Google My Business changes to Google Business Profile
Here at Monster Creative, we pride ourselves on helping our customers and peers alike keep up to date with the latest and greatest developments in the digital world of marketing. One of these digital platforms that we have written multiple blogs on over the years is Google My Business (GMB).We are back with another update for you now as there have been some significant changes recently you need to know about.
Why should you care?
Throughout the Covid pandemic, small business owners upskilled and became much more proficient and proactive with their GMB profiles. Google My Business pages were updated, reviews were requested and the value GMB can provide became so much more apparent to business owners and customers alike. Kiwi consumers recognize GMB pages as a fantastic source of information for business information and to read reviews. A Trustpilot survey in 2020 found that a whopping 89 percent of customers take the time to read reviews prior to engaging a business or making a purchase (source: https://business.trustpilot.com/guides-reports/build-trusted-brand/the-critical-role-of-reviews-in-internet-trust).
A New Name, the Same Game?
The first big change you will probably notice is that Google My Business is now called Google Business Profile. A name change isn’t necessarily surprising, GMB has also previously been known as Google+ and Google Local over the years. However, with GMB being so widely known and recognized, it is likely going to be a while before we dispose of the name Google My Business entirely. Plus–it is a little easier to say!
Where do you find GMB now?
This is probably the most relevant and important change for you to be aware of. Google My Business has moved to be managed directly from Google Search or Maps. It was never the easiest task navigating to your Google My Business listing from your web browser. So, this shift will be a welcome change. Accessing your business listing now is as simple as opening your browser and typing in your business’ name. The search results will show you your management tiles similar to the below image.
It is important to note that these tiles will only be visible to managers of your business listing, not all viewers. This is the new hub of activity for managing your business profile, updating hours, adding images and promoting new products or services.
What about the GMB App?
The Google my Business app is changing, too. In fact, it is no longer needed to access your business profile from your phone. We expect the app will be slowly phased out in 2023.Personally, we found this was the easiest place to manage messages. Luckily the new management in your web browser on your smartphone seems to be an equally easy system. We will explain this in more detail below. For some, the app has already stopped working, so it is time to get up to date with these changes, if you aren’t already.
What about the chat feature?
The chat feature on Business Profiles (formerly GMB) is becoming more and more popular with customers. Especially since they can even share multiple images with you to clearly show you what they are inquiring about or looking for.
As such, if you haven’t got messages activated already, go do so now:
- Go to your desktop
- Open your web browser
- Search your business name
- Navigate to “Messages”
- Turn on and customize your messages!
A chat icon will now be visible when customers navigate to your Business Profile. Now, while you activate this on your desktop, you should note that it is currently only visible to customers viewing your Business Profile from a mobile phone. This a strange technicality that we are sure Google will be reviewing in due course since desktops still account for a decent amount of web traffic.
What is coming next for Google Business Profiles?
Now that you understand the change from Google My Business to Google Business Profile, we want to let you in on an industry rumor. There are whispers that Google Business Profiles may change toa paid platform at some stage in the future. So, capitalize on the free opportunities it provides now as they may not be free forever! Despite this, what remains certain is that your page must be up-to-date with all your business information correct and current. Customers will visit your Google Business Profile to find out what they need to know, so make sure it is not only current, but that it has all the information customers need to know. Plus, with their special hour’s feature, your Google Business Profile is an invaluable tool to inform customers of one-off closures and shutdowns for holidays or other events. Business’ information is constantly changing, so make sure you are regularly checking your Business Profile and updating it.
Bonus: Our Google Business Profile Top Tip
One of, if not the most, important details in your Google Business Profile is your business’ primary category. Ensure this is set and correct, therefore! There are over 3,000 categories on offer from Google to choose from, with new ones being added regularly. If you are unsure what category to use, try searching some of the keyword terms you want to be placed well for and see what categories your competitors are using. The categories are Americanized so it can be a bit tricky sometimes to find the New Zealand equivalent. Thankfully, while you can only set one primary category, you have space for up to nine secondary categories as well.
This shift is unavoidable, with the change from Google My Business to Google Business Profiles having already happened. Keeping up with the changes is always your best option to stay a breast of the digital industry’s shifts and ahead of the curve. Keep checking in to our blog (or sign up for our email newsletter to receive it right to your inbox) to get the latest updates as they come.