Online marketing can be tiring! That’s where UpCity comes in. As a trusted advocate for small businesses, we’re here to navigate you through the piles of confusing and suspicious offers. UpCity will lead you in the right direction by providing easy insights and simple solutions for your business marketing plan. Members receive an in-depth, personalized action plan to help optimize their site, and our team is here to help you along the way. Each week, we’re featuring an in-depth look at one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software.
Background of Google Plus Local
Google Plus Local is a free web service for local businesses to provide a platform to connect with their customers. This potent web tool allows you to list your physical location, monitor and respond to customer reviews, and optimize for your local business. We also want to be clear that Google Plus Local is now integrated with Google Plus Business, so you can use one to sign into the other.
A Google Plus Local page makes it easy and free to list the essential contact information for your business, including contact information, domain, hours, and physical location. Your business is also positioned to stand out from the rest of your competitors with high customer ratings and reviews. You can also be found and gain new customers across multiple devices such as mobile, tablet, and desktop as you’re listed on Google+ Local.
Google is the most popular search engine in the world, so it goes without saying that utilizing Google Plus Local will increase your business’s web presence and SEO. It allows you to achieve greater brand awareness and visibility, which is important among your local competitors. Additionally, many local page features are similar to that of Google+ Business pages, receiving the same benefits with the added boost to local search results.
Many beginner features are available to learn how to use throughout Google Plus Local. We’re here to make the process easy and get your site set up and ready to go. Ready to create a new Google+ Local page? Follow along with the instructions below!
How to Complete Your Google Plus Local Page
1. Sign into Google Plus Business to get started. You will have to create a new Google Plus account if you have not already).
2. If you do not already have a Google Plus page, enter in the necessary information and click “Upgrade.” Remember that these pages are for businesses with local services only. This is also separate from your personal Google+ page.
3. After completing your Google Plus page configuration, you will be able to sign up for Google Plus Local. If you already have a Google Plus page, skip this step and hit the “Pages” icon under the “Home” tab.
4. Click “Create a page” to begin the process.
5. Next, choose the “Local Business or Place” category.
6. Check the box asking you to agree to the Terms and Conditions.
7. If your business doesn’t show up, click “No, these are not my businesses” to commence the creation of your new listing.
8. When creating your new listing, make sure to accurately fill out the Business name, Street address, Main business phone, etc. Choose the category that describes what your business is, rather than the product or service it provides. Carefully read over your answers here and then click “Submit.”
9. Upon filling out your information, Google requires verification of your business listing by phone number or postcard. Click “Verify by postcard” to complete the process. You can always return to your page’s Dashboard to complete the verification process later.
10. If your Google Plus Local business listing already exists, you will be prompted to make changes to your local information. Feel free to click “Edit information” to begin making alterations.
11. Edit the details in the Dashboard, and click “Done editing.”
12. Once you complete the editing, explore the other tools and features Google Plus Local has to offer!
Best Practices for Google Plus Local
- Fill in all of your business information into your account, including your Website URL, Hours, Description, and Contact Info. Do not fill your description with keywords, as it will only negatively affect your local listing. Make sure the phone number you enter is a local one, thereby increasing the likelihood your business will show up in local search results.
- If you serve customers at their location and you do business from home, make sure you select “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location” and toggle off “I also serve customers at my business address” by clicking “Edit my business information” from within the “Overview” tab in Google+ Local. If you fail to do that, Google might de-list your business from the local search results.
- Sometimes Google or users create additional business listing for the same business. This incident happens by mistake and could negatively affect your listing’s local search rankings. The easiest way to discover duplicate listings is by going to Google Maps and searching for your phone number(s) and then your business name. If you do not find listings other than the one that you already created, check that it is owner-verified. This verification means you do not have duplicated listings on Google Maps. If you find repeated listings, log into your Google Places account, find the local listing you wish to remove, and click “Remove this listing from my Google Places account.”
- To enhance your profile, we recommend adding up to 10 photos and five videos for your business. The first image you include will show up in the search results on Google Maps and Google+, so make sure you choose this photo carefully. It is best if the chosen items represent a sample of your product/service, yourself, or your team. Avoid adding your business logo as the first image for your listing.
- Add links to your social media profiles, your blog, and other important sites related to your company, which will help drive more traffic. This demonstrates that you are engaged with your customers, as well as your social community. Sharing updates and content will also improve your results rankings in Google Plus Local Search. The more content your business shares, the faster it will rank.
UpCity members, follow the pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Optimize Your Presence > Establish Your Presence Local 101 > Google+ Local.
What is your experience in creating a Google Plus Local listing for your business? We want to hear about your feedback and best practices in the comments section below!