Google My Business Rebrands to Google Business Profile
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On November 4, 2021, Google announced its decision to rename Google My Business (GMB) as Google Business Profile (GBP), expressing a desire to keep things simple. The release also stated Google’s plans to retire the Google My Business app from Android and Apple stores sometime in 2022.
For those keeping count, this is the fifth time Google has rechristened the local business listings tool since its debut in 2005.
Google is encouraging businesses with single listings to manage their information directly on Search or Maps instead of the old Google My Business console.
On the other hand, the existing GMB dashboard will transition to accommodate larger businesses with multiple profiles. Moving forward, it will be known as Business Profile Manager. Likewise, the Google My Business API will be relabeled as Business Profile API.
In addition to the name change, the tech giant is rolling out a host of new features to help local SMBs build meaningful connections with their customers online. Let’s take a look at what they are.
What is New with Google Business Profile?
From small mom-and-pop shops to big-box stores, everyone has a listing on GMB. Needless to say, Google My Business has revolutionized the way businesses handle their reputation on the web.
However, the previous name reflected an unmistakable focus on small businesses. Perhaps this is why Google Business Profile makes more sense as a moniker.
But as mentioned, this recent update is more than just a simple rebrand. With the new Google Business Profile, you can:
A) Claim and Verify Your Business Profile Directly on Search and Maps
Business owners have been able to edit their profile information through Search for a while. But now, you can verify and resolve other issues like updating your business information with your Business Profile directly from Search.
To do this, start with looking up the name of your business on Google. Alternatively, you can visit your profile on Maps. There, you will see an option to verify the profile.
You can also edit any public information on your profile, such as your address, business hours, or photographs from Search and Maps.
Over the next few months, Google plans to help anyone who creates or claims a Google Business Profile to finish their setup on Search and Maps. You’ll also be able to check if your profile is publicly visible and rectify the problem if it’s not.
B) Message Your Customers on Search
An increasing number of customers are turning to text conversations with businesses of all sizes. According to a recent report by Podium, 67% of consumers think texting merchants is more convenient.
In this light, Google has added a new chat feature in Google Business Profile, enabling you to engage in text conversations with customers right from your profile on Search. This is a follow-up to last year when Google introduced this attribute to help business owners see and respond to messages on Maps.
You can also turn on the “Send read receipts” via Messaging Settings to see if the customer has received and read your message. This is an effort to further improve chat experiences for customers and entrepreneurs alike.
C) Discover More About the Calls You Receive Through Google
It’s safe to say that phone calls are not dead. Many people appreciate the immediacy and personal touch inherent in phone conversations: and Google knows this well. A survey by CallRail shows a 61% increase in calls from Google My Business between January 2020 and July 2020.
Hence, Google has launched a call history option for American and Canadian merchants with verified Google Business Profiles.
Thanks to this update, you can now see the phone calls that come in through your Google Business Profile. This can provide you with valuable insight into your incoming call performance.
A few other Google Business Profile updates include:
- An enhanced map search algorithm to minimize spam listings
- A more efficient Google Business Profile dashboard
Do You Need to Make Any Changes?
Well, yes, but nothing significant. The same GMB features are available, and the GMB page will remain functional for multi-branch enterprises.
The only short-term adjustment you may have to make is editing your Business Profile directly on Search and Maps. This will help you adjust to the new process before Google officially pulls the plug on the GMB app.
To manage your Business Profile on Search:
- Sign in to the Google Account linked with your Business Profile
- Enter your business’s exact name to find your Business Profile. Or, you can look up search results for “my business”
- Click on View Profile to see your Business Profile
- You can select options like Edit Profile, Promote, or Customers from the menu above the search results
To manage your Business Profile on Maps:
- Open the Google Maps application on your phone or tablet
- Sign in to the Google Account linked with your Business Profile
- Tap on the Account Circle to select and open your Business Profile
- Avail any of the listed features as and when required
Google Business Profile: Why Do You Need One?
It’s no secret that GMB’s 2014 debut caused a stir in the small business community. Google My Business enabled SMBs to create a digital footprint and attract more traffic to their storefronts.
The benefits of Google Business Profiles have only increased through the years. Here’s why you need a fully-optimized Google Business Profile account for your SMB.
A) Improved Local SEO
Local SEO is a variety of search engine optimization that helps small businesses show up on local search results. For example, when you localize your SEO strategy, you have a better shot at reaching people looking for “grocery stores near me”.
Businesses with complete Google Business Profile listings are more likely to rank higher on local search results. Having well-thought-out, relevant, and accurate information on your Business Profile can help you show up for consumers who are actively searching for your niche goods and services.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your GBP listing:
- Be sure to spell your business’s name and address correctly on your Business Profile. Also, abbreviate consistently
- Choose a business category that defines your services as closely as possible
- Respond to positive and negative reviews
- Update your information as your business changes
B) Increased Consumer Data
Needless to say, the more you know about your customers, the better you will be able to meet their needs. A Google Business Profile can help you gather this information with ease.
All you need to do is study the wealth of valuable data, such as your brand visibility and target consumers, available on the Insights section of your Business Profile. Not only will this help you weigh your business’s performance, but it will also add to your marketing strategy.
C) Enhanced Consumer Trust
Many consumers struggle with making confident purchases, simply because they cannot trust the business enough. Fortunately, you can ease their minds by highlighting your location on Google Business Profile. In fact, customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider a business reliable if it has a completed Business Profile on Search and Maps.
D) Increased Consumer Engagement
When you have a Google Business Profile listing, potential customers can visit your website or call your business with a single tap. Additionally, it also helps restaurants make table reservations a breezy affair. Customers only need to look at your page to accomplish multiple tasks in no time.
E) Great First Impression
As the old saying goes, pictures speak louder than words. A Google Business Profile page with multiple attractive photographs and videos can be a neat, savvy touch to your online brand image.
More importantly, you’ll be able to set expectations of what consumers can expect when they walk into your establishment. Use as many attractive photographs of your business as you can for improved results.
The Pros and Cons of This Rebrand
All business owners know that rebranding is a huge risk – and Google Business Profile is putting a lot on the line for companies that use their service with these changes. Here are the benefits as well as the downsides of Google’s rebrand:
- Lots of beneficial features for businesses that make Google Business Profile easier to use
- More customer data from Google users
- Verification improvements increase customer trust and diminish previous issues
- Makes it easier to manage pages for businesses with multiple locations
- If you’re signed into the Google account that manages your profile and someone else gets a hold of your computer or phone, it would be so easy now for other people to make updates on your business profile without your knowledge which can result in inaccurate information.
- There are a lot of questions unanswered with this update: How easy will it be for a single location business to transition to managing multiple locations within Business Profile Manager? How will Google Posts work? How will access to their listings’ analytics be affected? How will owners manage listing suspensions? Will this make spam more common in Google Maps?
While Google Business Profile may take some time to catch on, there’s no denying that the name is simple and easy to understand. Furthermore, the rebranding also indicates Google’s aggressive desire to keep improving on a game-changing SMB product. And, if we go by Google’s statement, there’s more to come!
If you have any further questions about Google Business Profile, feel free to reach out to the team at Foxxr. As a local SEO company, we can help your business gain a competitive edge and attract more customers. We don’t stop at putting you on the map- our goal is to get you to the A-list!