Friday Five: 5 Easy Steps to Create a Google+ Page for Your Business
If you aren't already on Google+ as a business, you should be. Google+ is similar to Facebook, but it also has added benefits such as helping to improve the visibility of your brand in personalized search results (Google+ is Google's product after all). This is even more true if you have a local business. For local businesses, Google has created Google Places, which will not only allow you to show up higher in search results, but also allows potential customers to see more information about your company including your location, phone number, hours, and even reviews of your business.
1. Set Up a Personal Page to Manage your Business PageTo get started with a Google+ business page, you will first need to have a personal page on Google+. For a small business owner, I recommend making sure your business is set up with your personal page (even if you don't use your personal page). You will be able to manage your business page through your personal page and you'll also be able to add additional page managers once your business page is set up. If you don't already have a personal page, you can set one up by signing into your Google account (or making a Google account) and then going to plus.google.com.
2. Create Your Business Page Under the Right CategoryOnce you have your personal page set up, you can create your business page under the Home drop down by selecting Pages and then Create a Page. You'll be given several options for the type of page you want to create. If you are a local business and want to be listed in Google Places, you should select Local Business or Place. Other options include Product or Brand; Company, Institution, or Organization; Arts, Entertainment, or Sports; and Other. Since we are a global company, our page is under the Company, Institution, or Organization category. The Product or Brand category is often used by large companies to showcase certain products. The Arts, Entertainment, or Sports category is used for individuals, such as celebrities, who want to create a fan page.
3. Verify Your Local BusinessOnce you've selected Local Business or Place, you will be taken to page where you can search for you business. If you already have an online presence, it shouldn't be too difficult to find your business. Don't worry if you can't find it though, Google simply allows you to enter your business details in manually. Once you've entered your business name, location, and phone number, you will be prompted to verify your information. To verify, Google will send a postcard to the mailing address you entered. The postcard will contain a PIN and instructions on where to enter it.
4. Fill Out Your Business Information on Your PageSo, now you officially have a Google+ business page! But, don't celebrate just yet because you're not done. Simply creating a page will do you no good if you don't fill out all the necessary information. One of the first things you should do is link your Google+ page to your business website. (Don't have one? What are you waiting for? Search now). You should fill out as much information as you can since Google will display your business address along with a map of its location, your business phone number, and even your business hours when you come up in search results. Plus, filling out this information will help let potential customers learn more about your business.
5. Add a Profile & Cover Photo to Represent Your BusinessAnother essential before you pat yourself on the back for a job well done, is uploading a profile and cover photo. If you have a logo, the profile photo is the perfect place to show it off. Your profile photo is shown in a circle, so keep that in mind when preparing what you want to upload. Your cover photo is a place to get more creative. You can incorporate your logo into your cover photo as well or you can feature some of your products, a shot of your website, or even just something fun. For example, our Google+ cover photo is of one of our team member's dogs wearing our Dynadot sunglasses. As I write this (Google+ might change this in the future), the recommended size for cover photos is 1080 x 608 with a minimum size of 480 x 270 and a maximum size of 2120 x 1192.
Once you've got your Google+ business page all set up, make sure you link back to it from your website. (You should have your own business website - your Google+ page should not serve as your website!) Google provides plenty of options for you to incorporate Google+ buttons and icons on your website. Just make sure to follow their branding guidelines.
Post by Robyn Norgan