Ask The Expert 5/22/13: Updated Google+ and Google Maps, Understanding Subcategories

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-get-help-sticky-notes-image26616655Got a question? UpCity’s Ask the Expert encourages UpCity members to ask inbound marketing-related queries and receive in-depth, personalized answers from our experts. Each week, we will post some of the Q&A’s here on the UpCity Daily Tips Blog.

To access our database of questions or ask your own question, become an UpCity member today! Sign up for our free UpCity Daily Tips newsletter to learn other strategies for improving your online presence.

Question 1: Could you explain some top pointers I need to know for the new Google+ updates?

Our Response: What a great question! We’d be happy to share several “need to know items” about the refreshed Google+ features. Last week at the Google I/O developer conference, Google announced some updates to the Google+ design. We are still looking at how businesses can best utilize the new Google+ updates for their business pages. We know Google is planning to launch more updates this summer, and we are excited to see what pops up next! Stay tuned to the UpCity Daily Tips Blog and your UpCity curriculum. As Google announces more features for their Google+ vision, we’ll share how to stay connected with Google+ and discuss how to use the platform to bring more engagement and traffic to your business.

In the meantime, here are some quick updates that Google+ introduced. Be sure to create a page for your business if you haven’t already done so.

  • Photography: We are loving the improvements on all things photography. For example, they’ve added additional editing and enhancement techniques, and the process of downloading and importing photos and videos is easier.
  • Hashtags: Businesses can now utilize hashtags to recommend similarly related posts. When a user clicks to the right of the post, they can view a list of popular and similar posts.
  • Layout: Users can change the number of columns in their Google+ account depending on their computer screen size. You can view more posts now, whether it be updates, photos, or videos, so it’s important for businesses to explore this technique.
  • User experience: Updated real-time results are available with the reload button located on the left-side of the page. Businesses should count Google+ in their social media plan (just like Facebook and Twitter) and post updates on a regular basis!
  • Google+ Hangouts: Users can join a Hangout for a group video, call, or chat. Get access from the left sidebar or the stand alone app.
  • Storage: Larger storage and cloud integration is more available. This is a great resource for small businesses!

Question: Tell me more about the new Google Map!

Our Response: Google has endured a busy and impactful past couple weeks. In addition to the Google+ release last week, Google announced its interactive Google Maps relaunch.

The newly designed Google Maps is available right now as an invitation only application. Click to request your invitation.

Although not completely changed from the previous design, it provides an improved user experience and is more interactive and social when searching for a business. The map’s impact on local marketing for small businesses will continue to be discovered throughout the next couple months. Right now, it’s essential to get your business listed on Google Places, and you should also get familiar and involved with Google+.

Google Maps | Preview Page

According to Google, the customized map includes the following features:

  • Constantly change for you, as you interact with it.
  • Finds interactive imagery and places at every angle (including 3D!).
  • Looks for greater quality directions and maps.
  • Navigates through the full-size map, which will show similar places in your searches.
  • Personalizes your locations, maps, reviews, and more.
  • Connects you with Google+ recommendations and reviews. Now more than ever, Google+ continues to impact Google Maps.
  • Simplifies the search process to find local businesses and details.

Want to learn more? Read about the new Google Maps here and follow them on Google+. Check out the video below or click to watch on YouTube:

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Question 3: What are subcategories, and how can I use them for my WordPress blog?

Our Response: UpCity members can read the answer to this inquiry, as well as many others, in the UpCity Ask the Expert Help Center. Members are encouraged to ask their own online marketing questions for their business, and our inbound marketing experts are on call to respond to all those questions.

Tap into our community of experts today! If you’re curious about online marketing or SEO, consider signing up for a free trial of UpCity. If you’re already an UpCity member, you can access the Ask the Expert area here and the general Help Center here.

Dan Olson

Dan Olson - Dan is a co-founder and the CEO of UpCity. Dan has spent over fifteen years in the digital marketing technology and services space. He is currently focused on helping local marketing agencies and their small business customers get the most out of SEO and inbound marketing.