Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. That includes adding your business name, location, and hours; monitoring and replying to customer reviews; adding photos; learning where and how people are searching for you. And now, GMB is rolling out a feature to let businesses create a short name and short URL. The feature is designed to give Google My Business accounts a simple way to make their profile on Google Business more accessible to potential customers.
Businesses can use the short URL on business cards, posters and brochures to help customers easily find the business and leave reviews, access contact information, get directions and other vital company information. When users navigate to the short URL, they will be taken to the Google business listing in Google Maps.
What are Google My Business Short Names?
A GMB Short Name is a shortened URL unique to your GMB listing. It looks something like this: g.page/[yourshortname]. Customers can then find your business listing by using this unique link. Any verified business on GMB can get a short name but this feature is still rolling out in phases, so it may not be available for all businesses quite yet.
Why Create A GMB Short Name
Creating a GMB short name makes it exceptionally easy to promote your URL, and is easy for customers to type into a browserís address bar. This link can be added to your location pages, social media accounts, business cards or anywhere your business contact information is located. Whether users access the short name URL on desktop or a mobile device, they will be directed to your GMB listing on Google Maps.
More and more businesses have been using their GMB profiles as a way to generate leads, share photos, request customer reviews and build a strong online presence. Before short names, it was not easy for businesses to share their GMB profile links with customers because the URLs were long, ugly and hard to remember. Now, your business can link to your GMB profile more easily. The ability to easily share your GMB short name link with a customer means that those willing to write a review might actually follow through with it.
What Should My Short Name Be?
When creating a short name for each of your individual locations, be sure you are consistent and strategic with the names. Google allows up to 3 times short name changes per year, but we recommend picking a name and sticking with it. If you already have location-based social media accounts, you might want to use the same name to make it easier for customers to recognize the short name and the name is most likely not yet taken. Google recommends using the location in the name, for example, TacoBellRiverside. This is the perfect solution for multi-location businesses.
This feature is still in its trial stages and we anticipate that there could be a lot more to come. Currently, businesses cannot see statistics about the usage of their short name links. However, in the future, these links could provide another way to measure traffic to your businesses site. Additionally, short names could entice users to interact with other aspects of your GMB profile. As with any new Google My Business feature, it is important to explore and utilize it. Check out your GMB profile and see if you already have a short name; if not, now is the time to add one.
About The Author: Kevin Watts
Kevin Watts is the founder of Raincross, a premier web design, development and digital marketing agency headquartered in Riverside, CA.
Kevin got his start in online marketing and website design by working for some of the most prominent names in online retail. He's most recognized for helping to start e-commerce retailer Organize.com in 1998, and spent 12 years running the company's e-commerce and online marketing operations. He has been recognized and has received several online retail, marketing and merchandising awards throughout his career.
Kevin grew up in Riverside, CA and graduated from the University of Wyoming. In his spare time, Kevin is an avid fly-fisherman, college football fan, and enjoys spending time with his son Matthew, daughter Kate and wife Lindsey.
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