Ready to get started with Google+ pages? The following guide by professional blogger Kristi Hines will help you set up a Google+ page for your business.
Creating your page
To create a Google+ page, look for the Create a Google+ page link in your right hand sidebar when signed in to your Google+ personal profile or go to the Create a page area.
First, you will want to select a category for your Google+ page. You can choose from the following:
- Local Business or Place: This category is for physical establishments such as hotels, restaurants, places, stores, services, and more. Subcategories range from Home & Construction to Storage. This selection is perfect for local businesses as you can connect to your Google Places page (if applicable) to pull in your information, or you can enter it from scratch. The Local Business or Place Google+ page will show a map of your business on your page, an option that is not available on pages in other categories.
- Product or Brand: This category is for apparel, cars, electronics, financial services, and more. Subcategories range from Aerospace to Website.
- Company, Institution, or Organization: This category is for companies, institutions, organizations and more. Subcategories range from Aerospace to Travel & Leisure.
- Arts, Entertainment, or Sports: This category is for movies, TV, music, books, sports, and more. Subcategories range from Album to Website.
Last, but not least, if your page doesn't seem to fit any of the above main categories and subcategories, you can list it under Other. Once you have chosen your category, fill in the required details - for everything but Local Business or Place, you just need to enter a page name, website, subcategory, and content age level. Click on Create to continue:
Basic page information
The first details Google+ wants for your page are your Tagline and your Profile photo. The Tagline will appear beneath your page's name, so be sure it succinctly describes your business.
Your profile photo should be something that people will easily recognize, such as a common logo or storefront photo. If you have other profiles for your business on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, be sure to use the same profile for Google+ so that your connections on other networks will recognize your page easily.
When you click Continue, you will be asked to share your new page with your personal profile as a status update. I would suggest skipping this for now as you can do it later, once your Google+ page is completed. Click Finish to skip this.
For now, you will be using Google+ as your new Google+ page. If you need to switch back to your personal profile, you can do so by using the dropdown beneath your page's name on the Google+ home page.
You can switch back to your pages using the same dropdown, or by going to the Manage your pages link.
Once you are using Google+ as your page, click on the Profile icon at the top of your Google+ home page.
Then click on the blue Edit Profile button to enter the following information for your Google+ page. Just like your Google+ personal profile, you will click on each section of the page's profile to edit its information.
If you skipped entering a tagline during the initial page creation, you can enter it now by clicking on that section of your page's profile.
Think of this as a shorter version of your Twitter profile's bio. Something that would easily tell a new visitor to your page exactly what your page and business are about to entice them to connect with it.
Here, you can enter five photos that feel best represent your business. Click in this area to start adding photos.
These photos could include anything from famous people that represent your brand, your top products, fun around the office pictures, your logo or logos of brands you sell, or anything else you feel would make a great visual impression of your business.
Be sure to use your Introduction section to its fullest potential. Consider including information about your business from your company website, and be sure to include links with great anchor text.
Also note that the first 50 or so characters of your introduction will appear in Google+ search results and could mean the difference between someone selecting your business page or another one!
Your Contact Information
Here, you can enter the best ways for people to get in touch with your business. Don't include anything that you will not be able to reply to quickly.
Unlike the Google+ personal profile which has three different link sections to choose from, the Google+ pages only have one section of links which they mark as recommended.
This is where you will want to list your links in order of priority - website, blog, social media profiles, and so forth. You could even break down your website into top product or service pages if you want to highlight something most visitors would be interested in. Links in this area (and in the introduction as well) are currently set to dofollow, but keep in mind that your anchor text should not just be designed for search engines. Use anchor text that will entice visitors to click on the links instead!
The final result if you fill in everything should look like this:
Just like your Google+ personal profile, you need to complete your profile in a way that assumes it may be a first impression when someone finds your Google+ page before your website or other profiles!
Status updates on Google+
Before you announce your new Google+ page on your personal profile, be sure to add some public status updates that will give visitors a preview of the kind of content they can expect from your page. To add a status update as your page, be sure you are using Google+ as your page and look for the same Share what's new ... box on your Google+ home page under the Stream column.
You will then enter a plain text update or use the icons for a photo, video, link, or location check in update. You always have the option on each status update to change the visibility from Public by clicking on the X in the Public button and then adding circles or people to share with. Keep in mind that Public updates are the only ones that will be visible to people who have not connected with you yet. These are updates that will keep your page active and make more people want to connect with you.
Getting and organizing followers
Google+ is similar to Facebook in the sense that you can't go out and follow fans in order to gain fans like you can with Twitter followers. With Google+, you have to wait until someone follows you before you can add them to your page's circles and start interacting with them.
To get followers for your Google+ page, you will want to start by announcing it on your Google+ personal profile. It's as easy as sharing the link to your Google+ page as a status update!
Next, you will want to connect your Google+ page to your website. This is what will help get it into search results like the Toyota example shown in the previous segment on the advantages of Google+ pages. You can do this with a simple piece of code or an icon using the code generated by the Google+ badge configuration tool. But if your goal is to gain followers for your page, you will want to use the Standard badge option which allows people to follow your page directly on your website using the Add to circles button.
Once you have followers of your page, you can start organizing them into Circles the same way you would with people you want to follow on your Google+ personal profile. To start organizing your followers, click on the Circles icon at the top of your Google+ home page while using Google+ as your page.
Then click on the link for People who've added you. These are the people you can add to your page's circles. Your page starts with four circles: Following, Customers, VIPs, and Team members.
You can use these circles, edit them, or add new circles. Some great ways for businesses to use circles include:
- Circles for your employees and send them messages to alert them of new social promotions or other news you would like their help in sharing. It’s a great way to communicate with remote employees, contractors, and freelancers.
- Circles for your partners to let them know of special product sales that they might be interested in sharing with their audience as it involves their products.
- Circles for your top customers or even members of your loyalty program and share special discounts and coupon codes with members only.
- Circles for customers in specific regions and send them geo-location based status messages dependent on their location.
Remember these circles will allow you to send targeted messages to your followers, so be sure to organize them wisely! As a page, you will also be able to use these circles to view status updates on your Google+ home page.
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Additional tips and resources
The following additional tips and resources should help you further integrate your business, website, and Google+ presence.
- +1 Button - The Google +1 button will help Google+ users recommend your website and its content to their followers. Be sure to use it on your website and blog!
- Owners vs Managers - Choose multiple administrators for your page by using Google+ as your page, then going to the Google+ settings using the Settings wheel icon in the top right of the Google+ toolbar. Then click on Managers in the left sidebar menu to add additional administrators. Visit Google for more on the difference between what page owners and managers can do
- Control Your Posts - Status updates for Google+ pages have additional options to disable comments or lock posts, meaning that the posts cannot be shared by others. Learn more about privacy controls for Google+ pages
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