Google has launched a new integrated tool called Google My Business with the intention of helping local SEOs and small business owners to simplify their local marketing efforts. The main objective here is to make it “easier than ever to update business information across Google Search, Maps, and Google+.” This is a welcomed change because Google’s integration of these features to date has been anything but straightforward.
Here are some of the main benefits of Google My Business:
- Show up across Google – your business info will be available in search, on maps, and Google+ making it easy for customers to find you
- Give customers the right info – with quick access to your business information, customers can easily find directions to your location, hours of operation or a phone number that they can click to call you if they are using a mobile device
- Build lasting relationships – your customers will have the ability to rate your business and write reviews, use the +1 button to endorse your content, and re-share your Google+ posts across the internet. All of which offer a great source of promotion and outreach that doesn’t necessarily involve you doing anything (other than continuing to provide excellent customer service and valuable content to your audience).
Sounds great, right? Here is where you’ll find Google’s main entry point to get started with Google My Business, but here’s a quick shot of what the homepage looks like:
Google’s efforts to streamline the process of managing local business data, reviews, and social interactions makes the release of Google My Business a huge step forward. Google calls it “a free and easy way to find and connect with your people, wherever you are” (more in the video below).
If you’re already using Google Places and Google+ then you’ll automatically be upgraded to Google My Business. Laying claim to your business, if you have not already done so, is very simple and similar to how you claim your Google+ business account. You’ll have to agree that you’re authorized to manage things for the business and you’ll also be sent a verification notice. Once all of that has been completed you’ll get a new page and you can begin editing your business info.
Check out the tool and let us know what you think in the comments. What’s been your experience with getting Google+ business, local, and map listings set up?