You’re Already Halfway There!
As Google+ gains more traction every day, small businesses are starting to realize the importance of the search-dominant juggernaut’s new-ish social network. There is no doubt that Google is increasingly blending social activity and posts directly into “regular” Google Search Results - which bolsters the case for making sure your business has a presence on Google+ (that is, if search and SEO is important to you).
At Juice Marketing, we’ve noticed a trend among ERP VARs that had an old Google Places listing but have yet to claim their free Google+ Local Page. In some cases, info from your old Google Places listing was automatically migrated to Google+ Local. But until you claim and verify the new Google+ Local Page, you’re missing out on extra SEO juice.
Here’s how to convert your old Google Places listing and start taking advantage of the significantly-improved local search results that a Google+ Local Listing can offer.
But First, Some History
While this left many small businesses confused, the change was for the better. The data from your old Google Places listing was automatically repurposed into a shiny new Google+ Local Page. While Google Places were static listings, Google+ Local is dynamic and social.
But the challenge is that many businesses were left with an unverified Google+ Local Pages, which means they are missing out on improved search results, expanded visuals in search results, and better customer engagement.
To put it simply: An unverified Google+ Local Page is the same thing as a plain old (and retired) Google Places listing. You have to verify your migrated Google+ Local Page to unlock the benefits.
Here’s how to verify your Google+ Local Page and start taking advantage of Google+ social features such as: posts, about, photos, videos, reviews, and scoring.
How to Verify Your Listing on Google+
Get a Personal Google+ Account
In order to claim, verify, and manage your new Google+ Local Page, you’ll need to set up a personal Google+ profile first (if you don’t already have one). You’ll want to use your real name and personal Gmail address when setting up your Google+ personal profile. Don’t worry about setting up a new Gmail account for your business, you can always transfer ownership and assign multiple managers later.
Create a NEW Business Page
Once you have your personal Google+ profile set up, you’ll need to create a NEW Google+ Local Page for your business. Upon verification, Google will merge your old Google Places listing with this new page.
- Once in your Google+ Dashboard, navigate to Pages located under the Home tab.
- Click Create a New Page.
- When asked to choose a category, it’s very important to chose Local Business or Place. This is how Google will know to look for your old Google Places listing.
- Enter your business telephone number (use the same phone number that is on your Google Places listing) and click Locate.
- Select your business.
- Confirm the Map Marker location, and select OK.
- Enter your business name and add a link to your website, select Continue.
You’ll now have an empty Google+ Page. All you have to do now is verify your business to merge your old Google Places listing with your new Google+ Local Page.
Verify Your New Page
At the top of your new page you’ll notice that it says Unverified, click Verify Now. You’ll have the option to have your verification PIN number sent to your business via postcard or over the phone.
Once you have your PIN number log into your Google+ Account, enter the PIN and wait a few days for Google to merge your old Google Places listing with your Google+ Local Page.
And that’s it – you now have a verified Google+ Local Listing and are well on your way to better local search results.
Better Local Listings and Search Display
With a verified Google+ Local Listing, you significantly improve your ability to rank well for local search.
If set up and verified properly, here is what your listing might look like in the “regular” Google search results for your company name and keyword searches relevant to your business:
Expanded Juice Marketing Search Display on Google for “Sage VAR Marketing”
P.S. Be sure to connect with Juice Marketing on Google+
By Mark Badran