Setting Up The Perfect Google+ Business Page

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

A lot of New Zealand businesses haven’t cottoned on to the value of Google+ yet, which means there’s a great opportunity to be had in many niches. In addition, Google+ (also known as Google Plus) has not yet reached its potential and is expected to be even more important in the near future.  Google+ Business PagesCreating a quality Google+ Business Page, makes your business more visible on Google’s search results as well as contributing to the overall ranking you receive on search engines. For a lot of local search results, Google is taking the top Google+ profiles and is putting them above the usual organic results.

Let’s start at the beginning, what is Google+? Think of it as a business listing for your site. It has elements such as a location map (which ties in with Google Maps), your website address, contact info, posts, reviews, photos and video.

Setting up a Google+ Business Page is a fairly simple process:

  1. Start by visiting the main page and hitting “Sign Up”. It is recommended that you have one master Gmail or Google Apps account that is used for Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. This will make your life easier in terms of being able to track your Google Accounts from the one email.
  2. Signing up will take you to a map specific to your location. Enter your business name or address. Google doesn’t like duplicates, especially of addresses, so it needs to check whether there is already a listing in the database.
  3. If your address is already attached to a listing, click on the listing and follow the steps to try to recover or claim the business.
  4. If your address isn’t attached to any listing – easy peasy! Simply, click on your address to add your new business.
  5. After you have completed these stages of setting up your Google+ account, it’ll take you to another page where you will be required to enter the key details of your business i.e. the business name, address, phone number, operating hours and area of service. When done, click “Next.”
  6. You will be asked to verify your listing or continue without verification. Choose to verify the listing. Verifying your business gives viewers the reassurance that your business is not only legitimate but also trustworthy.
  7. Confirm your business address and enter a recipient if you like. Google will send a postcard with a verification number to this address to confirm that you do actually own it.
  8. In one to two weeks you’ll receive the card, and can enter the verification number by visiting the Google+ Business listing dashboard. This will give you full control over your listing.

Let’s take a minute to get slightly geeky about the technical aspects of why it’s important to have an accurate Google+ page. NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) is an essential component for any business when showing up in organic local search results. Providing NAP data allows Google to create tailored results for searchers Google+ Business Pagesbased on their location, which will be the most relevant and useful. This is especially important for mobile smart phone users, who will have their exact location tracked on their phone. Creating a Google+ listing is the easiest way to give Google the NAP information that will make your website the best choice for local searchers.

OK, now for the special sauce. Once you’ve set up the basic listing on Google+, there are a number of things you can do to optimise your Google+ profile further to increase visibility and credibility. These include:

  • Encourage reviews, star ratings and follows. Ask your clients to leave a star rating, review and to click “Follow”. Having more people follow your Google+ page tells Google that people think you’re relevant and popular. Ratings and reviews show up on the main page of results and compare you to other Google+ Business Pageslistings that may be similar to your business, and good ratings can have a positive influence on rankings. If you are the only 4 or 5 star rated page for your niche, this will help you stand out from your competitors this will also make Google prioritise your Google+ page more if you have a high star rating and more followers. We recommend that this be one of the number one priorities to focus on with your Google+ page .
  • Update your logo and header image. A good looking page will hold the attention of visitors and reflects well on your business. Maintaining a professional image helps to build trust with your potential new followers and customers, as well as increase your credibility and portrayal of professionalism.
  • Add photos and videos. This is especially useful for visual product businesses, where searchers can be won over with an enticing photo or a compelling video. Adding photos and videos will give you the opportunity of also being seen in search results.
  • Ensure your map is correct. Using just your address, Google will have an accurate pin on your location, however it’s important to double check this.
  • Link from your website to your Google+ page. Displaying the Google+ icon on your website will provide a valuable back link for the Google+ page and will encourage more Followers, Star ratings and Reviews.
  • Do regular posts. Posting regularly ensures your Google+ content is always fresh. Your Goole+ My Business page is an ideal platform to add a quality link to your website’s blog posts and newsletters and adding industry news and link to any relevant happenings.
  • Custom URL. When you have ten or more followers to Google+ page, you are then given the opportunity to get a custom URL which looks a lot more professional and can include your business name in the URL.

In conclusion, go for gold and invest the time to setup an outstanding Google+ Business Page. Contact Avatar if you would like us to help. In particular, we can help with developing easy to implement systems on getting follows, star ratings and reviews, this is the area that most people find the hardest.

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Mark started in the Internet industry in 1994 working with one of Canterbury’s first Internet Service Providers. In 1997 Rocket launched New Zealand Tourism Online and then Avatar Web Promotions in 1998. New Zealand Tourism Online was sold to Telecom Yellow Pages in 2006. Mark enjoys meeting with Avatar’s clients and strategising winning Web solutions. When not at Avatar HQ, Mark’s into playing tennis, going on family camping trips and supporting the private space industry.

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