clients to share their feedback or reviews of your products and services.
How Will This Change Impact Local SEO?
Google My Business profiles have been created and posted for years by businesses of all sizes. So, how can the Google Business Profile help small businesses gain further recognition? There are a few steps to take:
- Claim the Google Business Profile
- Enhance the Google Business Profile
- Check and update the Google Business Profile
Performing regular checks and updates will ensure your Google Business Profile is up-to-date, and this is a critical step to gaining the recognition your business is seeking. A thorough Google Business Profile can significantly improve your business's local SEO ranking. Your Google Business Profile will give online visitors information they will use to generate the first impression of your business, so completing this information and regularly updating it is critical.
There are some eye-popping statistics that should encourage business owners to not only create a Google Business Profile, but claim it, enhance it when necessary, and regularly update the Google Business Profile:
- Your profile can help you double or triple the number of calls each month
- When someone does find your Google Business Profile, over 50 percent of the searchers hope to find your website and nearly 25 percent hope to find a phone number
- Nearly 50 percent of Google searches are looking for local businesses
- Over 60 percent of Google searchers want to find a business's contact details on Google
How Can You Manage Your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps?
To manage your business profile on Google Search and Maps, take the following steps:
- Sign in to Google with the same account that you use to manage your business profile
- Search for your business name on Google Search or Maps
- If you have not claimed your business yet, claim it and verify it from Google Search or Maps. Once Google has verified your business, you can make edits to your Google Business Profile.
- If your business was previously verified, click Edit Profile in your Google Business Profile. You will be able to make essential edits to your business profile sections including About Us, Business Hours, Contact, Products, Services, Images, and more. You can make these changes using a desktop device or mobile device.
What Do You Think of the Change?
What's your take on this change from Google? Will this be a major change for the local SEO platform? Will it just be another name change with a few tweaks? When you focus on keeping your Google Business Profile up-to-date and clear, you can significantly improve your business's online presence. When you increase traffic to your business's website, you can build more trust and increase your ranking on Google. To learn more about Google Business Profiles and how to best manage your business's profile, reach out to Ulistic LP today.