Businesses need customers to succeed and flourish, so with that in mind, Google is launching a free, new project that aims to better connect business owners with the customers who want to buy their products and services.
The new "Google My Business" program, which will help businesses improve their online connections with customers, was announced in a June 11 post by Google business representatives Dan Pritchett and Dennis Troper on the Google and Your Business Blog.
"The Internet is connecting more businesses with their people every day," wrote Pritchett and Troper. "However, our users tell us that finding these loyal customers can be complex and time-consuming. We believe it shouldn't be. That's why we are happy to introduce Google My Business—a free and easy way to find and connect with your people, wherever you are."
The new offering will bring together a raft of existing Google services such as Google Maps, Search and Google+ into one place so that business owners and marketers can improve their connections with customers and potential customers.
Using Google My Business, business owners will be able to update their business information, including addresses, driving directions, hours of operation, products and services, in one place to make changes on all Google platforms at once, while also gaining one-stop resources to add photographs and news that they want to share with their customers, wrote Pritchett and Troper. "Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events and other important updates from your Google+ page," they wrote. "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."
For business owners on the go, an Android app for Google My Business is available immediately, with an iOS app to follow soon, so that the services can be used with mobile devices, according to Google.
Existing users of Google's Places for Business services and Google+ Dashboard services will be upgraded to the new Google My Business offerings.
Google is often providing help and advice to businesses and developers about how they can drive sales and use of their apps and Websites. In April 2014, Google shared important tips to help businesses improve their mobile Websites to make them easier for customers to use in an effort to increase their ROI. The information centered on subtle Website design factors that can make the difference between customers finalizing their purchases or buying from another site.
In March 2014, Google presented a series of free virtual workshops to help small businesses get their products and services online and in front of more customers as part of its "Get Your Business Online Week" event. The online workshops provided advice and assistance for how businesses can move online, as well as creating and posting Websites and more.
In April 2013, Google began inviting local small businesses in Kansas City to create their own free Websites and receive a year's worth of free Web hosting so that they could offer their products and services to more customers on the then-fledgling Google Fiber network that was being installed in the area. Google Fiber started bringing its high-speed gigabit Internet and cable television services to the Kansas City area in the fall of 2012 and continues to leverage that investment by getting more local businesses online in an effort to drive the local economy.