Those who have been using Google+ since its release might have frequently become lost in its labyrinth of page options, variations and frankly confusing interface. A work in progress, Google+ has been constantly changing over the last few months, but it seems the business, brand and social network is finally finding its feet.
Google Places and Google+ Pages can now be found in Google My Business
In June of this year, Google started rolling out automatic page updates, whereby every type of its Google+ pages and Places pages are now a Google My Business account. Prior to the update it was very easy to get lost in the variations of account types as each had a slightly different dashboard with different options. Now Google has stripped away any previous confusion to leave you with Google My Business – one uniform, discernible dashboard.
When creating a page with Google My Business, you have three options - Storefront, Service Area or Brand. Beforehand, there were options for a Place, Business, Brand, Organisation and a whole host of similar but not-quite-right options for you to create your page. This rejig has business in mind, where different businesses can display different information.
Google My Business Storefront Page
Storefront is perfect for those businesses with physical addresses. Once you create a Storefront and enter your business information, your business will have a Google+ page where you can add the usual cover and profile photos, contact info and posts. Most importantly, Storefront requires a physical address to be verified. Once verified you can add opening hours and you’ll appear on Google Maps, as well as being able to respond to customer reviews.
Google My Business Service Area Page
Similar to the Storefront, the Service Area allows for posts, photos and contact info, the main difference is that it emphasizes to users that the store serves, delivers or operates within a certain range (I.E pizza delivery in a 2km radius). Address verification is still required.
Google My Business Brand Page
Similar to Facebook fan pages, Google+ Brand pages are designed for brands, fans and support pages where a physical address isn’t essential for business. Contact information, posts and photos are still all possible of course.
So the page types have become simpler. What else is different?
In an attempt to really benefit businesses, Google has thrown in a few extras for My Business accounts that have a verified store address. Verification now unlocks insights and Google Analytics, allowing you to track consumer engagement easier, assuming you have the required website set-up.
Google has also emphasised that this new update is all about interaction and building a customer base. To do this, Google has announced that posts from your Google My Business page will have a greater effect. Posts from your page will not only appear on your page, on followers’ streams but also potentially across search results.Storefront and Service Area pages have the advantage here, as their posts and photos now have a chance of appearing on Google maps. For example, a pizzeria might post a photo of a new pizza topping, which could now appear next to the pizzeria’s information when it appears as a result on Google Maps.Finally, another new feature is the option to add a virtual tour of the inside of your store. You’ll need to contact a registered photographer in the local area that has a 360 degree camera, who can then construct an interactive ‘street view’-like tour for customers wanting to explore your shop front. We know a couple of registered photographers so contact the Upperdog team or find out more about our local SEO services in Bournemouth.
Don’t forget to link your page to your website to build trust between the two.
Ensure your physical address is verified or it won’t appear on Maps!
Verify your email address to allow for direct contact from your page!
Once you’ve verified your physical address, link AdWords for quick & easy paid promotions.
Set up Google Authorship by adding a ‘contributor to’ link and by linking the page to the website.