In this article I’m going to go through how to set up a business page on Google+
Because I don’t want to show my home address in public on Google, or give it to Google, most of the examples here are drawn from setting up a Brand. However, I understand that the principles are the same if you’re setting up a local business with an address. Do get in touch if you’d like to share screen prints from setting up an account with an address and I’ll be happy to include them (but not tell everyone where you live!)
Why should I set up a Google+ account and page?
This is a good question, as Google+ is known to be one of the rather less active social media platforms. However, the clue is in the word “Google”. Basically, stuff you post on Google+ and your Google+ page will be indexed more quickly by Google and will appear as more relevant in a Google search. There are active communities in Google+ and Hangouts and other social discussions and groupings – I have to admit that what I personally do is auto-post to Google from this blog and my others, so invest minimal effort, but it is worth doing for the indexing and SEO side alone.
How do I set up a Google+ account?
If you have a Google email address, you will automatically have a Google+ account. Look at the top of your email and you’ll see a +[your name] icon …
You do need to have a Google account to have a Google+ account, although of course you don’t need to use it for anything else. Notifications about Google+ interactions come to your Gmail, but you could set up an autoforward to send that to another email account. Anyway, enough about options for escaping being taken over by Google – click on the +[name] icon and you’ll be taken to your Google+ account:
You can see that this looks quite a lot like other social media platforms such as Facebook, with posts by friends, recommended contacts (names deleted for privacy purposes) and a place to post an update at the top.
We’re not going to explore personal G+ at the moment, but instead look at the business application.
How do I set up a Google+ page for my business?
To access the Google+ pages creator and editor, click on the Home button at top left and choose Pages:
This will lead you to an option to choose a business type:
Clicking on Storefront or Service Area (which is what I chose when I first did this) will first give you an option to search for a business. This gets a bit confusing, but we’ll work our way through it. If you choose Create New Page, as you would expect to do, after clicking Not a Local Business …
you will get the option to add a business with a street address. This is great if you have a shop or trading address, for example if you welcome people into a high street shop, have a gym in an out-of-town location or have customers visit your home to collect products, have therapeutic sessions, etc., and if this is the case, you can fill in all the details and have a listing for your business appear on Google maps for prospective customers to see.
Here’s what a business with a local page looks like on Google Maps. Here, I’ve searched in Google Maps for the business name, but it will also appear if you are viewing the map of the area at a certain level of zoom:
(thanks to Alison from Silicon Bullet for letting me use her business as an example!)
But what if I don’t want to list my address and have a pin on Google Maps?
I don’t want to list my address on Google Maps because I work from home, but I don’t see any clients here and I don’t really want the world to know my address! So this is how to set up a Google+ page without your address. Note, you can’t cheat the section above and put in spaces or dots – it really does want to pinpoint your address with a little label.
When you’re at the point of choosing your business type, choose Brand if you don’t want to have to add your address:
This will take you to a screen where you start to add your details:
You can now start filling in your details:
You can add in your URL and select the type of thing you’re talking about – so this is how you set up a community or other non-business entity, too.
Do note that you need to tick the box to agree to the Pages Terms (and do click through to have a look and check you DO agree) and to confirm that you’re authorised to create the page.Then click Create Page to create your page:
Once you’ve created your page, Google+ will give you a tour or you can just get started customising your page.
This is all pretty self-explanatory. For example, you will be asked to complete your profile and given options to share updates. There’s also a section where you can see Insights – how people are interacting with your new page.
You can update your cover with your own image as well as adding your own picture to the place on the left:
Once you’ve clicked Change cover, you can choose one of the gallery or upload your own photo (if you have already put up several cover photos, you can click on that link to choose one you’ve used earlier).
Upload takes you into your own folders so you can choose your own image. Here I’ve added my own image and I can now explore, add updates and add contact information and links.
How do I edit my Google+ business page(s)?
You can access your business pages at any time by clicking the Home button and choosing Pages. If you’ve created more than one Page, you will be shown all the ones you have active, with a link to edit them:
The Golden Rules of Google+
The rules here are the same as everywhere on social media …
- Be professional
- Reciprocate and share
In this post, we’ve learned about Google+ pages and how and why to create them. To learn about more aspects of social media for business, take a look at the resource guide.
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