If you’re doing SEO, you should know the importance of Google My Business as part of local SEO strategy for any business. Keeping listings up to date and active is crucial to drawing in new customers and dominating your target local search results, but just as important is staying on top of every update and feature. At TB, we’re excited about all things SEO and digital marketing in 2022, including Google My Business and the changes to look out for this year. Keep reading for a rundown so you can stay ahead of the game.
Google My Business in 2022 is Now Google Business Profile
One of the simplest changes that has already hit GMB this year is a name change – goodbye Google My Business, hello Google Business Profile. Google has stated that this change is meant to “keep things simple,” and they are encouraging users to manage businesses with a single location or listing directly in Search or Map results. This means that the Google Business Profile dashboard, renamed Business Profile Manager, is primarily meant for businesses with multiple locations, although larger businesses can still manage their listings directly through search results. 2022 will also see the end of the Google My Business app, another shift driven by Google’s desire for small businesses to take advantage of making their listing updates through Search and Maps. Google has said that they will share more details on these changes in the coming months, so it’s something we’ll have to keep our eyes open for as we move through 2022.
Claim and Verify Your Listing Directly on Search and Maps
Announced in November 2021, this update also aligns with Google’s push for small businesses to manage their listings directly through Search or Map results. You can now verify your listing or resolve other issues directly on your profile in Google search, along with editing your information. Google also announced that anyone who creates or claims a listing on Google will be able to complete their setup directly on Search and Maps, along with easily seeing whether your profile is publicly visible and how to get seen by more potential customers. If you are logged into Google for your business, all you need to do to access your management options is to search the name of your business or the phrase “my business.” Google has also made other metrics related to your listing easily accessible in Search results, including:
- Latest reviews and star ratings
- Post options
- Analytics and insights
- Business information update options
Enhanced Messaging Options
Although business owners already had a way to chat with customers via Google Maps, this feature has recently been rolled out to Google Search as well. This means that business owners can see and respond to messages directly from their listing, similar to the improved accessibility for other listing management options as discussed above. Read receipts have also been added to messages for both the sender and the recipient.
Keeping Your Listings Up to Date in 2022
Google has historically been subtle about updates and changes to their platform, which is why it pays to keep tabs on any changes that you can take advantage of, whether you manage one listing or one hundred.
Google Business Profile Attributes
One element we encourage you to monitor for changes is Google Business Profile attributes. This section of your listing is an easy way to share with your customers what your business offers and what sets you apart. The attributes available to you will depend on your primary business category. One of the newer attribute categories we’ve taken advantage of recently, especially for medical clients, is Google’s Health & Safety attributes, which give potential customers an idea of the measures being taken for their health at your business in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attributes have become even more important in recent months, giving users an at-a-glance idea of what to expect from your business, no matter what type of products or services you offer.
Google Business Profile Categories
Google offers thousands of categories for businesses to choose from to represent their business and offerings in their listings. Although you can choose several categories for your business, the primary category you choose should be the most clear and specific reflection of your business possible. The primary category also dictates which other listing options are available to you – such as accepted insurances for medical practices and menu options for restaurants. Google adds new categories regularly, so we recommend that you check in on your categories often and see if anything more relevant to your business has been added.
Dominate Local Search with Today’s Business
At Today’s Business, our digital marketing experts know the ins and outs of navigating local search and boosting local businesses ahead of their competition, all while staying up to date on the latest updates to local business platforms like Google Business Profile. Whether you manage a single location or an entire franchise, we want to guide you to local search success. Our marketing services and solutions include Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Website Design, and more, so your business will be covered on all fronts. Let’s talk about your digital marketing strategy and the best next steps for your business – contact us to get started today!