Google+ Local for Business: What You Need to Know to Keep Up
With the sudden resignation of Vic Gondutra, the head of Google+ last month, there’s been a lot of speculation that Google is making an internal shift – cutting the Google+ division out and repositioning themselves to not compete with social media giants like Facebook and Twitter any longer. However, it’s not time for you to wipe your hands clean of Google+ just yet. Google says it will continue to evolve and build off from the foundation that is Google+. And while we can’t see what Google has up its sleeve in the next few months, it’s important for every business to learn the basic fundamentals of Google+ Local to reap its many benefits later on.
We talk a lot about updates on this blog and that’s because if you’re going to market your brand on the web, you have to be constantly changing with the times. Facebook always has updates; Twitter and Pinterest are always going to come up with new features. And Google is no different. Google actually has released more updates than any other online entity and it’s created confusion across the web; those that are able keep up with Google are the ones that come up at the top (literally, on search results).
The Big Merge
Ever since Google connected Places for Business (places.google.com) with Google+, businesses have seen a more integrated profile that allows them to manage everything under one account. This has also given businesses the opportunity to easily update their business information, publish posts, and encourage Google reviews to see more traction. While a Google Places for Business literally pins your business location on a map and labels it so users can easily find you, a Google+ Local Business Page lets you share posts, images, and videos to your audience. Google wanted to merge that to help you increase visibility for your business. Here’s what you can do as a business to fully take advantage of this:
Create, Claim and Connect Your Google+ Local Business Page with your Google Place for Business Listing
To manage everything (local listing and Google+ page) with one profile, use the same email address and do the following:
- Create and verify a Google Places for Business Listing
- Create and verify a Google+ Local for Business Page
- Your Google Places Listing will automatically connect with your Google+ Local Page
Edit and Add Your Business Info
This is your typical basic profile information such as company name, website URL, mailing address, hours of operation. Keep this updated as much as possible since this is the information users searching for your business will usually see on the right side of search results.
Dress it Up
Dress up your profile with branded cover photos and profile photos using the same branding guidelines you have for your website and other online properties.
Now that your business local listings are automatically connected with your Google+ Business Pages, it’s time to share that great content marketing you’ve been creating. Any videos, photos, blog posts go under “posts”. To really see success, be sure to update this section any time you can.
For businesses who regularly publish content, implementing Google Authorship can help boost your SEO efforts by connecting readers to your brand.