Google My Business – from business directory listing to social media profile

by on June 25, 2014

It’s official – Google has officially merged its Google Places listings with Google Plus to create Google My Business. Phew!

Your business page has been automatically merged into a Google Plus account. I noticed it on my Google plus profile – local profiles I manage showed up as Plus pages. And then not too long after that got an email from Google about it officially letting me know. It’s rolling out gradually so if you don’t see it yet, it’s coming!

Google My Business Pages on Personal Profile

What’s the deal? Well, the difference now with this is that this is not strictly a local business listing, as it was with Google Places, where you for the most part set your info and then forgot about it. It’s more of a social media profile. It also gives you a pretty cool dashboard where you can see at a glance all your Google stuff – your My Business insights, reviews and Google Analytics.

When someone comes to your profile from Google search, you still see business listings in search results much like you did before:

Google My Business in Search Results-1

When someone clicks to your Google+ page, they will land on your “About” tab. Without doing anything, it looks like the picture below. Note that this is a profile for a client that was fully and completely filled out for Google Places. Those of you that have been following along here know that there was a baby step switch to Google Plus local profiles back in 2012, but they were still managed from a separate dashboard that was not linked to a Google Plus social media account. They also did look somewhat better. You generally still had your logo as the icon and for the cover image it was a capture of Google maps, so it didn’t look so unkept.

Google My Business About Landing Page

So what do you actually need to do?

Get your images in check: As you can see in the example above, you don’t have an icon/profile image unless you set it. You also need to get something up for your cover photo.

Review the information you inputted: You can see the option to “Edit business information” under your contact info. Agree to the terms of service and you will be taken to the new Google My Business dashboard. The biggest change is that you are no longer able to create custom categories for your business – so you can’t input keywords of your choice. You have to stick with their pre-defined categories. Also, make sure that the important stuff is still there. I noticed for another client of mine that all the photos I had uploaded to their profile have disappeared. Sigh.

Edit Google My Business Page

Grab your custom URLYou should see a banner right at the top of your page with the URL you have been approved for. You can also get your URL in the “Contact” area above. Get more deets about this custom URL thing here.

Get a bit social: If someone does click over to your “Posts” tab, it doesn’t look great with nothing going on and no activity. Anyone else feel like they are being coerced into being active on Google+? 😉 Regardless, you might want to consider posting a few things and perhaps adding some people or other businesses to circles. If you have no intention of being social, you do have the option to make the whole “in circles” thing not visible on your page from within the settings. Oh yeah, Google will probably appreciate your efforts (skip down to the next section).

Google My Business Posts Page User

Get some more tips for polishing up your Google listing here.

Why should I care about a Google My Business profile?

Listing your business in online directories is a classic search marketing tactic – it can help with your SEO efforts, giving credible indicators to search engines and also help you get visibility in search results. Google is pretty much the most credible and influential one there is.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Google likes Google. So any Google related activity will put you in their good books. {Click to tweet!} If you care about search rankings, that’s exactly where you want to be.

What if you have a Google Plus social profile AND a Google My Business profile?

Now this I’m not sure about. We’ve discussed here before issues with merging the two. Glitchy and fraught with errors. I poked around the new My Business profiles and I haven’t come across anywhere where this is addressed, or an option. So I say sit tight for now and keep the two. If anyone out there has the answer to this or any personal experiences with bringing them into one profile, would really love to hear from you in the comments!

Here is the official low down from Google on the change.

Know that you need a polished Google profile, but also know that there is no way you’re ever going to get around to it? Take this task off your plate and hand it over to me.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah July 9, 2014 at 5:28 am

Hi Martina, I fall exactly in the last category. If I go to I end up with two pages. My old Google Places and the newer page I created for Google+. No idea how to merge the two… So if anyone has a solution I’m also interested… 🙂
Sarah recently posted..Productive Networking: Expert Interview w/ Rudolf Klaus


Martina Iring July 9, 2014 at 9:58 am

Will keep you posted if I hear anything Sarah. Cheers


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