Setting Up a Google+ Business Listing
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
If you own a business, chances are Google has a huge amount to offer you in terms of directing traffic and gaining a new audience. Google offers free business listings that carry details of your location and contact number right to the front page of their search results. In the coming months, this service will become more integrated with their social network service Google+, meaning you’ll be able to use your listing as a way to interact with customers. For now, it offers key information and reviews to make your business stand out.
- Sign up for a Gmail account if you don’t already have one. You don’t necessarily need to use it for email, but it will be like a passport to all of Google’s services. It’s recommended you create one specifically for your business with a simple, straightforward name.
- Go to the Google+ for business page and select “Create Your Google+ Page”. If you already had a Google Places page, your old info will have been copied across.
- On the left, you can pick the category of your business. If it’s a product you won’t need a physical listing, so simply proceed as you would to make a regular Google+ page. If it’s a local business, you’ll be asked to locate it by entering a phone number. When it comes up with the correct location, proceed to enter all business details.
- You’ll be given a chance to add images and other photos, and it’s a good idea to do so. Internet users rely on visuals to make decisions.
- Google needs to prove that your business really does belong to you, and they can do so by verifying the address. They’ll send out a postcard to you with a code on it, and once you type in the code you’ll have full ownership over the listing and will be able to make major changes to it. Until then, you still have the functionality of showing where your business is and basic information about it.
- Once your page is set up, it will show on a map when people search for it and comes up under a special section in the search engine results page exclusively for websites that have registered a listing with Google. Reviews will also be displayed on the main page of results, so ask previous satisfied customers if they would be kind enough to leave you a rating.
Google’s business listings can be an excellent way of enhancing your exposure on Google search result pages and the built-in review feature can be very powerful. The next year or so is going to be interesting as Google’s social media technology rolls out.