The recent change from Google My Business to Google Business Profile is a subtle but necessary shift in how customers and clients interact with your medical practice or any business. Users may be unaware of this change, even when using their smartphones to look up business listings on Google Maps every day.
This article will provide information about what this service name change means and if it directly affects where your patients find you online when searching for local practices like yours.
What was Google My Business?
Google My Business was a Google product that allowed you to manage your business information and customer reviews on a single dashboard. You could add photos, hours of operation, website address, description of services offered, etc. This information would appear in local search results on both desktop and mobile.
An important thing about GMB was how it works with Google Maps for businesses.
Say you are a dentist in the Kendall area of Miami, FL. If someone in Kendall does a Google search for dentists near me on their phone or laptop, your business may appear in the local map pack at the top of the first page. The placements here are ever-changing due to various factors like proximity, ratings/reviews, and how well-optimized your website is for Local SEO.
Having this GMB listing can help so much in your local visibility. The name change from Google My Business to Google Business Profile will not affect your ranking, thankfully, but what is this new change?
What is Google Business Profile?
The new Google Business Profile product has some similarities with its predecessor and a few key differences that you should know. It works the same way as Google My Business did but with added features to help manage your business information on mobile devices.
What are the differences between Google Business Profile and GMB?
One of the changes with Google Business Profile is directly updating and managing your listing within Google Search and Google Maps. You can also verify your listing directly from there. Call History will be launching in the US, too. You can now directly manage Messaging and the read receipts through Search.
This is beneficial if you are a medical practice with one single location. All you have to do is the following:
- Log into Gmail account that manages your Google Business Profile
- Google search for your practice
- Once entered, an edit panel will be visible for your Google Business Profile
GMB will mainly sustain bigger businesses that handle multiple locations; soon to be renamed Business Profile Manager. If you have several business locations or do local SEO for various vendors, you will still use Business Profile Manager. Modifications to the Business Profile Manager will still be rolling out for the next couple of months.
Though it’s too early to tell whether the Google Business Profile update will impact your website ranking, an active profile is beneficial to your local SEO. A strong Google business listing will not only improve organic traffic by how often you appear in local search results, but patient conversion will likely be higher.
When did Google My Business turn into Google Business Profile?
Google My Business turned into Google Business Profile on November 4th, 2021. In 2022, however, Google will cease the Google My Business app completely.
These are one of the many name changes this Google listing service has endured. While Google Business Profile (now) and recently Google My Business (2014), it used to be Google+ Local (2012), Google Places (2010), and Google Local Business Center (2007 – ).
Why did the name change occur?
According to the search engine giant, the reason for the new name was to maintain simplicity. It has to do with Google’s desire to have all business listings be under one account. By allowing multiple accounts, businesses are more likely to get confused about which profile to update, especially when managing their online presence across many platforms.
This lack of organization can lead companies to think they don’t have a complete online presence. The good people at Google, not wanting this to happen, are streamlining the process by having all business listings be under one account!
Should my medical practice be worried about the change?
To keep it brief: no. This recent Google business change may be a good thing for your medical practice if handled correctly. You ought to know the ins and outs of what this product offers since it can be easy to miss out on features like event management, messaging, saved searches for work orders, and more.
Since the main change is just a rebranding, all Google My Business listings will be automatically switched over to Google Business Profile. Medical practices won’t have to worry about updating their online presence to make this change, but keep an eye open! Changes to the platform will be rolling out over the next couple of months.
If your healthcare practice doesn’t have an active Google Business Profile, you are missing out on opportunities for attracting local visitors to your business.
What do we do now?
For the time being, there are no dire changes that a practice listing manager needs to handle. However, to make the most out of your Google business listing, you should optimize each feature to its fullest extent.
Trust your local SEO and Google business optimization in the hands of professionals. After all, local visibility is vital for all types of businesses, especially healthcare practices. At Surgeon’s Advisor, our team can fully optimize your medical practice listing on Google to get the number of interactions and visits you need!
Contact us today by filling out our contact form below! Our skilled team will be happy to help boost your rankings and dominate your local market.