By 1 year ago in Socialised

How to set up a Google+ Business page and why I should care

Many businesses are making the mistake in thinking that, because Google+ hasn’t really taken off as a social platform, they shouldn’t bother with it. This in fact is not true, and as this post will explain, Google+ can actually help with your SEO strategy by maximising visibility in SERPs.

As you probably already know, Google+ pages are the equivalent of Facebook pages for businesses with the added bonus that when set up properly, they will show up on the right side of Google searches for your company name.

For example, a search for Branded3 brings back this:

A search for Branded3


Why is this important? Well for one, as mentioned it dominates the right-hand side of the search, meaning that no advertising will show, which in turn means a much greater chance of you achieving all of the clicks on that results page.

You might be thinking, ‘Surely I’ll get all the clicks anyway if someone is searching for my brand name’, however if you take a look at the number of monthly searches for a brand name and compare this to actual traffic in Analytics from the brand name, you can see that a large chunk of the searches are actually clicking on other sites.

In summary, in order to increase visibility from brand searches, make sure that you set up a Google+ business page to make sure you’re catching as much as the traffic as possible. Google has a really user-friendly guide to getting started with Google+ pages which can be found here.

Google+ Local

Google+ Local (replacing Google Places) is a great tool that all businesses, but in particular small and medium businesses, should be utilising. Google reports that 20% of all searches and 40% of mobile searches have local intent and that 97% of consumers search online for local businesses. This means that if you’re not taking steps to optimise visibility for local searches, you’re missing out!

By being set up in Google+ local you have three chances to show up in searches; in Google’s usual SERPs, Google Maps and also in local search in Google+:

Google+ Local

Local Search

Google+ local

The great thing about Google+ Local is that it not only helps to increase your local search visibility, but it also allows you to turn that visibility into clicks by showcasing positive reviews (Zagat reviews), photos and a virtual tour if you have one.

You will need to create a separate Google+ local page for each of your physical locations, however it is fairly simple to create the pages following these steps once signed into Google+:

1. Hover over ‘More’ in the left navigation and click ‘Pages’

Hover over 'more'

2. Click ‘create new page’

Click 'create new page'

3. Click ‘Local Business’ or ‘Place’

Click 'Local business or place'

4. Enter the landline phone number for the business and it will come up with this box either with a listing for the business (click this if it’s right) or with no matches, asking you to add the business to Google

Select your business

5. Enter all of your business details to create the page which should include:

  • Introduction
  • Hours
  • Website
  • Contact info
  • Recommended links
  • Photos
  • Videos

6. Once the page is created you need to verify it, to do this hover over ‘Unverified’ at the top of the Google+ page and click ‘Verify now’, you will be asked to confirm the address and be sent a postcard through the post to verify the location

So in summary if you want to take advantage of the increasing volume of local traffic, make sure you have your Google+ Local pages set up correctly, and if you want to maximise CTR on brand searches, make sure you have Google+ page set up and appearing in SERPs.

By Laura Crimmons. at 3:28PM on Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012

With an extensive background in both traditional and online PR, Laura is Branded3’s Digital PR Manager and heads up our PR team. Laura works on the accounts of our biggest clients, developing and executing creative PR strategies which get brands talked about in all the right places, by the right people. Follow Laura Crimmons on Twitter.

comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.stafford3 Rob Stafford

    Hi Laura,

    What about this scenario:

    There is a hotel chain with 50 different locations. Would they setup a Google+ Business page for their brand and then each hotel location underneath that would also have a Google+ Business page?

    Thanks,

  • http://twitter.com/lauracrimmons Laura Crimmons

    Hi Rob

    Thanks for your comment. Yes so for a business like a hotel where there are multiple physical locations it is important to set up a Google+ business page for the brand and also set each of the physical locations up as Google+ Local pages following the steps above and to verify each of the locations so that they will show up in local search.

    Hope this helps but let me know if you have any more questions!

    Cheers
    Laura

    • Oli

      Hi Laura,

      Very similar to Rob’s query, but what about a hotel chain (who again have multiple locations) whose Local pages were initially created in the Places platform?

      Cheers,

  • conrad

    To clarify, should businesses typically set-up a Google+ & Google+ local page, if applicable?

  • http://twitter.com/lauracrimmons Laura Crimmons

    Hi Conrad

    Yes that’s correct, so the Google+ business page will show up for brand searches and the Google+ local page will show up for local searches.

    Thanks
    Laura

  • http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/ Frank Scharnell

    Hey Laura!

    As a Google+ enthusiast I really enjoyed this post, I hadn’t ever really thought of the benefits of having the page data in the SERPs. Anyway I wanted to ask about if you have seen any significant differences in the benefits or listings depending on the “type” of G+business page? The brand vs company etc. ?

  • laurencevines

    Hi All
    Great article! However is anyone having trouble trying to actually verify their page on Google Plus I can see the link to do it and click it but just throws me back a server error :(
    anyone had any luck? Or is it because I don’t have enough people following my page?
    Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/lauracrimmons Laura Crimmons

    Hi Frank

    Great question – I’ve not seen any data on this personally, I’m not sure that it makes a difference which ‘type’ you select but I’d be interested to hear if anyone does have data on this.

  • http://twitter.com/lauracrimmons Laura Crimmons

    Hi Lauren

    I don’t think you’re alone in this I know a few companies who have had difficulty in getting their page verified without a particular reason. All I can suggest is filling in the form here and waiting to see the response http://support.google.com/plus/bin/request.py?hl=en&contact_type=page_verification&rd=1

    Sorry I couldn’t be more help!
    Thanks
    Laura

  • http://www.mikegarrard.co.uk/ Mike Garrard

    Thanks for the info, all set up my G+ account now thanks to this post. Cheers