The switch from Google+ and Google Places to Google My Business has arrived. Here is what businesses need to know about the upgrade.
WHAT IS THE SAME
- +1 clicks
- Posts (#hashtags, tagging people or businesses)
- Page tabs (About, Photos, YouTube, Reviews)
- Google Analytics
- Insights (will still connect and analyze content of accounts)
WHAT IS DIFFERENT
- Manage reviews, Google Analytics, AdWords and YouTube from one page
- Dashboard can be viewed and managed from one menu
- Ability to edit local search information
- Ability to edit Google Maps address(es)
- Ability to respond to reviews
- Formal, provided business listings
- No custom categories
- No payment options or additional details will be listed
- Company reviews and +1’s combined into one search-powered page
- Local pages that accept upgrade automatically converted to storefront or service area pages
THE BENEFIT OF PROVIDED BUSINESS CATEGORIES
One of the most effective changes of the “My Business” upgrade is the business listing. Listing a business using the given categories, storefront or service area, instead of customizing the business area or type, allows the business page to come up in local search results as part of Google’s business directory.3 Types/Areas of a Business Page
- Storefront (restaurant, retail, hotel) you go to your customer or they come to you
- Service area (plumber, pizza, taxi, lawyer) for businesses that service a wide area
- Brand (product, sports team, band, cause) online business or brands like Amazon or Adidas
Storefront and service area pages are also able to link to a brand page. Google helps determine the business category through questions about the business.
THE ISSUE OF MULTIPLE PAGES
Before, many companies had multiple pages due to Google Places and sites such as YouTube automatically creating new Google+ accounts when a company signed up instead of linking to the already verified company page. Different features on these account copies required hours of manual editing, deleting and account linking.
Now, the My Business upgrade automatically combines all Google+ and Google Places accounts so businesses do not have multiple pages affecting visibility.
There are now multiple pages only for large business with multiple locations and/or multiple business types. For example, Microsoft is a brand, but it is also a storefront because of the retail store locations. The retail locations would be listed individually as storefront locations and those pages will be linked to Microsoft’s brand page as well.
OTHER NEW FEATURES
- Icon photos required
- Virtual video tour to show followers an inside view of your business
- AdWords Express
- Will allow business to view or start ad campaigns to gain momentum and increase traffic
- View important metrics on how customers are finding and engaging with your page
- New insights bar that shows Google+ page metrics
- # of views on page in last 30 days
- Comparison of days from last month
- # of clicks on posts
- # of new followers
HOW TO UPGRADE YOUR BUSINESS
Log in to the business’s account and review the business profile information. Some further information might be needed for the page upgrade. You may be asked to verify the address during this step.
Verification codes are sent to the business’s address via snail mail. For this reason, it is important for businesses to stay in contact with their account executives at The Web Guys, so they can properly update company information. Verifications of profile changes can take up to three business days.
TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS RANKS HIGHER, DO THE FOLLOWING:
- Verify address
- Add business hours
- Include icon photos
- Add virtual tour
- Share new content
Make sure your business is using the Google My Business tools to their fullest potential. Contact The Web Guys at (317) 805-4933 to make sure your business is optimized. We can help maximize your visibility and increase your business traffic.
Citations: Caz, “A Complete Guide to Google My Business,” (Boostability), Accessed July 15 2014.