It’s gone. As of April 2019 Google+ is a thing of the past. The original date set for the “switch off” had been August of this year but after yet another bug was discovered within the Google+ APIs, the shut down was moved to April 2019, and the APIs will be cut off within 90 days.
Launched by Google back in 2011, the platform was designed to be a challenger to Facebook, but take up never really gained any traction. It was this low usage coupled with the discovery of a bug within the G+ API which could have enabled third parties to access elements of people’s Google profiles (which Google claimed had never actually taken place) that led to Google shutting it down.
And yet Google don’t want to miss out on the action of giving more opportunities for businesses to maximise their exposure through its platforms, so they have been focusing more and more on Google My Business to fill the gap. But what is Google My Business? It’s a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps.
Why does this matter for your business? With 1.17 billion people using Google to search online, it is the market leader of all the search engines. If you’re a fledgling business that needs to get going with your local SEO, then Google My Business is an excellent place to start. Even if you’re an established business, if you aim to attract local customers then you need to ensure you have an account and manage it well. Maximising your ability to be found on Google makes total sense as it will help you generate more business,
How does your business get on board?
- Set your business up on Google My Business. To do this, click here and click “start now”. Follow the instructions to set up your business profile. Think of it in the same way as you set up any social media profile and you’ll be on the right track. You’ll need to verify your listing but there are a number of ways to do this, so just choose the option that works best for you.
- Once you’re up and running, make sure you use it! There’s no point getting your profile set up and then abandoning it. Check back frequently. As with all other social media platforms, make sure you interact with others – that means responding to any questions and reacting to reviews and/or messages.
- Use the platform as a way to communicate with your potential customers. Google has gone a long way to improving the options available within the platform in the last 12 months so you can now add blog posts or articles on there to showcase you and your business. Managing your business reputation through Google through the use of reviews is essential for building trust in your products and your brand. With more and more people researching online before they make a buying decision and trusting verified online reviews as much as personal recommendations, using Google My Business is an invaluable tool for showing just how good you are – so don’t ignore it
- Take advantage of the analytics tools available through Google My Business. These tools provide vital information on how people are finding your business, the knowledge of which will allow you to make more informed choices about your business message so that you can attract even more people to you.
If you don’t know where to start, then give the SocialBee team a call and we can either point you in the right direction or can even take on the management of your account for you.