Last week, Google revealed an entirely new back-end and dashboard for Google+ Business Pages that featured a rich set of analytics called Insights. At the same time, an app was released for Android and now, that app is also available for iOS users.
With this app, business owners on the go will be able to closely monitor their Google+ Page, share status updates and more.
Download the app (iOS or Android), and when it opens, select or log into your Google+ account. You will then be prompted to select one of your Google+ Pages (since you may have more than one). With the app, you can monitor your Page, view insights, connect with your followers and share photos.
The default screen is the My Business screen, which offers quick access to craft a status update and check out some of your basic analytics. Your views, actions on posts and new followers over the past 30 days are displayed.
When you tap to share a post, a familiar form comes up fields for Audience, Description and Location, as well as convenient buttons to attach an image from either your device or from your Google+ account.
To the right of your business name, there’s a pencil icon that, when tapped, will take you to your profile tab. Here, you can edit your Story, Contact Information and Links. You can also edit the name of your Page, your profile image, and your cover photo. This is particularly convenient for businesses who want to take advantage of their cover photo and change it regularly to help communicate specials, events, or other topical business information.
In the upper left, you’ll find a three line menu icon that reveals the other available sections:
– Page Info (the same as what you accessed by clicking the pencil icon)
– Insights (also available directly from the My Business screen)
– Help & Support
Tap the gear icon in the upper right of this slide out menu to find the Logout button.
While still within the left menu, tap on your business name to pull up your recent posts, or tap the drop down arrow to the right of your name to change to a different Google+ Page within the same Google+ account (another Page that you own or manage).
With Google+ Page Insights, managers now have access to a variety of metrics to help gauge how effective and impactful your recent social activity has been.
Insights is divided into three sections: Visibility, Engagement and Audience.
First up is visibility – how much your Page and content have been seen by others. Google defines Views as, “how many times your page and content were viewed. Values are approximate and only significant values may be shown.”
So the Views card displays all-time total views at the top, and then below that over a given time period. The default is 30 days, but the drop down can let you view 7 days, 90 days or all-time.
Below, Total Views is broken down into Post views, Profile views and Photo views, and you can uncheck any of the three subcategories to remove them from the corresponding chart. Tap the arrow to the right of total views to reveal these options.
The Engagement report displays how much activity your posts received within the given time period. Activity is defined as, “comments, shares and +1’s on your posts. Values are approximate and only significant values may be shown.” So don’t be alarmed if there are some discrepancies between what is reported and what you’re able to determine based on a visual inspection of posts.
Just as with Views, the Actions card displays total actions within the given timeframe, but you can expand that to see the specific actions of Shares, +1’s and Comments, and choose not to display any of them in the chart breakdown.
Below is a display of your 5 most recent posts, detailing a short snippet from the post, it’s type, actions and views. If you’re curious about an older post, you can click on ‘View more posts’ to scroll through older ones.
Finally, one of the more interesting and informative cards, you’ll find ‘Average Actions by Post Type.’ You can review the kinds of posts you’re sharing (text, link, photo, video) and see which ones received the most interaction over the past period.
Google+ Local Pages, businesses who have created a Google+ Page specifically for a brick & mortar location that has directions and reviews, can also see metrics for when driving directions have been utilized. (Thanks to Al Remetch for pointing this out!)
Within the Audience tab, you’ll be able to take a closer look at your followers, beginning with how many you’ve added within the given timeframe (you can adjust to 7, 30 or 90 days).
Next, review a breakdown of your total followers by country. Your top five are displayed, along with a gender breakdown, followed by “All Others.”
Finally, view a demographic breakdown of your followers by Gender and Age. Not surprisingly, over half of my Page followers are between the ages of 25 – 44. Virtually none are under 18 or over 65.
With all of these reports, Page Managers can get a far better picture of who is following their Page, and which kinds of posts tend to be the most popular.
Going back to the left menu, tap on Photos to call up all of the images that you’ve shared to your Page. They’re split into:
- Photos from posts
- Profile photos
- Scrapbook photos
From here, you can find an old photo that you’ve shared, add a comment, and even reshare it.
For businesses who need to delegate their Page management, or add more team members, this is one easy place to do it. Managers will display the Page owner and any other Google+ users who have been given access to manage the Page. Tap on the Add Manager button to easily add another manager.
Mobile Google+ Management
One of the first issues that I noted with the Google My Business app is that it does not currently display Notifications. If a follower has commented on one of your posts or mentioned your brand, you will still need to monitor that on the desktop either logged in as your Google+ Page or via a social media management tool like Hootsuite.
Otherwise, I am extremely impressed with the app and all of the data it is providing. It mirrors many of the features now available through the new desktop Page Dashboard (which I will be exploring in more detail later). Simply being able to quickly share a status update without having to log out and log back into the main Google+ is a time saver for iOS users who can’t yet switch within the app.
And since we’ve been promised additional metrics and analytics to come, I think this is a great start. It mirrors much of what Facebook and LinkedIn provide.
Check out the Google My Business app and let me know what you think!