Your Weekly Google Plus Tips

This week's Google Plus Tips gets down to "Business":

1. Google My Business
2. Convert Your Google Brand Page to a Local Page
3. Common Google+ Errors
4. How to Assign a Page Manager

Google My Business (GMB)

Google My Business

If you haven't already, you should see a change to your Google+ Page menu very soon.

I noticed it when I got back from my short "digital vacation" and checked my G+ Page to discover at the the top of the left side menu a new icon: My Business.

Google My Business” rolled out and it's a welcome upgrade.

It makes it possible to manage all of your Pages from a single dashboard.

From your dashboard you can:

Google Plus Page Menu
Update your business info on Search, Maps, and Google+ to make it easy for customers to get in touch.

Add beautiful photos of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique.

Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events, and other important updates from your Google+ page.

Stay on top of reviews from across the Web, and respond to Google reviews.

Understand how people find and interact with your business using custom insights and integration with AdWords Express.

Google+ Insights

The Insights feature is particularly welcome as it enables you to optimize your Google+ content:

Visibility: All time total, photo, and post views, and how page impressions have trended over time.

Engagement: Which types of posts are getting the highest level of engagement on Google+.

Audience: Get an overview of your follower demographics.

For more information on Insights, check out this pdf guide: Google+ Insights: Meaningful metrics to optimize your Google+ strategy

For further Google My Business (GMB) information, click here: Google My Business Help Center

I agree with Google TC (Top Contributor) and Local Search expert, Mike Blumenthal  when he says this represents an impressive new commitment (or re-commitment) to local and the SMB market by Google.

This is also an indication of how Google+ is completely interwoven into the Google fabric.

Convert Your Google Local (Places) Page to a Brand Page

In related news, Google now allows a business to “upgrade” their Brand page (or any non-local page) to a full local page where it will get more exposure. The feature essentially transfers the connection to Maps from one page to another. 

As Mike Blumenthal says in his must read article,
“this isn’t a merge of the two pages but rather a way to transfer the canonical local data from an existing verified local page to a Brand page that then becomes the verified Local Page.

Got that?

Convert Google Plus Local Page

Mike provides a list of what is transferred and what isn’t as well as his analysis.

While a welcome upgrade, it is only applicable to single location businesses.

Common Google+ Errors

Common Google Plus mistakes

Alex Garcia wrote a very interesting post: Google+ Pitfalls  about common mistakes people make on Google+. Here are five from his list I've seen happen most often:

1) Posting to communities as if they are private areas

Only private community posts stay inside the community.
Posts in public communities are visible to the world (members and non members) when they visit the community, and visible to your circles in your profile unless you change settings to prevent community posts from appearing in your profile.

2) Thinking that your public post is read by everyone

Anyone who finds it will be able to read it, but only people who have added you to their circles (following you) will see it in the main stream (home page) or a circle stream. 
The rest of the world will have to visit your profile or stumble on it when one of the searched words match your content.

3) Using your profile for business purposes

There is no written rule, but people expect a person behind a profile and a business behind a page. 
There are some exceptions like photographers, chefs, writers and other artists in which the person is the business. 
The main concern is that profiles have more restricting naming policies than pages and you might want to ignore them but at some point you could be asked to change the name or be banned.

So it is ok to be John Smith and promote your art, but if you call the profile John Smith Photographic Studio, you could run into trouble.

4) Sending a private message to Public

Make sure you have removed Public from the sender's box. 
It is recommended that you choose and remove circles/people before you even start typing the message. As it is very easy to forget to change it and hit the send button.
Once sent the only way to retrieve it is to delete the post. 
There is no option to change privacy settings on a post after it was sent.

5) Deleting photos that are not backed up.

...Or deleting them from the place where they were backed up (Google+ photos/Picasa)...
AutoBackup is a life saver if your phone is lost or damaged, or if your hard drive dies. But it is not meant to be a replacement method for backing up your photos. 
You should still transfer your phone photos to a computer or another device with more storage space. At least when you make an error and delete them you will have some place to restore them from.

Bonus Tip:

How to Assign a Page Manager

Thank you for taking the time to read this week's Google Plus tips.
Please share if you found this helpful.

And if you haven’t already, join our Google+ Tips & Topics Community.
You can catch up on past #GPlusLunchBunch shows on my YouTube channel or Google+ Page.