From Google Places to Google+ Local to Google My Business. Google can’t seem to make up it’s mind, which of course, doesn’t surprise me at all. We do a lot of local search marketing work for our clients and this update did not give us an ‘aha’ moment, rather, more of a ‘whew, finally’ relief.
In the not so distant past, local businesses claim their Google Places listing and optimize it to make sure they appear on Google Maps correctly. Then came Google+ Local, where you can create a page for your business, upload photos and share updates to your followers. Now here comes Google My Business, where you can do all that and more – all in one place!
“Google My Business is the fast and easy way for businesses, products, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence with Google. Using the Google My Business dashboard, you’ll now be able to:
- Maintain up-to-date business information on Google
- Build loyal customers using a Google+ page. Followers of the page for your business can show appreciation and give feedback with posts and reviews, and use the +1 button to endorse products and services on Google+, Google Search, Maps or on ads.
- Track engagement with insights for Google+ pages and posts
- See information on your related Google Analytics account and YouTube channels
- Seamlessly create and track performance of AdWords Express campaigns”
– from Google Support page: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038063
So what do you really get with your Google My Business dashboard?
GOOGLE+. Share an update, photo, video, link and event.
INSIGHTS. Learn more about your visibility, engagement and audience.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS. Get direct access to your website analytics.
START A HANGOUT. Start a video call with your followers.
All these – in one dashboard. Basically it’s an integration of Google Places, Google+, Google Analytics, and Google Hangout.
As a Digital Marketer and a Small Business Owner, I’d say Google definitely hit a home run on this one. Social Search FTW.