Google recently rolled out Google My Business, a new platform for businesses to reach their customers. According to Google’s blog, “users tell us that finding these loyal customers can be complex and time-consuming.” Consequently, Google’s My Business is supposed to be more simple and streamlined, allowing users to managing their business listings easier.
So what is Google My Business?
According to Warren Knight, Google has combined Google Places with Google+ Local and rebranded it as “Google My Business”.
Google’s blog claims that Google My Business can help you in the following ways:
- Update your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ from one place to make it easy for customers to get in touch
- Add beautiful photos of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique
- Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events and other important updates from your Google+ page
- Stay on top of reviews from across the web, and respond to Google reviews
- Understand how people find and interact with your business using custom insights and integration with AdWords Express
- Manage your information on-the-go with the Google My Business Android app and the iOS app
The most important change about this update is that current users of Google Places for Business or Google+ Pages Dashboard will automatically be upgraded to the Google My Business platform, as stated on Google’s FAQ page.
According to the Social Solutions Collective blog post, “If you already have a Google Business Page, you will see a prompt stating “Welcome to Google My Business.” Clicking the prompt takes you to a dashboard that allows you to share updates, view insights, go to your YouTube channel, view analytics, or start a hangout. Insights are available when you have at least 200 followers. These insights are divided into three sections; visibility, engagement and audience.”
What are the benefits?
The main benefit of this change is simplification! Greg Sterling sums up Google’s efforts as “trying to streamline and make more coherent the process of managing local business data, reviews and social interactions across its many sites.”
Here are a few major benefits of Google My Business:
- With Google My Business, your business can use the same dashboard to engage with fans, manage reviews, and see their analytics.
- Also, your business information will be found by customers no matter what kind of device they are using because Google My Business puts your info on Google Search, Maps, and Google+. This is a great benefit!
- Another benefit is that Google has listed "Reviews from around the Web" that are sources outside of Google. These reviews do not comprise a complete list and they may not entirely accurate;
however, Google puts the reviews they have gathered into Google’s five star scoring system with the intent to help business owners find relevant reviews around the web.
- Finally, Google My Business allows business to share news, events, and any other updates on Google+ easier than ever before.
For businesses using Google, this upgrade can have great benefits, although adjusting to the changes previously described may prove difficult. If you have any questions about Google My business feel free to contact us!