Google populates local search results based on their relevance, distance and prominence to user’s searches; at the local level, Google My Business (GMB) signals play a significant role in local search engine rankings. Now, Google is rolling out a feature that will make it easier for customers to find a specific businesses and interact with those GMB listings.
Verified Businesses on Google My Business may now reserve their custom short name and URL for their GMB listing. The significance of the chosen name is that it becomes part of the simple URL to link directly to a business’ GMB listing and physical location on Google Maps: g.page/customshortname.
Previously, a direct link to GMB listing on Google Maps did not exist. Now, the direct link can be placed anywhere: added to business cards and other marketing pieces, embedded in social media posts and more. Customers can more easily locate the business, get directions, view hours of operation, call and leave reviews. For example, you can view Bleevit’s GMB page via the URL g.page/bleevit to see our location, current offers and more.
Businesses also have the option to include their neighborhood or city in their customized short name. This feature is especially useful for businesses with more than one location. For that reason, short names can only be claimed individually. Each location’s GMB listing must be edited to take advantage of this new short name capability.
To add and edit GMB short names, access your business listing. On a mobile device, open up the GMB app; on desktop, log in to the listing. Access the menu, then navigate to the following:
On mobile: Profile > Add profile short name
On desktop: Info > Add short name
Lastly, once claimed, your GMB short name also automatically populates a short review URL that can be shared with your customers. The new link becomes an extension of your short name URL: g.page/customshortname/review.
Or you can copy and paste it after navigating to the Home tab in your GMB Business Profile, where you’ll find the link under the “Get More Reviews” section.
As a caveat, this capability is currently only available for most merchant and business categories, according to Google. Your listing may not include the option to claim your short name at this time, though that status is likely to change as the rollout continues.
For those who can currently access this feature, restrictions do apply to choosing your business’ short name:
- Short names must be between 5 and 32 characters in length.
- Neither spaces nor punctuation is permitted
- Businesses can only change their name 3 times per year
Google encourages users to choose a simple, yet memorable short name. Ours is simply ‘bleevit’.
What will yours be? Visit our Facebook page at this link and share yours!
Rick Hogan, CEO & Co-Founder – Bleevit Interactive
Rick possesses over 20 years of digital marketing experience and started Bleevit Interactive with the primary mission of helping local businesses succeed online. When he is not working he can often be found hiking Great Falls, Virginia with his Labradoodle Lily, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay.
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