Earlier this summer, on June 11, 2014, the king of search engines launched its latest project: Google My Business. My Business, a much-needed upgrade to Google Places and Google Plus, helps address the needs of small businesses online. Merging Places and Plus, My Business is a unified portal and a strong foundation for future developments. Its streamlined, unified dashboard makes it easy for business owners to quickly access their dashboard and navigate between business applications. My Business can also help small business owners directly connect with customers and be found within the vast online ocean that is the Internet. Continue reading to learn more about Google’s latest update.
The Launch of Google My Business
My Business is available in 236 countries and 65 languages, and the mobile app and desktop version were released together, making it Google’s largest launch ever. Its interface makes it easy for business owners to flip between business apps (like Reviews, Insights, AdWords, and YouTube) and learn about the apps they haven’t yet used. You can edit your business listing, post photos, and view local insights all within this one app. Google is clearly committed to improving local search results and making it easier for SMB (small and medium-sized businesses) to manage their local search presence.
Interestingly, Google Plus isn’t mentioned anywhere in My Business. Months ago, many people assumed that Google Plus was on its way out, so is its absence telling? Well, maybe not. Although it isn’t mentioned by name, the social media platform is still integrated into this new product. It’s a strange dichotomy—despite the absence of Google Plus’s name, the program is used frequently within the app. Strange, but unexplained . . .
Google My Business is a fantastic interface for single-location, small businesses, but what about the bigger fish in the sea? At the moment, they’re being ignored. In the years to come, expect My Business to expand so that it can address the needs of larger, multi-location businesses. We would also like to see Google help small businesses efficiently target local customers. This goal is one of the most common reasons why a local business would be compelled to use My Business, and yet it’s extremely challenging for the average business owner to succeed.
If you’re wondering how to use Google My Business effectively, let us direct you straight to the source. After the launch of My Business, Google sent customers an e-mail with the following tips:
- Keep your content fresh and public.
- Post exclusive events and deals.
- Share beautiful, high-quality photos.
- Record a behind-the-scenes tour.
- Respond to your customers.
We would also like to note that according to Google, existing Google Places and Google Plus users will be automatically upgraded to My Business.
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The streamlined, unified, integrated approach of Google My Business is clearly an improvement on Google’s previous systems. Is it perfect? No, not yet, but we’re expecting notable improvements in the years to come.
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