Getting Hands On With The New Google My Business
June 11th, 2014 by
Today, Google launched Google My Business. This new, more intuitive Google Places serves as a one stop shop for small businesses to do the normal Google Places work like updating business info, adding photos, connecting with customers through Google Plus posting, and staying on top of reviews. They also launched an Android app for managing Business Tools on the go (with the promise of an iOS app launching soon). Watch Google’s introductory video to Google My Business here.
Changes For Users New and Old
All new businesses to Google will start in Google My Business. As for current Google Places users, a blog post from Google earlier today said, “We’re also upgrading current users of Places for Business and the Google+ Dashboard to this new experience.” For those who just sat through and are still cleaning up the mess that was the upgrade to the new Google Places, don’t worry! You won’t have to go searching for which dashboard your listings are in or anything like that. It seems that Google My Business is a mostly superficial change that has already happened and just means a newer looking dashboard and a few extra features and controls (like easy access to Youtube, AdWords, and Analytics).
Quick & Easy Editing
These new features are pretty awesome. From your dashboard, first you’ll see the area for easily managing the individual aspects of your primary business information where previously you would have navigated through an “Edit Business Details” button. Connected to the bottom of this dialogue, there will be a blue box that allows you to edit the business information needed to get your profile to 100% complete. Google My Business has succeeded in using minor dashboard edits to make major usability improvements.
The next box is a basic G+ Share box for social posting to your business page. Share texts, photos, links, videos, and events easily all from one location. Side note: I recently found out, thanks to a post from Mike Blumenthal, that there is now an easy way to connect your business’ brand page to a location. So, if you have been posting socially from a Google Plus brand page for your business, you can now easily transfer that engagement into your verified local page.
New Data & Graphs
Next, you’ll find the Insights Tool. Here, you can see how many views your G+ page has gotten over a period of time, how many clicks occurred, and where they went (either looking for Google Maps driving directions or directly to your website). The next feature (and my favorite addition to the Google My Business dashboard) is the reviews section. When you click into “Manage Reviews,” you’ll see your Google reviews as well as other business reviews from around the web. If you click “Analytics” at the top of this page, you can see a really streamlined graphical representation your review information or “Rating Stats” and where your business’ reviews come from.
You will be able to see other tools like Google Analytics (if you have it installed on your site), YouTube (if you have a channel connected), and AdWords Express (again, if you use it). If you don’t use the above tools, they will still appear at the bottom of your dashboard with the option to “Get Started” if you want to use them! You’ll also see a place to “Join a Google Hangout” at the very bottom of your dashboard. All in all, the new Google My Business looks looks both beautiful and user friendly, presenting a new way to manage businesses’ online reputations through Google.