Having a My Business page is a great way to put your small business out there, and have all of your information at your customer’s fingertips. On this page you can have everything from your address and zip code to photos and your opening hours. With more and more people searching on the go as time goes by, you better have a presence on social media and other pages like Google+ or else you are doing yourself a serious disservice. Research from Google shows that local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit stores. On top of that, reviews are the most important thing that a consumer pays attention to before visiting. So now that the application has been given a makeover, that only gives you more reason to get into the game.
What is the update?
The update is for Android only at the moment but will be released on iOS very shortly. Overall, it was implemented to help the My Business experience, and to make it easier for business owners and managers to edit and manage their page while on the go. Some of the main improvements are:
- Improved Editor- It is now possible to edit all of your business info simply using a pencil button next to the section, whereas the old interface was more cumbersome.
- Improved Display- The display looks a lot smoother, and matches more to Google Maps, rather than the old, outdated looking display that it used to have.
- Hour Entry- It is now easier to enter in your hours, and there is better support for 24 hour business days.
It seems as though Google is still dedicated to trying to improve local experience for customers, and businesses, and this update will help those looking to manage their pages. The application, at least according to reviews from those who have used it, seems to work smoothly and is said to be better than the desktop interface.
The shakeup of Google local in recent times, and the rise of other, better modes of advertising has severely limited the appeal of Google + for small businesses. For one, there is barely any real estate left at the top the SERP for local results, and this has created a bottleneck of sorts. Too many people competing for too few spots has made the SERP look more like the George Washington Bridge on Friday evening rather than a flourishing place for local businesses. Not only that, but the advantages of Facebook and other social media sites for SMBs means that many business owners are now looking elsewhere. This update, while very helpful, seems more like getting a bigger bucket to take the water out of a sinking ship. It might slow things down, but it won’t keep your boat afloat.
All things told, having Google + for your business is still helpful. There are still plenty of users on the platform that will want to look at your page, it will help you get customers from the map function, and it still helps as a ranking factor. That being said, it is important to know that there are many other options for you that you should be looking in to. Don’t neglect the other social media outlets or PPC campaigns. You need them to survive.