On Thursday June 19th, Google announced its new MyBusiness page. How does this impact you? Having a strong online presence is important, so this could be a big deal for you.
Have no fear, we watched the event unfold and can tell you what you need to know.
The basics of Google MyBusiness
Google My Business combines Google Places for Business and certain functions that are available in Google+. Although it doesn’t bring anything truly game-changing to the table, it does function as a dashboard where business owners can visit their reviews, Insights, Adwords, and Analytics if they use them.
Google has designed MyBusiness to be intuitive and easy to use, even if it’s your first time. As you can see, the page is clean, straightforward, and streamlined. At the top of the page is the Header. This is where you place the name of your business, hours of operation, contact info, and anything else that you believe is relevant to your customers.
Underneath that is the share bar. The share bar functions as your Google+ update bar. This is where you can write posts and share content with your followers.
Everything underneath the Header and Share bar are referred to as Business Cards. Business Cards are widgets that link to your different Google and feed user activity information from those pages into the MyBusiness dashboard. These Business Cards include Reviews, Youtube, Adwords, and Google Analytics.
Let's go deeper in Google MyBusiness
An important part of your page is your Insights card. Insights are the aggregated stats for visitors to your MyBusiness page. Insights can tell you the amount of views for your MyBusiness page, the amount of people that engaged with content you posted, and your amount of followers over a given amount of time. Insights give you the ability to gather feedback on your online presence for the purpose of improving your content and driving up the amount of your followers that are engaging with you online.
Google MyBusiness also compiles reviews for your business from around the web so you can see how people are experiencing your business. You can also respond to reviews through MyBusiness. This means when a customer leaves a review about your business through Google or any other popular reviewing site, you can communicate with that customer to find out more details about his or her experience. The reviews card also compiles analytics related to your reviews, showing where they are from, your average rating, total amount of each rating, and more.
The MyBusiness user can also sync his or her MyBusiness page with a Youtube account through the Youtube business card. The Youtube card shows statistics like channel views, subscribers, and total amount of minutes watched through your channel.
Finally, any business card that hasn’t been activated before is referred to as a “Promo Card”. Promo cards generally consist of Adwords, Analytics, and Google Hangout. Once the promo cards have been activated and synced to your MyBusiness account, they become Business Cards. The Adwords and Analytics cards push information to your MyBusiness page from your Adwords and Analytics accounts.
Final words on Google My Business
Finally, Google MyBusiness is fully functional on mobile devices. There is no difference between the desktop and mobile views, and in fact mobile is arguably more usable for some business owners. Users can upload photos from their mobile devices onto their MyBusiness page, so if you have a cool event or product rolling out at your business you can get it onto your site in seconds.
Google is also mulling over the idea of pushing notifications from MyBusiness to mobile, so any new reviews posted for your business are pushed to mobile so you can read and respond to them seamlessly.
Google has made it clear that MyBusiness is intended to accompany your business website, not replace it. Google understands that business owners spend enough time managing their business on the ground, and it can be difficult to find the time to invest in improving their online presence. MyBusiness at its core is about saving time and headaches for business owners.
During the live stream, it was mentioned a few times that more features will be added or altered as time goes on, so it will be interesting to see how the service evolves as we move further away from launch. As the service stands now, it is already a useful addition to the Google suite, and only Google knows what comes next.