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Short names are big news: setting up your Google My Business link

  1. Google My Business marker
    David Fowler

    David Fowler UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Dave is an SEO specialist at UKBF’s sister company, PracticeWeb, and originally wrote this article to help accountants set up a short name on Google My Business. But, as the tips he provided are useful for any small business owner, we’ve decided to publish it here, too. Read on for advice on creating a snappy and shareable URL.

    Do you make the most of your Google My Business (GMB) listing to attract new clients? And are you making it easy for customers to review your business? You should, and now it is easier than ever to do so.

    Reviews on your GMB profile act as social proof of the quality of your services, and also help your listing stand out – especially when seen alongside listings without reviews:

    Further, reviews are now considered to be a ranking factor for local SEO, helping your GMB listing appear higher in the 'map pack' results and quite possibly helping your website gain greater visibility in the traditional organic search results too.

    But if you've yet to acquire reviews against your listing, or have only a few (maybe dated) examples, help is at hand.

    Reviews are now easier to garner than ever, courtesy of a new Google My Business ‘short name’ feature, introduced in July 2019. As well as allowing users to create a snappy name and URL for their Business Profile, these short names also provide a streamlined, memorable and shareable review URL.

    You do need to have verified your listing to use this feature – if you haven't done this yet, you really should – but assuming you've already taken this step, a short name is very easy to add to your profile.
    Here we'll show you how they work, and then explain how to go get your own.

    GMB short name example

    Let’s look at our own profile for a working example. The default URL for any GMB listing is rather long and frankly somewhat ugly:

    Quite a mouthful. But now, with our short name secured, you can instead visit and arrive at the exact same listing.

    The name in the URL is not case sensitive, so works just as well.

    But what makes this feature really powerful is the ability to extend this short URL to make it easier for clients to leave you a review.

    In our example, this review URL is now

    Clicking this link not only opens our Google My Business listing but also then overlays it with a review form. Very user-friendly and a significantly easier way for potential reviewers to find their way to the review option.

    How to get a short name

    So how do you secure your own? Make sure your listing has been claimed and verified and then follow these simple instructions.

    Step 1: log in to Google My Business. In the dashboard, click on the 'Info' link in the left hand navigation (desktop view).

    Step 2: Scroll down and click on the 'Add short name' option.

    Step 3: When you click on 'Add short name' you should see the following form appear, into which you can enter your chosen name (or select Google's suggestion).

    The name must be unique, and should be “the name by which people commonly refer to your business”.

    Don't be tempted to spam this option; you'll see we've correctly opted for ‘PracticeWeb’ rather than ‘WebsitesForAccountants’ or something like that.

    If you operate in more than one location, and so have more than one GMB listing, you might want to go with something like ‘BusinessNameLeeds’, ‘BusinessNameSheffield’, ‘BusinessNameHuddersfield’, and so on.

    If you ordinarily use an apostrophe in your name, drop this from the short name as the URL that gets created will not include it.

    Step 4: Once accepted (the change will initially record as 'pending') you will have your own short URL to use to send users to your GMB listing, following the format, and a version to send out to invite reviews, following the format

    It takes just a few minutes to claim your Google My Business short name and URL, so why not do it now?

  2. alonelylearner

    alonelylearner UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Short name is the most .. Buggiest Thing Google Introduced.
    People started experience Review reduction after the update for short name came .
    and some even confirmed that their review came back when they removed Short name from their GMB.
    Posted: Aug 29, 2019 By: alonelylearner Member since: Jul 19, 2019
  3. ValenDigital

    ValenDigital UKBF Contributor Full Member

    53 2
    Agree with that. As usual when ever Google releases a new service or updates one its riddled with bugs. Its better to implement things like that when it all settles down. You never know, they may even remove that feature somewhere down the line.

    If its about getting your business more local visibility and more reviews there is better ways of doing it. We updated our local seo guide for those that are just starting out but for existing businesses there is also a section in our guide which covers how to get reviews via your own custom URL (you can combine it with a QR code) to use on your business stationary.

    In our experience its more effective than simply sending out a Google business link as it will also allow you to track clicks etc.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
    Posted: Oct 26, 2019 By: ValenDigital Member since: Jan 14, 2019
  4. HeyleelDotCom

    HeyleelDotCom UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Amazing! We been using this strategy to promote local businesses.
    Posted: Dec 2, 2019 By: HeyleelDotCom Member since: Nov 7, 2019