Finding customers and talking to them has never been so easy thanks to a multitude of internet-based services. The latest of these is the recently launched Google My Business, a new product that aims to help businesses connect more easily with customers.
Google My Business is a single listing that appears on Google Search, Google Maps and Google’s social networking platform Google+. The information in Google My Business is integrated into the respective services so Google Maps will provide driving directions to the business address, hours of operation will show up in Search and customers can click on a phone number to call it directly from their mobile phones.
The service makes it easier for business owners who previously had to jump between services like Google+, Google Analytics and AdWords, and Youtube Insights.
Here’s what you can do with this new tool:
- You can update all of your business information on multiple Google services including Google Maps, Google+ and Google Search.
- Customers can find you from any channel and should you want to change phone numbers or other contact details, you can do so within minutes.
- You can add pictures of your premises or products. It can be a ‘virtual tour’ of your company which will ultimately help you to pitch your products or services in a better way.
- Seamless Google+ integration ensures that all social updates posted on the platform will directly be visible on Google My Business.
- You can check business reviews and respond to them without having to visit a separate site.
- Just as you use Google Analytics to understand website traffic parameters, Google My Business also comes pre-loaded with features that provide custom insights into traffic.
A Google blog post said the new service replaced Google Places for Business and the Google+ dashboard.
It is rumored that Google may soon launch dedicated mobile apps for various platforms for this tool very soon. It has already launched an Android app and an iOS app will soon follow.
How do I get started with Google My Business?
Businesses without a profile on Google (as distinct to a profile linked to a person) just need to visit Google My Business, click the Get On Google button and follow the prompts. It should take a couple of minutes to set up.
If a business already has its own Google+ page you can view the summary information in Google My Business by logging into Google+ as that business and clicking on the main menu in the top right corner. Google My Business is the first entry.
Henry Chow is managing director of Motionwave Technologies, an IT support provider based in Sydney, Australia.