Hey. Good morning, Internet fans. It’s Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support. It is Thursday morning, therefore it’s another episode of Internet Marketing Thursday, and as usual I have the beautiful and talented Virginie Dorn with Business Website Center down in Petaluma, California. Good morning Virginie.
Virginie Dorn: Good Morning Ryan, thank you for the compliment. Hi.
RP: Oh boy, always, always. I am doing wonderful, thank you. I see the windows are open, so it must not be raining out.
RP: We were talking before the broadcast how cool it is that you can actually have the broadcast go live on Facebook, and so I was showing Virginie how to do it. When I first learned how to do this, when I was doing a broadcast on Social Media Wednesday with Sarah Giometti, I did the same thing, I left it on, but it was the YouTube channel I left on. That’s the first place I went when we started hearing the playback, was the YouTube channel because that’s where I screwed up the first time with Sarah, so I go and I turn it off and it’s still playing and I can’t figure out why, and it’s because it wasn’t on YouTube that it was playing, it was on the Facebook page that I showed you. I clicked play to show you “Look, it will say that it’s starting, and then it’ll go live at 9:45″. So that was fun. Yeah, Okay. Let’s see. We are going to talk about Google Plus today. Actually, it’s not… What the heck is it? It’s Google for business?
VD: No, Google My Business.
RP: Google My Business. So specifically, this episode is for business owners with at least one physical location. Ideally, you’re going to have a physical location. If you’ve been dealing with Google, the map section, Places, Business, now My Business, it hasn’t been the easiest transition over let’s say the last three years since Google Plus came out. Now I can remember the early days when we already had a presence in Google Places, or the map section on Google, it was it’s own independent database, and then Google Plus came out and that was initially a social media account that was just a personal account, like Facebook. And as they kind of grew that and figured everything out, then they finally added business, but this was a separate database over here in Google Place and Google Plus, but you still had your Google Places account, so then you had to merge it.
RP: And you are talking about clients that you had that lost photos, you lost reviews. It was just crazy crazy crazy trying to merge everything together, trying to get it into one database. And today we’re going to talk about that a lot of those problems I think have been fixed, and they’ve actually made it much easier to manage your business account now on Google Plus. Is that correct?
VD: It is correct. It has been a bit of a nightmare the last few months, ’cause they are working through all the glitches of changing products. I’m just hoping that now that we have Google My Business, they’re going to stop releasing new products related to businesses and give us 24 months to master the product before retiring the product and launching a new one which is pretty much what they’ve done three times in a row in the last three years. Google Map, then we had Google Places for Business which was the interaction to Google Map, and we had Google Plus pages for business, and now all of this is gone, now it’s only Google My Business.
VD: One thing I want to reassure people who listen to us that if they did have a Google Plus account for their business or a Google Places for business account, those are not gone, what they have done is Google actually automatically upgraded those accounts to Google My Business. So you still log in the same way you did with a an user name and password, but you do have to go to Google My Business today if you have not done so and make sure all your information is still there, because oftentimes as we just said, things just got lost in the migration. So, you want to make sure they still have your correct information, but even if you are still there, your photographs most likely are gone; that has happened to most people.
RP: And just to clarify, so that when you say you should go there, in going there you need to log into the account. You need to use your user name and password for the account that was originally created, may have been a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, you need to log in, and hopefully it’s the right account because a lot of people create different e-mail accounts for different things, but you want to log into the right account. And let me do a quick screen share… I don’t have a thing open though, ’cause I tried shutting everything down, just to show people what we’re talking about.
VD: When you look… So, they need to make sure they go to google.com/business, lowercase so /business… They made it at least very easy to get to that page. And from that page you can sign in at the top right corner and use what you had used in the past to go to your Google Places, and your Google Plus page’s dashboards.
RP: Right. So, I logged in, and in the upper right hand corner. You may not have all of these but ideally you’ll actually have at least one page and you can click on ‘Manage My Page’, and that will take you… Now, if you don’t have anything at all, you may be logged into the wrong account, and then you want to actually try and log in to a different account at that time.
VD: Yes. And again, if they don’t remember, just go to google.com/business, not ‘mybusiness’, which is the confusion. They want to call and brand themselves Google My Business, but everywhere you go, it’s google.com/business. So the word M-Y has disappeared. In the business, in our industry we call it Google Business. So, I think the M-Y in the middle is cumbersome, I don’t know what their marketing people were thinking [chuckle] Anyway, it’s a free product…
RP: Yeah, they don’t want to make anything easy. I think when it comes to Google, they’ve made it painfully clear, “We don’t want to make anything easy.”
VD: They keep us on our toes; they keep us busy, for sure.
RP: Definitely for sure. So, now that people get in there… You said that there’s been some changes, things are… Hopefully, it’s all in one database, so what’s the key benefit to people from a business owners’ point of view now? Why would they even want to get in there?
VD: Well, the biggest change they’ve made is truly the multiple location. So, if… Business that had multiple locations within the same city, or within the US, you’re now able to manage this all on the same dashboard. In the past, typically you’ll create multiple accounts, and sometimes those accounts were tied as duplicates, because Google was getting all confused may be you used the same e-mail, or the same phone number. Imagine you’re a nationwide company, and you have a toll-free number, you don’t have 50 toll-free number for every state you cover, but you may have 50 office locations so, the biggest change has definitely been the multiple location capability. The dashboard you were showing a couple of minutes ago was showing one of our clients you and I work on, and they had multiple locations so, it’s all from the same dashboard.
VD: Everything else… It’s kinda the same, it’s still very cumbersome to get it approved, there is no exact rule. You might enter information like the service description, your hours, but perhaps some category, you fill your business applied to, and sometimes they are approved right away, sometimes we need to go to a review, sometimes we need to send a postcard, sometimes they need to give you a phone call, and there’s truly no ruling as to why; it’s part of a new algorithm within Google to what define what needs approval or not. So, you might make a lot of changes seen on your business dashboard, but if you go to the live site of Google Map, you might not see those changes yet because they are under review.
VD: And also, they don’t like it when you make too many changes. So, let’s say you put your phone number, and you put an address, and you realize your suite number is wrong, and it just got approved, now you have to change it, “Oh my God, it was 101 not 102.” And then you get tagged, just because every time you make a single change afterwards, it has to be re-approved, and they don’t like that. So, you make sure you do it right the first time, because it will slow down your process of approval if you have to make many edits on your account.
RP: Right. And I think the important thing is that when you’re filling out the account for the first time… I was trying to use Wikipedia as a template and that is that Google loves information, so the more information you can fill out in the forms, and it’s not just filling out your hours of business, when did you open, your description, but it’s also video, it’s pictures, all of that stuff… They don’t just want one picture, and it’s your business logo, they want to actually see multiple pictures in there. And if you have links to video, they want to see links to video.
VD: Especially if they are on YouTube, ’cause as you and I know, it’s the mafia out there. [chuckle] They own YouTube as well, so if you have video, put them on YouTube and then tag them on your Google My Business account.
RP: Right. Now, the one thing I do like about My Business is that if you go in, all the information is very easy to find. Let me do a screen share again. So, here’s a client of mine… Oops, I gotta click share, that might help. So here’s a client in Santa Rosa, and what I really like is that they have… Basically the dashboard’s very clean these days.
RP: There’s a lot of information. I don’t have to go to multiple places. I can see kind of everything all in one place and I think that’s one of the things that makes this… It’s a cleaner design, it’s easier to navigate, and it’s easier to find information. Now, the one thing I do get frustrated with is that whenever I… I always think I need to click on this, it actually takes you to “My business”, and so instead you just need to hover over it. So if we want to actually see the page or we want to hover and we want to do whatever it is, you can go ahead and do that. But I think the “My Business” page itself is much, much easier to navigate and find information because they put a lot of information in one place so that you’re not having to go, “Oh, I gotta go here to find this, I gotta go here to go there.” So that’s the one thing I do like about it.
VD: I do too. And when people have multiple pages, like you do on your dashboard, you can select one and if you want to go to that page, there is always a link at the top right and that’s where I click. I know you use the drop down. There’s so many tools. I think it’s almost too many. Just focus on the basic and master those basics. Make sure all your information is there. Most of the time people are forgetting very vital information within their profile. And try to understand all the products associated with Google Plus.
VD: And look and see…
RP: I think that the big thing with this where we’re at today versus two years or three years ago is that Google had a huge database that then they created a new database and they had to merge those two together. And that process at this point, it’s done as far as I can tell. And so because they took… And think of Google, how many millions of pieces of information does Google store just about business owners and their location, so imagine merging that information into one database. How many problems you’re going to have? So if you haven’t looked at your Google Plus account recently, I would highly recommend doing that as a business owner to make sure, are the images current, the address correct, phone number, all that type of stuff. Maybe you have pictures of employees that are no longer with the business, you need to change those out.
RP: And as always, it’s good to be active in Google. Google wants to see that you’re active in there. So if you haven’t gone into your Google Business account or Google My Business for some time, it’s kind of like, “hey, how important is Google to your business?” Well if you want to be found, Google should be very, very important to your business.
VD: Yes. Do you think it’s alright for me to share the screen of the KLF for their main account?
RP: I would say yes, however it’s 10 o’clock, so why don’t we hold off. If you were going to showcase something, let’s hold off until next week and we can dig a little bit deeper into Google My Business next week. How’s that sound?
VD: Yeah, let’s go in more deeper in, like the people’s section, the description of the business sections, the links section, the community section of that Google, the business profile.
RP: That sounds good. For now though, that is the end of our broadcast. I hope everybody enjoyed the SNAFU at the beginning. I promise, I will get this figured out, so hopefully it doesn’t happen again. And Virginie, as always, I appreciate your time, and I hope you have a wonderful day.
VD: You too, Ryan. Take care.
RP: Alright. Bye.