Where to Start to Fix Your Local Listing in Google

Google My Business online decision tree

In June Google launched “Google My Business,” a slick new tool to help small business owners and managers manage their business’s local listing on various Google properties.  The tool helps you manage your Google business listing on Google+.  However, if you’re not familiar with this new tool, you might still need some help on how to update your business listing using the tool.

The Google My Business online tool also can help you manage (to a degree) how your business listing appears in certain parts of Google search, including the main search pages, Maps and Google Earth.

With Google My Business, you get a dashboard to see your business’s information and change or add to various pieces of that information.  Need to update your business hours and how they appear on Google?  You can do it with the Google My Business online dashboard.  Have incomplete or inaccurate information that makes your business appear half dead or confuses customers?  Google My Business online is where you can fix it.  Want to respond to public Google reviews?  Again, Google My Business can help.

You can also use the Google My Business online tool to track engagement on your Google+ page. From it you can access your Analytics and set up Google AdWords Express advertising campaigns.

With the launch of the tool, Google also clarified the kinds of listings you can have.  There are two basic types of listings:  Listings for local businesses, and for non-local businesses, such as online-only businesses and nationwide businesses with no defined local service area.  Those with existing Google+ pages already have access to the Google My Business dashboard.

The tool was generally well-received.  Previously, the way small businesses had to manage their Google business listings involved disjointed and sometimes confusing tools, located in various places.  Search experts and the small businesses we talked with are impressed with Google My Business because it streamlines and consolidates the process.

It all sounds positive, right?

But here’s the rub:  All these changes in terminology and all the different ways your information can appear in Google properties can still leave you confused about where to start to fix any inaccurate information and handle basic transactions.

And that is where this handy decision tree over at Simply Business comes in. (Pictured in part above.)

Simply Business’s interactive approach represents the  “thought flow” you need to pass through, in order to drill down to effectively manage your business listing on Google.  Start at the top.  Answer each question step by step.  Read the instructions and background information they refer you to.  It will give you a good Guide for using Google My Business — and for fixing your business listing.

By addressing each item step by step, you can give your online business listing in Google properties a facelift.  And you’ll learn how to maintain your presence going forward, too.

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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.