Earlier this week, Google finally launched Google+ Pages for businesses, brands and other non-human entities. After the massive growth and announcement that G+ profiles were only for humans with real names, things went very quiet in the Plus camp for businesses.
What Is Google+ (Google Plus)?
Google+ is essentially a social media platform. You can share updates, images, videos and links similar to Facebook. However unlike Facebook you can choose to share your information with different sets of connections, known as circles. There is also a rather cool “hangout” feature that allows you to video chat with your connections.
I quite like this video from Epipheo which explains it in a nutshell.
I am not going to dwell too much on comparisons with Facebook or talk about the competition between the two platforms because this really isn’t a question of comparing 40 million users to 800 million.
Like many of the initial G+ users, I looked and then neglected…
…and I do this stuff to pay the mortgage – I should care and be out there G+ing on my profile. But who needs or has time for another social media platform?
However, Google+ Pages are a different kettle of fish all together. It’s time to look at the bigger picture.
Should My Local Business Create a Google+ Page?
Do you want the short answer?
Longer answer coming up.
Creating a Google+ Page for your local business is not about thinking of number of followers, it’s very much looking at the bigger picture. The video above touches on that picture quite well.
Google search dominates the search engine market (84.26% of the UK search volume to date). Google is a search engine, its aim is to bring together as much info as possible and present it to interested searchers.
But, Google isn’t just a search engine, it has so many pies on the internet I doubt they have enough fingers to stick in them! From analytics and apps to email to maps and places to video, and so many more…
Oh and advertising online too…
One could almost believe that Google are the Internet…
Anyway, to rank your website and Google Places page in search, Google use a variety of indicators from all over the web, including information from it’s own properties. Search is changing, social indicators are becoming more and more important.
Google has just gone social on a big scale with Google+ Pages…
It’s still in it’s infancy, and no doubt there will be many tweaks and twiddles before it settles down a bit. But we already know that the +1 indicator can affect Google ads, and there’s been a recent change so +1′s are aggregated on your page when you connect everything together. And, while they’re not connected yet, G+ does pull basic information from your Places page on set up.
That’s just scratching the surface and I really don’t want to try and second guess what Google will do next! When it comes to being found online through search, Google is the major player and it makes sense that they use their own data and web properties to influence the search results.
Things To Consider Before Setting Up Your Google+ Page
A word of warning, don’t do what I did and click the button just to see if it was working yet!
A bit of organisation is needed.
First of all, there can only be one administrator of your Google+ Page. I would recommend you use the same Google account that has your Places, YouTube, Analytics, AdWords and other Google sites connected.
Setting up an account just for business rather than using your personal Gmail account means you can give the password to trusted others to manage your Google presence. It also means everything is in one place!
I have read that once a name is taken you can’t create another page with the same name – well I just did. You can’t transfer pages though, so creating your Google+ Page on the right account in the first place saves any hassle and messing around later.
I would also highly recommend you have a plan of action. Be prepared and have content to share – whether it’s videos or images of your business. I think it’s a great opportunity to do something a bit different rather than duplicating what happens on your other social media sites.
There are no vanity URLs for Google+ Pages (or profiles) so you are a very long number and that is very difficult to remember. Once you are set up, use a URL shortener such as http://gplus.to/
Your Google+ business page cannot add people to circles, they need to add you first.
Setting Up A Google+ Page
You need a Google account. If you do not have one already for your business, create an account free at https://accounts.google.com
Once you are signed in, create a Google+ profile by clicking on the +You link top left.
Fill out the details and click Join.
Then choose Create a Google+ Page from the right column.
Then choose Local Business or Place
Enter your business phone number and it will pull your basic details from Google Places (your business IS there isn’t it?)
Add any additional details and click Join.
Don’t forget to update your Google+ about page!
Will you be creating a Google+ Page for your business?