Google has unveiled Google My Business. While it’s not the saviour of Google’s business listing management that some have proclaimed it to be, it is a welcome step on the long journey ahead to make Google+ for business a little more user-friendly.
What’s it all about?
Google My Business is not so much a new service but a single admin area that collects different Google services in one place. The aim is to simplify Google’s range of products so that business owners who aren’t full time marketers can monitor their progress, manage any listings and, of course, take out Google adverts.
- My Business gives a general overview with a summary of Google+ sharing, listing insights (similar to Facebook page insights), Reviews and Google Analytics (from your website, if it’s linked).
- Reviews gives a review dashboard, allowing you to see and respond to new reviews, as well as read reviews Google has picked up from across the net.
- Business Insights is essentially Analytics for your Google+ page. It shows audience reach, engagement and audience numbers and demographics information.
- Adwords Express is the simpler interface for Local Google Adwords adverts.
- Google+ links directly to the business’s Google+ page
- YouTube takes us to the profile’s linked YouTube account
What we’d like to see…
This is a good start, and goes some of the way to simplifying the confusion that most business owners face when trying to get started on the world’s most confusing social network. However there are still some things that remain to be addressed. For example the confusion about simultaneous Google+ Local and Google+ Business pages: can they be merged? Should they be? Which should be updated? Which should be linked to from the website? Is keeping two pages live considered spammy?
The answers to these questions are still ambiguous, but hopefully with Google now focussing on tidying up their service for businesses, this will be addressed sooner rather than later.