There comes a time in each enterprise brand’s local marketing strategy when you outgrow manual location listing management, and sometimes even bulk uploads for some tasks. Google’s Business Profile Application Programming Interface (API) is built specifically for multi-location brands and enterprises for simplified location management at scale.
This isn’t another tool or dashboard for your marketing team to add to their stack. Rather, the Google Business Profile (GBP) API enables developers to write applications that make it far easier, faster, and less resource-intensive for enterprise and multi-location brands to keep their Google local listings up to date. Additionally, partners like Rio SEO can manage data distribution via the API on your behalf.
So, what does GBP API entail? And how can you get the most from it? This comprehensive guide has answers to these questions and more.
What is the Google Business Profile API?
The GBP API is a programming interface that lets developers who represent large companies, franchises, and multi-location brands build applications that interact directly with their Google Business Profile listings.
This enables the company’s marketing team to edit location information, view reporting insights, create and update Google Posts, update menu, and product details, read and respond to local reviews, and otherwise manage and optimize each location’s listing at scale for multiple locations.
For a global multi-location brand, this directly translates to hundreds of man-hours saved per year.
Making the case for Google Business Profile API
If your brand plans to allocate resources to a programmer to create a manageable program using GBP API, it will need to understand the impact that program will have on the overall marketing approach.
First, let’s establish one thing: a local brand cannot afford not to utilize Google Business Profiles today. Since a considerable percentage of the global population uses Google for local “near me” searches, appearing in the local pack for each store is essential to capitalize on that traffic.
If you must do this at every location, why not make it convenient and efficient when it is feasible to do so?
Another thing to consider is standardization across various locations. You risk losing your trust in the local market if the store provides the wrong information about its hours, services, or contact information.
By managing this information from one interface, you create a better system of checks and balances.
Lastly, you have to consider the impact on the customer support department. If the information for each store is set up correctly, your customers have no reason to call the store to clarify anything. They can browse your products/services, make reservations, and check out your photos & testimonials — all in one place without additional support.
Google Business Profile API features you need to be aware of
Here are some of GBP’s features that make it a huge asset for businesses globally:
- GBP API offers a fast and convenient way to notify the search engine and your customers of any business location changes.
- Because the platform can be entirely automated, the chance of human error can be drastically reduced.
- The API allows you to change several different business data types in one go. This includes vital business data like company name, contact details, business status, open hours, videos, and photos. You can do this for multiple locations from one place.
- It allows you to grant anyone access to your account to create new business profiles or manage your listings. So it’s easy to give different levels of access to your employees, key managers, and even an external SEO agency.
How can all these features help build your brand’s online visibility in all markets? Let’s dive in.
What value does Google Business Profile offer to global enterprise brands?
The GBP API primarily aids businesses’ marketing efforts. Organizations that leverage the tool effectively stand to have unparalleled visibility in front of a local audience that’s actively looking for a service/product they offer. The best part is that most local searches are transactional in nature — meaning the person is actively looking for solutions for problems they have now. According to our own research, over 50% of consumers are looking to make a purchase within 3 days depending on the type of business (54% service brands, 59% restaurants, 63% healthcare, 67% retail).
When your brand’s location comes up in these “near me” type searches, it can directly result in an increase in brand awareness, foot traffic, and sales.
With this in mind, here are the different ways in which you can find the platform valuable.
You’ve probably looked up the opening times of a business and felt relief realizing that they’re still open and you can still hop over—only to end up disappointed later.
Typically, Google lets users provide such details on their website as well — but the website is not suitable for quickly updating such information for multiple locations.
For instance, if only your store in city A has shorter hours on a particular day — you don’t need to update the entire website’s hours. It is also a more resource-intensive undertaking because you’ll probably need to involve your web developer. On the other hand, GBP gives you control over managing such details locally and the ability to do so in seconds.
Adding holiday hours, announcements and even events on GBP is quick and painless. Anyone can do it — they just need to log in and select the right hours. Done!
Enhanced search visibility
Google records billions of worldwide searches daily. We turn to the platform for knowledge, shopping, or assistance. And now, the site allows potential customers to reach you directly. Picture how much value you’ll gain by harnessing this powerful search engine — and making it so much more accessible for customers.
Integrations help provide high-value service
You can quickly integrate the GBP API with your current messaging solution. Consequently, you can automate your communication and connect with customers even faster and more efficiently.
The API can also be coupled with chatbots, smart replies, carousels, or voice bots to offer personalized on-demand support.
Enable customer engagement through reviews
Google is arguably the world’s leading review site, and GBP allows you to use this to your advantage.
Both collecting and leaving reviews on this platform is a breeze — and it also relieves your customers from the headache of research. They can see your services, prices and also how trusted and reputable you are in one listing.
You have a chance to influence their trust even without speaking to them — and they have an opportunity to find the most reliable service provider within minutes. It’s a win-win situation.
If you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it. The good news is, GBP allows you to do both.
Besides promoting your brand, the service also gives you a glimpse of your niche market. The platform uses powerful AI to provide valuable local insights that can be used to guide your decisions and strategies. Such details include the following:
- Views – The platform shows the views that your company profile, posts, and pictures are getting. This can help you verify your campaigns’ effectiveness and growth. More views directly correspond to more visibility — so this is a great metric to track.
- Search queries – You’ll get a comprehensive report regarding where customers find you, how they search, and the keywords they use. You can use it to inform your GBP and local SEO strategy.
- Website link clicks – Finally, GBP can report the number of clicks on your site link so you can see how much cross-platform traffic you’re receiving.
Who needs the Google Business Profile API?
Any local enterprise business with separate marketing resources managing multiple Google Business Profiles can benefit from incorporating the API.
How to set up your Google Business Profile API
The API is for large enterprise brands and offers options to add more information to business profiles than the typical GBP. Therefore, your brand needs to meet the required prerequisites to start building on the API.
Once you are granted access to the API, you must enable the API manually in the API Library.
Eight APIs are associated with GBP, and all of them can be enabled in Google’s own Google API Console.
More information regarding the setup, prerequisites, and the exact steps required to start using the GBP API can be found here.
Tips for setting up the GBP API correctly
It’s important to note that your business profile doesn’t depend on the GBP API. Instead, the API is like your company’s official name, which differs from your GBP account.
If you want to allow a local manager or franchisee owner to manage their own store’s profile information while also allowing the CMO or corporate marketing team to view all stores’ profiles in one place, you need both a GBP account and the GBP API. The CMO’s team can use the API, while the local manager uses the GBP for that particular store.
If you’re trying to consolidate all business profiles into the API program, make sure to first check that no locations are missing their own GBP accounts.
You want to also avoid duplicates, so check for existing accounts before creating a new one.
Additionally, you can also leverage a local listings management solution, like Rio SEO’s Local Listings, to take the guesswork and effort out for you. Local listings management eliminates the work for you and enables your business to seamlessly update your business listings at scale across a vast network of popular listing sites, where customers are actively looking for you.
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