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Google recently announced one of the biggest changes to Local search ever! They rolled out Google “My Business,” GMB for short. This updated isn’t going to be phased in, it was rolled out globally on June 11, 2014 and spans 236 countries/regions and is available in 65 languages. The goal, which should be great for business owners is to make it easy to manage your Google Plus business presence through one centralized dashboard.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but my Local Page was lacking the attention it needed to really be of value to my business. My main Business page on the other hand has really been gaining some traction.

As we all know, when we’re strapped for time, we put our efforts where we’re seeing results. I was thrilled when I learned that Google was rolling out the ability to allow businesses to consolidate their local page with their business page.  Unlike a lot of things, the consolidation of the pages is a fairly straightforward process, but there are a few things you want to think about before you make the change.

This article from Local U provides some good guidelines regarding what the best approach should be for your business or your clients. After weighing the pros and cons, I opted to consolidate my pages and solicited the help of my friend +Mark Vang, a Google Plus expert and trainer. He’s my go to guy whenever I have question I can’t answer about Google Plus.

What Happens when the Pages Connect?

You get some nice visual cues along the way and it’s pretty clear what is carried over after the pages are connected.

Confirm Changes when Pages are Connected

What Do you Lose?

One of the things you lose from your Business Page is the “Links Section.”

Links from Google Business Page

An Option for Putting Links on Your Updated Page

You can add them into the business description after you’ve consolidated – it’s just not in the same format.

Links on page post consolidation

 

 

Google My Business – New Dashboard

Google My Business Dashboard FeaturesIn addition to rolling out the capability to local and business pages, Google is also rolling out new features for the business dashboard.

The new dashboard is pretty awesome because it allows you to add a new post to Google plus, do you insights about your page, manage and respond to reviews, and access your YouTube stats and account. There is also the new app switcher which you’ll find located at the top right in your dashboard.

This puts all your business apps in one place and at your fingertips.

I think this is going to really simplify things for a lot of businesses who were confused and struggling to maintain two separate pages.

Before making the consolidation, you may want do consider creating an archive of some of the important assets such as circles, posts, and also be sure to consider how you want to handle any videos you’ve created and your contacts.  While I consolidated my pages, we created a live video demonstration of the process which includes some screen shots and a step by step description of what is happening.

Simplification is usually a good thing and it sounds like Google has lots of other good stuff in store for Businesses that can be built now that there’s a centralized dashboard and it’s easy to switch between apps.

Here’s a link to the video with a live demonstration for your reference. Let us know how you decide to approach this latest change:

How to merge a Google local page and Google brand page »