So for quite a while now it seems as if Google has been experiencing somewhat of an identity crisis of sorts. With now discontinued names such as Google Places, Google Places for Business and Google Plus Local it’s local platform has undergone so many changes it’s hard to keep track let alone be able to determine the best ways in which to optimize your business for it.
Google announced today that Google + Local is officially no more and that users upon logging in or creating a new account will experience the new Google My Business.This will now be the default experience for those presently using any of Google’s other business related tools or services.
Google’s new My Business platform aims to be more of a seamless management system for business owners with individual locations. Brands and Service Areas are also supported but the GMB focus is more intent on a one-stop interface to allow for easy navigation and interpretation of data in one location. The new changes won’t affect any external users’ experiences with your Google + page in any way nor will it appear any different. The back end is where the owner will notice a significant change, which is a huge step in the right direction to help keep your brand identity consistent.
It has been rumored that the new GMB is aimed more at people who have not figured out how to “Get found on Google”, and with a button labeled with that same expression it just may in fact, be true.
For new users, upon signing up you will now have your business information dispersed to other Google tools such as Google Search, Google +, Google Maps for any device.
A few of the new tools available in the GMB update are the ability to manage both your Google + Local and Google + Business pages in one integrated dashboard. Furthermore the ability to manage reviews, customer insights, YouTube and even AdWords express are all here in one place at your fingertips.
Another great new feature is the management and streamlined approach to your reviews, a highly critical aspect of your profile. You can not only see reviews from around the web, but their analytics and even a break out of top sites and your average rating on Google + and the rest of the web. This data is easily accessible from the Reviews tab shown above.
A few of the other great tools now offered in the NEW Google My Business dashboard –
- Post to your Google + page and respond to review right from your GMB dashboard.
- More intuitive user insights that include visibility (views & clicks), engagement (posts & actions) as well as audience insights to let you know who is engaging with you!
- Basic Google Analytics that shows All Web Site Data (for a 30 day period) including new visits, unique visitors and overall pageviews as well as the ability to jump right into your full analytics from your GMB dashboard.
A Google My Business mobile application has already been released for the Android operating system (live now on Google Play) that allows you to do all of the same things from your mobile device or tablet. Google plans to release an iOS version within the coming weeks.
Google has also made it easier to distinguish your business type for your Google + page upon setup which now looks like this:
Take a look at the Google My Business introduction video released as well:
As of the present time the Google Bulk Upload tool has not appeared to have been given any attention or updates, which still leaves brands or business owners with multiple locations at a bit of a stand still or at least a disadvantage. With all of the updates we can only expect, or at least hope this will happen soon.
Overall, the new GMB dashboard gives users a much more intuitive and cohesive experience for their brand identity. Google has already begun transitioning accounts to the new dashboard so login and take a look. You may just like what you see.