In 2022, Google My Business (GMB) was rebranded into Google Business Profile (GBP). If you’re unfamiliar with this platform, we’ve combined everything you need to know (from the basics to the secrets) to optimize your local business, so it’s found in Search, Maps, and beyond.
Let’s explore the 2022 Google Business Profile updates you’ll need to adhere to if you want to make the most of your digital footprint.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is rapidly increasing in popularity as people all over the world share their latest business offerings, discounts, service changes, promotions, and news with their clients and customers. Whenever a prospective customer finds you through a search engine or a map app, you will know about it. It’s essential to keep your business listing updated with any adjusted open hours and images, and Google makes this easy with the following recent updates.
Your Google Business Profile can be taken care of directly on the Google Business Profile account page if you need to create your account. Here, you simply log in or create a Google Account, then follow the prompts to fill out your business information, including your location. Once your profile is filled out, wait for a postcard to arrive in the mail to verify your identity.
Note: You must have a physical address to be verified on Google Business Profile. P.O. boxes are not accepted by the platform.
As you fill out your information, remember that your Google Business Profile category is key. Your primary category is one of the most vital pieces of information in your profile, and it helps you be seen by searchers using the platform. Google provides over 3,000 categories to choose from, and new ones are added all the time. Be sure to look for terms you want to be associated with when people search on Google. This is where Google Business Profile SEO is incredibly important, so be sure to choose keywords that are relevant to your business and will apply to searchers when they’re looking for the products and services you offer. In terms of local SEO services, GBP is one of the best free products available to businesses of all sizes, so use it to your advantage!
Google Business Profile Updates
Google My Business App
The Google My Business app has been sunset, so if you were using that previously, you’ll need to use Google Maps and Google Search to ensure your Business Profile is current so that you can reach customers in your area. Noteworthy, even though the way you manage your account on a mobile device has changed, customers still view and interact with your GBP as they’ve always done.
Now that you manage your Business Profile exclusively through Search and Maps, here are some tips to help with your local business optimizations:
- Review your name, address, and phone number (NAP information)
- Insert your business description and category
- Always reply to customer reviews
- Incorporate your products and services
- Include photos of your business
- Use the special attributes features
- Procure the posting feature
- Update hours for COVID-19
Google Business Profile Posts
In Google Business Profile, you can now create posts that will display directly in search result pages for events, services, sales, the latest updates, new products, and other items you need to post about. These will engage your customers as soon as they find your business listing on Google and are a great way to keep your customers updated on your latest business offerings.
Use each local Google Business post to inform your audience about local business promotions your company is offering to neighbors. In this section, you can promote events, sales, and special offers easily. It also allows you to incorporate text, photos, and videos to give your brand more visibility in Search and Maps.
Importantly, Google advises against including your phone number in your posts, as these pieces of content might be rejected. You can, however, add an action button to your posts, ensuring customers can get in direct contact with you when they’re ready to learn more about your business.
Google Business Profile Q&A
Q&A is an excellent new tool for business owners and customers. It allows customers to ask you a question about your business, and you to then post an answer. This feature also lets you add a custom FAQ section for customers that explains essential things they need to know about your business, how to contact you, and what services you provide. Q&A are crowdsourced by potential or current customers and can save time if they are posted on your Google Business Profile page. This option ensures that your customers will get accurate information about your business and not random (often incorrect) answers from others.
This is an excellent forum for you to ask and answer your own questions. If you have commonly asked questions, you can post them here, along with your answers to them, helping to ensure your audience gets the information they need while freeing up your staff from answering the same questions repeatedly.
Free Posters (Small Thanks with Google)
Through Google’s partnership with Small Thanks , Google Business Profile now has a feature that allows you to print a free poster showcasing Google reviews for marketing initiatives. These marketing materials personalized to your business are a great way to promote your brand. All you have to do is search for your business and then use reviews and other info to generate social posts, stickers, posters, and more. It’s the perfect addition to your office wall or tradeshow this year!
Descriptions in Google Business Profile
Back by popular demand, Google Business Profile re-added descriptions for your benefit as a business owner. In 2016, Google removed the Google My Business listings from the Google+ profiles, which obliterated the helpful business descriptions with links, bullets, and other features. These original business descriptions were still connected to business Google+ pages but weren’t an option for Google Business Profile listings. Now that they’re back, remember the following tips when creating your business description:
- Only 750 characters are allowed
- Links are not allowed
- Google will review your new content in three days
- Don’t keyword stuff
- Combine information in the Q&A and descriptions to best market your business
Google Voice Search can be used to search for businesses in Google Business Profile. So, instead of typing information into a device, you can use your voice. Since Google Voice Search may be the future of web searching, it’s key to know how it can help businesses on Google Business Profile promote their products and services. While there are specific ways to use Google Voice Search to locate businesses easily, voice search has its own peculiarities. Google Voice Search queries are on the rise, and using your Google Business Profile account to tap into this trend can help your bottom line and business website visits.
Google Business Profile Messaging on Desktop
When you go into your GBP account on your desktop browser, look for a “Messages” button on the left side of the navigation panel. If you have messages when you click on this section, the platform will load a messaging chat tool. Simply click on them to get the chat window loaded, then respond to your customers’ chats.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to respond to your customers and give them the information they’re looking for directly from the fingertips of the experts.
Promoting Your Business Locally through Google Business Profile
People are increasingly searching for local businesses in their communities to support. By improving your local business ranking on Google, you have a great way to capitalize on local marketing power. Google pushes your business to the top of local searches for increased visibility. Google Business optimizations are imperative for local companies that are vying for their neighborhoods’ attention.
With all these new (and old) tools at your fingertips, Google Business Profiles continues to help support your business as robustly as possible. Check back often for more updates, or contact Zero Gravity Marketing for help with your Google Business Profile strategy.