Google My Business: Your Essential Guide
Google My Business was introduced in 2014, bringing much needed simplicity to businesses around the world. Google My Business replaces Google Places for Business, allowing businesses to easily maintain internet visibility and improve customer engagement online.
A First Look At Google My Business
There are no major changes to the back end of what is now Google My Business, but it has had a significant face-lift. It consolidates all Google related platforms, like Google+, Google Analytics, AdWords, and Youtube Insights making it a lot easier to manage.
The new Google My Business Dashboard. At least 2 other sections could also be included, namely AdWords and Reviews.
As you can see, this new consolidation of Googles tools and platforms minimize the need to flick between platforms - but Google Analytics, Youtube and Google AdWords can still be easily accessed from the dashboard.
What You'll Find On The Insights Tab
Not much has changed within the Insights tab, but since we haven't covered it before in our blog, what better time to show you what you will find? If you familiar with Facebook Insights, you will notice some similarities:
- Activity regarding your last posts under your Google+ Page.
- How your audience has reacted, under the Engagement tab.
- Extra info about your Google+ audience demographic and where they are coming from.
4 Reasons You Will Like Google My Business
Less Time Wasted: If you have not yest registered your business with Google, Google Maps, Google+ and Google Search, this can now be done in one simple click. Similarly, any future updates can be made to your Google account and updates will be made to all!
Consolidated Review Stats: Prior to Google my Business, reviews for your business only came from Google+ Local. With Google My Business, a major and very significant new feature is the consolidation of review stats from major online review sites on the web. The screenshot attached below comes from SeerInteractive blog post.
Consolidated Review Stats From Around The Web On Google My Business
Does this ring a bell? It's a similar feature to the Local Reviews you can find in WooRank Reviews, launched last September. In the Local criteria in WooRank Reviews we detect the profiles of your site in the main 3 Local Directories (Google My Business, Foursquare and Yelp) and list the reviews that you have received on each one.
- Faster Update Speeds For Bulk Uploads: If your business has multiple locations you can make changes to all using the new Google My Business dashboard. This service overtakes Google Places Bulk upload, and promises faster updates and better social features in the future. However, besides the new name ('Google My Business Locations'), the updates for this tool have not yet been completely rolled out.
4/. Non-Local Businesses Benefit Too: Even if your business does not have a Google Maps location (i.e. your business is not a local business), you can still be listed on Google My Business. That means you can engage with your fans and followers and benefit from the consolidated Reviews dashboard and Insights feature.
A Quick Guide to your Google My Business Profile
If your business already has an account with Google+ or the former Google Places For Business, all your business information is automatically transferred to Google My Business. Just head to your Google+ Dashboard and you will see something like this that will give you access to the Google My Business interface:
Google Apps Associated With Google My Business (image credit – google.com)
Registering with Google is easy!
Step #1: Go to Google My Business
Get On Google On Google My Business (image credit – google.com)
Step #2: Get Listed On Google (for local businesses only)
Clicking on 'Get On Google' takes you to Google Maps. There, you enter your business name in the search bar and find your business on the map, if it has already been listed. If it is not listed, click on the option 'None of these match Add your business' in the drop down of the search result, as shown in the sample screenshot below:
Claiming Your Business On Google My Business (image credit – google.com)
You will then be directed to a form where you can fill in information about your local business. Take a look at a sample screenshot of the form below:
Business Information Form On Google My Business (image credit – google.com)
After completing the form, click Continue. You will then be asked to add additional information about your business and finally asked to create a Google+ page for your business, as shown below:
Google My Business Asks To Create Google Plus Page (image credit – google.com)
You will then receive a verification code (by post) which you will need to enter in order to validate that you are the owner of the business. You cannot make edits to your listing if your business listing on Google is not verified. You can skip the verification temporarily and go to the next step, the creation of your local business Google+ page. Google also provides a virtual tour of all the sections of your Google+ page so the process of creating a Google+ page for your business is really simple. Shown below is a sample screenshot of the virtual tour.
Virtual Tour Of Google Plus By Google My Business (image credit – google.com)
Not a Local Business? You Can Be On Google My Business Too
If you are not a local business you can skip the step above and click on 'Not a local business?' on the top right corner, as shown below:
Google My Business For Non-Local Businesses (image credit – google.com)
You are then taken to a page that gives you three categories to choose from – Storefront, Service Area and Brand.
Business Listing Categories On Google My Business For Non-Local Businesses (image credit – google.com)
By clicking on a non-local business category you will be directed to a simple and straightforward form to create a Google+ page for your business. This form looks like the sample screenshot shown below:
Create Your Google Plus Page Form For Non-Local Businesses (image credit – google.com)
After entering the relevant non-local business details in the form you will be directed to the same page that gives you a virtual tour of Google+ page. You need to complete a verification of your business and your page will go live. A progress bar shows the completeness of your profile. All the Google apps associated with your listing on Google My Business are placed at the top right corner of the business's Google+ page, as shown below:
Is your business on Google My Business yet? How have the new improvements made a difference to managing your accounts?