Google announced a major update for small and local businesses today, introducing Google My Business, a single dashboard to manage a company’s full slate of Google connections, from listings to map placements, from customer service to marketing outreach. You can read an overview and take a visual tour of the new features on Search Engine Land.
The changes — simplifying and pulling together features that formerly had many scratching their heads — will also be welcomed by people who manage non-local Google Plus pages.
The former page management dashboard has been replaced by a cleaner-looking My Business page. And from that page, managers can post content, track analytics, respond to customers, even launch Google Hangouts. (For those who need to manage their pages on the go, there’s also a Google My Business Android app with a iOS version coming soon.)
The new Insights feature will be especially interesting, giving G+ page managers more information about who is interacting with brand content. Facebook has long offered insights to page managers, so this is a instance of Google playing catch-up. It’s the type of move that might prompt more brands to re-engage with Google Plus, or at least take another look.