To log into your Google Business Profile, visit business.google.com and click ‘Sign In”. You can log-in using any Google account, but you’re going to WANT to log-in using a general business account. This should be standard operating procedure for any business. Why? Because you’ll inevitably have to share, or hand-off those credentials at some point, and you wouldn’t want to be doing so with your private, personal information.
In addition, any users with access to your GBP should be signing in on invited business accounts, or that same account. If they don’t, they’re unlikely to find what they’re looking for, and it may create confusion and/or the need to reverify ownership of the account (which we’ll talk about in a couple of weeks). So, make sure that the use of an invited business account is standard operating procedure at your dealership.
Once you’re signed in, you’ll see this screen, which gives the option of ‘Adding a Business’ and / or populating its Locations Dashboard which – once done – would look something like this. The Listings Dashboard defaults to the Business Tab. From here you can organize your different business listings, edit your profiles, create Google posts, and add photos.
But if you look to the left of the screen, you’ll see additional tabs including: Reviews, Verifications, Linked Accounts, Settings, and Support. So, let me give you a quick introduction to each:
The ‘Reviews’ tab collects reviews – for any of your locations – and gives you a centralized place from which you can reply to them.
The ‘Verifications’ tab keeps track of any verifications that you have in process.
The ‘Linked Accounts’ is for management of ads. And yes, you should have your dealership’s Google Ads account linked to your Google Business Profile, for ease of management and increased functionality.
The ‘Settings’ tab consists primarily of notification settings for whichever Google account was used to sign on. You can toggle on-or-off whichever notifications you want, including the option of receiving SMS text notifications. What you choose to be notified about is up to you, but reading your GBP notifications is imperative, especially when you’re managing listings at scale.
And finally the ‘Support’ tab is where you can go to review Google’s documentation of best practices, instructions, and the steps you can take to troubleshoot any issues. We’ll dig further into ‘Support’ next week but, for now, let’s keep moving forward.
Within the Listings Dashboard, you can click any listing and access what we refer to as its SERP dashboard. SERP stands for ‘Search Engine Results Page’ and we refer to the dashboard this way, because, as you can see, it’s incorporated into the search engine results for that listing.
As you can see, there are a number of buttons…each of which performs specific functions. These include Edit Profile, Read Reviews, Messages, Add Photo, Performance, Advertise, Edit Products, Edit Services, Vehicle Listings, Bookings, Q&A, Add Update, and Ask for Reviews. Later on in this series, we’ll talk about each in greater detail, but let’s stay focused on profile administration for now.
If you’re tasked with managing one or more Google Business Profiles, you’ll find one of the most important features of the SERP Dashboard by clicking these 3 little buttons, and selecting ‘Business Profile Settings’ from the dropdown menu. Here you’ll find a number of features accessible through these headers. Today however, we’re going to focus on “Managers” which is where we go to manage and/or remove users from a Google Business Profile.
By clicking on “Managers” you’ll see a list of all users who have access to the profile, broken out into 3 different access levels: primary owner, owner, and manager. Keep in mind that there has to be one primary owner – and if that person wants to relinquish that role, they need to transfer ownership to someone else.
Moving onto the other levels of access: you can have as many owners and managers as you want. That said, owners can add or remove other users, but managers can only remove themselves. It’s also important to note that Google groups can not be added to “serve” in any of these admin capacities, it has to be an actual Google account.
Now…it’s important to understand that – when adding an owner or manager – full access is not granted immediately. It will take up to 7 days for that user to gain full access and administrative privileges within their defined role.
Let’s say you’re closing one of your stores and you want to remove its previously verified business profile? Well, let’s go back to Business Profile Settings and select (wouldn’t you know it?) ‘Remove Business Profile’. Doing so will give you the options to ‘Mark this business as closed’ or ‘Remove profile content and managers’. Select the latter, and be sure to understand the ramifications of what you’re doing.
If you remove all content and managers: your posts, photos, and videos will be removed.
You and other managers will be unable to recover them, or manage any conflicts.
Google ads will become inactive.
Associated websites created using the GBP will be permanently removed.
You’ll also notice a toggle button to “mark your business as permanently closed”. What’s important to realize is that removing profiles isn’t instantaneous. It can take time, and often takes place algorithmically. However, toggling this ON provides Google with an added signal verifying that this the location is no longer doing business. This helps Google to prioritize the removal, in the hopes of providing their users with more accurate information. Just don’t be surprised if it takes time for the map listing to be taken down.
You may remember earlier when – while in the Locations Dashboard – I had mentioned that I’d be getting back to the Support tab. Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to do next week. So, be sure and join us because…you’re inevitably going to encounter a problem that has you stumped.