If you want to find information about goods or services available in your area where do you turn? At one time, it is likely that you would have picked up a big yellow book or directory to find information about local businesses.
However, in recent years more and more people turn instead to the internet to search for information and, in Europe, around 90% of internet searches are carried out using the Google search engine. In fact, the internet search giant has become a household name and we now routinely ‘Google’ whatever it is we want to know.
What does this mean for your business? It means My Business!
Quite simply, it means that any business hoping to be found via internet search would do well to pay attention to the way that it is listed on Google. Previously, businesses had the choice of being listed on Google Maps, Google Places for Business, Google Local and Google Plus. However, in June 2014 Google brought the management of these business listings under one simplified product called My Business.
What Does My Business Do?
- It allows a business to create and manage Google listings from one dashboard.
- It allows businesses to create Google Local pages which show up in local search results and on maps, and which allow customers to leave company reviews.
- It allows businesses without a customer serving ‘bricks and mortar’ address to create a brand page.
- It allows businesses to post updates and connect with fans via the social functions of Google Plus.
- It provides page insights: useful information about audience, engagement and number of views.
My Business is designed to simplify the process of creating a business listing on Google. However, the advent of My Business has caused confusion for many businesses who already had Google listings or Google Plus pages.
Common questions arising from the switch to My Business:
- We had an existing Google Maps listing. Do we now need to claim or create a Google Local page?
- What is the difference between a Google Plus Brand page and a Google Local Page?
- Should we create a Google Plus Brand page or a Google Local page?
- What are the advantages of creating a Google Local page?
- What should we do if we have created the wrong type of Google page?
These questions were discussed in a Google Hangout on Air streamed live by The Great British Hangout on 23rd July. I’m pleased to say that I, Donna Beckett, was invited to take part in the discussion along with Nick Rink of Smart Local, Kath Dawson of Strategy Digital and Peter Lunn of Cracking Media.
I hope that you find the video useful in clarifying some of the issues surrounding use of My Business and Google pages. If you have any further questions please comment or feel free to contact us directly via Google Plus!
Posted by Donna Beckett