Google is the undisputed leader in online search, with 86% of search traffic worldwide coming from the search engine giant. Google announced significant changes to Google My Business at the end of 2021 that are now coming into place in 2022. These changes are especially cogent for businesses that provide professional services like medical and legal practices and aesthetician clinics. Professional service providers have highly localized client bases who often search for their services through either Google Search or Google Maps. Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is one of the most critical pieces to ensure that those searches directly lead to your practice and offer accurate, updated information. Moreover, Google is also a powerful direct messaging platform, and businesses need to monitor inquiries and questions in a timely manner.
Google’s recent changes are aimed at making the platform a better tool for local businesses to get discovered, improve their online presence, and help them reach and connect with potential customers. Here are the latest changes to Google My Business.
Now it’s Google Business Profile
Google My Business officially has been renamed Google Business Profile. While this was announced earlier in 2022, Google has slowly been transitioning the nomenclature throughout their platform. The name change is an effort to simplify things across the platform. The Google My Business web platform will also be renamed to “Business Profile Manager,” and will shift to supporting mostly larger companies who have multiple profiles. Smaller businesses like independent medical practices may be transitioned to directly managing individual profiles on Maps and Search.
Updated access options
The GMB app will be totally retired by the end of 2022 and businesses will be able to directly access their profile through Google Maps or Google Search. Now, your Google Business Profile is set up like a social media profile with the buttons displayed at the top of the page for easy action.
Direct messaging can now be performed directly from Google Search like how you can access most other Google Business Profile functions. The messaging functionality hasn’t been promoted a lot in the past, but now Google is giving messaging the same functionality and visibility inside the desktop dashboard as the mobile chat option. When messaging is enabled, your customers will see a “chat” button on your business profile, allowing them to message you directly with a simple click. This is a great change for small businesses like med spas and independent practices who rely heavily on direct messaging for communication with potential clients.
- Account verification: You now can directly claim and verify your Google Business Profile in Google Search and Google Maps.
- Call History: Keep track of phone calls from customers on Google Maps and Google Search with call history
- Potential support changes: The current Google My Business web portal may transition to “primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations.” It’s still unclear how these coming changes will impact smaller businesses, so we will have to see.
Contact Us Today
Many of these changes are geared towards making it easier for potential clients to discover small businesses and for marketing agencies to manage multiple profiles. If you’re looking for a digital marketing company, call Affordable Digital Marketing for a consultation today!