+Jaana Nystrom

Welcome to my Circleverse!

Google+ is my passion: I want to help others to get the most out of it.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Google+ Business Pages Updates

Google is improving the user experience for business pages, check out these desktop updates!
Even better visibility and stats for business pages along with a nicer UX...

Learn more about what Google+ can offer to you and your business: Google+ My Business Help Center

Google Business pages

Google+ pages provides businesses, products, brands, and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+.  You can also create a Page for your band, pet, fan club, sports team, kid's camp, event or anything that is not against the Google Terms of Service - or user rules and principles.  For simplicity's sake I'll go on writing about "your business".

Google+ pages interact in the Google+ world similar to the way that regular Google+ profile owners do - they can add people to circles, edit their profile, share things in Google+, +1 comments and photos, and create and join Hangouts and Communities.
But they’re not entirely the same, especially since this update.

Google+ update for Businesses

Today, Google is rolling out Google My Business, the new way for businesses to manage their online presences across Google. We’re bringing together the ways that Google helps your business shine, and with Google My Business, you can:

- Maintain up-to-date business information on Google
- Build loyal customers using a Google+ page.
- Track engagement with insights for Google+ pages and posts
- See information on your related Google Analytics account and YouTube channels
- Seamlessly create and track performance of AdWords Express campaigns

Businesses with a physical location can also:

- Help get your business found on Google. Google can use the business information you provide in local search results.
- Read and respond to reviews from your customers
- Get insights on how customers searched for your business, and where they’re coming from

You can access Google My Business by going to http://google.com/mybusiness or by signing into Google+ and managing or adding a page by clicking on Pages on the ribbon on the left. You’ll also be able to download the Google My Business Android app, or soon, the iOS app.

You can learn more about Google My Business in the Help Center and the Google+ Your Business Page and their Small Businesses community.

Who can sign up?

Any business can benefit from signing up for a My Business account, especially local businesses. Companies with a physical storefront or small-to-midsized businesses that rely heavily on search and location accuracy often notice tangible benefits from having their business found on Google, and signing up to Google My Business is one way to help local businesses be found on Google. These can also include service businesses serving a local area like a plumber or a cleaning service that may not have a physical storefront but can benefit from being found on the map.

Google will be rolling out the Google My Business dashboard to existing users of the new Places dashboard. They are continuing to migrate users from the old Places dashboard to the new experience.

Introducing Insights:

Will this require small businesses to sign up for a Google+ account?
The focus is on providing a useful experience to businesses and to empower them to better manage their own information. Businesses that sign up for Google My Business are provided with a Google+ page, but there is always the option to engage with whichever part of the dashboard they choose.

What about chains or bulk upload users?
The Places Bulk Upload Tool is now Google My Business Locations. Through the new tool, businesses or agencies can manage information for ten or more locations. We are working hard to launch new functionalities in the future, including increased upload speed and social integration.

Welcome to "Google My Business"or GMB!

Global simultaneous GMB launch - 236 countries/regions, 65 languages!

The new Support or Help Center with good articles is for both Local and Brand pages.

Let's do a tour

When you click on "Pages" from the left menu on your desktop you'll see all your business pages as before.  When you click on "Manage this page", everything has changed!
The business page's app launcher grid is in the top right:  (This is not the same as "Google Apps for Business"!)

iOS updates for GMB will follow at a later date.

The reasons for the update:

Problem was that local merchants had multiple dashboards and no mobile experience.
Google My Business to the rescue! Replacing and unifying the Places and Google+ Pages dashboards.

What has been needed is a unified front door - single sign-up and seamless navigation across Google’s business services: Empowering businesses to succeed in mobile & social world.

What is new:

The Brand pages Dashboard and back end have a fresh look with some very useful features.  If your Page's profile is not complete, you will get good instructions on how to proceed, with links to the Help center.

The share box in now at the top with a link to the Google+ Help Center article - a very good improvement.
Insights shows you at a glance how your page is doing: Clicking through to "View insights" you get more detailed graphs about the page's Visibility, Engagement, Audience and the Platform's sign-in activity.  You can check the last 7 days, 30 days or 90 days.

Visibility shows the Views of your posts and profile: To be counted as a profile View the user has to click through to your Page's profile tab.

Engagement stats: When you click on the drop-down arrow you will see more information.
A great learning curve not just for Google+ but for any social media platform out there.

- Actions on posts, +1's, comments and shares are all visible here for all your posts.  You can also check how your recent posts have done in terms of engagement: Actions and also views.  Mouse over the graph to learn more!

If you own a Local page, you'll also get Reviews:
- See reviews from Google & the Web
- Responding to reviews is available in-dash
- Reviews analytics are available

Now it's easier to see if you're operating as your business page: The left menu has additional buttons.
- My Business brings you to the Page's Dashboard
- Google+ Page takes you to the profile's Posts tab
- Stream takes you to the Home stream

People (your Circles), Photos, Communities, Events, Hangouts, All Pages and Settings are still the same.

The announcement from +Jade Wang 
Google My Business for YouTube by +Peggy K 
Google My Business makes it to the Promised Land from +Mike Blumenthal 

Android update for Business pages:  Add managers on the fly!

Connect your brand page to Google Maps

An earlier great update:  Can you see the big picture here for any business? The possibility to change a regular business page to a Local page has been requested a lot.
Now the feature is here!

By Linda Buquet

From Google:

If you created a page in Google+ of a type other than Local business or place, and you’ve been hoping to connect that page to Google Maps and get reviews, follow the steps below.

This process will connect your current page to Google Maps and apply the business information (address, reviews, and more) from Google Maps to your page. The followers, posts, and managers of your page will be retained.

Make sure the business meets our quality guidelines before connecting it to Google Maps. The change will permanently affect some of the information on your page, so be sure that the move makes sense for your business.

Read more from the Places Help Center article

Implications on changing a Google+ brand page into a Local page

Great insight from Google Local Top Contributor +Keenan Glass :

Once the process is complete, the Local page doesn't lose their posts or followers unless it is deleted, but they will NOT be transferred over to the Company/Brand turned newly verified Local Page. Meaning they will become somewhat orphaned.

The only part of the Local Page that gets moved to the Company/Brand page is the "local core", primarily the data held in the local search ecosystem which allows the page to surface in Google Maps and local search results.

Basically the entire About Tab on the Company/Brand page will get replaced by the About Tab for the Local page.  This includes the local contact data, categories, description, reviews, link to Google Maps etc.

Images uploaded from the Places Dashboard (that normally appear on the current Local page About Tab) will also be moved.  But that's it, none of the other images or videos will be transferred.  It's not an option, don't ask.

Profile image?  Anyone's guess.

That means features on the Brand/Company page will be gone.  Tag Line - gone, Links - gone, Story - gone (but replaced by company introduction).

The URL of the Company/Brand page will remain like it is, whether it is a custom url or not. That means the custom url on the Local page will stay on the old page and will not be moved.

This could have major implications to a company's marketing campaigns, both online and offline since the new Local page will now have the url of the Company/Brand page. Links on websites or social media sites will have to updated and any marketing collateral material will have to be reprinted.

It could also affect Publisher markup.

Managers of the Local page will have to be re-invited if they are not already managers on the Company/Brand page.

And there could be other implications, such as a connected YouTube channel that might need to be considered.

So, for whom is this update?

The ideal candidate is someone with only ONE location who created a Company (or Brand) page not knowing, understanding or really caring much about the Local page option.  It is not a good solution for businesses with multiple locations.

In recent months Google has been encouraging (or forcing) business owners to verify their Local pages giving them the same social features on G+ as their Company/Brand pages.  In some cases, Google has been auto-upgrading the pages, often without any notice.

For many businesses it has become rather common that they have a number of followers and/or posts on their Company/Brand page, but little or no activity on their Local page.  Yet both pages are now fully socially-enabled and they struggle with how best to manage two completely separate pages.

This is a rather serious issue because it is the link to the Local page that appears prominently in Google Maps and local search results, not the Company/Brand page which the business has been investing their time and energy.

Until now there really hasn't been any great option.  And a great many visitors to the G+ Help Community have shared their frustration.

Now, with this announcement businesses with a well-developed Company/Brand page and following can transfer the "engine" from their existing Local page and install it in their Company/Brand page."

+Mike Blumenthal who also is a Local Top Contributor, blogs about the new feature:

Questions?  Check out the Google and your business Forum!

How To Connect Your Google Maps Listing To Your Google+ Page

Convert a Google+ brand Page to a Google+ Local Page: Get on the map
Around the same topic:  Local businesses get new rating system

Google Places for Business information

Create and verify a Local page

How Do I Merge My Google + Pages? Usually You Can’t, Now What?

Google Review Handout Generator  - Printable instructions for how to leave a Google review, on desktop and mobile.  Customized for your business. Totally free.

If you have found more helpful links on the topic or have your own tips to share, do leave a comment!

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