Last week, Google announced a new feature for business owners called “Google My Business,” which is meant to make it easier for customers to find businesses on Google. Prior to My Business, businesses had to create separate pages if they wanted to be found on Search, Maps, or Google+. However, My Business eliminates the need to create duplicate pages, instead allowing business owners to have access to all of Google’s services under the My Business dashboard.
How does it work?
If you’re brand new to Google, getting started is actually incredibly simple. When you’re on the Google My Business page, you’ll see an aptly-named button, “Get on Google.” Then, you fill in the requisite information, like your business location, hours, website, contact information, and photos. After that, you’re all set. Google will automatically add your business information to Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+, making it incredibly simple for people to find your business information online.
For businesses that already have an existing Places for Business page, your account is automatically upgraded to My Business. In the dropdown menu, you’ll see that your “Dashboard” has been replaced with a “My Business” tab. There, you can access, edit, and add to all of your existing information.
What do I get with Google My Business?
Aside from the major SEO value that My Business offers, your dashboard also gives you access to your Google+, Insights, Reviews, Analytics, and YouTube, all on one screen. No more having to toggle back and forth between different tabs in order to manage your accounts. It’s all right there. Here are the benefits of each feature:
- Google+: Stay connected with your followers by sharing post updates, photos, article links, and even events you think your followers might be interested in attending.
- Insights: Here, you’ll see your Google+ page’s visibility (your total page and content views), engagement (your total post comments, shares, or +1s), and audience (your followers and their demographic, based on location, gender, and age).
- Reviews: Google gives your business a rating, aggregated from Google+ reviews that customers leave on your Google+ page and reviews from around the web. You’ll be able to manage all of them here.
- Analytics: You’ll only see this if you have an Analytics page set up for your website, but this is a quick way to access it right from your My Business dashboard.
- YouTube: This is another quick way to access your YouTube channel, but the great feature here is that you’ll get an overview of your channel’s performance from the last 30 days.
In addition to the desktop version, you can also access your My Business dashboard from your smart phone or tablet. While the My Business app is only available on Android devices, they will soon launch an iOS app.
Even though My Business is still new to the market, its features make it easier for users to find your business information and for you to better connect with your customers. Overall, it seems like a win-win for everybody.