In an effort to enhance user experience, search engine giant Google has been busy lately with updates to its local search services.
Google My Business undergoes a makeover
The newly updated app has been released on Android and iOS, and comes with feature enhancements that allow business owners to more efficiently manage their listings, stay on top of their reviews, and get help from Google’s support team.
- An improved editor makes it simpler and easier to fill in your local business information – like business name, address, phone number, website, hours, etc. – on Google My Business. (Keep in mind that it may take up to 3 days for your updates to go live, though.)
- Your business’ location on Google Maps is easier to find and correct, and you can also see in more detail if there are any pending or error states in your listing information.
- The new app also has enhanced support for 24-hour business days, and the process for editing your business hours has been simplified.
- It’s now easier to create a service area display (setting the area in which your business serves customers) and get it to match with what you see on Google Maps.
- You can now view your business on Google Search, Maps and Google+ with a single tap.
Still don’t have a Google business listing? Here’s a guide to claiming your business using Google My Business.
The elegantly redesigned app is similar to the mobile experience of using Google search, and overall the updates make the process of managing your Google My Business listing from your phone or tablet much easier.
“We’ve updated the Google My Business app with new features that allow you to see how your business will show up on Google, right from the information editor,” wrote Google in a short announcement on Google+.
Of course, the new Google My Business app still comes with traditional local listing and review management features – like the ability to upload photos, connect to customers and respond to online reviews, and view custom analytics.
Consolidated Google My Business and AdWords interface?
In related Google My Business news, there are reports of a consolidated interface for users of both Google My Business and location extensions in Google AdWords. Read on if you’re managing 10 or more locations on Google; you may soon find that the same thing happens to you.
While Google has yet to make an official announcement, Scott Hendison of Search Commander found that a new unified interface – called “Google Business Accounts for location extensions” – appeared to consolidate interfaces between Google My Business, Bulk, and AdWords for local businesses.
Again, such interface hasn’t been announced officially by Google, but there is an existing Help page for “Business Accounts for location extensions.” Here’s a passage from that page:
“Google My Business Locations is now the source for business information used in AdWords location extensions.
“You can manage locations in one of two types of accounts when you sign in to Google My Business Locations:
- Your account. Use this account when you don’t need to share the responsibility of adding, verifying, and updating locations with others.
- One or more business accounts. Use a business account when you want multiple Google users to be able to manage a set of locations. You may be an owner or manager of any given business account, and you’ll see a note about your level of access below the business account name (i.e. “owned by you” or “managed by you”). Both managers and owners can create, edit and delete locations within a business account.
“You can link either business or personal accounts with AdWords to run location extensions. Note that linking your personal account will enable locations in all your business accounts to be used in AdWords, whereas linking a single business account will only use locations from that account.”