What is Google My Business?

You can be forgiven for thinking this is some sort of a prank — the name doesn’t exactly scream “Take me seriously!” But like most of Google’s changes, you would be foolish not to take it seriously. This is the next step in the evolution of Google business services.

Google My Business is the new successor, a combination of Google Local and Google+. It provides a single dashboard to manage your business information across all of Google’s services.

What’s Included in Google My Business?

  • Google+
  • Maps
  • Insights
  • Reviews
  • Upload Images
  • Hangouts
  • Google Analytics

Google My Business is good for you, and it’s good for Google. Specifically designed to meet the needs of small businesses, Google wants to get every business, especially the small, local ones, onto the Internet. So it can complete its domination of the world’s information. Just kidding.

But it’s not too bizarre of a characterization. Google wants every business, no matter how small, to be findable on its platform. It wants to provide users with Google reviews, let them know store hours, and show them how to get there with Google Maps. And it knows that to do that, it has to be very useful and very easy to use.

What Do You Need to Do to Use Google My Business?

Well, if you’re already using Google Local or Google Pages for Business, you don’t need to do anything. The transfer has either already been completed, or will be completed the next time you log in.

And you should log in and explore the dashboard. Now that different pieces of information aren’t scattered across multiple services, you should, at a minimum, check to make sure that your store hours and address are all correct, and you should make sure that your business profile is completely filled out.

While you’re there, you can do other useful things:

  • Upload attractive and professional images that will be displayed in a carousel or tile pattern to viewers.
  • Check on your reviews and respond to them if necessary.
  • Check on Analytics and “Insights” (Insights are analytics for how your business is ranking in search).
  • Post blog posts and promotions on your Google+ page and interact with users.
  • Host a Hangout to answer questions relevant to your customers — and gather customer insights at the same time.

Isn’t it nice to be able to do so much from a single dashboard? Google My Business might actually make monitoring your web presence easy and fun.