Google My Business Replaces Google Places/Plus Local In The UK
by Jo Shaer, on June 23, 2014
The latest news from Google world is the launch of Google My Business.
This is the product that will replace both Google Places, Google Places For Business and Google Plus Local.
Here's a saccharin-sweet video about how US business owners will benefit
You can tell they are taking this product seriously because there is an Android mobile app straightaway
So how will it affect UK business owners?
Well, our advice to create Google Places pages for businesses which meet their customers face to face does not change. If you go to the Google Places For Business dashboard, you are automatically redirected to the UK Google My Business page.
You need to use this to check that you do not already have a page set up. Creating a second one will cause you lots of problems in the future!
The branding on the set up has changed to Google My Business with its new logo but the process itself remains the same.
Google My Business pages for online businesses
As we said before, online businesses don't get to have Local pages and the same applies to Google My Business. The options now on offer are Storefront like a hotel or retail outlet, Service Area Business like a plumber or taxi firm or Brand like a product, sports team, cause, musician/band, etc.
Online businesses or any other business entity that does not meet customers face to face at their shop/office or at the customer's location will fall into the Brand category.
I have updated the post I wrote on creating a Google Plus page for online businesses.
Google Plus dashboard for Google My Business Pages has changed
Once you have created your page and filled out all the information, the view that you see actually from Google Plus has changed.
Change your identity so that you are acting as your Page.
Hover over the top left of the page and get the drop down menu.
Click on My Business and you will see the brand new dashboard.
The Edit button on the far right will take you through to the place where you can edit your business information.
Changing the profile and cover images on your Google My Business Page
You can hover over the profile picture and change that from here (although your cover image can still only be changed from the Google+ page itself. Click on the +NameOfYourBusiness in the top navigation bar and then hover over the cover image to see the Change Image option)
It's also easy to upload new photos that you want to showcase in the listing that the public will see when they search for your business on Google.
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The Virtual Tour on Google My Business
And they are starting to make a big deal of the virtual tour option for Storefront Businesses. This is where you get photographs of the interior of your building - just like the Street View. But you can't just take some snaps with your mobile. They have to be taken and uploaded by a registered, verified Google 360 photographer. There are not many of those around in Essex.
Other highlighted features on the new Google My Business pages
Below the new dashboard are several cards.
The first allows you to add a status update as your business. Posts you upload here will show on both Google Plus and Google.com
Next up we have:
- Insights - you can see all the views and interactions with your Google Plus page over 7, 30, 90 days or for all time
- Reviews - you can see who has left a review of your business on Google Plus and respond. Also reviews that Google has found from around the web
- Analytics - you can link Google Analytics from your website so you can see what traffic you are getting
- YouTube - you can see views and interactions with your YouTube channel if you have connected this
If you have an Adwords Express account, this can also be linked here.
You can also start a Google Hangout from here
The future of Google Plus
What is becoming more and more apparent is that, despite the rumours a few weeks ago, Google Plus is not going away. Rather than being a product itself, it is going to become the function which controls all these different Google products. As we have always billed it, it's the one ring that rules them all.
Find out more about how local seo can help your business to get seen on the mobiles and PCs of people who are ready to buy.