Last month, Google rolled out a new all-in-one dashboard for business owners called Google My Business. My Business is designed to make life easier, but like all new features it’s caught some business owners by surprise and raised a lot of questions. Here’s everything you need to know about Google My Business:
- You probably already have it: Like many Google upgrades, this one does not require existing users to sign up. If you have a business and use Google to promote it, you’ll find you already have a Google My Business account. You’ll end up at the new dashboard automatically if you try to go your Google Places for Business dash (which no longer exists) or if you have any Page on Google+.
- It doesn’t add anything new, it just brings it together: This is really an “upgrade” in name only, as it just repackages existing functionality—but in a way that hopefully makes it much easier to use. To be crystal clear: Google+ Local no longer exists; Google Places for Business has been replaced by the new My Business; and a variety of basic functions for your Google presence, previously housed in different places, can be performed from this one dashboard.
- Nothing disappeared: Even though Local Pages no longer exist on the back end, the Pages you made still look exactly the same to the public.
- Changes you make on Google My Business will be reflected across Google: This is the big advantage of My Business and the reason Google rolled it out in the first place. Let’s say your business gets a new address. All you have to do is change it once on My Business and the changes will propagate across Maps, search results, and Google+.
- All G+ “Pages” have Google My Business: If you run a Page on Google+, that page now has the My Business dashboard even if it’s not a business.
- It’s mostly helpful for small to medium-sized businesses: Google My Business was really aimed at making life easier for the little guys. Small business owners were often overwhelmed by the large number of different Google features they had to use and manage, often in separate places. Large businesses will also benefit from the all-in-one functionality, but if you have a dedicated web and social media team it’s much less of a difference.
If you manage your own Google presence and have questions, check out Google’s FAQs. Still confused? Talk to EverSpark to get things sorted out.