Google revealed a major update for small and local businesses with the introduction of Google My Business. The new service enables businesses to create a single dashboard from which to manage core Google marketing products.
Think rudimentary CRM platform: businesses will be able to easily update information across Google, from listings to map placements, from customer service to marketing outreach. The service will also make it easier than ever before to gain visibility within the Google ecosystem. Google describes the service as a “free and easy way to find and connect with your people, wherever you are”. Of course users will need a Google Account to gain access to the service.
From the homepage, you will see a large button that reads ‘Get on Google’. You will then be prompted to enter the name and/or address of the small business. If the business is already verified with Google, you can request admin rights in order to be in control of managing the services. If the business has not been verified with Google, you will be able to do so at this time. After signing up and providing the required information (yes, we still gotta feed the Google data machine), Google My Business will add the business to search and make updates across all Google services. Companies are also invited to add photos and business information like address, contact details, and store hours.
One of the most helpful tools of the Google My Business suite are easy-to-use analytics. The service combines custom insights and integrates with AdWords Express, which will help business owners better understand trends over time, how people are finding their business, and how individuals are engaging with their brand. The insights, much like Facebook’s insights for Pages, are designed to give businesses more information about their Google+ audience and gauge how well their content is performing.
In the coming weeks, Google My Business will be available as a mobile application – providing access from either a phone or tablet. Existing Google Places and Google+ Pages users will be “automatically upgraded to Google My Business.” Check out the product video below and review a list of FAQs provided by Google, which fully explains the new approach and its features. If you’re not currently using Google’s services for business, it’s never been easier, so now’s the time.