Google announced a suite of tools this morning for business owners, offering them a one-stop shop to update their business information, add photos, read reviews and, of course, use Google+. The service, called “Google My Business,” seems to be aimed at those who have yet to figure out how to “get on Google” so to speak; in fact, there’s a button that even uses that same expression.
However, somewhat buried in today’s announcement is news that this is now going to be the default experience for others who were already using Google’s other business-focused services, including Places for Business and the prior version of the Google+ dashboard. These users will now be upgraded to Google My Business, the company notes.
After signing up and filling in the requisite information, Google My Business will add the business information to Google Search, Google Maps and Google+, allowing customers to find the business no matter what device or service they happen to be using at the time. Companies are also invited to add photos and virtual tours, read and respond to their Google reviews, as well as add or correct business information like address, phone, store hours and more.
In addition, the service makes it easier for businesses to share on Google+, Google’s rival to the Facebook page. From the new service, owners can post news, events, photos and other updates they want shared with customers.
The service also pulls in custom insights and integrations with AdWords Express, which will help business owners better understand how people are finding their business on Google, what they’re clicking on, where they’re coming from when clicking on directions, and other trends over time. The insights, meanwhile, are designed to give businesses, as well as brands and other organizations, more information about their Google+ audience and content, including visibility, engagement metrics, and demographic data. (More on that here.)
A Google My Business mobile application is being made available, too, the company says, which will let you do all of this on the go from either a phone or tablet. The Android app is out first (later today; UPDATE: live now on Google Play), with an iOS version to follow.