If you have a Google Local page for your company, you might have recently received an email that Google Places for Business is now Google My Business.
There is a bit of confusion around all the G+ pages a business can have, and by a “bit,” I mean colossal. As if there weren’t already enough types of Google+ pages and dashboards to wrap one’s head around, we now have to deal with this new system. Honestly, we’re not even so sure we like it.
When a local business wants to be seen on Google Maps, they can create what is now called a “Google My Business” page. This type of page was formerly known as the “Local Google” page, and it is, “designed for businesses that serve a particular locale.” However, if your business sells online internationally, it is at a disadvantage in “Google My Business” because it has no brick and mortar locale. However, Google’s idea of solving the problem is to create an almost-identical Google page for international businesses except you can’t have reviews, which is a big drawback. Good going there, Google!
They are, however, BOTH different types of business pages, because they both have a business option on the left-hand side menu. A personal page would say “HOME” as its first option on the drop-down bar, but again, both of these pages say “My Business.” Once you click that option, you will be taken to your page’s “My Business” dashboard.
On this dashboard, both pages have a header with the name of the company, intro, number of followers, brief business description and website URL. However, Google My Business has the company’s phone number, type of business, address and phone number also listed while the Google Plus Page has an additional tagline as well as a description. See below for comparison:
Google My Business (Google Places):
Google Plus for Business:
The “Share” section below the Company headline on the Business Dashboard is another way in which you can share a status update on your posts.
The “Insights” section is right after the aforementioned item, displaying a quick recap on whether views on your page and actions on your posts are up or down, and if you’ve seen an increase in new followers within the last thirty days. On the Google My Business page, this section simply says views, clicks, and new followers with the same information. However, this is where it gets a little complicated. If you click deeper into the Insights section by clicking “View Insights” you will find graphic data about your page, which has different features on G+Plus than on Google My Business. They both have three tabs: Visibility, Engagement, and Audience.
On Google Plus for business, the “Visibility” tab displays a linear graph of your views for the current month period and your number of total views. You can change the data period in a drop-down menu on the right. The “Engagement” tab shows a linear graph of the any actions users took on your posts such as shares, likes, comments, and views. Below the visual you’ll find your most recent posts and the “average actions taken by post type” which is a useful bar graph comparison of how well each post type did. If you hover over each bar you’ll see a color-coded break down of how many +1’s, shares, and comments each post received depending on whether it’s a link, video, image, or text post.
This section will not include the posts you shared on any G+ communities. Finally the “Followers” tab is only available when you have at least 200 followers and it’s much like Facebook’s Insight feature “People.” It shows new follows and follower gender, age, and country of origin. You can change the data period on the top right in the drop-down menu options “Last 30 days” to the last seven or 90 days. Google My Business retains all these basic features and menus with some slight add-ons.
Google My Business: The Insights section for Google Local is more complex due to the added Maps feature. Once you click “Insights,” the Visibility section also has the linear graph but below it there’s two more added-on sections. The “Clicks” graph is another linear display but this time showing clicks on your Google My Business page within the last thirty days. Finally, there is a “Driving directions requests” division with the local searches conducted on your business separated by region within the last thirty days.
Finally the “Engagement” is setup just as the Google Plus Engagement tab within Insights where you can see the text of the posts you made recently and each post’s views and actions taken. The Followers is also the same as on G+ for Business with data on new followers, gender, age, and country of origin of all followers.
When you click back to your “My Business” dashboard, you’ll find the Reviews section exclusively on a “Google My Business Page”.
Once you click “Manage Reviews” you will be automatically taken to the “Inbox” page within the reviews subcategory where you can view all the reviews about your business Google has chosen to display. You will see a section titled “Reviews form Google users,” which is solely for G+ member reviews.
The next section is “Reviews from around the web” which actually includes reviews from other authoritative review sites. Google cherry-picks these reviews and it doesn’t list all reviews from other sites. You could probably deduce that the reviews Google posted are chosen by the same type of algorithm Google uses to approve or reject new Google Plus reviews, which is a good tip for those interested in acquiring higher ratings via Google My Business reviews.
The other page on the Reviews category is at the very top next to “Inbox,” and it’s “Analytics.” If your business has gathered plenty of review data, you should be able to see statistics conducted on the reviews you received, such as what website your reviews came from and what your average star rating is currently. The maximum rating a business could have is five stars.
Both Google Plus and Google My Business have a section below saying “Google Analytics” which links to the website’s Google Analytics account if it has any. The section includes an overview of new visits, unique visitors, and page views before you click on “View Analytics.” It leads you right to your Google Analytics account if you click through. Below these three main sections, the “My Business” dashboard has something akin to an “ad” to Google hangouts suggesting that you “start a hangout.”
If I didn’t get all the Google lingo right please feel free to comment below and add your input.