Google+ Local Merges with Google+ Business Pages

Bea Halstead - August 15, 2012

Since the launch of Google Plus, we have covered what to expect with a Google+ Business Page and what has happened to Places Listings that merged into Google+ Local.   Recently, Google released the ability to merge the Google+ Local listings with a single Google+ Business Page.  This functionality is very important, since there are features available on a Google+ Business Page that were not accessible on a Google+ Local listing.  The advantages to merging your listings into a single Google+ Business Page include the ability to share updates with photos or videos and links, create Circles (segmented networks of fans), set up Events, host Hangouts that can be linked to your YouTube account and recorded, and include you customer reviews on an SEO optimized About section for your business.  We will continue to share more ideas about the social media marketing strategies for a Google+ Business Page in another follow up article.  Below are the steps to the verification procedure for merging one Google+ Local Listings into a new, more robust +Business Page.

Step One: Create a profile with a gmail address, this will be the owner of the page, make sure it is unique to the business and not a personal account. Create a Google+ Business Page, if you do not already have one.  Populate the “About Info” with keyword rich text and hyperlinks to your website.  Upload a profile photo and cover image that will enhance your brand’s exposure.  Start adding People, and Pages to circles that are in your scope of interests, to expand your Pages reach in the network.

Step Two: Select the “Verify Now” button next to your Google+ Page name.  You will be able to add managers to the Page, and they can perform this action as well.   You can add a personal gmail account to be a Page manager, but they will need to have a Google+ Profile activated.

Step Three: Verify your business address.  Select the “View Page” to see what your current +Local listing contains.  You will be able to compare what information has merged with your existing +Business Page, by keeping a copy of this screen shot in your records.

Step Four: Complete the verification process by requesting a postcard with a pin.  Once you receive the postcard in the mail, go to the link provided and validate that you are the business owner.  You’ll need to accept the terms and conditions before selecting the “request post card” button.

Once your Google+ Business Page is verified, your Page will be shown to anyone searching in Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Plus.  Your business’s reviews will migrate with the about information you have populated on your Page, and have the potential to also appear in search results.   It will be important to share updates frequently, so visitors to the Page have a resource for learning about specials, your company, or industry news and trends you provide to your fan base.  Google+ users will be able to leave reviews and give your business a rating directly on your page.  You might want to consider a way to reward customer reviews, so there is a good representation of positive feedback about your business.

We specialize in social media strategy and search engine optimization for Google+ Business Pages.  This network, has the ability to drive traffic to your location as well as enhance your website’s position in natural search results.  If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Google Plus for your business, call us at 800.787.0497 for a free consultation.

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