With some planning and setup time, you can claim a large piece of Google organic search page space for your business or organization for free.
You may then fill this Google “info-card” full of useful promotional information and photos, and update it with your latest news.
Even better, this same information about your business appears across multiple platforms, including smartphone, iPad/tablet, Google Maps searches and desktops. If all that is not enough, managing your Google+ Business page will also help lift your site’s overall search rankings.
Google really wants to grow its Google+ network to compete with other social networks, and in turn, it has been rewarding businesses and organizations to actively participate. If you’re thinking, “I just don’t have time to manage another social network,” consider Google+ Business to be more of a free marketing and promotion tool that can lift your bottom line. And you don’t need to treat it like a high-maintenance social network to make it work well for you.
On the downside, in the rush to make Google+ a now 1.2 billion-registered-user service, there have been problems, such as duplicate listings and difficult-to-follow instructions. As a result, when I speak with Google+ Business users, stories of frustration are common. But when everything is working, the results are impressive and worth pursuing. Here are Altitude’s G+ info-card, and our G+ page, for example.
Start the process with some research and planning. Determine if anyone in your company has already associated a Google+ account with your business and managed your listing. If not, I recommend starting a brand-new Gmail email account specifically for the purpose of managing your Google+ Business page.
Why? This provides you with a login that belongs to your company, rather than to an individual, and it prevents the login from becoming entangled with other personal or business Google logins. You will also be able to use this master login to assign other administrators of the page, who may in turn use their own logins.
Updating and verifying
Next, log in to your Google+ account and click on the “Home” button in the upper left. Select “Pages,” then select “Business or Place.” This option will provide you with ways to identify your business listing within Google’s massive database, including phone number. After you have linked your business, follow the steps to update all of the information that you can. Finally, you’ll be able to submit your updated information, and Google will start a verification process. You may use the business phone number (be sure someone is available to answer the phone – it won’t work with automated reception) or have a letter with a PIN sent to your address (the letter option takes about two weeks).
After you have received your PIN, you may confirm your listing and follow the on-page instructions to update page images, and the About, Posts, Photos, Videos and Reviews categories. This is when you can truly make the page your own.
Making the Most of G+ Business
Adding all of your company’s latest news to the Posts section; adding users to your G+ circles, and linking to your G+ page from your main website with a G+ icon are further ways to get your listing noticed, get the SEO-enhancing backlinks started, and start making Google work for you. Ask friends of your company to log in to their Google accounts, go to your page and write reviews.
There are many more options for improving your page and for making it a vital part of an integrated marketing plan, so contact us if you wish to explore your B2B G+ options.