If you are a small business that serves a local community, then you will most likely have heard about Google My Business. This free service allows a company to list its business on Google so that it can be found more easily in online search results.
As is the case for most Google products, Google My Business has undergone many changes over time, and there are some big ones that you should know about for 2022, whether or not you are using the service right now. Below, then, we have set out four of those changes.
If you are unfamiliar with using Google My Business, or you lack the time to dedicate to it, a good SEO agency in Kent – or wherever you are based – can help you set it up and take you through how it works.
- Another new name
Since the beginning of Google My Business, it has had a few name changes. It used to be called Google Places, and prior to that, Google+ Local, and some of the articles and documents you can find online about this service will still have the old names on them.
In 2022, you will see that Google My Business has become Google Business Profile. The way entries are named has also changed, from listings to profiles. This won’t really have any impact on how it works, but it is a good thing to bear in mind for the future.
- Google My Business App to be retired
While the decision to retire the Google My Business app might cause some inconvenience to some, Google is promoting “an upgraded experience” for those using Google Search or Google Maps.
Many companies, especially those that have only one location, are probably already using the desktop experience anyway. However, this service will soon be available on Google Search and Google Maps for smaller businesses.
It is easy to use just by typing a search for your business name in Google Search or Google Maps. You will then be presented with a profile that you can click on.
It is worth getting accustomed to this upgraded desktop profile sooner rather than later, so you can make a seamless and trouble-free transition when the app is retired.
- Changes to the size of the business supported
Until now, Google My Business has concentrated primarily on smaller companies with a single location. This has helped many small businesses find their customer base and build their brand.
According to Google, the Google My Business website will be transitioning to support larger businesses with multiple locations and will be named Business Profile Manager.
Google has stated that “over time we expect smaller businesses to shift to managing individual profiles directly on Search and Maps”. This means that smaller companies can access their profile this way instead of using the Google Business Profile website.
If you have a larger business with multiple locations, there is still the option to manage individual profiles on Google Search and Google Maps if you prefer.
- Additional tools coming to Google Maps and Google Search
Moving forward, Google has mentioned new tools to help people understand how their business is performing and enhance their online presence will be available exclusively on Google Maps and Google Search.
It is thought that with this approach, it will be easier and quicker to add a business to your profile and see how it is performing.
It was also announced that the Google Maps app now has support for the Google My Business profile. This confirms that the Google My Business app will be retired, but it should be easier to access your profile through Google Maps.
Some of the ways you will be able to keep in touch with your customers on the app include:
- Adding photos and updates, together with sharing announcements about new products and services.
- Receiving messages and chatting with customers in real-time.
- Get notifications when you receive a new message or a review of your business. This will make it easier to reply as soon as possible, to help add a more personal touch to your business service.
- Use offers and ads to promote your business to your customers.
- Receiving updates from Google so that you can see how your business is performing online and look at ways to improve over time.
With Google still having the greatest global market share for search engines of 85.55% as of January 2022, using the search titan’s latest services is likely to give your business a significant boost.
Together with a strong SEO framework on your website and engagement with your customers online through social media, having your company on Google My Business is a sound way to be seen. It allows those customers who are close to your location to find you and see reviews and pictures of your store or other physical presence. That, in turn, will significantly aid your organization’s growth.
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