Good news if you are a local business; Google have made a big leap forward in helping small businesses and agencies make the most of Google local profiles with a new and exciting release this week. Google My Business is a centralised dashboard for managing local business profiles which is an evolution of the previous Google Places and Google Local tools.
Previously, verifying, optimising and managing a business’s local presence on Google could be cumbersome and confusing to small business owners and local marketers alike. For a few years now, there have been rumors of simplification and enhancement of the process but there seemed to be little traction and further complication with the introduction of G+. However, it remained an essential tool to maximise local presence which we’ve seen bring large rewards on regular occasions, in terms of local visibility and response, and at Leadspring we couldn’t be happier about the new changes.
For those reading who are new to Google local, Google Places or Google +, we’ve answered some common questions you might have below…
What does Google My Business do?
In short, it allows business owners and agencies to manage business profiles and offers a route into the local sections in Google search results pages (highlighted in green) and Google products, such as Google maps. If you’re a local business in particular, it can offer great rewards at no cost, if it is set up and optimised in the correct way.
How to access the new dashboard?
The easiest way to access the new Google My Business dashboard is either directly through google.com/business or via the new Google business app. You’ll be prompted to sign into your Google account, so you’ll need to sign up if you don’t already have one. If you had a Google Places profile previously, this will be converted to the new dashboard.
Google have also released an app for android with an iOS version to follow to make management of a profile even simpler.
What does this mean for local businesses?
It should mean that managing a local profile for a local business on Google is much easier and more condensed than it’s ever been before. The availability of a centralised dashboard means that editing business details, uploading pictures, managing reviews, viewing analytics stats and managing shares can all be done from one location.
How to make the most from the new Google My Business…
Below are our top 5 easy-to-action tips to help you make the most from your new Google My Business profile…
- Make sure your profile is as complete and accurate as possible; use the progress bar Google provides to get an idea of this.
- Select the closest category, from those available, that applies to your business.
- Upload images of your business location, staff and products to make your business profile stand out from the competition.
- Add a compelling and enticing business description which will prompt users to contact your business over competitors.
- Encourage past customers to post reviews on your profile.
So, it’s good news all round. With a new, hopefully permanent home for managing local presences on Google, we’re already looking forward to future updates and enhancements over the coming months and years.
If you are a local business and want to find out more about how we can help you attract new customers online then visit our leadspring local site or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.