A FAQ Guide to setting them up for your SMB, what the differences are and key features to note.
As you probably know, Google owns quite a few key business tools that are understandably a huge impact on your marketing efforts: Youtube, AdWords, Google Analytics, Google+ and Google My Business. Whether you’re a fan of these platforms or not, SEO reigns and Google is its right hand man. SEO is a complex beast and while maintaining ownership of Google platforms may seem like a waste, keeping profiles tidy is bare minimum so you can focus on the hearty part of SEO marketing. The tricky part? Social platforms are constantly evolving and if you’ve inherited legacy accounts, getting access can be a pain.
I recently inherited a marketing department that had been stagnant for a number of years. There was — and still very much is — a lot to refresh and kickstart but like my finances, I chose the snowball method. I picked the easiest win to knock out first and leave me optimistically motivated: social. The business had already created nearly every platform imaginable but left me with no admin access. The top three, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, were a breeze but then came the Google universe. (cue ominous music)
Here’s what I faced: Basically a few years ago, someone had created Google+ and Youtube accounts but hadn’t left me with account info for admin access. I could see the outdated accounts collecting virtual dust but had no way in. Knowing I needed to claim these for my brand, I went through dozens of google searches, FAQs, and discussion boards. My biggest pain? Since the platforms have continuously evolved, the content I was finding on this was outdated and irrelevant.
Here’s the most helpful info I learned on the connections between Google+ and Google My Business (and subsequently, linking AdWords, Youtube, and Google Analytics):
What’s the difference between Google+ and Google My Business?
Google+ launched back in 2011 as Google’s (attempt at a) social media platform. Similar to Facebook, individuals have profiles and businesses have pages. Similar to LinkedIn, there are levels of connection with Google+ allowing you to categorize connections into Circles, or groups.
Google My Business is best thought of as a hub for your Google platform needs. This is a dashboard where you can manage your business’ Google image and branding. Your business’ YouTube channel, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics can all be accessed from Google My Business. The information provided in your Google My Business will populate the Google Maps widget for Google Knowledge Graph.
How are Google+ and Google My Business Connected?
Google+ and Google My Business are no longer connected. Google My Business used to have a tab on the left hand side for your Google+ page but it has been removed. It’s best now to think of them as separate sites. Google+ as a social site and Google My Business as a marketing dashboard.
How do I get started with Google My Business?
- Go to google.com/business and click Start now at the top right corner of the page.
- Sign in to your Google Account, or create one if you don’t already use Google services.
- Follow the prompts to fill out your business name and contact information.
Note: Be sure to review the information and verify your business after these initial steps.
How do I claim my Business on Google?
- Navigate to Google My Business.
- Search for your business using its name and address.
- If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
- If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
- Click Submit.
What can I do with Google My Business?
- Connect Google AdWords and Google Analytics
- Connect your YouTube account and get stats for your videos
- Review to reviews by customers – these are the ones that show up on Google maps and Knowledge Graph feature for your business.
- Manage address, contact info, and hours
- Add photos and a virtual tour – shown on Google Maps and the Knowledge Graph
How can I get a custom Google+ URL for my Page?
First, there are a few rules to keep in mind when you’re trying to get a custom URL.
- You have ten or more followers (people who have added you to their circles)
- Your account is at least 30 days old
- Your profile has a profile photo
- Your account is in good standing
Then, you can follow these steps to get your custom Google+ URL.
- Open Google+, click on Profile, then click on About.
- Scroll to Links section find the header Google+ URL click Get URL.
- Select a custom URL
- Next to “I agree to the Terms of Service,” click the box > in the bottom left corner, click Change URL
While these are certainly not a comprehensive list of FAQs, they’re certainly questions I found many people were asking. And now you have them all on one place! The best part? The platforms are constantly evolving, so this very well may be irrelevant six months to a year from now! Woo!
Did I miss something? Drop me a note!