Last week, Google officially launched the new Agency Dashboard. The impact it could have on your agency or business depends on how you had previously set up and managed businesses within GMB. Whether you were managing individual locations or bulk verified and chain accounts is also a factor.
For agencies managing individual locations and SMB brands, the new dashboard offers an easier way for you to see and group all of your locations and claims together, making managing invites and user access simpler.
As a company that solely manages enterprise brand accounts, the new layout may look cleaner but does not offer any improved utility when compared to GMB Classic. Luckily, due to Google’s API requirements, we’ve already worked through a lot of headaches many others are experiencing in moving to the new dashboard.
We’ve summarized some of the new dashboard’s benefits and areas of improvement, from the perspective of agencies that manage enterprise brands.
What we wish were easier:
1. Migration and documentation: “Okay Google, set up the new agency dashboard”
One of the fundamental flaws of the new agency dashboard is that you have to create a new account (or unassign all locations to your existing account). It’s a shame that you can’t sign up existing GMB accounts to be ‘transferred,’ which would carry all of the locations and permissions you’ve already set up. This would save you having to reconfigure years of account history and management.
Furthermore, Google’s “guide” to setting up or migrating to the new dashboard is nowhere near as detailed as it needs to be, especially given the complexities involved. It seems that Google support is unable to assist with any questions about the new agency dashboard as reported by many frustrated users on the GMB forum.
2. Visualization and operational kinks
As with many product launches, we expect a certain number of glitches during the first few weeks. Unfortunately, the issues we’re encountering– including invitation and location update errors–hinder workflow and have left us lingering between two separate dashboards.
What we are excited about:
1. Review & Q&A notifications, finally!
While SMBs have received alerts for reviews left and questions asked and answered, chain businesses with over 100 locations have never received these. Once migrating to the agency dashboard, we began receiving these immediately and are hoping this feature sticks around.
One point to note is that the notification emails were only sent to the registered organization account.
2. Quicker load Time
Another unexpected benefit is the load time of the account and location groups. We’ve had to structure our days around loading some of the larger accounts. The agency dashboard loads in seconds, and navigation between brands (even those with thousands or tens of thousands of locations) is nearly instantaneous.
3. No longer a 100 location limitation
There’s no longer a limit of 100 individually verified locations in the agency dashboard. For anyone managing brands that require individual verification, this is an operational win. If your managed brands qualify for bulk verification, your locations have never been limited.
For anyone considering this migration, we would suggest that unless your business or agency can immediately benefit from the limited new features, let Google iterate a few times before you uproot your operations.
We’ll continue to provide updates to this FAQ as features change and hopefully improve!