When people talk about Google Plus, they always mean social SEO. Whether your business is small or big, you must not ignore the benefits of having Google Plus business page.
To optimize social SEO, you’ll need to create wonderful content that your audience can relate to. Share it with your followers on Google Plus..
Then wait for your content to appear in Google search results.
Your content won’t appear immediately. There are several factors that may influence how your content shows up in search results. The more people you have in your circles, the more chances of your content reaching to several networks. But the number of followers isn’t the only factor to be considered.
There’s the “authority” aspect that you have to think about. If you are well-known in your niche, then your content will appear often in Google Search.
That said, you can no longer overlook the benefits of having a business page on Google Plus. Let this checklist help you start creating not just a business Google page but a page that can launch a thousand followers.
It’s good for your brand’s reputation. Trust me.
For Beginners: Create An Effective Google+ Business Page
If you don't have a business page yet, here's how you create one:
- You’ll need to sign up for personal Google+ first.
- Once you’re done, click here to create a business page.
Quick summary (available in PDF file)
And here's the detailed explanation with tips and tricks:
#1 Select the right category
The first step would be choosing the best category for your business. This will help Google how to classify your business page. Here are the 5 categories you can choose from:
- Local Business or Place. I recommend this if you run a local business and have a physical location. It will ask for your address. Eg. Hotels, restaurants, places, services, stores.
- Product or Brand. This will suit you best if you’re focused on selling products or if you’re a public figure. Eg. Computer selling, appliances, auto, fashion, health, music, travel, celebrity, etc.
- Company, Institution or Organization. This one is the first category except it’s not limited to local areas. I’d recommend this if you’re in the following industry: legal, media, mining, non-profit, travel, financial, computers, professional services, etc.
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports. Use this one if you’re an entertainer, in a band, a radio station, tv channel, etc.
- Other. If you can’t find relevant category to match your business, I recommend this for you.
#2 Add basic information
Enter your basic info to further assist you in establishing your brand’s presence online.
- Your Business Name. Remember the first letter should be always capital.
- Your website URL. Add your primary website URL. It must be your homepage URL, not another page of your site.
- Age settings. Decide who your content is appropriate for. You may select any of these 4: Any Google+ user, Users 18, Users 21+, Alcohol related. If you choose to set up a page with age restriction, you will not be able to create a community and you cannot modify this setting after creating your page.
#3 Add a profile picture
You don't want to seem like a ghost and you want to attract more users so you need to make your page stand out. Add a profile photo which can be your own picture that looks decent and relevant to your brand or a business logo. Size must be at least 250px in width x250px in height, but the bigger the size the better.
Here’s how you add your cover photo: View your page and “hover” on your profile picture to change it.
#4 Add an attention-grabbing cover photo
Make sure to add a high-resolution cover photo. The ideal size would be 2120 x 1192 pixels and its aspect ratio is 16:9. But the actual image will depend on the screen of the user. It can go from 519x294 to 1081x608 pixels.
That said, it’s best to test your cover photo and find out how it’ll appear on smaller and bigger screens. Regardless of what photo you’ll be using as a cover image, you must not utilize the stock photos provided by Google+. You don’t want your business page to look the same as the other lackluster business pages. Click here for great examples of Google+ cover photos.
Here’s how to change your cover photo: View your profile and “hover” on your cover photo, you should see a button “change cover” at the bottom of the cover.
#5 Circle people in the same industry
Similar to other social networks, you must be active on Google Plus. And you also need to be involved by adding people or pages in the same niche as your business. What’s great about Google+ is that you can group your followers into different categories.
For example, you can add person A to current customers and person B to prospective clients. Google Circles allows you to easily send messages to a particular group of people.
Maximize G+ Circles to build a relationship with your clients. You can even add your competitors to your circles to keep you updated of what they’re up to. But don’t just add people to your circles. Make sure that they can truly add value to your business page and let you communicate with relevant people.
#6 Add interesting tagline
Keep in mind that your tagline is one of the first things that will show on your ‘Hover Card’. So you must catch people's attention immediately with an attention-grabbing tagline in 10 words. Keep it simple yet significant. See example below:
In other words, you need to make it easier for your audience to know what your business is all about on the spot.
Here’s how to edit your tagline: View your profile > About tab under your cover photo > In the Story box, click “edit” > add your Tagline.
#7 Introduce your page
You’ve already added your tagline. Now, it’s time to add a brief description of your business. A great introduction consists of:
- Your mission and what you do.
- Your business history, the founder info and/or launch date.
- Awards, accomplishments, features, honors, etc. Show off what you got!
- 1 to 2 target SEO keywords. It’s a smart move to get better rankings on Google.
- Links to website content: it could be your favorite blog posts, important pages, or popular content
Here’s how to add your Introduction: View your profile > click About tab > hit “edit” on the Story box > add your Introduction.
Of course, don’t just focus on keywords. Make sure that your introduction offers interesting things about your business. It must include details that make your business valuable to anyone who visits your page.
#8 Add social links
Apart from introduction, include your social links, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks you have. This is important to let your audience know that you’re also present on other popular social networks.
What it means for your audience? It implies that you can be reached out easily, even if they’re not using Google+. Besides, you gain more followers on your other social networks and they can even introduce your company to their friends giving your business a much needed boost in visibility.
Here’s how to add links: View your profile > click About tab > hit “edit” on the Links box > add your links.
#9 Claim your custom (vanity) URL
The goal of a customized URL on Google+ is to make it easier for you and your audience to access your business page. In other words, it adds more flexibility.
Instead of typing in https://plus.google.com/u/0/12312412553151/posts, you could trade it up to a very simple, straight to the point URL: https://plus.google.com/+yourbusiness. Here's mine:
But before you can claim your vanity URL, your page must:
- For local pages: You must have a verified local business.
- For non-local pages: You must have a verified linked website.
Here’s how to claim vanity URL: View your profile > click About tab > hit “edit” on the Links box > modify Google+ URL.
You will not be able to change your vanity URL once it’s created so be careful!
#10 Verify your site and setup publisher markup
To further enhance your business page, it’s recommended to verify your website URL and setup a publisher markup. Here’s are the main benefits of verifying your website URL:
- You’ll see a checkmark stamp next to your site’s URL on your page and “About Page”. Thus boost your authenticity to users.
- Your Google+ page information will show up in Google search results which may include your profile photo, founder(s), map info, your business category, contact info, intro, # of followers and even your most recent posts. Here's an example:
- So Google can use your information to determine the relevancy of your site to searchers on Google.
Here’s how you verify your website URL:
- Go to About section
- In the “Links” section, click “Edit”.
- Add your website’s URL, then click save.
- Refresh your page and go back to the “Links section” again, then click “Link website”.
- Copy the provided code in the pop up box and paste it somewhere on your site. It could be on your homepage, sidebar or footer.
- Once added, click “test website” to verify it your site is linked to your page. OR Use this to test whether your code is working or not.
#11 Add and verify your email address
Like verifying your website URL, you’ll get a verified badge (checkmark) beside your email which establish authenticity of your business. It’s better to use an email address on the same domain. For example, my domain is twelveskip.com and I use a firstname.lastname@example.org on my Google+ page.
Here’s how you verify your email address: View your profile > click About tab > hit “edit” on the Contact Information box > add an email > Save > then you should see a “verify” link beside your email then a verification email will be sent to your email. Here's how you can see the "verify" link:
#12 Add other contact details
After you verify your site and email address, you must not forget adding your other contact information, like its physical address, email address, fax, mobile, phone and other contact details that can help your audience in finding you. The more information you provide the better. Follow the same steps in the #11 part and choose a contact info you want to add, here’s an example screenshot:
#13 Integrate your YouTube URL
That is, if you have a YouTube channel. By integrating your channel to your Google+ business page, your followers can easily view your videos without leaving your page. It will also let you automatically upload a video from Google+ and be published on your YouTube channel.
Here’s how you integrate your Youtube videos to your Google Plus page:
- Go to Youtube
- Click at your avatar at the right corner of your page, click “All my channels”. Here's an example screenshot:
- Click on your business page under “Other options” to create and connect your channel.
#14 Add additional managers
Yes, you’re able to add additional managers. So this feature is extremely helpful if you have someone to help you manage your page. According to Google, you can only have 1 owner but you can add up to 50 managers to your page. And only 20 people can be invited per day.
Here’s how: Go to your Google+ home stream > click “Home” then select “Settings” at the top left of your screen > click “Managers”. Here's an example screenshot:
#15 Add remarkable content
Before you spread the word about your business page, make sure you have content ready on your page. People dislike ghost community where nothing can be seen. You want your people to follow you so give them a reason to add you in their circles. When you add your content, make sure each is optimized. Here are some tips:
- Use Title and Subtitle that includes 1-2 target keywords
- Add a little description about your content
- Add relevant links such as your website or sources
- Use CTA (Call to action) such as questions, asking people to leave a comment or +1
- Add your site and social media links (if applicable)
- Add relevant #Hashtags
- Add high-solution image that grab people attention!
Here’s a visual example format:
WHY should you create your content like this? Whatever content you provide on your page will be indexed by Google search. This means, your Google+ content can be found while users are performing online searches. What’s more, it’s a great way to get your followers engaged with your posts! Thus, you must use this opportunity wisely. Here’s an example.. see how I search for #googleplus? Related content shows up at the right side!
And here's how Google is indexing my content:
Now you’re done! What’s next?
- Add a badge to your site to let people know about your page and drive more followers.
- OR a follow button and +1 button.
- Share your page to people you follow or to communities you’re in.
- If your page doesn’t have any page restriction, you can create a community where your fans can make connections, ask questions, talk about the same topics, share their stories and photos!
Google+ is important for any type of business. So it’s vital that you optimize your business page for better search rankings and of course, to attract more followers and build a loyal fan base. Take the time to enhance your page by following the suggestions mentioned above.
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Useful Resources + Credits
- Google Plus tutorials
- Setting up a page with age restriction
- Get started with Google+ pages
- Social Media Image Dimensions