How to use Google Business Profile API?
Wondering how to best leverage Google to amplify your online business? Puzzled about tapping into the power of the Google Business Profile (GBP) API without feeling overwhelmed? But fear not!
If the idea of diving into the world of APIs makes you a tad nervous (especially on the technical front), you’re in the right place. In this piece, we will be unraveling the intricacies of the Google Business Profile API, a gem for those aiming to enhance their visibility on the search engine giant.
However, like any API, it comes with its nuances and unique challenges.
Let’s dive in! And if you’re still feeling a tad lost, “Debugbar” is here to guide you step-by-step. Ready to master the GBP API? Let’s journey together and uncover how to make the most of it!
Google Business Profile API: what is it?
Google My Business API, launched in 2015, revolutionized business data management on Google, especially for multi-location businesses. However, as of February 2023, it’s replaced by the Google Business Profile API platform.
This successor is tailored for developers, especially from large or third-party firms, continuing the automation and interaction legacy of its predecessor. Notable is its ability to provide detailed interaction data, such as keyword searches and daily metrics like views and clicks, available in the “Statistics” tab.
Note: some metrics have changed their name or have been splitted in the new performance API version. For example, you won’t find anymore:
- Photos_views_merchant / customers
- Photos_count_merchant / customers
But you will find new sections as:
These insights are pivotal for enhancing a business’s online presence.
The evolving local SEO landscape now has the Google Business Profile API as a cornerstone for tool development, emphasizing efficiency and rich data representation.
Next up – what can the API do for you? Let’s unravel that mystery!
Google Business API: what is it for?
Beyond just enabling you to automate tasks, the API serves as a master key for unlocking rich data and insights about your BP.
It is incredibly versatile, catering to different aspects of your Google Business Profile management.
Here’s how it can be beneficial:
- Local SEO booster: Your BP on Google is a potent weapon in your arsenal to boost the performance of your local SEO. The API can help highlight your business and engage more customers.
- Insightful analytics: From customer actions, search impressions, to where people find you, the API provides compelling insights to gauge your marketing performance and strategize better.
- Automate profile management: No need to manually update profiles across locations. The API enables seamless automation of BP updates.
- User engagement: Answer queries promptly, manage reviews, and foster great relationships with your customers through efficient management via the API.
Did you know that the key functions of GBP API are not only limited to these? There are more hidden treasures to unearth! So, let’s dig deeper.
What are the main features of GBP API?
The API is loaded with features that transform the way you manage your business profile on Google. To truly appreciate what this API has to offer, let’s break down its key features:
- Fully automated process: The GBP API completely automates the process of updating business information, reducing the scope for human errors, and boosting efficiency.
- Data accuracy: The API improves the accuracy of business metrics by allowing direct notifications to Google about changes, bypassing the challenges of third-party sources with conflicting data.
- Swift communication: Changes and updates need not wait! The GBP API enables faster communication with Google for updating and notifying alterations in business information.
- Business attributes management: From general info like name and location to hours of operation, service areas, and account managers, this API allows comprehensive attributes management. Even adding new profiles or photos becomes a breeze!
- Access control: Worried about security? With this API, you can regulate who gets access to manage listings or add new business profiles. Safety first!
These features are definitely a game-changer in managing your online presence on Google.
For example: Imagine that you own a popular chain of coffee shops with 50 locations around the world. Every festive season, you introduce special offers or themed drinks for a limited time, and you wish to highlight this on your Google Business Profiles.
Example: “Café Lumière’s festive pumpkin latte offer”
Without the Google Business Profile API, you’d find yourself bogged down, updating each individual profile one by one to notify customers of the new festive brew. It’s tedious and immensely time-consuming.
But, by leveraging the GBP API, you can craft an application that communicates directly with all your coffee shop profiles. With just a few clicks, this app can broadcast the introduction of the new Pumpkin Latte, ensuring customers in every location are instantly informed about the seasonal special.
In essence, the Google Business Profile API offers an efficient solution, removing the repetitive task of individual updates and enabling effective communication with the GBP system.
Interesting, isn’t it? But before you dive in head-first, there are certain prerequisites to consider when using the GBP API.
What are the conditions for using the Google Business Profile API?
Initiating the GBP API is a breeze! But like any tool, it does require some preliminary steps. Let’s take a quick look at these prerequisites:
- Create a Google account: Begin your journey by setting up a Google account. If you don’t have one, head over to accounts.google.com/signin and click on “Create Account“. Proceed by selecting “Manage my Business” and furnish the requested information. Once done, you’re all set!
- Ensure you have a Business Profile: This Profile is distinct from Google My Business. Verify its existence by searching for your business on Google Maps. If it appears, you’re good to go! If not, it’s time to create one.
- Configure your Profile: Sign in with your business’s Google account. Visit https://www.google.com/business/, click on “Manage Now“, and follow the instructions to link your profile with your account.
- Create a project: Navigate to the Google APIs console and click on “Create a project”. Provide a name for your project and make note of the “Project ID” presented in the subsequent screen.
- Solicit access to the API: In the Google APIs console, select your newly created project. Complete and submit the API access request form. Upon approval, head over to the “Basic Configuration” section and activate the Business Profile APIs for your project.
With these prerequisites checked off, you’re ready to configure GBP API. Let’s hop onto that next.
How do I use the Google Business Profile API?
Using the BP API may sound complex, but with our easy-to-follow guide, you will have it up and running in no time! Let’s kick things off:
Step 1: Activate the APIs
Got your project ready in the Google API Console? Great! Your next step is activating the associated APIs. Let’s make this happen:
- Open up the API Console.
- Select your project.
- Time to activate the APIs. Here are the important ones:
- Account Management
- Place Actions
With these APIs activated, you’re one step closer to jump-starting your Google Business Profile! Now, let’s proceed to obtain an OAuth 2.0 client ID.
Step 2: Obtain an OAuth 2.0 Client ID
OAuth 2.0 is a protocol that lets external apps request authorization to private details in your Google account without getting your password. This allows you to authorize the GBP API to work with your data over HTTP.
Ready to set it up? Let’s go:
- Find your way to the “Credentials” section in the Google APIs console.
- Create your OAuth 2.0 credentials here.
- You can test the Business APIs on the OAuth 2.0 Playground with this client ID. This is an excellent way to get comfortable with your new setup.
Let’s see how to do this.
Step 3: Testing the API
Now that your Profile API is all set up, you will have to call the APIs. To do so you have two main methods:
- Use client libraries: you can use client libraries which handle request execution and response parsing for you.
- Send an HTTP request: You can send an HTTP request directly and parse the responses.
If you choose the second solution you will have to understand some notions such as the RESTful architecture.
Note: REST, short for Representational State Transfer, is an architectural style used in web services development. In the context of GBP API, it refers to leveraging HTTP verbs to access and modify data stored by Google.
Then you will be able to test your API. To do so:
- Open your project in the Google APIs console.
- Copy the client ID and navigate to OAuth 2.0 Playground.
- Configure the options as described.
- Then under “Step 1” on the form, paste the URL https://www.googleapis.com/auth/business.manage and click “Authorize APIs“.
- Under “Step 2” on the form, paste the URI https://mybusinessaccountmanagement.googleapis.com/v1/accounts and click “Send the request“. Then the screen should display the “200 OK” code.
By now, you are well-equipped with the knowledge to configure and utilize GBP API! It’s time to put theory into practice and elevate your business presence on Google.
Google Business Profile API in a nutshell
Let’s take a moment to review the whirlwind of information we’ve just uncovered about Google Business Profile API:
- The Google Business Profile API platform is an evolved version of the GMB one, designed to aid developers with efficient business profile management.
- It automates the process of managing and updating your business profiles across multiple locations while providing insightful data.
- Before using the GBP API, you need to create a Google account, ensure you have a business profile on Google Maps, configure your Google Business Profile, create a project in the Google APIs console, and request access to the API.
- Once you satisfy these prerequisites, it’s time to activate the APIs, obtain an OAuth 2.0 Client ID, understand how to call the APIs, comprehend REST architecture principles, and familiarize yourself with the GBP API format for testing.