W hat is Google My Business, and will it “unlock the potential of Google?”
This week, Google launched a new service for businesses: Google My Business. The announcement trailer (which is pretty much a moving stock photo) delivers a rather tantalizing promise:
“Unlock the full potential of Google.”
So what is Google My Business exactly?
Essentially, Google My Business is a re-packaging of your Google+ Business Page admin interface, now with several different Google Business Apps in one convenient place.
If your Google account is already connected to at least one business page, the first time you visit google.com/mybusiness, you’ll be given the option to select one of the pages you manage. Do that, and you’ll come to a shiny new admin page:
In one place, you can now:
- Edit your Google Business Page listing information
- Share a post to your Google+ page
- View your Google+ page’s stats and insights
- Manage your reviews
- Manage your Google Analytics
- Integrate AdWords Express (if you have an AdWords account)
- Join or start a hangout
As the first option in the left-hand navigation, it’s also super easy to access from your Google+ page.
You can also click your company logo in the top-right, and click the big blue “My Business” button:
Bam. Welcome to Google My Business.
Will Google My Business really “unlock the potential of Google?”
Yes and no.
For users who already have their business on Google+, it’s convenient, sure.
Google My Business offers quick access to monitoring and updating your business’s presence on Google+, while also bundling in other frequently used business services.
But these are all things you could do somewhere else, before.
So what about users who haven’t integrated their business with Google and Google+?
Let’s take a look at some of the verbiage in the video:
“When you get your business on Google, you make it easier for [your customers] to find you.”
“Build the relationships that will grow your business.”
“Find your people.”
The focus here is the same focus that savvy marketers have been trying to spread for a long time:
Connect with your customers, and establish an engaged consumer base.
And where’s a great place to do that?
Google+, of course.
In short, this is a push for companies to integrate with Google+, and Google’s other major business services.
Not unless this finally gets your business on Google+.
Handy and a sign of good health for Google+?
In the end, the launch of Google My Business is good news: this is Google proving that it’s still invested in its social platform, and that it’s dedicated to improving existing services in order to provide a better all around experience and UX for Google business users.