Earlier this week, Google announced it was folding Google+ Pages and Place Pages into a new platform called ‘Google My Business.’ This development might make it look like businesses will have to jump through additional hoops, but Google claims the update will make it easier for brands to manage their social marketing strategies and improve search visibility.
A one-stop shop for web marketing
Companies that already have Place Pages and Google+ Pages will automatically be upgraded to the new ‘My Business’ platform, where they can:
If this tool works the way Google suggests, it could help brands jump the velvet rope and get their organizations listed in search results.
Because ‘Google My Business’ accounts communicate directly with the search engine’s Maps app and search results pages, there are clear-cut benefits for companies with brick-and-mortar locations. Based on the announcement about ‘My Business,’ this is essentially a straight shot into SERPs and Maps listings, because organizations are basically giving Google their data on a silver platter.
In theory, a company that uploads business information to this system will get an info card for the the brand that’s visible on mobile and desktop devices. This can be a huge search benefit because it physically takes up more space on the page, and the visual elements compel viewers to click better than plain-text hyperlinks.
Finally, a way to measure Google+ marketing
Another major plus of ‘Google My Business’ is that it gives marketers access to Google+ analytics data. Marketing Land’s Martin Beck first reported that on the new platform, companies can see how many times their web content was viewed, how much engagement they have received and the size of their audiences (a.k.a followers gained or lost).
The information available in Google+ Insights gives a snapshot into social marketing results that could breathe new life into what might have looked like a dead-end strategy. A marketing team may discover high-level insights, like the fact that a Google+ campaign nets new readers and generates more awareness for the brand. But it’s also offering a granular look into the types of audiences that posts attract.
Metrics will also include data about followers’ geographic locations, gender, age and behaviors, while reports feature engagement by day and hour so marketers can get a sense of their content’s shelf-life and when users are actively reading.
The key to web marketing success?
It’s hard to believe, but Google is making it sound as if this is a silver bullet to building a digital footprint – and it could be an attempt to give smaller players a leg up. Lesser-known companies have traditionally found it challenging to edge their way onto Page 1 for competitive search terms. By giving SMBs a direct channel for inputting critical business data, Google may be clearing a path that doesn’t require as much SEO maneuvering. That way, companies can focus on what really matters – how to give their customers an excellent experience.