Many small business owners are scrambling to keep up with the ongoing changes of Google+ for their local business. With two different kinds of Google pages now on the web  — Google+ Business Page and Google+ Local Page — it’s confusing. We hope to answer your questions by explaining what they are and what you need.

If you just want to merge your Google+ Local and Business Pages, then jump over to the second part of this post.

 

Types of Pages

It’s important to understand that there are currently two kinds of pages for local businesses.

1. Google+ Local Page – At the end of May, Google automatically converted existing Google Places pages to Google+ Local pages. This page includes maps and reviews but NO social features in left column.

 

Google+ Local pages do NOT include social features, just maps and reviews.

 

2. Google+ Business Page –  A business page created on Google+ has social features (postings, explore, photos, etc) down the left column but there is no option to leave a review. Our example shows a Google+ Business Page without  ‘local’ page integration.

A Google+ Business Page that hasn’t verified a Local listing will not have a place to leave a review.

 

These two pages for this business are not connected, they live separately on the web even though the Google+ Business Page has same address and is recognized in search as the same business. Thanks to the great team at Ace Plumbing for use of their business pages in these examples. They are getting ready to merge them … 🙂

Merging G+ Local and G+ Business

At the beginning of August, Google announced the first phase to merge Google+ Business and Google+ Local Pages. This means that local business data in Google Maps will sync with Google+ Local and Google+Business Pages. Page managers will need to run through a few quick but important steps to complete the verification process. To learn more about merging  your accounts, follow the steps in part 2 of this post.

An integrated G+ Business and Local page offers the option to leave a review.

How Does It Affect SMBs?

With this recent update, Google is pushing Google+ content and engagement to the front of its platforms. The merge will enhance your business’s social and local presence on search results, Google Maps, Google+, and other Google properties. Owners will also be able to manage their Google content in one place.

The full impact of this new development between Google+ Businesses and Local is yet to be fully determined. SEOs and small business are currently trying to make sense of this update, so be sure to keep checking your DIYSEO account and the DIYSEO Blog for more news on this subject. And, please, if you found this helpful +1 the article on our share buttons!

Not sure how you’re represented or even taking advantage of small business SEO for your store? Try out our free Local SEO Report Card to see how your business is represented across the web.

Read part 2 here: Merging Google+ Local and Business Pages