How to set up Google+ for Business
Since the launch of Google + in 2011, it now has an estimated 350 million users. Not quite the amount Facebook has, but then, Facebook was founded in 2004 and opened up outside of Harvard shortly after.
So, 350 million users over a 2 year period isn’t so bad.
Here’s an infographic showing the basic usage facts:
And here’s another showing the type of user Google + attracts:
In fact, having a presence on Google+ is imperative if you want to be found. And if you’re a business, you really want to be found.
Because your business page/ personal profile is linked to all of Google’s other services, i.e. maps, places, search etc., having an active profile is paramount for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation (you can be found)).
OK, now the basics are out of the way, and it’s fair to assume you realise how important being on Google+/ Places is, here’s how to go about setting up…
First off, check you don’t already have a Google+ profile. The reason for this is that if you have a Gmail account, you may have inadvertently set one up. To check for this, log into your Gmail account (or YouTube – whatever Google service you already use) and then go to Google+ here
If you don’t have a profile already, you’ll see the following screen:
It’s important that this email address belongs only to you, and everything will work better if it’s the Gmail address you’re using already (providing it’s personal to you).
The fields on this form are self explanatory, but you must make sure you use your real name, or something that sounds like it would be a name. Rockin Chick or the like won’t be accepted. Google’s bots are somewhat more intelligent than Facebook’s, it would seem.
And do upload a profile photo so that your friends can easily find you!
Once all this is filled in, you’ll be taken to your Google+ profile, which you can now edit to make it more personal to you.
By default, Google provides a generic cover photo, but it’s not going to show off your personality, so upload one that will.
The cover photo size on your profile page is pretty big – 2120×1192 pixels – so find an image that’s going to look good at that size. In fact, until you do, you won’t be able to upload it.
You can also use one of the stock cover photos that Google supplies, but why blend in when you can stand out.
The About Section, AKA, Story
On your profile, you’ll see a section under your ‘About’ tab called ‘Story’. This is where you can talk about yourself. Pages have the same section, and here’s ours as an example:
To make the best of your profile, fill it out as completely as you can. 77 of the first characters will appear beside your name in Google’s search results when people are searching for certain keywords. This is a crucial factor in your/ your company page’s visibility.
The same applies to your tagline and bragging rights (specialities).
Here’s a simple infographic that highlights how important filling in the aforementioned sections are for your Google+ profile/ business page if you want to be found:
As the links to your website/ social media accounts that you’ll want to add appear further down, add them to the introduction section to hyperlink to your most important websites.
Your other About sections
Neil Asher, ROARlocal.com’s CEO, and someone in the know about all things marketing/ SEO related, has optimised his Google+ personal profile. Following are screenshots of how he’s filled them out.
When entering the places you’ve worked, the most recent will appear at the top of that section. Like it does on LinkedIn.
The same applies to your Education section.
Not to be confused with Google Places!
Your places section is where you can add all the places you’ve been and have them show up on a map within your profile. Like the Facebook map section.
Now here’s a section that’s incredibly useful! You can add links to your website, your blog, your social media accounts, things you contribute to anything where you have an online presence – and that’s going to be great for your profile/ business page’s visibility.
Here’s Neil’s as an example:
See? It’s fab!
OK, so let’s delve a little deeper into ‘Contributor to’, as it’s not as obvious what that section is about.
If you contribute to a blog with your own content, anywhere on the web, on a regular basis, link to it. That way, you can claim Google+ Authorship for the content you’ve created (and the content you still create), which will serve to boost your author ranking.
So what is Google+ Authorship?
Google+ Authorship is for those who want to build authority within their industries.
Making sure your links and Contributor links are visible is one way. The other is to link your Google+ profile page/ business page to all the content you create around the web; from your own website to your social media profiles to other blogs and online media content you’ve contributed to.
There are also other benefits to be had from your Google+ Authorship.
Benefits of Google+ Authorship
In building your authorship, you get to have your Google+ profile photo show up in Google search results, and that boosts your CTR (click through rate (when people click on your link)). Readers, on seeing this, can use authorship to judge the relevance and quality of your content.
This enables people to not only click into your content, but also to click by you to discover everything else you’ve done.
Google+ Authorship also allows you to use their Webmaster tools, author stats and analytics data to see all about you from any page on the web.
OK, so how do you claim Authorship?
You can claim authorship by having the email address on your Google+ profile from the main domain you create content for (doesn’t work so well if you contribute to a lot of sites).
And you can also link to your content from other sites on your Google+ profile under the Contributor to section, with a link to your Google+ profile page/ business page on each of those pieces of content.
And another thing… Your links should have a ?rel=author added to it, which you can place in your author bio, to specify that you are the author of that content.
Following is a Here’s How screenshot:
The link to that page is here
If you use a mobile phone with the Android operating system, then at the very least, you must have a Gmail address!
The reason for this is because you will be unable to install apps (applications that enable you to do useful or fun things) without going through Google Play.
Android had a worldwide smartphone market share of 75% during the third quarter of 2012,with 750 million devices activated in total and 1.5 million activations per day. The operating system’s success has made it a target for patent litigation as part of the so-called “smartphone wars” between technology companies.
Remember that big hoo-ha between Apple and Samsung? Well, those wars are like that.
However, as of May 2013, a total of 900 million Android devices have been activated and 48 billion apps have been installed from the Google Play store.
In fact, the only way you’ll be able to operate some of the apps on your Android powered mobile phone is if you have a Google+ profile.
That’s as good a reason as any to create one!
Setting up a Google+ Business Page
Now that you know how to set up your Google+ profile page, you’ll also have a good idea of how to set up a Google+ business page. They’re pretty similar, and all the same rules apply.
Start by searching for yourself on Google and see if your listing comes up.
Then, if you click it, and you haven’t claimed it already, you will be able to ‘claim this Page’.
But if this is not the case, don’t worry as here is a video on how to create a Google Brand Page – for a Google Local Page listing simply choose the ‘Local Business or Place’ category.
From there you will be asked for your phone number and that should find your physical location. That will set it up.
We’ll cover this in more depth later on, but if you have neither the time nor the patience, why not have us do it for you?