In its never-ending quest to make life more “Googlicious,” the Internet giant recently announced the addition of a new tool aimed at making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to become more visible on the worldwide web as well as increasing local visibility for mobile users.
Called Google My Business, the new platform takes the benefits of the old stalwart, Google Places, and adds new features and a nifty new dashboard to make managing your company’s online presence a snap.
Here are its key features:
- Management central: No longer do you have to visit Google Places and Google+ to make sure your business listing is optimized. Google My Business lets you manage your business information across both platforms (as well as maps and search) from the My Business dashboard.
- Added customer-friendly features: In addition to the traditional listing of information like store location and hours, Google My Business takes it up a notch by allowing virtual tours and other information to give customers a real “feel” for the business. Bonus: By adding visual content, there’s a greater chance it will be displayed alongside search results, increasing its visibility among potential customers.
- Access to customer reviews: Business owners can use the dashboard to view and respond to customer comments and reviews from across the web, making it much easier to engage customers and build brand loyalty.
- Streamlined for Google+: Having a good rep on Google+ is great for business, but it can be a time-consuming process. The Google My Business dashboard makes it easy to post on the social site, and that can help your search engine results.
- Useful analytics: The dashboard’s Insights feature lets business owners monitor customer activity including search results, web visits and even requests for driving directions to brick and mortar businesses. You can even see where customers are coming from, enabling you to target marketing initiatives to specific geographic locales.
- Mobile capabilities: Google My Business offers an app (currently only or Android, with an iOS version in the works) so you can manage your account wherever you may roam using your mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
Interested in seeing how it works? Head on over to the Google My Business site and take a test drive.