No, I’m not telling you to Google “My Business.”
My Business is Google’s exciting new tool for small businesses. It pools all of Google’s many services into one platform. Now, if you want to manage your business and customers through Google, you don’t have to rotate through websites to do so. Google already makes interaction quite simple, and this expands on that.
It makes things much easier. And who doesn’t like easy?
It’s also free. Google doesn't want to increase revenue with the service, they merely want to get more businesses online (and the additional competitive edge on Facebook doesn’t hurt either).
Here's the Lowdown on Some Included Services
- Google+. Google’s social networking platform. You can share messages, photos, videos, and links to your followers. All straight from the My Business page.
- Reviews. Google has an entire review platform, which gives businesses ratings based on their reviews. This is all manageable through the main page.
- Google Analytics. You can quickly see all of your website’s stats right on your business dashboard.
- Insights. Information on your visibility, engagement, and trends in the market.
- Maps. Manage your business’s location and information available on Google Maps
- Hangouts. Video chat with your customers
As I’ve mentioned, this is all a free service. Google is quickly integrating it, too. If you currently use Google Places for Business or Google+ Pages Dashboard to manage your business’s presence online, you’ve already been automatically upgraded.
In addition, they’re fine tuning the My Business platform for mobile use as well. An Android version exists, and the iOS version is said to be coming soon. You have all of these Google services available on one platform, and that platform is available anywhere.
Many of these services seem targeted to local businesses, but My Business does quite a lot to help brands that aren’t in any one location. You can choose to manage your storefront, your service, or your brand on their new interface.
How Exactly Does This Help You?
Well, imagine the following common scenarios:
- You've Been Receiving Some Negative Reviews Lately. Using Google My Business, you can see what the negative reviews say, but you can also respond to these reviews as the owner, and see what effects these negative reviews have on web traffic. You could even host a Hangout with customers to discuss any resolutions. All through one platform.
- You’ve Been Meaning to Branch out to More People, but your Online Presence Is Somewhat Scattered. My Business integrates your business’s Google profile, creating a more complete presence online. You have the ability to combine your brand page, reviews, location, information, and social media marketing in one platform. People then see all of this whenever they see your website through Google. All of this also shows up on a Google search, reaching out to more people.
- You’re Developing a New Ad Campaign. In order to better segment your consumer base, you utilize Google Insights. You can see, for example, where your customers are coming from. You also use Google’s review service to analyze who loves your business, who you cater to well and who needs more focus. You can continue to plan your campaign on-the-go through the mobile platform, and can even launch campaign events through Google+. Again, all in one location.
For businesses without the means to organize these things themselves (basically the vast majority of businesses in the country), this service makes life much easier. Also as a small business, you most likely had to analyze data on multiple websites--your own website, review platforms, Google Analytics, Google+, etc. But now, it’s quite accessible and simple through one integrated service.
I’m tempted to jump onboard as an individual without a small business. It’s that gorgeous and simple.
Typical Google, changing the game. I wonder if any of us could live our lives without them?