Google My Business: What You Need to Know

Earlier this week Google launched Google My Business, a new program designed to simplify and consolidate the way business owners manage their business listings in search, using Google+ and more. Google My Business will now be the default  platform for businesses just getting started on the web, but will also replace the current dashboard for users of Places for Business and the Google+ social network.

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If you’re a business owner with a Google+ Page, a Places for Business account or just getting started, here are some helpful tips about using the new platform.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free online dashboard that consolidates the way business owners and marketers are able to manage their presence on Google into one convenient  place. This includes:

  • Managing your business information for search, maps and Google+.
  • Uploading photos and/or a virtual tour of your business.
  • Sharing updates and interacting with followers on Google+.
  • View and respond to customer reviews online.
  • Creating and tracking adwords campaigns.
  • Accessing Insights reports.

If your business has 10 or more locations and previously used  Google Places Bulk Upload to manage listings information in the past, you will notice this is upgraded too.

Google My Business: What You Need to Know

The name has been changed to Google My Business Locations and Google has already promised more updates are on the way such as the inclusion of social features and visibility of live data.

Getting Started with Google My Business

If you were previously using Google+ or Places for Business, you will be re-directed to the new Google My Business the next time you login, while newbies can head to the Google My Business website to get signed up. Once there, you’ll see a blue button requesting you  “Get on Google.” which takes you to a world map where you can search for your local business. If you’re not a local business, click that option in the upper-right corner to be directed to My Business, where you can choose to start a Storefront, Service Area or Brand Page on Google+.

If you can’t find your business, click “None of these match”  and then add your address and the business type. Google will then search for similar businesses to see if you might already have a listing. If none of their recommendations match, choose “Keep my information” to proceed forward.

Next, you will be asked to confirm that you are an authorized representative of the business and of course you will have to agree to the terms of service.

You will also need to verify your association with the business. Google offers to send the verification code to the mailing address for the business now, or you can choose to come back and do the verification later. If you choose to verify later however, you will be unable to make changes or complete the listing until you complete verification.

You will then be sent to your new Page at Google+, where you can either get started or take a tour.

Google My Business: What You Need to Know

Google is making it very easy for people unfamiliar with Google+  to optimize the page for their business. A progress bar displays how complete the profile is and the number increases as you add more details.

Google My Business: What You Need to Know

Remember, these edits won’t take effect until you verify your business. Reviews and Insights also stay “locked” until your business is verified. This is no different than the previous Google+ settings.

Managing Your Google My Business Account

You’re all set up and verified, but you’re not done yet.

Google My Business: What You Need to Know

The Reviews tool can be used to monitor your businesses reviews and ratings. You can respond to reviews as the owner of the business. One thing I personally like about Google Reviews is that they try hard to stop fake reviews from happening by requiring the person leaving a review to have a profile. This isn’t 100%  foolproof but generally people who leave anonymous reviews are much more brave when it comes to leaving false reviews online.

Google My Business: What You Need to Know

You can also monitor your Insights and use this info to improve your visibility and engagement online. Insights help you make sense of how people are finding your business and interacting with your content.

Whether you’re just getting started or were already using  Google+ or Places for Business, it’s worth stopping by Google My Business to see what’s new. Take this opportunity to verify that your map info, store hours, phone number and other information are correct and that your profile has all of the information needed to find your business.

What do you think about Google’s latest move to consolidate small and local business marketing? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

About
Keyword-cruncher, customer-collector and web designer extraordinaire. Adam is the Founder of Creative Click Media. If he's not in front of the computer marketing your business, he's playing with his son, Miles. Tweet him at @AdamBinder_
Showing 7 comments
  • Adrienne
    Reply

    Hey Adam,

    So what if I don’t have a business page on Google+, just my personal profile? Do I have to sign up for a business page before I could sign up for My Business? The reason I didn’t sign up for a business page is because I am my business so it’s redundant having to profiles of the same name and just like anything else, the business pages came later and I was already building up a presence. I hate that. But I’m not an offline business with a location I care for everyone to show up at either.

    What would be your suggestion? Should I use this service and just dive in?

    ~Adrienne

    • Jim Mahlmann
      Reply

      Google is oriented to business entities. The reason they surpassed Yahoo and all the others years ago was because they put quality links at the top of the search page. Where Yahoo’s algorithm was whatever they grabbed that seemed to fit. That is why you should have a business name. Even an LLC with your name is a legit business. You are going to lose creditability on the Internet which is tough enough to achieve.

  • Adam Binder
    Reply

    That is a really good question Adrienne. My initial thoughts are that while it probably would not hurt to create a profile, I’m not sure it would be beneficial for you either due to he nature of your business. Because you are a blogger, and your physical location does not have an effect on your business I think the setup you have now should be just fine. Also, since you have authorship enabled on your personal page I don’t see a reason to change anything….At least for the moment. You never know what Google will do next 🙂

    • Adrienne
      Reply

      Thanks Adam and that’s my thinking too. Just like Facebook, they ended up changing things so you couldn’t use your personal profile but I don’t really do a lot of business related things on it anyway but just share. Google might change it eventually but for now I just prefer to keep up with only one.

  • Mi Muba
    Reply

    Hi Adam Binder
    Google My Business is the best solution for those who don’t find much space at Google+ or its business page to develop their online brand without its broad outreach. Every facility has also its shortcomings as well. After sometime we will come to know is there any shortcoming in it for promoting our business online at a large scale. But one thing is very much clear here that Google is fully equipping itself with all the possible solutions to become no one social media and outpace its competitors.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful resources that’s do have lot of value

    • Adam Binder
      Reply

      Hi Mi Muba,

      I agree with you that Google is positioning itself to take over as the dominant Social Media Platform. In fact I’ve been saying this since G+ was first launched, however their difficult user experience prevented that from happening in my opinion. While I like the idea of a centralized management platform for Google, I do not like the idea of Google becoming even more powerful, as I believe competition is healthy and creates an atmosphere where innovation can thrive. I’m glad you enjoyed this article. By the way, I have made it very easy to embed the video in the frame on your own website or social profiles if you so desire. Please use it anywhere you want. Thanks for visiting and have a great day.

      Adam

  • Jessica Wilson
    Reply

    Thanks a ton for sharing this post!!! This article is quite beneficial to know about the concept of Google My Business. The author has beautifully thrown light on all the aspects related to how MY Google Business abridges and combines the way business owners manage their business listings in search.

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