You may have heard that Google is rolling out changes to its Google My Business feature. The local profile that many business owners are familiar with will now be known as Google Business Profile, and aims to let business owners manage their business listings directly in Google Search and Maps.
Currently, business listings can be managed through the Google My Business mobile app and desktop webpage. With this change, Google will be moving away from the GMB app and focusing directly on business listings in Google Search and Google Maps.
For large businesses with multiple locations, they will still use the current GMB web interface, but it will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.” Managers of these locations, as well as agencies that manage these profiles for business owners, will continue to use the rebranded interface.
Google Business Profile will have some new features that GMB currently doesn’t have. Users will be able to:
- Claim and verify their business profile directly in Search or Maps
- Call history information will be available in the U.S.
- Messaging will be able to happen directly in Google Search
Users may have noticed that they have had the option to edit their business information from search for a couple months. That change was part of the new transition into GBP. Once Business Profile “fully” launches, business owners will also be able to complete verification and resolve other issues directly from search.
This change is important because Google searches lead users to the discovery of many local businesses, becoming invaluable to many businesses with GMB profiles — There was a 61 percent increase in calls from Google My Business from January 2020 to July 2020 alone.
According to Ipsos Research, an up-to-date Google Business Profile is 7 times more likely to get clicks than one that isn’t updated, and is 70% more likely to attract visits to your physical location.
Nearly 50 percent of all businesses with GMB profiles get over 1,000 views of their profile per month. 56% of all actions on GMB are website visits, and 16% of businesses report that they receive more than 100 calls each month — purely from their GMB profile. No matter if the look and name are changing, Google has proven that this feature is irreplaceable to many local businesses.
The name change will come sometime in 2022, so don’t worry about it changing right away. For now, not much will change other than the branding. As the change gets closer, Google will release more information on what will change for users.