Google+ has made big changes to their business profiles recently. Completely reconstructing their goals, Google tore down the once-familiar Google+ page and has created their own social media for businesses: Google My Business.
Similar in look and feel to your Google+ of the past, this newly redesigned platform is optimized for your business. Centered on providing accurate and informative content for users, the Google My Business profiles have added content for ease of use, making it better for businesses and increasing what you want most out of being online: search optimization.
How is Google my Business different from my previous Google+ account?
If you are already on Google+ as a business, your profile will immediately convert over. You might notice some differences right up front:
Upload more photos than ever to sell your business and what you are offering.
Longer business intros
Use this to give customers a brief idea of what your company is about – hopes, dreams, aspirations.
One of the most revered installations would include the incorporation of Maps on business profiles. This helps customers find your location easily through Google searches as well as on your profile and provide them with directions.
Initially-created brands pages will now merge with local pages after verification. All information including reviews and address information will directly move over to the “new” page.
This gives Google+ page managers more information about the who and what when it comes to interaction with brand content.
Use video chat to get face-to-face interaction with customers. Announce customer appreciation days or special releases. The world is your oyster with this newest feature.
Upon first accessing Google My Business, you will be asked to verify all your information before being launched onto the new dashboard.
There’s an app for that
Google got smart and realized that in this fast-paced world we live in, we need to be able to access our information anywhere. So they gave us Google My Business in app form.
Through the app, manage and edit business information all at the touch of a finger. Access business information and more all by downloading the app through Google Play or iTunes.
How to set up your Google My Business Account: Beginners and Previous Users
If you already have a Google+ account for business, remember that your account will automatically flip over. You can skip this portion and scroll on down to the next section to help with setting up your new profile.
Type Google.com/mybusiness into your browser. You will then be brought to the Google My Business Greeting Page. Scroll through the information if you like. Then click on the Get on Google button.
You will first be brought to a Page Categories section. Select the title that best descries your business:
- Storefront: this works well if you have a physical location that users can reference or stop by for business. Shops, coffee houses, boutiques, hair salons, advertising companies, or other forms of retail or customer service would all fall in this category.
- Service area: this is for those of us who don’t really have one location we may call home. Taxis, delivery services, food trucks, or other mobile businesses would check this box.
- Brand: this is a non-local business. This category deals with everything else that the other two do not cover, such as bands, causes, major companies, products, name brands, and so on.
After selecting your category, you will be redirected to Google Maps. Depending on your company’s status, you will need to claim a business, create a new business, or claim a non-local business.
- To claim an existing business, type your company name into the search bar on the Google Maps Page. You should be able to find the location and then follow the steps to verify the business is yours.
- To create a new business, you will enter your company’s information and then click, “No, these are not my businesses,” or, “I’ve correctly entered the business.” You’ll then be asked to enter details, then click Submit.
- If you are claiming a non-local business, you will most likely skip this step.
Finally, you are ready to take the guided tour and get to work on Google My Business.
If you are already on Google+, your page has already merged and become a Google My Business Page. You will skip all the steps above and begin with the new dashboard. Where do you go from here?
Share with users the newest happenings. Keep up-to-date with users by adding various content here including events, videos, updates, offers, and more. Make your page look sophisticated and tailored to users, increase your presence and brand awareness, and make your business look credible.
Remember, in your description, that you have 735 characters to utilize to make your business stand out. Make sure to tailor these to be super hyper keyword to optimize search results. Since Google+ has done away with categories, this is extremely important.
Verify your Information
This is essential to gain access to insights. There are several ways to do this:
- By Postcard: request a postcard to be sent to your business address. After receiving the postcard, go to your dashboard and enter the verification code.
- By Phone: just click to verify your phone number on your dashboard and enter the code provided in the message upon receiving your phone call.
- By Website: click the verify button next to your website link on your profile. A code will pop up. Just copy and paste into your backend on your website.
The Google My Business Dashboard gives you a quick overview of your Google+ insights. In 30 day increments, see how many people viewed your profile, actions on posts, and how many followers you have received to gage content and awareness. You have to be verified to access this feature.
In managing Insights, you have a few breakdowns of different elements.
- Sum Total of Presence: shows your total followers, number of times your content has been viewed, actions taken on content, and your last post.
- Viewership: how many times your business listing and content has been viewed in the last week/month. You can also view graphs on profile, posts, and local views.
- Actions Taken By User: view new followers; +1 clicks on content and share; comments; and number of clicks on maps, driving directions, and local search results.
- Post Performance: shows the number of views on a post, comments, shares, and +1. You can also view the numbers in increments, how it was accessed, and why it was accessed.
On the Google My Business accounts, you will find a Reviews section (if you have reviews on your business). You can read and respond to these reviews as well as track analytics to see how customers are evaluating your business. User your Reviews inbox to see a list of reviews that customers have left for your business, or check out the Review Analytics tab to view detailed evaluations and average scores of your business.
Always remember when responding to reviews to do so in a timely manner, be polite, thank them for their service, and be professional. Continue to encourage reviews on your account and become active on the account to increase awareness and presence online. As always, make sure your information is verified and correct so that it meets Google quality guidelines.
A lot of information to take in?
Let us help you. Contact Maximize today and let us take your business to the next level on Google My Business.