Google has been the most visited search engine and one of the most visited websites in the world. With over 3.5 billion searches every day, it has more than 92% share of the total searchers throughout the World Wide Web.
Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a free listing tool by Google that allows you to provide your business details, photos and offered services to your local customers.
Creating a Google Business profile is a great way to increase your online presence in Google Search, Maps and even Google Shopping.
One of the most important factors to keep your Google Business listing on top of the results page is to keep up with the changes and updates to the Google algorithms.
Towards the end of 2021, Google announced that they would be making changes to Google My Business Algorithm effective 2022.
Google My Business Features and Updates
In its early years, Google used to make a few algorithm updates. Now, Google makes thousands of changes every year.
This blog goes over the latest updates that have been made to the Google Business Profile and how you can rank your business on the top page of the map results.
First things first, as you may have seen, Google has changed the name of Google My Business to Google Business profile. As many people still search for Google My Business instead of Google Business profile, you will still see some mentions of the old name in this blog.
Easy to Manage GMB Profile on Google
The next update that Google has made is that you no longer have to use the Google Business profile’s website to update your Business profile.
If you are logged in to your account, you can just Google your business name and modify your business listing from the SERP.
Health & Safety attributes
Since the Coronavirus Pandemic began, Google has rolled out several different attributes and features that you can add to your listing. Here are some of the attributes you can now add to your business listing:
- Appointment required.
- Mask required.
- Staff wear masks.
- Staff get temperature checks.
- Temperature check required.
If you are a restaurant owner, you can the following additional attributes as well:
- Curbside pickup.
- No-contact delivery.
As many businesses had to go virtual during the pandemic, Google has introduced a few more attributes that would indicate your business has virtual offerings.
Here are some of them that you can add if you offer online services:
- Online Care.
- Online Appointment.
- Online Estimates.
- Online Classes.
Messaging and Call Logging
Though this feature is still in test mode, we will introduce it here so you can keep an eye on it. You can now activate the option for Google to track the recent customer calls that have arrived via search. This feature uses call history to keep track of your calls, and you can access all the call logs and missed calls from your GMB profile.
Google also rolled out the GMB messaging on its Desktop User Interface. This feature was already available on the mobile app before.
You can now access your message interface through desktop by clicking on the “messages” on the left menu bar in your GMB profile.
PRO TIP: Make sure you respond to all your messages within the 24-hour period to avoid Google revoking your messaging rights.
Reduced Video Upload Size
We have news for you if you have uploaded videos to your GMB page. The maximum file size has been reduced to 75MB from 100MB.
So if you are going to showcase your business in a video, make sure you keep that in mind.
Trending Features in GMB
Importance of Reviews
One of the most important factors in ranking as top results in the GMB listings is to have good reviews.
The more Google reviews you have, the higher you’ll rank among your competitors on Google. Getting reviews and responding to those reviews will improve your local search rankings.
How to Get More Reviews
One creative way to encourage your customers to write reviews is to have an incentivized program for them. This could include offering them discounts or gifts in return for their Google reviews.
Another great way to get more reviews is by integrating a link to your GMB review page with your email marketing.
If you are currently not utilizing email marketing for your business, you might want to consider making the change.
Email marketing has the highest ROI among marketing strategies. You can gain more clients and Google Reviews by implementing a proper email marketing strategy.
Schema Setup for Service Area
Many local businesses offer services to certain geographical regions in addition to their business location. Home-based and mobile businesses may need to specify a service area rather than a single location.
You are considered a hybrid business if you service people at your location and in surrounding areas. You can add your business location on GMB and add service areas.
You can add up to 20 service areas; keep in mind that your service areas can only be within 2 hours from where your business is based.
You can remove the address and only add the service areas if you are a business with no physical location.
Importance of NAP
As a business owner, you should be aware of the challenges that come with local SEO. One of the main essential factors you need to consider is having NAP consistency.
NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) refers to the business information you add to your GMB profile. According to Moz, NAP consistency is one of the most significant factors that affects your local SEO rankings.
Unfortunately, many business owners neglect the importance of this information. As a part of Google’s latest algorithm update, having a consistent NAP plays an integral role in the Local Pack results.
This is for Google to see that you have a legitimate business to build trust among the users searching for your service.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Latest Google Local Business Updates
How to create a google my business profile?
- Step 1: Sign in to Google Business Profile Manager
- Step 2: Add your business
- Step 3: Enter your location
- Step 4: Fill in your contact information
- Step 5: Verify your business
- Step 6: Customize your profile
How to remove business profiles from google?
- Step1: Go to your Google Business Profile
- Step 2: Select the three-dot menu to navigate to the Business Profile setting.
- Step 3: Select Remove Business Profile > Remove Profile content and managers.
- Step4: Select continue > Remove > Done
Is a Business Profile on Google free?
Yes, it‘s free to create your Business Profile.
Create your profile at no cost, and you can manage your business from Google Search Results page and Maps to start reaching more potential customers.