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Ah, Google Plus. The platform that has taken many different forms since its inception in 2011. Originally a platform focused on social media, it’s roots have spread in many different directions like photos, communities, events, hangouts, and local business. Arguably, local business (deemed Google Local) has gained the most traction as far as utility goes. This is largely due to businesses setting up a Google Plus business page, optimizing that page with contact information and services, and reaping the benefits in local search rankings. By setting up this Google Plus business page, a business can display the products/services that a searcher is looking for, provide office hours and locations, and collect online reviews. All of that information can then be seen in local search results and give that business an opportunity to rank higher within the searcher’s geographic location.
Aside from the contact information and locations that are displayed, online reviews can help impact local search. In fact, businesses that have a high quantity of online reviews in addition to a high quality tend to rank higher in local search results. Google does its very best to serve the searcher with a goo user experience (UX) and quality businesses are one way of doing that.
So, how does your business reap the benefits of local search? Set up a Google Plus business page.
This step-by-step guide should only take you a cool 15-20 minutes to accomplish. Once setup, be sure to keep it up-to-date and accurate and create a constant stream of online reviews (relevancy matters for local SEO).
Note: Before starting, head over to Google My Business to see if your business is already established on Google. If it is established, optimizing your page that way can often times be a streamlined process.
Step # 1: Create or Use a Personal Google Profile
In order to create your Google Plus business page, you must have a personal google profile. By personal google profile, we’re talking about a gmail account. If you currently have a gmail account, log into that account and skip to the next step. If you don’t have a gmail account, you can create one by clicking here and entering your information into the form.
Step # 2: Create Your Google Plus Business Page
Once you have a google profile and are logged into gmail, mouse over to the upper-right hand corner and click on directly to the right of your name. By clicking on that square, a drop-down will appear with a few different app logos. Click on the red square with the “g+” inside of it.
You should now be on your personal Google Plus page. Next, mouse over to the upper-right hand side and click on . A drop-down will appear, and click . You’ll then be taken to another page that displays all of your Google Plus pages. More than likely this page will be blank, but will have a blue button in the upper-right hand corner that reads “Get your page”.
Once you click that button, you’ll land on a page that asks which type of business you are. You have three options to choose from:
- Storefront (Restaurant, retail store, hotel, etc.)
- Service Area (Plumber, pizza delivery, taxi service, etc.)
- Brand (Product, sports team, music brand, cause, etc.)
Choose the type of business that most accurately reflects your Google Plus business page. Fill out the information on the next page (Page name, Website, and Type of Page) and click create.
The last step in this process is to verify the Google Plus business page that you have just created. You have two options in doing this:
- Verify via text message
- Verify via phone call
Either way works the exact same. Choose the one that is most convenient for you and enter the 3-digit code that is given to you (via text or phone call). After that, you’re ready to begin plugging in business information and optimizing your Google Plus business page.
Step # 3: Optimize your Google Plus business page
This is your time to shine. Click and begin to edit the following sections:
- Introduction (be sure to use keywords that relate to your business)
- Address (if you have a physical location which customers visit)
Tip: Be sure to enter it exactly as you have on other online directories like Yelp or Facebook.
- Website (be sure to verify your website through one of Google’s suggested methods)
Note: Links are a place where you can connect social profiles like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, etc. Connect and link whatever sites you feel will be beneficial to your viewers.
Bonus Tip for Your Google Plus Business Page
Now you have set up your Google Plus business page, optimized it, and are ready to share it with the world. But, how do you keep tabs on who’s viewing your page and new followers you have? Luckily, Google made this easy.
Hover back to the upper-left hand corner and click in the drop-down. This will take you to your Google Plus dashboard. In this dashboard, you can easily share posts (photos, text, link, video, etc.), track the number of visits you are getting to your website, see how many views you have on your profile and posts, and see the number of new followers to your page.
This is somewhat of a hidden feature that can be difficult to navigate, but a feature that is a great reference point to see the health of your page. Also, by using Google Analytics, and connecting your account to your Google Plus business page, you can track the number of visits you are getting to your website. If you don’t currently have Google Analytics setup on your site, see this post for a step-by-step guide.
Google Plus is a great opportunity for your business to be found online. A Google Plus business page is even more useful if your business has a physical location where customers visit. This is because Google can quickly grab the contact information and organize it for local search results. Be sure to enter the contact information exactly as you have on other online directories and keep your Google Plus page updated with your current address, phone number, and email. Also be sure to create a process for creating a constant stream of relevant online reviews as this can help place your business towards the top of local search results. Online review management platforms like Podium provide the tools to ensure your reviews are fresh with high quantity and quality.
Request a demo to see how Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business collect 15x more reviews than traditional platforms. This will, in turn, improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.