Google is a very large company and has a wide array of services that are useful for businesses and consumers. While some get used more than others, almost every business should have a Google My Business account. The service for providing information about a business to consumers also helps improve a company’s presence on Google Maps. Google has announced updates to the Google My Business app to make it easier for business owners to manage their profiles on the go.
Google My Business is the current name for the business marketing platform tied to Google+ and Google Maps, amongst other things. Business owners can use it to provide basic business information like opening hours, add photos of the location or products, publish posts and more. While many businesses have a profile, they don’t interact with it much or pay attention to it. The app seeks to change that by adding features that make the interface easier to use and more akin to the dashboard for Google Search.
By sides updating the editor design to match the feel of the Google Search and Maps, the interface has been improved to business edits quicker and easier. In a better-late-than-never addition, the app now supports businesses open 24 hours and it shows the business’s location by city, postal code or radius.
Other improvments include making it easier to find the profile owner’s business on Search, Maps and Google+ with a single tap. There are now more insights on who Google+ posts from the profile are reaching, along with more detailed feedback about your business info.
Business owners can get the updated app from Google App store now. There are plans to release the update for iOS versions of the app in the near future.
Getting the app can help businesses keep their Google My Business page up to date. This is important given a recent decision by Google to remove the verified label from Google My Business profiles that haven’t been updated in a long time. Having an app that allows business owners to quickly add new information or edit old information will help business owners who rarely log in to their Google My Business accounts after the initial setup.
Though it hasn’t been stated, it’s likely Google will consider app activity when deciding if an account is inactive. If the app is downloaded to a phone and linked to a certain business, then so long as the app is still connected, it’s likely the business is still there. As was discussed in a previous article, having a verified business listing on Google is a tremendous value for marketers on Google Maps. So if having an app makes it easier to keep the account active, it’s worth the download.
The overall reception so far as has been mixed. Other SEO experts have stated that the app upgrade offers useful features, but doesn’t enhance the value of Google My Business itself.
“While this tool is likely to be easy to use by the SMB it does nothing to highlight the benefits of Google local search and make it clear to the business owner how a business will really benefit from participating in the project and what they need to do to succeed,”wrote Mike Blumenthal in a blog post detailing the changes to the app interface. “And it fails, as the Google GMB has done right along, to provide a reason for ongoing engagement with the product. Outside of answering and monitoring reviews Google has yet to come up with a compelling reason to visit the GMB app or dashboard on a regular basis.”
Updates to the Google My Business app does nothing to blunt the growing influence of platforms like Yelp and Facebook (who is now pursuing a more local strategy). However, there are still a lot of reasons for business owners to be on Google My Business and this app makes it easier to do.
For more news about Google updates, read this article on updates to the Explore feature on Google Maps that highlight local businesses.