Google have rolled out in the UK a dashboard from which you can now manage your local listing.
This update brings together the previous Google Places dashboard and Google + Local Business page, its now much more logical. Whereas confusion reigned regarding Google’s initial phasing out of Google Places and subsequent replacement with Google+ Local listings, it is hoped that the re-designed dashboard will offer a far more streamlined and easy to manage process for users to work with.
The new Google Places dashboard brings together some specific elements all designed to create a one-stop location for a business to manage its presence through Google.
The updates include:
The updated interface has been designed to increase familiarity with other Google accounts. The navigation links and the overall look of the dashboard closely resemble the Google Plus interface, and there are a number of integrated tabs for services such as AdWords and social sharing via Google Plus (assuming the user has a current Google Plus account).
Google has modernised its look with the push of Google+. The Google Places Dashboard now is consistent in design and layout with most of Google’s other products.
The functionality offered by the Google+ widget will likely provide a strong motivation for Google Places users who do not currently have a Google+ account to join the social network. Using this tab, business owners will find that they can write posts, add videos and pictures, edit their cover photo and grow a following of people who add the page to their Circles, once they receive the upgraded account.
A very useful aspect of this new level of functionality is the ability to add other administrators to the Google + Local page (much like with Google Analytics). This will prove to be extremely useful for any businesses who have an agency managing their Google + Local page, as they will not need to give out their Google Account details.
The process of adding an administrator or manager could not be easier. Simply log in to your Google + account, click on the ‘Settings’ tab on the left hand side, then click ‘Managers’ at the top of the page and enter the e-mail address of the person who you wish to add. Once they have accepted the invitation they will be able to access the page and provides updates as if they were you.
Google has said that the new Google Places Dashboard promises faster updating. It has gone so far as to say that most modifications made through the new GPD will appear across the Google suite of products (including Google Maps) within 48 hours.
As anyone who has created an old Google Web Places for Business account will know, the account confirmation process often proved to be extremely lengthy. With verification postcards routinely taking several weeks to arrive, the new streamlined system offers light at the end of the tunnel by stating that the initial confirmation postcard will arrive within 1 – 2 weeks, a big step in the right direction.
There is every chance that businesses will find the new dashboard will prove to be a substantial upgrade over the previous versions making the listing process much simpler – we certainly hope this proves to be the case and some of the bugs that plagued the old system have been sorted out.
If you would like to read further about how the dashboard has changed and how you should manage existing Google Places and Google + Pages, please see Joel Headley’s (from the Google Local Team) detailed post on the Google Dashboard updates.
For more information relating to how your Google + page can be used to enhance your online advertising profile, please contact our specialist team.