Google business pages have finally arrived. How exciting for everyone who has been waiting patiently for that day. Now that it is here you need to know how to set one up so that it effectively draws in your customers and clients.
Setting up a Google plus business page is not a lengthy process in and of itself. It does, however, require some patience and basic SEO knowledge. The layout and design are much simpler than that of Facebook fan pages that have become so popular with businesses these days. It will take longer to build a “following” since a business page cannot follow individuals unless those individuals are following them.
Setting up your Google+ Business Page
Initial Set Up
If you do not already have a Google account you will need to set one up. Go to Google’s main page (www.google.com) and click on the link that says “Sign In”. Here you will have set up your basic account including a Gmail account.
Once you have you set up your Google account and logged in you will see “+You” in the black bar across the top of the Google home page. Click on this link and it will take you to the set up page for your Google Plus profile. Fill in the required information in the form and click “join”.
The next step is very important in terms of setting up your Google Business page. Google gives you the opportunity at this point to add people to your circles. It is advisable to add people that you know when you are first building your page. You can find more information about Google Circles on that page. You will also be able to choose who you would like to follow at this time as well.
Setting Up Your Public Profile
Gathering followers and following people by adding them to your circles is important for sharing your information. Google plus is a social media platform, after all. However, if you wish to be found your public profile is extremely important. Make sure to fill this out as completely as possible. The first screen will ask for some basic background information and then take you to your “home” page.
Next to the Google Plus icon you will see 5 smaller icons. The third one, a silhouette in a circle, will take you to your profile where you can edit all of your information and add connections to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Website, Blog and many other networking accounts. To begin editing this information click on “Edit Profile”.
If you are not taken directly to your “About” page, click on the text link to view it. Make sure when you are filling out information about yourself that you focus on your business and include common keywords that you use on your website. Using the same keywords will boost your rankings in search engines. You may want to add photos and videos at this time, that are related to your business.
Finally Your Google Business Page
Once you have completed your profile and have made sure to save everything click on the button that says “Done Editing”. Next click on the icon on the top that shows a roof top with three bulleted lines below it. This takes you to your home page. In the right hand column the last option you will see listed is a link to create a page. Click here to start building your page.
You will need to choose the category that best fits your type of business next. Only use other if your business does not fit into any of the predefined categories. Once you have chosen the appropriate category you will be prompted to describe your business in 10 words. Choose keywords that you use on your website as part of that description.
Upload your business logo for your profile photo. Remember you are using social media to help brand your business. If you do not have a logo and are comfortable designing one now would be a good time to do so. If you need one designed find a graphic designer who understands you and your business.
The next step is very important. Tell people about your business page. This will go out under your personal profile to all of the people in your circles. It is important that this post is also made public and not restricted to just your circles.
Completing Your Set Up
Google has a very helpful list of things to do to promote your new Google Business page. It is advisable to go through each link and fill out the information as completely as possible. You will also notice that across the top of the page Google states: “You are now using Google+ as this page. Your posts, comments, and notifications will be from this page” This is very important to keep in mind. If you post to your stream at this point you are not posting as yourself but as your business.
More fun once you have gone through Google’s recommended steps you need to access your profile. This is done the same way you would for your personal profile. Again fill this out completely making sure to include your business website, a brief summary of your business and any current contact information.
That’s it, not complicated but it can be time consuming to go through the entire process.