There are many reasons to set up a Google+ Page for your business. And if the majority of your business is driven by your location, then not having one is equivalent to business suicide.
For many years, Google has been doing the hard work of mapping the globe for the benefit of its users. Its mapping capabilities are arguably the backbone of its wide array of services. Therefore, it is crucially important for a business to be represented most accurately on those maps.
Believe it or not, Google needs your help to make sure that information is correct. It uses the details businesses provide on their Google+ Business Pages to make sure the information it provides its customers is complete and up-to-date. That information is then routed into all Google’s services, including Google Maps, Search and Earth.
It is very easy to set up a Google+ Business Page for your business, and you don’t need to have a personal Google+ Page to do it.
Just follow these 10 simple steps:
10 Steps to Creating Your Google+ Business Page
Visit www.google.com/+/business and search for your business.
Select your business or create a new listing.
Choose the type of page that is relevant to your business. Local Business or Places types are automatically upgraded to a Local Google+ Page once they have been verified. This makes sure your listing appears on Google.com, Google Maps and other Google properties. It also gives you expanded features, such as the opportunity to respond to customer reviews, share photos, videos and other updates with your customers. In addition, you’ll be able to see local insights for your Google+ Page.
Fill in all your location details accurately. If you do business in an area outside of your physical location, be sure to check the box next to “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location.” This will allow you to designate a service area based on the zip codes or cities you serve, or in a given area around your location.
Verifying your business is the most crucial step of all. You can verify by phone or postcard (which can take a few weeks to do), but if you don’t verify, your business won’t show up in the relevant listings.
Now that Google knows where you are, tell them who you are by filling in as much detail about your business as possible.
Visit your new Google+ Business Page and fill in every field. This is something you need to dedicate some serious time to; don’t rush through it. Dedicate the necessary resources to providing thoughtful, well-worded content as this is the information Google pulls from when it indexes its searches.
There are numerous areas to provide information about your business throughout your Google+ Business Page profile. Make sure you hit each area. And remember: Google loves images so provide high-quality photos of your business and your products. This will not only help improve your search results, but also will help inform potential customers what you can offer them.
Once you have filled up your page with all possible relevant information, bookmark your Google Places for Business Dashboard. This is an interface you can go back to whenever you need to update information about your business. You can also use this as a portal for viewing insights and exploring advertising opportunities for your business on Google.
Get involved. Unlike a Yellow Pages ad, a Google+ Business Page is a constantly evolving platform. Use it to communicate with customers, share thoughts and ideas about your business and relevant fields, and engage with the local and global community. The best way to get started in this is to join some Google+ Communities relevant to your business. Then, start posting!
Here are some great tips for getting the most out of marketing on Google Plus: http://socialgarden.com.au/google/google-features-improve-marketing.
Once you’re up and running with your Google+ Business Page, you should start to see your business show up in Google Search results in the following ways:
Congratulations! You are now officially on the map.
Do you have any suggestions for the best ways local businesses can use Google+? Please share them in the comments section below.
Diana Gomez is the Marketing Coordinator at Lyoness America, where she is instrumental in the implementation of marketing and social media strategies for USA and Canada. Lyoness is an international shopping community and loyalty rewards program, where businesses and consumers benefit with free membership and money back with every purchase. Check out Lyoness on Twitter.